South Australia’s strong start to National AFLW Under 18 Championships

SOUTH Australia has kicked off its 2018 National AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships in style with back-to-back wins over Northern Territory. The two-game series is the first stage of the National Championships, with South Australia and Northern Territory to combine to form the Central Allies. The Central Allies will play three matches against other states – including a composite NSW/ACT and Tasmanian side called the Eastern Allies – when they converge on the Gold Coast in July over a week-long series.

In the first game on Friday night, South Australia got the job done despite being inaccurate in front of the big sticks, booting nine goals from 22 scoring shots, to record a 29-point victory over Northern Territory. The second match on Sunday was much more prolific, as the visitors piled on 10.9 to one behind to run away 68-point victors. Nikki Gore was named South Australia’s best across the two games, just ahead of Rachelle Martin who both featured in the top three players in both matches. Up forward, Katelyn Rosenweig showed she will be a force to be reckoned with at the championships, booting six goals across the weekend, while Kiana Lee finished with three. Captain Esther Boles booted a goal in each match. Rachel Dunstan was named the South Australian vice-captain.

For Northern Territory, the Thunder only trailed by two goals at half-time courtesy of a strong first half with Bella Clarke booting two majors from the home sides’ four goals.  By full-time, Tayla Hart-Aluni and Arthurina Moreen had joined her on two majors, with a goal in each half. The visitors kicked away in the second half, but the home side had shown they were more than capable of matching it with them. The Sunday game was less even, with the Thunder managing just the one behind, but Hart-Aluni and Stephanie Williams were again among the best. Tabitha May was deemed the Northern Territory’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) across the two games.

Game 1:

Northern Territory 6.2 (38) defeated by South Australia 9.13 (67)

SA: Katelyn Rosenzweig 3, Bella Smith, Esther Boles, Kiana Lee, Maddi Newman, Madisyn Freeman, Teah Charlton.
NT: Tayla Hart-Aluni 2, Bella Clarke 2, Arthurina Moreen 2.

Game 2:

Northern Territory 0.1 (1) defeated by South Australia 10.9 (69)

SA: Katelyn Rosenzweig 3, Abbie Ballard, Kiana Lee 2, Bella Smith, Esther Boles, Kimberley Fry.
NT: Nil.  

The Central Allies’ first match is against the Eastern Allies on July 9 at Metricon Stadium, before clashes with Vic Country at Broadbeach on July 11, and Vic Metro at Bond University on July 13.

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