SANFL Women’s review: Round 7 – Roosters send warning with huge win

LAST year’s runners-up North Adelaide look determined to go one better in the 2020 South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s competition following a huge win over finals-bound Norwood. Similarly, reigning premiers South Adelaide went to a clear second with victory over West Adelaide, while Glenelg and Central District both picked up wins in their bottom four clashes.

WEST ADELAIDE 0.1 | 0.4 | 1.5 | 1.8 (14)
SOUTH ADELAIDE 1.5 | 1.6 | 2.8 | 3.11 (29)

GOALS: 

West: C. Biddell.
South: T. Charlton 2, S. Peters.

ADC BEST:

West: S. Thompson, K. Kustermann, R. Martin, M. Newman, A. Ballard
South: T. Charlton, L. Whiteley, C. Cavouras, S. Pratt, I. Tahau

South Adelaide did what the reigning back-to-back premiers do best and found a way to not only win, but get home by 15 points despite West Adelaide controlling possession for the majority of the contest. It was young gun Teah Charlton who led the charge for the Panthers, kicking two terrific goals and setting up a third in what was a low-scoring match riddled with inaccuracy, but filled with some big tackles and individual moments of brilliance.

In contrast to what the rest of the match would be like, South Adelaide controlled possession in the opening term, with Nikki Gore getting the first inside 50 out of the middle. Hannah Munyard was providing her usual dash on the outside of the contest, but the work of Keeley Kustermann and Madison Newman in the back 50 was making life hard for the Panthers.

Czenya Cavouras was having an influence through the middle, and was equally matched by Stevie-Lee Thompson would would go on to be one of West’s best. Equally up to the task in their back 50 were Samantha Pratt and Lisa Whiteley who battled hard, and when they went forward, South was beginning to apply scoreboard pressure – albeit behinds.

West registered its first score midway through the term, when Rachelle Martin bumped Nicole Campbell off the line and kicked towards the goals but went to the right. It was not until the last 90 seconds of the quarter that after five straight behinds, the Panthers got a major to break the drought. South’s resilience paid off as they kept surging forward and several players getting boot to ball as they were dragged down by West’s defence, but eventually Charlton had snuck to the goalsquare and got a clean boot to the ball to put through the first of the game and hand her side a 10-point lead at the first break.

Whiteley saved a certain West goal early in the second term and then immediately after, Pratt won a free kick at the stoppage for a terrific tackle. The Panthers were cleaner with their possession, though were happy to provide unpredictability going forward with kicks along the ground to stop the influence of Newman and Kustermann in the air taking easy intercept marks.

Chelsea Biddell was having an influence pushing up the ground alongside Martin and then Indy Tahau had a highlight-worthy moment with a bounce and drawing a second opponent to kick forward. While both Tahau and Thompson showed off the jets on different occasions, neither side could muster up a major. By the time the half-time siren sounded, just four behinds had been added to the total score, three to the Westies and one to the Panthers, for South Adelaide to still lead by eight points.

The third term saw some more action, but again it was heartbreak for the Westies as they dominated the major of forward possession and only managed the one major. Biddell kicked that opportunistic one on the back of hard work from Thompson and Ballard getting it forward to a pack, and the key forward was first to her feet to dribble it home five minutes into the term. Earlier Biddle unfortunately fumbled when she had a lot of space in front of her close to goal and her opponent closed her down. The defence was holding up for West Adelaide, but they needed to make more of their dominance.

Instead, it was Charlton who had had enough with the arm-wrestle up the home side’s end, somehow breaking the highlight-drought with a magical goal from the pocket. It was something out of nothing and exactly what the game needed. She was later crunched in a tackle but managed to recover, but the momentum rolled back to West as the Bloods desperately attacked. Yet again, shots just fell short or missed targets marginally and the siren sounded with the Panthers up by nine.

