South emerged victorious at Jubilee Oval on Saturday afternoon to claim its seventh AFL Broken Hill A-Grade premiership in eight seasons, beating a gallant West side by 46 points.
The Roos started the game as expected with the competition’s leading goalkicker Cody Schorn and Lionel Johnston Medallist Marc Purcell kicking the first two goals of the match. Jackson Savage got the West supporters up and about with his side’s first goal of the afternoon before goals to Schorn and Simon O’Brien ended the first term.
Cody Schorn opened the scoring in the second quarter for his third goal of the match – which also marked his 100th of the season as South supporters stormed the field, surrounding and congratulating the centurion. His brother Riley got on the scoresheet shortly after, but West pegged back the two goals late in the term to keep in touch with their opponents at halftime.
The Robins got within 11 points after kicking three of the first four goals coming out of the main break, but Cody Schorn took the game on at full forward, bagging a further three goals to his tally to ensure the Roos held a competitive edge at the final break. A five-goal-to-two fourth quarter saw the result confirmed as South celebrated a dominant campaign.
“It’s amazing. It doesn’t change each year – they’re all different but similar in a way,” South captain Marc Purcell told us post-game.
“West, they were outstanding today and brought it to us.”
“It’s just a little bit overwhelming but I’m really proud of the boys. West, they were outstanding today and brought it to us and I’m just really happy to come away with the win.”
Cody Schorn earned best on ground honours and was humble in his assessment of the game and was full of praise to the opposition, telling us, “West came out firing and they were really hard to play against”.
“Well done on their behalf to come from [where they were] last year and coming last [to] coming out today and challenging us for three quarters, they were really good. It was obviously good to come away with a win and it was nice to play someone like West in a Grand Final.”
South coach Craig Thomas – who has now coached his fifth premiership in five attempts with the first in 2014 – said it was an outstanding achievement for a team who had a sensational year and built on momentum leading into Saturday’s main game.
“We kicked ourselves out of it before half time so that put a bit of pressure back on us, we were undisciplined, but once we got going in that third quarter and we started to use our skills and our quick ball movements and Cody [Schorn] started kicking straight, we started getting momentum,” he said.
“Nugget’s (Marc Purcell) third quarter was absolutely brilliant. He lifted in that third quarter and set the tone and said ‘I’m going to lead all the way’, as a true champion does, and then Cody finished off all the hard work that the midfield did.
“I couldn’t have been happier with the team on Saturday, but just happier for the team overall and the footy club. To achieve what the footy club did this season; U18s, Women’s Reserves, and A Grade, that’s a great achievement for a footy club.”
West coach, Nathan Pearce, told us that it was a great Grand Final and that while West ultimately lost, once his side came into the game, he was of the belief that anything could’ve happened.
“I think there was probably three- or four-minute periods in every quarter where we just allowed them to kick consecutive goals which hurt us,” he said.
“We had a pretty good side on the park that we hadn’t been able to get for a number of weeks. We were pretty confident going into that game that we could go out there and challenge them and come away with a win if we got things right. Some things went right, some things didn’t.
“For probably three quarters and a bit, we stayed with them. I mean, they were good. They moved the ball fast and in most cases we were able to counter but they really set that game up in the first quarter and we just couldn’t get it back.”
Goals: Cody Schorn (South) 8, Todd Davidson (South) 2, Jordan Tonkin (West) 2