Category: State Leagues

SANFL Women’s Grand Final preview: South Adelaide vs. North Adelaide

TEN rounds and two weeks of finals down has our last two teams standing in the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s competition. For one team, history will be made as either the South Adelaide Panthers or North Adelaide Roosters will be crowned 2019 premiers. There are a number of historic moments that will be made on Sunday, with history between the Men’s League sides pointing to North Adelaide – a South Adelaide side has never beaten a North Adelaide side in a final, going down on all seven occasions – while the men’s first flag came against South Adelaide back in 1900. However, fast forward to 2019 and the signs point to South Adelaide having knocked off minor premier, Norwood twice and advanced straight through to the Grand Final.

LAST TIME THEY MET

South Adelaide 5.9 (39) defeated North Adelaide 6.2 (38)

The teams have clashed once this year, with South Adelaide defeating North Adelaide by one point in the biggest comeback in SANFL Women’s history. The Panthers trailed by 25 points at quarter time, 21 points at half-time and eight points at three quarter time. In that game, Nikki Gore had 24 touches, two marks, two clearances, four inside 50s and laid five tackles, while Hannah Munyard produced 16 disposals, four tackles, five clearances and two inside 50s. Montana McKinnon impressed in the ruck with 20 hitouts, while Czenya Cavouras had 17 disposals as well. For North, Amber Ward was a wall in defence, picking up 11 rebounds and laying eight tackles to go with her 15 disposals, while Sarah Ellis and Rheanne Lugg each had 15 disposals. and Kelly Barltrop booted two goals. Since that Round 4 loss, North Adelaide has not tasted defeat – getting a momentum eight-game winning streak coming into the match, including downing the Redlegs themselves in the Preliminary Final. South Adelaide has only lost one since that match itself, going down to Glenelg and now having won nine of the past 10 games.

TEAMS

SOUTH ADELAIDE vs. NORTH ADELAIDE
Sunday, May 26
ACH Group Stadium

SOUTH ADELAIDE

B: 22. Samantha Pratt – 35. Jaslynne Smith – 44. Elke Jarvis
HB: 41. Indy Tahau – 29. Cheyenne Hammond – 39. Emily Brockhurst
C: 25. Teah Charlton – 6. Hannah Munyard – 9. Nicole Campbell
HF: 2. Nikki Gore – 14. Tiffany Copley – 7. Jess Kirk
F: 33. Brooklyn Kraft – 40. Sarah Wright – 18. Madison Bennett
R: 19. Montana McKinnon – 11. Czenya Cavouras – 8. Elysse Haussen
INT: 1. Emily Woods – 4. Lauren Buchanan – 20. Tamara Page – 21. Alana Browne – 24. Danielle Goding – 30. Emma Gryczewski – 34. Nat Gibbs – 45. Emogen Johnson

IN: Emily Woods, Lauren Buchanan, Madison Bennett, Danielle Goding
OUT: Nil.

NORTH ADELAIDE

B: 31. Nicole Collie – 7. Jess Eichner – 14. Olivia Gallio
HB: 30. Kendall Howell – 24. Amber Ward – 17. Sarah Ellis
C: 10. Paige Allan – 9. Lauren Daniel – 25. Erica Greet
HF: 6. Adrienne Davies – 29. Emma Sampson – 8. Nadia Von Bertouch
F: 4. Leah Tynan – 15. Kelly Barltrop – 1. Cristie Castle
R: 12. Jane Altschwager – 3. Kat Reynolds – 19. Brittany Perry
INT: 33. Julia Clark – 2. Alex Fitridge – 34. Danielle Nunns – 20. Elysha Willis

No change.

KEY STATISTICS: (pre-finals)

Stat: South Adelaide Leader | North Adelaide Leader
Disposals: Czenya Cavouras [ 195 ] | Nadia Von Bertouch [ 170 ]
Goals: Madison Bennett [ 9 ] | Kelly Barltrop [ 26 ]
Marks: Montana McKinnon [ 46 ] | Emma Sampson/Nadia Von Bertouch [ 39 ]
Tackles: Teah Charlton/Czenya Cavouras [ 77 ] | Leah Tynan [ 50 ]
Hitouts: Montana McKinnon [ 136 ] | Jane Altschwager [ 141 ]
Clearances: Czenya Cavouras [ 38 ] | Leah Tynan [ 38 ]
Inside 50s: Nicole Campbell [ 42 ] | Nadia Von Bertouch [ 30 ]
Rebounds: Jaslynne Smith [ 24 ] | Amber Ward [ 42 ]