Not disparaged by not capitalising on their chances, the Bloods continued their forward half dominance, with Thompson getting better and better throughout the game, and Biddell having a presence, even though accuracy was a problem. Melanie Elsegood had a chance with the ball falling into her lap early in the term, but her quick pass to Biddell fell at her feet and forced a stoppage. Martin was desperate in her attempts to get her side back in the contest, but gave away a couple of free kicks in the process. Ballard was equally influential for the Bloods, but nothing was able to really break through.

Instead, once South got a chance, the Panthers took it, with Charlton stepping up, winning the ball close to the line from a kick out, and while many expected her to take a chance on goal, she spotted the loose Sienna Peters 15m out and drilled a perfect pass to her. Peters turned around and effectively iced the game with nine minutes remaining.

The remainder of the term saw Charlton put one out on the full despite being ambitious from a tight angle though not suitable for a right footer, and South’s desperate attempts to add to the score just missed with rushed behinds. West Adelaide continued to roll the dice, and surge forward, but nothing was doing, and the last kick of the day on goal to Biddell from 35m out missed, which was the story of the tape. West Adelaide was so impressive, but just missed in crucial circumstances to take control of the match.

The defence of Whiteley and Pratt, along with Charlton and the run of Gore and Munyard was impressive. Cavouras’ hardness was welcomed for the Panthers as Ballard and Martin provided that, as did Thompson who was arguably the Bloods’ best. Kustermann and Newman did what many expected them to do out of defence, and Biddell was superb outside of her accuracy, but both teams will be there at the pointy end of the season.

WWT EAGLES 1.3 | 2.3 | 2.3 | 4.5 (29)
CENTRAL DISTRICT 2.0 | 3.0 | 6.2 | 7.2 (44)

GOALS:

WWT: K. Lee 2, J. Zecevic, G. Smallacombe.
Central: K. Rosenzweig 3, E. Keys, L. Huynh, A. James, C. Reynolds.

ADC BEST:

WWT: J. Zecevic, K. Lee, T. Maher, J. Sedunary, B. Davey
Central: K. Rosenzweig, C. Reynolds, S. Smith, C. Teague, S. Allan

An all-time record team score from Central District has helped the Bulldogs record an impressive 15-point win over Woodville-West Torrens Eagles and move to sixth on the SANFL Women’s ladder. Katelyn Rosenzweig booted three goals during the match, while the likes of Shelby Smith, Chantel Reynolds, Caitlen Teague and Sarah Allan were all busy. For the Eagles, Jovanka Zecevic and Kiana Lee were busy in defeat.

The opening term saw a number of entertaining moments including a couple of bounces and run off half-back from Eagles’ Tesharna Maher, and a strong intercept mark under fierce contact from Central’s Nicola Biagi. Lee had an early chance at the seven minute mark to put a major on the board after a neat Kate Poole kick, but it went through for a behind. A few minutes later though, it was Central on the attack and the pressure led to Emma Keys running into an open goal and slotting it from almost point-blank range.

The very next clearance out of the middle went down the other end and the strong hands of Lee clunk and mark and sent it straight over the goal umpire’s hat to hand her team back the lead. As if not to be outdone, the Bulldogs worked it forward in the last few minutes, with Smith earning a free kick and got it to the danger zone, where a quick handball out to Rosenzweig saw the talented forward snap and goal for the lead once again. Alicia Butler had been impressive throughout the entire term for the Bulldogs, while Demi Sonneman on the last line was crucial.

The game had opened up a bit more and after repeat stoppages the first half of the term, it was a crucial moment by Rosenzweig who booted her second and gave the game more life. She positioned herself well under a floating ball inside 50, then clunked the contested mark and slotted the goal for a nine-point lead. Zecevic, Jess Sedunary and Maher were all busy early, and Bronwyn Davey was starting to get involved up forward for the Eagles. Davey missed a couple of chances but missed, though soon Zecevic would capitalise on the counter attack after a missed Bulldogs kick saw Poole intercept and find Davey whose kick fell short but Zecevic was quick to think and snap around her body to cut the half-time deficit to three.

