SA claim thriller over WA
South Australia has made it three straight wins over Western Australia in state football, winning the 2022 state clash by four points in a tight finish at Optus Stadium on Sunday.
The teams traded goals in the final term but a Daniel Menzel major proved the difference, giving the Croweaters an advantage in the head to head meetings between the states 49-48.
The 10.10 (70) to 9.12 (66) result was set up by a dominant second quarter from Jade Sheedy's side, Western Australia left to rue their first half inaccuracy that saw them kick 3.9 to SA's 7.2.
Ben Sokol opened the goal kicking after a strong mark for the Sandgropers but the visitors took their chances at goal when presented, Zane Williams a livewire inside 50 and former AFL players Daniel Menzel and Connor Ballenden taking their opportunities to give their side an early advantage.
The Croweaters controlled the game in the second term with half backs Harrison Wigg and Casey Voss racking up the disposals, Magarey Medallist Campbell Combe and former Adelaide Crow Riley Knight also influential.
Cam Shepherd's side kicked 1.5 for the term to squander opportunities, faced with a 17 point lead at the major break despite a great game from captain Leigh Kitchin, who had 16 first half touches in midfield while being well supported by Angus Schumacher and Chad Harris.
The game turned in the third term as WA found their range in front of goal and lifted around the contest, Jake Florenca getting his hands on the ball around stoppages while Noah Pegoraro, Zac Guadagnin and Cameron Eardley repelled many a South Australian foray as they kicked three goals to one in the term to only trail by 7 points with a quarter to play.
Florenca hit the scoreboard early in the last term to make the margin a point, scores level before SA captain Liam McBean kicked a steadying goal to give his side back the lead.
Goals were traded between the teams in a superb finish to another hard fought state game, Ben Sokol and Bailey Rogers each finding the target only to be answered by Daniel Menzel, a crafty snap after receiving a sharp pass from McBean enough to give his side some breathing space.
Stefan Giro had the chance to win the game in the dying moments against his former state, but hit the goal post with a hurried snap that proved to be his side's last chance to win the game.
WA captain Leigh Kitchin won the Simpson Medal for his 30 disposal game, his tireless efforts keeping his side in touch throughout while well supported by Eardley (24 disposals) and both Chad Harris and Jesse Turner (21) with reigning Sandover Medalist Bailey Rogers kicking 3 majors.
Casey Voss took home the Fos Williams Medal as South Australia's best player, the son of current Carlton coach and Brisbane Lions premiership captain Michael with 29 disposals and 15 marks across half back in a strong showing from the 21 year old.
Round five of the WAFL returns next Saturday, with Subiaco hosting Swan Districts in Kalgoorlie, Claremont are at home to East Perth at Revo Fitness Stadium, Perth face East Fremantle at Lathlain, West Perth take on bottom placed West Coast at Arena Joondalup and 91.3 Sport FM's broadcast match is South Fremantle at Fremantle Oval.