KEY MATCH-UPS:

Montana McKinnon (SA) vs. Jane Altschwager (NA)

South Australia’s promising young ruck in McKinnon has enjoyed a terrific season for the Panthers and comes up against one of the better rucks in the competition in Altschwager. Both are capable of taking control of the match with McKinnon averaging 12.5 disposals, 4.8 marks, 2.3 tackles and 15.1 hitouts, while Altschwager has averaged 7.9 disposals, 2.3 marks, 1.7 tackles and 14.1 hitouts but will be keen to get one over her younger opponent.

Tiffany Copley (SA) vs. Amber Ward (NA)

These two may not match up directly, but one would expect a South Adelaide forward to pay close attention to Ward who is the competition’s top rebounder. If she can get her hands on the ball and get things moving, it goes a long way to North Adelaide winning. The Roosters have used her run out of defence to propel forward and put big scores on the board and she is a crucial player in defence. South Adelaide do not rely on one individual goalkicker and can afford to shut down Ward while looking for options away from her.

Jaslynne Smith (SA) vs. Kelly Barltrop (NA)

Barltrop is the competition leading goalkicker and a hard player to stop on her day. She has kicked bags of goals and is the only player to average more than two goals a game this season. Smith is South Adelaide’s dominant rebounder this season, and could have a duel purpose in this game, having her hands full with Barltrop, while trying to drive the ball out of defence.

KEY POINTS:

1. North Adelaide’s firepower is #1 in the league, ranked first in scoring and accuracy.
2. South Adelaide has a slingshot approach to its football, ranked #1 in both inside 50s and inside 50s allowed.
3. The Panthers are also ranked #1 in contested possessions and hard ball gets.
4. South Adelaide is gunning for for its second consecutive flag, while North Adelaide are hoping to bounce back from its one grand final loss in 2017 to win its first flag in the competition.

FINAL CALL:

The best offensive team meets the most consistent one in what shapes to be a thrilling contest. The match will come down to whether or not South Adelaide can contain the Roosters forward line, while the Roosters midfield must break-even in the midfield with the star-studded Panthers on-ball brigade. Both sides are capable of getting the ball forward and giving their forwards opportunities, so the team that makes the most of their opportunities will win. South Adelaide has been here before and deserves to be favourites, but it is hard to ignore some of the feats of the Roosters side since they were 1-3 at the start of the season. They can match it with the Panthers too. The week off for South Adelaide will be interesting to see how they go, North could have a strong start and the Panthers come back like in Round 4. South Adelaide in a thrilling one-point contest.

VFL weekly wrap: Tigers and Borough winning streaks continue

ESSENDON returned to winning ways while Port Melbourne notched up their fifth win on the trot. Meanwhile, the Tigers remain on top without a loss following Round 7 of the Victorian Football League (VFL).

Footscray 13.13 (91) defeated Werribee 11.14 (80)

The Bulldogs bounced back from last week’s draw against Box Hill with a solid victory over Werribee. Footscray started fast and led most of the day, only falling behind midway through the third term. Daniel Giansiracusa’s men lifted and extended the lead to as much as four goals in the final quarter before eventually settling for an 11-point win. Bailey Dale kicked three goals and had 21 disposals for the home side while Max Augerinos slotted three for the Tigers. Pat Lipinski had the most touches on the ground with 30 as former Docker and Sun Michael Barlow produced another strong showing with a goal and 28 disposals.

Northern Blues 13.10 (88) defeated Frankston 9.9 (63)

It was another case of close yet so far for the Dolphins on Saturday as the Blues ran away the victors at Ikon Park. The final margin of 25 points perhaps doesn’t do the contest justice, with just two goals in it at three-quarter time and Frankston closing to within a goal early in the last. It was a day out for Patrick Kerr as he slammed home six majors, while Alex Fasolo and Jason Kingsbury kicked two apiece. Darcy Lang notched up 28 disposals, with Josh Newman the standout again for Frankston, collecting 26 disposals.