Smith continued her good form winning plenty of it and getting involved in the third term, and Butler had a chance 35m out on a slight angle, but missed the chance early in the third. Not long after the floodgates would begin to open for the Bulldogs as Smith intercepted an Eagles kickout, handballed to Reynolds who put it to Rosenzweig’s advantage in the goalsquare to mark and convert the set shot three and a half minutes in. Sensing the tide was turning the Eagles sent Lee into defence where she took a strong mark and provided some rebound, but the play was all with Central.

Laitiah Huynh had a quick snap on goal but missed, then had a second chance moments after, tricking the Eagles defence into thinking the teenager would kick to the square, but instead had the set shot from 35m out and sailed over their heads to hand the Bulldogs an impressive 17-point lead. Zecevic was trying everything for the Eagles, while Charlotte Dolan was attempting to create some run down the ground, with little space available. The Eagles needed a goal to have a realistic chance in the final term, but instead it was the Bulldogs who through Allan and Reynolds got it forward. Rosenzweig battled one-on-two in the goalsquare, but the crowd she attracted left Amber James free to receive a handball and she snapped around her body for a terrific goal in the last 30 seconds and Central headed into the final break up by 23 points.

The final term was more of a celebration for the Bulldogs, though the Eagles were not going to throw in the towel. Sedunary’s early chance missed with the snap, and then Grace Smallacombe found herself in the unusual position of inside 50 and she took a good mark and with the subsequent 25m penalty for some spoken words, booted it home from point-blank range. The margin was back to 17 points and not completely out of it. However it was soon done and dusted when Reynolds achieved the Bulldogs’ highest score in their history with a terrific snap to see them pass their record of 38 and achieve 44 for the game.

Lee kicked a consolation goal shortly after following a contested grab above her head and put through the set shot from 35m out, but it wold not be enough as the Bulldogs would reign supreme on the day. The contested marking and runs from defence, the latter particularly from Maher were eye-catching, whilst Rosenzweig’s game was highly underrated because she not only slotted three majors, but her one percenters around the contest were terrific. Smith and Reynolds also really stood out in what was ultimately an even team performance.

STURT 0.1 | 0.2 | 0.4 | 0.5 (5)
GLENELG 1.3 | 4.4 | 6.6 | 8.8 (56)

GOALS:

Sturt: Nil.
Glenelg: E. Jones, T. Morriss, L. Bungey, E. Marinoff, L. Kenny, T. Kohn, B. Tonen, S. Franson

ADC BEST: 

Sturt: Z. Prowse, G. Bevan, E. Dawes, S. Daly, K. Harris
Glenelg: T. Kohn, S. Franson, E. Jones, L. Bungey, E. Marinoff

Glenelg has kept its finals hopes alive with a commanding 51-point victory over Sturt, holding the Double Blues goalless and leaping up to fifth on the SANFL Women’s ladder. The Tigers took a while to kick into gear, but when they did, they never looked back, having 16 scoring shots to five and defending perfectly.

The first term was a real arm-wrestle with neither side able to heap on any considerable scoreboard pressure. Glenelg had the majority of the play, with young gun Zoe Prowse having an early impact with her work rate around the ground and tackling pressure. For the Tigers, Eloise Jones and Ebony Marinoff were working hard in midfield, while reliable young defender Hannah Prenzler started forward as eluded to in the team selections. Madisyn Freeman was also busy continuing on from last week, providing some dash off half-back, and the first score came off the boot of Tessa Kohn – who would be in for a big day – with a behind after a nice turnover courtesy of an Ellie Kellock bump.

Another behind for Glenelg, this time from Marinoff, was followed by a drought-breaking goal from Tamsyn Morriss who found space forward and slotted the major nine minutes into the term. It would be the only major of the game, and while Georgia Bevan was putting in 100 per cent trying to extract the ball forward, Glenelg was running in numbers and defending well. Elsie Dawes was on Double Blues talent who stood out, while Shae Daly was mopping up a lot in defence. The siren sounded with Marinoff to take a shot from 35m out slight angle but it fell just short and kept in, with the Bays up by eight at the first break.

