Around the Grounds: State skipper returns to senior footy

WITH South Australia’s state Under 18 campaigns having drawn to a close, representative stars are beginning to filter back into clubland. Among them was Croweaters captain Sid Draper, who returned for his first senior game of the season in South Adelaide’s loss to Sturt on Sunday.

The slick midfielder led all comers at stages in the match before ultimately posting 23 disposals, 11 tackles and five clearances. Draper, who battled a shin injury at the start of the year, essentially started his top-age campaign at state level, while having a single SANFL Under 18s game under his belt.

His Round 13 outing in the Panthers’ engine room marked the first time he got to play state league footy alongside elder brother Arlo – formerly of Collingwood fame. The more junior Draper, who was a state MVP last year, has long been considered a top five draft prospect in this year’s crop.

He averaged 21 disposals and four clearances throughout this year’s Under 18 National Championships, leading his side to a 1-3 record. It seems, though, that Draper’s best form is ahead of him this year as he has taken no time to find his feet again at the level he debuted at so impressively last year.

Tyler Welsh had a season-best senior performance | Image Credit: Rookie Me Central

Elsewhere in the SANFL top flight, Adelaide father-son prospect Tyler Welsh produced arguably his best performance for the Crows in their win over Central District. The powerhouse forward was named to start on the wing and booted a goal from 14 disposals and six marks – all season-best numbers.

Port Adelaide also had a father-son candidate turn out over the weekend, with Rome Burgoyne (son of Peter) making his senior debut. The classy half-back managed 15 disposals, six marks and four rebound 50s as in a positive first up outing for the Magpies, who beat North Adelaide by 29 points.

State teammate and fellow Woodville-West Torrens product Kade Herbert was also sighted back at League level. The versatile talent posted 15 disposals and five tackles as the Eagles coughed up a three-quarter time lead to be defeated by Glenelg. He now has nine senior games under his belt.

A pair of state squad members also made their SANFL Reserves debuts. Central Districts blooded tall utility Charlie Nicholls, who took four marks among his seven touches. Meanwhile, Sturt’s Ned Atkinson clunked five grabs (three contested) in a 12-disposal outing. He’s the son of Magarey Medallist, Brodie.

Lucas Camporeale filled his boots for Glenelg’s Under 18s | Image Credit: Rookie Me Central

Among the standouts at Under 18s level were Glenelg’s Camporeale twins – Ben and Lucas. The pair of Carlton father-son prospects had 32 and 27 disposals respectively, while fellow state representatives Angus Clarke (21 disposals, five marks) and Thomas McKay (eight marks, three goals) also impressed.

Despite his Eagles being beaten by the ladder leading Bays, Jevan Phillipou produced another strong outing with 26 disposals, nine marks and six clearances. The brother of St Kilda forward Mattaes has had an outstanding bottom-age campaign to date and made one state Under 18 appearance.

Around the grounds, West Adelaide took out a dramatic four-point win over Norwood via Mitchell Marsh‘s goal on the full time siren. It was the Bloods’ second win of the season, though they remain planted to the bottom of the ladder level on points with the Redlegs at 2-11.

Jacob Newton starred with 26 disposals, eight clearances and a goal in the losing side, while teammate Noah Daw returned from a broken collarbone to post 17 touches and five marks down back. Westies were led by prolific efforts from Ayden Hodgson (28 disposals) and Hamish Dow (26).

Jacob Newton in action for Norwood | Image Credit: Rookie Me Central

South Adelaide had a handful of state stars return, but was comprehensively beaten by Sturt: 2.7 (19) to 9.9 (63). Phoenix Hargrave (29 disposals, 10 marks) and captain Jacob Sheean (20 disposals) were solid in the defeat, though could do little to stop the reigning premier’s finals hopes from further dwindling.

Sturt was served well by ruckman Alex Dodson (19 disposals, 27 hitouts), who continues to emerge as a draft prospect. The Double Blues remain in third place but are now level on points with second-placed Central District, after the Bulldogs suffered an upset loss to fellow finals hopeful, North Adelaide.

Bottom-age midfield pair Samuel Cumming (31 disposals, eight clearances) and Blake Oudshoorn-Bennier (29 disposals, six rebound 50s) were terrific for the Roosters, who saluted to the tune of 55 points at Prospect Oval. Now boasting a positive record, they are a game clear in fourth.

Centrals remain planted in second but are again a win adrift from Glenelg. Ryan Lane-Ellis gathered 32 touches and nine marks, while fellow state squad members Matthew LeRay and Aidan Schubert both bagged two majors to combine for four of their side’s five goals in the defeat.

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