It was heartbreak for Deniliquin’s Todd Marshall on Sunday, his Port Adelaide Magpies going down to Sturt in a one point thriller in the SANFL grand final at Adelaide Oval.
The 18 year-old’s tackling pressure was once again on show, laying six tackles while collecting six disposals and taking three marks.
Unfortunately the 198cm forward couldn’t trouble the scoreboard, kicking 0.2 during the contest.
Port Adelaide got off on the wrong foot in the first quarter, wasting early chances before Sturt kicked the first goal of the game after seven minutes.
The Double Blues made the most of their chances to take a 10-point lead at the first break.
In a low scoring second term the Magpies and Sturt managed just one goal each, with the latter holding a two-goal margin at half-time.
Once again the Magpies had their chances in the third quarter dominating possessions but failing to put goals on the scoreboard, kicking 0.3 for the term to the Double Blues’ 1.2.
Trailing by 17 points at the final break, Port lifted with three goals in a row to level the scores at the 13 minute mark of the final term.
Sturt’s Kory Beard would kick his second of the game soon after to give his side the lead.
A behind three minutes later gave Sturt a seven point lead, before a goal from Magpies’ Brendon Ah Chee brought the margin back to a point.
Port worked the ball forward again, locking it into their forward 50 with a ball up.
Unfortunately for the Magpies the final siren sounded seconds after the ball was thrown in the air to hand the Double Blues back-to-back flags.
Final score, Sturt 7.8 (50) to Port Adelaide 7.7 (49).
Sturt defender Fraser Evans was declared the winner of the Jack Oatey Medal for best on ground, stemming the influence of Port Adelaide forward Brett Eddy, while also earning 13 disposals, five marks and three tackles as well as nine rebound 50s.
Jimmy Toumpas was one of the Magpies’ best, starting the game strongly across half-back for the Magpies to finish with a team high 29 disposals while Riley Bonner provided drive from defence and Will Snelling battled hard to lay 14 tackles and collect 23 disposals.
Port Adelaide captain Steven Summerton chalked up 22 disposals, eight tackles and a crucial goal assist in the last term to also be among the best.