Prowse’s athleticism against Caitlin Gould was impressive as she was won a free kick immediately to start the second term, but it would be Lauren Bungey who would take the first advantage when forward, after Jones kicked it to the top of the goalsquare and the key forward took a strong mark and goaled from 15m out just two minutes into the contest. Grace Duffy was moving well around the ground for a taller player, while Prenzler was pushing up trying to influence the contest for Sturt. There was a lot of scrappy kicks from both sides in a bid to win territory.

Just as the Tigers looked set to rue a few missed chances, Brooke Tonon and Sam Franson both put their name in the goalkickers books with majors in the second half of the term. Tonon got on the end of a pass following an intercept in the forward 50 and she capitalised, while Franson slotted one running into goal in the dying seconds and handed her side a 26-point lead at the main break.

The Sturt defence was trying everything to keep the ball out of danger, but Glenelg was relentless and this attack continued in the third term. Jones tried her hand at one of the marks of the year, not necessarily for height, but for degree of difficulty with a pack all around her. She kicked the all-important first goal of the third term and from there, Glenelg had the second half momentum to continue it.

Kohn was really impressive inside 50 and giving her teammates a scoring chance, as Freeman and Marinoff had a couple of opportunities. Eventually it was Marinoff who somehow picked the pocket of her opponent close to goal and put it on the boot just 10m out for another Glenelg major.

Bevan had Sturt’s best chance of a major in the last two minutes of the third term, but running into open goal but it unluckily hit the post on the way through for Sturt’s third behind of the game. By the three quarter time siren, Glenelg led by 38 points.

The fourth term was much of the same with Glenelg continually attacking and Sturt’s defence doing its best to try and quell their opponents. Marinoff was involved in a goal again and worked the ball down for Lauren Kenny to win a free kick straight in front and put it through for a 44-point lead in the opening three minutes. Danger signs of the game being a real blowout were there for the Double Blues, but to their credit, the likes of Alysha Healy and Daly were restricting the flow.

Glenelg was just more composed and the frustration was getting to Sturt’s defence when Larissa Schenscher gave away a 25m penalty following a free in a marking contest one-on-one to her opponent Kohn. The youngster moved into the goalsquare when she popped it home from the easiest of set shots, delivering a 51-point win for her side as the siren sounded about a minute later.

NORTH ADELAIDE 1.2 | 4.6 | 6.6 | 9.10 (64)
NORWOOD 1.0 | 1.0 | 2.1 | 3.1 (19)

GOALS:

North Adelaide: H. Ewings 2, B. Perry 2, K. Reynolds 2, K. Barltrop, L. Daniel, A. Woodland.
Norwood: I. Martin, A. Ferrall, A. Barisic.

ADC BEST:

North: H. Ewings, A. Hatchard, B. Perry, K. Pope, K. Barltrop
Norwood: N. Allen, M. Breed, B. Smith, M. Zander, R. Busch

North Adelaide has fired a warning shot to the rest of the competition with a 45-point demolition job of another contender in Norwood. The Roosters, led by Adelaide best and fairest winner, Anne Hatchard and young gun and speedster, Hannah Ewings, the Roosters started to click after a slow start to run away with an impressive victory that could have been even more had it not been for some missed opportunities.

The first term was a battle between two teams clearly in premiership contention. The undefeated Roosters through the work of Hatchard in the middle were creating all sorts of problems for Norwood, but were not capitalising as best as they could. Instead, it was an end-to-end goal for the Bloods against the momentum starting with Sophie Armitstead at half-back, and going through Monique Hollick, Alison Ferrall, Najwa Allen and eventually to Ana Barisic who kicked the goal with her second chance after playing on, missing, but winning a free kick and converting the set shot.

Ewings had a huge start to the game, with both her and Hatchard racking up the ball and using it well, while Ashleigh Woodland was busy on the outside. Cristie Castle had a chance with a snap going inside 50 but it just missed, and then Britt Perry uncharacteristically missed a set shot straight in front 20m out. In fact it took until some nice movement inside 50 from the Roosters from Kathryn Reynolds who hit up Perry. This time the GWS AFL Women’s Academy player did not miss and put it straight through for her team to hit the front.

