SANFL Womens Review: Round 1

LAST year’s grand finalists both enjoyed victories in the first round of the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s League, while both newcomers suffered defeats despite promising starts.

WWT EAGLES 1.2 | 1.2 | 2.3 | 2.4 (16)
GLENELG 1.1 | 5.4 | 6.7 | 7.9 (51)


GOALS:
Glenelg: Lucy Bellinger, Hannah Crump 2, Ellen Fauser, Sam Franson, Brooke Trevena.
Eagles: Kiana Lee 2.

DISPOSALS:
Glenelg: Lucy Bellinger 23, Ellen Fauser 15, Sam Franson 15
Eagles: Jaimi Tabb 17, Georgia Taylor 17, Madeleine Dufek 16

Last year’s wooden spooners got their season off to the perfect start, as Glenelg proved too strong for league newcomers, Woodville-West Torrens. The Tigers had a fight on their hands early, and toughed it out in the second half, but a four goals to zero second term proved to be the difference for the winners. Samantha Franson made history with the first SANFL Women’s League goal for 2019, then teenager, Kiana Lee did the same, becoming the first Eagles goalkicker in the team’s history. With the game tight eight minutes into the second term and Glenelg leading by a point, Hannah Crump popped up to boot two consecutive goals, before Ellen Fauser joined the party and in less than four minutes, Glenelg had opened up a 20-point lead. A quick goal before half-time to Brooke Trevena had the Tigers 26 points up and in control. Lee gave the Eagles a glimmer of hope with a goal midway through the third term to cut the margin to 28 points, but two goals either side of the final break to Lucy Bellinger, put the game beyond doubt as Glenelg enjoyed the 35-point victory.

Bellinger was ultra-impressive for the Tigers throughout the game, racking up 23 disposals, 10 marks (two contested), four inside 50s, six tackles and two goals in the win. Fellow goalkickers, Fauser and Franson both had 15 disposals, while Fauser got free for six marks, and Franson laid seven tackles to cause headaches for the opposition. For the Eagles, Jaimi Tabb was superb in the front half of the ground, notching up 17 disposals and five inside 50s, while teammate Georgia Taylor did everything she could in defence, recording nine rebounds to go with her 17 touches and three marks. Caitlin Sampson was huge in the ruck with 19 hitouts as well as her 10 disposals. Next week Glenelg faces another new side in Central District, while the Eagles look to secure their first win when they take on West Adelaide.

NORWOOD 0.6 | 0.9 | 0.9 | 2.10 (22)
NORTH ADELAIDE 0.1 | 0.4 | 1.5 | 1.5 (11)


GOALS:
Norwood: Najwah Allen 2.
North: Elysha Willis.

DISPOSALS:
Norwood: Hannah Dunn 29, Najwah Allen 20, Rhiannon Busch 15
North: Amber Ward 17, Nadia von Bertouch 15

Both sides were considered contenders heading into the match, and it proved to be a battle of attrition as neither side managed to find the big sticks in the first half. At the major break, a combined 13 behinds had been scored, with the Redlegs five points ahead. Failing to score in the third term, Norwood found itself down by two points at the final break, courtesy of a drought-breaking Elysha Willis goal in the sixteenth minute. Another behind early in the fourth to the Redlegs saw them one point down and with 10 minutes remaining, it looked as though the four points was heading home with North Adelaide. Enter Najwah Allen who became Norwood’s saviour in the final term, converting two goals in the final 10 minutes to help Norwood to the win.

Allen was crucial with 20 disposals, three marks, three tackles and two inside 50s, while Hannah Dunn had a day out, recording a league-high 29 disposals in the win, as well as four marks and five inside 50s. Monique Hollick was busy in transition with seven inside 50s to pair with her 12 disposals, while Leah Cutting laid a massive 12 tackles to apply serious defensive pressure to the Roosters. For North Adelaide, Amber Ward was the leading ball winner with 17 disposals, but her work in the defensive half was superb, also racking up nine rebounds, and registering three inside 50s. Nadia Von Bertouch had 15 disposals, four marks (two contested) and laid eight tackles in a strong performance, while Lauren Daniel laid 12 tackles from her 12 disposals. Next week Norwood takes on South Adelaide in a Grand Final rematch in what looks to be a thrilling contest, while North Adelaide faces Sturt with both sides keen to get a win on the board.

