A strong third quarter in the 2018 Grand Final ensured the Eyre Peninsula (begrudgingly to many, called Western Zone) claimed its a second title of the modern era of the SA Country Football Championships.
The Eastern zone won the inaugural women’s title.
The men’s title went to Western after an interesting tussle with the Central Zone, with both teams being undefeated during their round robin games on Saturday.
A late second quarter goal snatched the Western Zone a three-point led at half-time.
After the impressive and dominant third term the EP converted this into 24-point advantage at lemons’, going on to win 10.12 (72) to Central 5.12 (42) at Renmark Oval.
Player of the Championship, Kimba Districts lad Jesse Kemp was also best on ground in the Grand Final, playing both as a key forward and as a relief ruckman.
Murray South East midfielder Scott Merrett collected the Under 21 Player of the Championship, while the leading official was Josh Niederer from Southern Districts.
In the middle match on the main oval Murray South East won the third versus fourth play-off by 22 points on a another windy day in the Riverland.
The Northern Zone kicked its opening goal of the tournament and defeated the Eastern Zone in the “third from each groups play offs” for the wooden spoon.
The inaugural women’s grand final was played on Sunday on the Renmark number two oval.
After a close first half Eastern started to take advantage in the third term and won the crown and initial glory, 5.12 (42) to 3.3 (21).
Jessica Schulz, Kiara Woodhouse led the way for Eastern while for Southern District, Lisa-Jane Millard was its best.
Eastern Rover Jiarna Zerella won the first SA Country Football Championships Women’s Player of the Championships.
The men’s tournament changed to this current format in 2004.
Don McSweeny Medal – Player of the Championships
Jesse Kemp (Western)
Bill Murdoch Medal – Coach of the Championships
Scott Feltus (Western)
Best Under-21 Player of the Championships
Scott Merrett (Murray South East)
Ben Simounds (Murray South East) – 5 goals
Umpire of the Championships
Josh Niederer (Southern Districts)
TEAM OF THE CHAMPIONSHIPS
F: Matthew Crettendon (Western), Ben Simounds (Murray South East), Jesse Stringer (Western)
HF: Ben Davis (Southern Districts), Jesse Kemp (Western), Brett Ellis (Southern Districts)
C: Simon Berkefeld (Murray South East), Xavier Watson (Western), Mitchell Johnson (Southern Districts)
HB: Scott Merrett (Murray South East), Aseri ‘Bobby’ Raikiwasa (Central), Joel Palmer (Northern)
B: Brae McConnell (Central), David Wright (Western), Aisea ‘Magic’ Rakiwasa (Central)
R: Todd Miles (Central), Billy Laurie (Murray South East), Steve Rusca (Central)
INT: Clint Gallio (Murray South East), Luke Teasdale (Eastern), Shane Ballantyne (Northern), Darren Shillabeer (Central), Samuel Alexopoulos (Southern Districts), Jordan Hind (Western), Reece Rayson (Western).
PLAYER OF THE CHAMPIONSHIPS
Jiarna Zerella (Eastern)
TEAM OF THE CHAMPIONSHIPS
F: Lane Trenorden (Eastern), Sally Fuller (Southern Districts), Tameika Reid (Northern)
HF: Emma Keys (Central), Emma Gryczewski (Southern Districts), Jessica Schulz (Eastern)
C: Casey McElroy (South East), Tess Andrews (South East), Shelby Raven (Northern)
HB: Casey Fraser (Eastern), Lauren Smith (Central), Natalie Gibbs (Southern Districts)
B: Hannah Muscat (Northern), Abbey Stevens (Northern), Katja Boese (Central)
R: Olivia Fuller (South East), Caitlin Radbone (Southern Districts), Jiarna Zerella (Eastern)
INT: Lisa Jane Millard (Southern Districts), Tess Grant (Southern Districts), Elisha Gallagher (Eastern), Ella Mickan (Central), Alexandra Mason (Eastern), Samantha Franson (Southern Districts).