The goal was enough to marginally separate the sides at half-time, with Mattea Breed starting to get going late in the term, matching up with Hatchard and then winning the clearance at the next centre bounce, while Ferrall’s shot after the siren from 40m just fell short and the Redlegs found themselves three points down at the first break. The biggest disappointment of the opening term was the shoulder injury to Hollick who had to be helped from the ground.

Breed’s finish to the opening term continued into the second, having an early chance kicking towards goal, but it unfortunately bounced back into the field of play. The talented Northern Territory teen ran down her opponent in the goalsquare, covering 40m to do so, but was pinged for infringing with the tackle. From that point on though, the quarter belonged to North Adelaide.

Hatchard was so red-hot in the opening term she switched the long sleeves for the short sleeves, but her impact did not change, getting the ball to Ewings who snapped around her body two and a half minutes mins in to the open goalsquare for it to bounce home for an important major and eight-point lead. A terrific intercept grab at half-back by Kristi Harvey, led to Ewings having another crack and kicked a second goal 90 seconds later in a real purple patch for the Roosters young gun. All of a sudden it was 14 points the difference, four minutes into the term.

Breed’s aerial abilities were just about the only highlight for Norwood in the second term, with the youngster taking a number of big grabs despite constant pressure around her. North Adelaide took full control of the contest, and a mix up between Redlegs defenders and a spill from a marking contest resulted in Kelly Barltrop kicking the easiest of soccer goals to hand her team a third major for the quarter. She had been quite a force throughout, continually providing a presence in the air and one of the top Roosters for the match. Realistically, when the siren ended at 18 points in the Roosters’ favour, it should have been more, as North had quite the dominance in the forward half, missing a number of chances.

Coming out of the break with renewed enthusiasm, the Redlegs hit the ground running with some great attacking. Breed laid a massive tackle in the opening minute to set the tone for the Redlends, and with Smith and Zander doing well clearing the ball from half-back and down the wing, it landed with Allen whose kick inside 50 might have been a little off, but landed in the space of Isabel Martin who ran in and kicked the easiest of goals. Much like the second term though, the momentum was going to swing the other way and fast.

Within the next few minute, North answered after Hatchard found Perry inside 50, then the long kick to a pack saw the ball drop, but Barltrop get her hands to a loose Daniel in the square who slammed it home from a metre out. While Norwood was matching it with the Roosters for the most part, the defensive work to shut down the run of the Redlegs was remarkable. In one instance, they clogged up the forward line forcing Roosters captain Ferrall to kick laterally and it resulted in a turnover, then running down the other end, the ball went into the space of Perry who marked and produced a perfect set shot from 35m out on a tight angle. The margin was five goals and the Roosters were firing.

Jade Halfpenny and Zander were having a big third term trying to get things moving, while Armitstead and Rhiannon Busch were working hard off half-back. The Redlegs had a chance to get within four goals at the final break through Ferrall after a free kick straight in front, but once again her kick drifted to the left and through for a behind. The teams headed into the break with Norwood up by 29 points.

Straight out of the break it was North Adelaide who ramped up the pressure and kept applying it throughout the contest. Reynolds twice showed positioning is everything, finding the space just 15m out from goal, marking and converting her set shots. The first came in the opening stanza when Charlotte Taylor found her with a quick kick out of the back, and then minutes later, it was Hatchard who did it and all of a sudden, the lead was blowing out. A third goal to the Roosters came late in the term off the boot off Woodland who had time to fumble and then kick off the spot from 40m and it just carried over the opponent on the goal line.

Realistically North Adelaide could, and should have won by more with so many chances in the final term, but missed a couple of opportunities through Barltrop, Hatchard and Brianna Arthur who had been really impressive in patches throughout the match. Norwood only had a rare chance in the final minute, and it was Ferrall who after missing a number of chances herself earlier in the match, dealt with the breeze perfectly from a tight angle 25m out to bend it around the post. The siren sounded moments later with North Adelaide heading home 45-point victors.

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