SOUTH ADELAIDE 1.2 | 1.7 | 2.8 | 6.10 (46)
STURT 2.0 | 2.1 | 2.2 | 2.2 (14)


GOALS:
South: Teah Charlton 3, Alana Browne, Lauren Buchanan, Hannah Munyard.
Sturt: Caitlyn Swanson, Lauren Lovell.

DISPOSALS:
South: Nicole Campbell 19, Nikki Gore 19, Hannah Munyard 19, Czenya Cavouras 15, Danielle Goding 15
Sturt: Izzy Kuiper 15

It took until a final quarter flurry, but the SANFL Women’s League reigning premiers reminded the competition of what they were capable of, running out 32-point winners over Sturt to start their season off how they had left it. With a mix of youth and experience, Sturt threw up a challenge to the reigning premiers, leading at quarter time and heading into the main break level. Ultimately, the Panthers ability to finally find the big sticks proved the difference as they booted 1.1 to 0.1 in the third term to lead by a goal, before running away with a four goals to zero final term to sit top of the table after Round 1.

Adelaide AFL Women’s midfielder, Nikki Gore was sensational winning the ball as easily as she had last year for the Panthers, and teamed up well with fellow youngster, Hannah Munyard, and Nicole Campbell of whom all three racked up 19 touches. Gore laid a massive 10 tackles in the win, while Campbell and Munyard combined for 15 inside 50s. Teenage sensation, Teah Charlton booted three goals to be a crucial link up forward, while AFL Women’s Academy ruck, Montana McKinnon had 20 hitouts to go with her 13 disposals and four tackles. Izzy Kuiper had the highest disposals for Sturt, notching up 15 for the game as well as four tackles, while former Crow, Georgia Bevan had six rebounds as well as her 12 touches and six tackles. Alexandra Ballard and Maya Rigter both finished the game with 12 touches to be among Sturt’s best as well.

WEST ADELAIDE 2.4 | 4.5 | 5.7 | 6.7 (43)
CENTRAL DISTRICT 1.0 | 1.1 | 1.4 | 3.5 (23)


GOALS:
West: Melanie Elsegood 3, Kasia Culhane, Rachelle Martin, Zoe Venning.
Central: Abbey Scheer, Chantel Reynolds, Laitiah Huynh.

DISPOSALS:
West: Madison Newman 26, Rachelle Martin 23, Abbie Ballard 17
Central: Jayme-Lee Sonneman 16, Danielle Stewart 15

West Adelaide posted an important win over newcomers, Central District in the final game of Round 1. The Westies lead throughout the contest at each break, and although they were outscored by the Bulldogs in the final term, West Adelaide still recorded a comfortable 20-point win. Central District had a reason to celebrate early when Abbey Scheer put through the first major of the game just a minute into the match, but it was slim pickings for Bulldogs goals until the final term, until Laitiah Huynh found the big sticks just 39 seconds into the fourth quarter. By that stage, Melanie Elsegood had booted three of West Adelaide’s five goals, and while Chantel Reynolds cut the deficit to just 15 points at the six-minute mark of quarter, and a behind to last year’s leading goalkicker Katelyn Rosenzweig saw it reduced to 14 points, it was not enough, as one of West Adelaide’s best – Rachelle Martin – kicked the steadier to ensure the victory.

Madison Newman was huge for the Bloods, racking up a game-high 16 disposals, as well as six inside 50s and six rebounds, while Martin had 23 touches of her own and laid nine tackles with four rebounds. Talented youngster, Abbie Ballard was impressive in West Adelaide’s midfield, amassing 17 touches and three inside 50s while laying seven tackles. Former basketballer, Leah Swain had 24 hitouts working hard through the ruck, while Elsegood’s efforts inside 50 to boot 3.2 from just seven disposals showed how damaging she can be. For the Bulldogs, Jayme-Lee Sonneman had the most individual disposals, recording 16 touches as well as three marks, three inside 50s and two rebounds. Danielle Stewart‘s 15 touches were complimented by her eight tackles, three inside 50s and two rebounds, while Rosenzweig took two contested marks from 12 disposals, and while she did not kick a major, was still able to provide a presence up forward. Defender Gemma Doughty had a remarkable six rebounds from seven disposals showing how effective she was in providing support to the midfielders from the back half.

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