SANFL Women’s Semi-Finals wrap: Bays book Grand Final spot as West win another South thriller

GLENELG has booked its spot in the 2021 South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s Grand Final after knocking off minor premiers Norwood by 23 points, forcing the Redlegs to cash in their second chance to face a West Adelaide side that fought off South Adelaide by less than a kick for the second consecutive week. With the Panthers bowing out, it meant the Redlegs are the other remaining side with a flag to their name, as both Glenelg and West Adelaide chase their first premierships in the competition.

NORWOOD 0.1 | 1.2 | 1.2 | 1.2 (8)
GLENELG 0.3 | 1.4 | 1.7 | 4.7 (31)

GOALS:

Norwood: E. Sporn.
Glenelg: C. Gould, M. Girvan, J. Searle, C. Swanson.

DC BEST:

Norwood: N. Allen, L. Cutting, M. Johnston, A. Ferrall, A. Gould
Glenelg: C. Gould, E. Marinoff, S. Franson, E. Kellock, J. Bates

Glenelg is through to its first ever SANFL Women’s Grand Final with its first ever finals win, defeating minor premiers Norwood by 23 points in a tight struggle for the majority of the contest. Despite eventually winning by 23 points, as late as three quarter time the Bays were just five points ahead, with both sides kicking goals through Erika Sporn (Norwood) and Caitlin Gould (Glenelg) cancelling each other out. Once the final term rolled around, an early major to Meara Girvan gave Glenelg some breathing space, before Caitlyn Swanson sealed the deal, and Jess Searle put some icing on the cake in the final few minutes to win, 4.7 (31) to 1.2 (8).

Glenelg dominated possession with 40 more disposals and a whopping 30 more inside 50s (41-11), though full credit must go to the Redlegs defence, which held up well considering, picking up 37-10 rebounds 50s. Glenelg also won the hitouts (31-25) and dominated the clearances (28-19), showing why the Bays could well be the premiership favourites.

Gould won the ruck battle against Leah Cutting, picking up 22 disposals, 29 hitouts, six marks – three contested – four clearances, nine inside 50s and a goal in a best on ground performance. Her AFL Women’s teammate Ebony Marinoff was not far behind, recording 23 disposals, 10 tackles, three clearances and three inside 50s. The midfield chugged along nicely with Ellie Kellock (16 disposals, six clearances and four inside 50s), Jessica Bates (12 disposals, two clearances, four inside 50s and five tackles), Piper Window (12 disposals, six inside 50s) and Sam Franson (11 disposals, seven inside 50s) all impressing, whilst Brooke Tonon (15 disposals, three tackles) found her fair share of the ball again.

For Norwood, Cutting still had a solid 16 touches – the most of any Redlegs player – as well as 25 hitouts, three marks and six tackles. Najwa Allen was the best through the middle with 14 disposals, two marks, three clearances, six tackles, three inside 50s and four rebound 50s. In defence, the likes of Alison Ferrall (14 disposals, three marks – two contested – and six rebound 50s), Morgan Johnston (10 disposals, six marks and five rebound 50s), Ashlee Gould (nine disposals, five tackles and seven rebound 50s) and Adrienne Davies (nine disposals, three marks and four rebound 50s) all stood up. Sophie Armitstead (12 disposals, 10 tackles and three clearances) also tried hard through the midfield.

WEST ADELAIDE 0.3 | 2.3 | 2.4 | 4.5 (29)
SOUTH ADELAIDE 0.2 | 2.3 | 2.7 | 3.7 (25)

GOALS:

West: C. Biddell, S. Dargan, M. Elsegood, L. McCarthy
South: J. Hickey 2, J. Kirk.

DC BEST:

West: B. Owen, L. Young, Z. Venning, A. Ballard, C. Biddell
South: L. Whiteley, N. Campbell, L. Northcott, S. Moon, J. Smith

West Adelaide moved through to its second consecutive preliminary final, defeating two-time premier and reigning grand finalist South Adelaide by four points in a thrilling contest. Melanie Elsegood was the hero for the Bloods, kicking a goal late in the match to win the game, getting West over the line in a fitting rematch to the week before when the Bloods won by a solitary point. The teams were neck-and-neck throughout the contest, with Sarah Dargan and Jordann Hickey both kicking goals in the final term for the Panthers to lead by three points with just four minutes on the clock. Ailish Considine missed a chance, but with just over a minute to go, Elsegood became the hero, slotting the winning goal and sending her team into the preliminary final.

The team statistics were fairly even in terms of ball-winning, with the Panthers having 20 more marks (40-20) and 11 more tackles (82-71), though West completely dominated the clearances (33-16) despite losing the hitouts (23-34). The Bloods also had 20 more inside 50s (34-14) in what theoretically should have been a more convincing win, but the Panthers defence was steadfast with 29-11 rebound 50s.

Bec Owen was sensational for the winners, racking up team-highs in clearances (six) and inside 50s (seven), to go with 17 touches, three marks and five tackles. State Academy members Lauren Young (20 disposals, six tackles, three clearances and six inside 50s), Zoe Venning (18 disposals, three marks, six tackles and five inside 50s) and Abbie Ballard (16 disposals, nine tackles, three clearances and three inside 50s) all impressed on the big stage. At the other end of the scale, Adelaide AFLW talents Chelsea Biddell (15 disposals, five marks – two contested – two tackles, four hitouts, two clearances, five inside 50s and one goal) and Ailish Considine (14 disposals, two marks, four tackles, four clearances and three inside 50s) were both lively, and Louella McCarthy impressed with 16 disposals, eight tackles, three clearances, four inside 50s and a goal.

Lisa Whiteley was one of a number of defenders who stood up in the loss, picking up 16 disposals, five marks, seven tackles and six rebound 50s. She worked in tandem with the likes of Lucy Northcott (11 disposals, three marks and four rebound 50s), Brianna Wedding (nine disposals, five tackles and five rebound 50s) and Tiffany Copley (seven disposals, three marks and four rebound 50s), while Jaslynne Smith was again consistent with 12 touches, four marks, eight tackles, two clearances and two rebound 50s. Nicole Campbell worked hard through midfield with 12 disposals, two marks, two tackles, three clearances and two inside 50s, while Hickey slotted two majors from six disposals and three inside 50s.

West Adelaide now advance through to the preliminary final to take on Norwood with the winner to lock horns with Glenelg the week after in the grand final.

Picture credit: Cory Sutton / SANFL

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