The West End State side retained the Haydn Bunton Junior Cup with a hard-fought four-point win over the WAFL at Optus Stadium in Perth.
Stringing up their third straight win over the Sandgropers, the Croweaters have now secured a 49-48 advantage in all meetings against Western Australia since 1904.
Along with Sturt’s Casey Voss, an outstanding half-back who won the Fos Williams Medal, Jade Sheedy’s young side backed up last year’s outstanding 53-point win at Adelaide Oval in a very different way on ground foreign.
Leading on every change, the visitors were forced to resist a second-half onslaught from the hosts, who began to convert their field game on the scoreboard after an inaccurate first half.
West End State captain Liam McBean put his team ahead by six points when he was kicked for holding the ball at the start of last season, only to have that lead canceled out by a goal against Ben Sokol from WA.
But SA then put the pressure on with the next four successive backs before Daniel Menzel used his body well to convert his chest mark with a set piece in the 15th minute of the fourth quarter.
WA’s Bailey Rogers scored a goal three minutes later as Croweaters suddenly found themselves under siege.
South Australian Stefan Giro could have put the WAFL ahead but his left kick hit the post in the 23rd minute leaving SA with two minutes to keep the pressure on and hang on for a memorable win.
Voss finished with 29 kills, 15 points and four 50 rebounds in a stunning display from halfback as SA midfielders Riley Knight (37 kills), Harrison Wigg (32), Matt Allen (24) and Campbell Coombe (21) all worked tirelessly. .
The SA defense was well led by Glenelg captain Max Proud who was a late inclusion for an ailing Sam Durdin, making a hasty direct flight from Tasmania to be rushed into the side.
Sturt’s Will Coomblas and West’s Kaiden Brand were also strong in aerial contests to hold off WA while Eagles pair Daniel Menzel and Zane Williams scored two goals apiece.