By ZAC MILBANK
Glenelg kept their U18 Torrens University Cup campaign alive with a stinging two-point victory over a valiant Sturt in the first semi-final at the ACH Group Stage.
The Double Blues looked set for victory when star forward Chad Reschke’s fifth goal gave them a seven-point lead with less than 10 minutes to play.
But the Bays’ Ethan Murdock hit back two minutes later with his second goal, closing the gap to just one point in the 18th minute.
Three straight behinds for the hosts before the final siren proved the difference in an incredibly even contest, in which Sturt led by as much as 14 points when Finn Wakelin scored in the seventh minute of the final term.
Glenelg midfielder Archie Lovelock, invited to the State AFL Combine next month, stood out with his 31 transfers, seven marks and five tackles while Kynan Dunn and Will Trevena were also praised for their efforts.
Dashing utility Jakob Ryan made an impact with 30 takedowns while Tigers captain Ben Ridgway finished with 28 takedowns, nine tackles, five clearances and one goal.
Sturt’s George Pope was selected as his side’s best performer while Reschke continued to fight for the Blues with his five goals coming from seven kicks and seven marks.
Ollie Reilly, Will Torode and Nick Sadler were also among the visitors’ best performers.
A stunning third-quarter fight was behind North Adelaide’s impressive 31-point victory over Norwood in the second semi-final of the U18 Torrens University Cup at The Parade.
Trailing by no less than 20 points in the second term, the Roosters cut the deficit to eight points at halftime by scoring the last two goals of the quarter.
It was a sign of what was to come as the visitors booked a place in the grand final by starting 7.2 in the third quarter while managing to keep the Redlegs scoreless.
North’s decisive 36-point advantage in the final change proved more than enough as he earned a valuable week’s rest while sending the hosts through to the preliminary final against Glenelg at Thebarton Oval on Saturday.
Oliver Dignan of the Roosters had a huge influence on the outcome of the match with six goals from his 15 eliminations and six makes while fellow great Isaac Keeler (21 eliminations, six tackles, seven clearances) and Harper Montgomery were also important.
Norwood’s Alex Van Wyk was a tireless artist in the ruck with 20 kills, five makes, eight clearances and 22 hits Grant Catalano (18 kills, three goals) and Josh Bradford (19 kills) also did their best to stem the tide after the main break.