Sunday 24 September 2023: Glenelg v Sturt Grand Final(s)
The Big Day dawned, and it was warm, a little like 50 years before. A Glenelg v Sturt double-header, with both challenging for a Premiership at Reserves and League level. The Reserves Grand Final was a tight tussle all day, with over 10 lead changes. It took until half way through the last quarter for the Bays to grab the game by the throat, winning 11.10 (76) to 10.6 (66). Vindication for a dominant season, with a number of players unlucky to miss selection for the main event.
The Main Affair seemed tight and close too, at least to your correspondent with nerves of something less than steel. In fact, Glenelg were never headed, and in retrospect, once Cole Gerloff took a spectacular mark and Lachy Hosie spun a miracle snap for the first of his six goals, we were never going to lose. Each time Sturt gamely snagged a goal, a Tiger would reply, with a triumphant snarl. And while the Blues let themselves down with inaccuracy, that was really a reflection of the remarkable defensive pressure from our defenders (including those in attack). They were relentless, totally consumed with burying both opposition and the memories of 2021. The tackles laid and smothers made were as joyous as the marks and goals. An all-round effort to cap a great year.
First-year Senior Coach Darren Reeves wrote on the GFC site: “From my own perspective, I’m still pinching myself. There is relief, there is excitement and mostly pride. I have been asked several times over the last few days, what does this mean to me. I think the thing that sums it up most is the emotion and the joy that a lot of the past players and legends of our club have shown over the last few days [it] speaks enormously about what this means to our football club and our community. That is what it is all about.”
French Philosopher Jean de la Bruyère said: “No man is so perfect, so necessary to his friends, as to give them no cause to miss him less.” We would make an exception to that rule, with regard to the Men and Women of the Glenelg Football Club – every last one of them, from the League Team to the mini league, from the training room to the front bar, from the Board to the terraces, from Life Members to Junior Members, to folks who left for the Crows but still drop in to the “G” occasionally – from our great recruiting zone in the South East to the northern hemisphere where some of our supporters huddled over phones to track the Tiger scores on the day of the Big Dance. They are necessary, and if and when they move on, they’ll be missed. And remembered.
Glenelg 13.8 (86) Sturt 8.14 (62)[The team: Matthew Allen, Darcy Bailey, James Bell, Cole Gerloff, Riley Holder, Lachlan Hosie, Archie Lovelock, Corey Lyons, Alex Martini, Liam McBean, Brad McCarthy, Cameron McGree, Brodie Newman, Luke Partington, Toby Pink, Max Proud, Luke Reynolds, Jonty Scharenberg, Matthew Snook, Hugh Stagg, Billy Stretch, Brett Turner.]