Casey 9.7 (61) defeated by Port Melbourne 16.8 (104)

A rampant second half performance by Port Melbourne saw the Borough take home four points for their fifth win in a row at Casey Fields. Leading at half-time by a point, the Demons would kick only two goals for the remainder of the match. Jordan Lisle did much of the damage for Port, kicking six goals as Shannen Lange assisted with three goals and 31 disposals. James Munro was best afield for the Demons with 29 disposals and 18 tackles while Brayden Preuss chimed in with two goals and 34 hitouts.

Richmond 11.12 (78) defeated Box Hill 11.4 (70)

The Tigers continued their impressive form with a hard-fought victory over Box Hill at Punt Road. The Hawks held the largest lead of the match 23 points up close to half time, however Richmond found a way to come back, taking control late in the third and doing enough to hold off Box Hill in the last. An AFL call-up for Patrick Naish can’t be too far away as he once again dominated with 28 disposals, while Dan Howe had 25 for the away side. Dan Butler and Jackson Ross kicked three each for their respective sides.

Coburg 10.8 (68) defeated by Williamstown 14.16 (100)

Williamstown recorded a solid 32-point win away to Coburg on Sunday afternoon. A six-goal nil first term set the tone for the rest of the match, however the Lions should be credited with continuing the battle and not letting the Seagulls run away with a larger win. Sam Dunell booted five goals for Willy while Adam Marcon kicked one major from 23 disposals. Luke Bunker had the most touches of anyone on the ground with 27.

Geelong 10.8 (68) defeated Collingwood 9.7 (61)

Collingwood’s finals hopes are in serious doubt after yet another close loss, this time to the Cats on the road. It was a close contest all day before Geelong opened up a 25-point lead halfway through the final term. The Pies fought back but ultimately fell short by seven points. Alex Woodward is looking to be an early favourite for the Liston Trophy after another 32-disposal display. In good news for Collingwood fans, Brayden Sier and Josh Daicos played well with a goal apiece and 24 and 23 disposals respectively. Wylie Buzza kicked five goals for the Cats.

Sandringham 13.9 (87) defeated by Essendon 15.10 (100)

The Bombers fought off an impressive Zebras comeback to record victory at Trevor Barker Beach Oval. Essendon started fast, kicking seven goals to two in the first term before Sandy came out with fire in the second, kicking five to one. With all the momentum, one would have expected Sandringham to continue their display in the second half, but Essendon held strong and eventually ran away 13 point winners. St Kilda’s first pick in last year’s draft, Max King, booted four goals while Danny Younan kicked four for the Bombers. Hunter Clark kicked a goal and had 32 disposals while David Myers racked up 29 and kicked three. Billy Longer dominated in the ruck with 57 hitouts.

Bye – North Melbourne

Picture: VFL.com.au

SANFL weekly wrap: Footy returns with Adelaide winning SANFL Showdown

SOUTH Australia’s talented youngsters were back into full swing last week with a full round of South Australian National Football League (SANFL) and College games to get into. The addition of the mid-season draft as well has added more focus to those in SANFL League sides and looking for an opportunity at AFL level. Jamie Morgan, Tom Wyman and Damon Mattiazzo all took a look at what has been happening in the SANFL.

SANFL Results

League: Adelaide 18.13 (121) defeated Port Adelaide 16.9 (105)

Adelaide held off a late Magpie surge in a high scoring SANFL Showdown at Alberton Oval. Josh Jenkins was the headline act, booting six goals and taking seven marks, staking his claim for a return to the senior side. Young draftee Jordon Butts took an impressive 11 marks and gathered 22 touches as the interceptor across half-back, whilst wingman Paul Seedsman successfully returned to competitive football following a knee injury, gathering 23 disposals. Tyson Stengle bagged four majors, rising to third in the race for the Ken Farmer Medal. For Port Adelaide, prolific ball winner Jack Trengove was again dominant, collecting 38 touches and nine tackles. He was aided by inside midfielder Willem Drew (32 disposals), half-backman Riley Bonner (30 disposals and nine rebound-50’s) and hard-running draftee Kai Pudney (30 disposals). Small forward Tobin Cox booted five goals from his 12 touches.

Glenelg vs Centrals

League: Glenelg 17.7 (109) defeated Centrals 8.12 (60)
Reserves: Glenelg 11.12 (78) defeated Centrals 9.5 (59)
Under 18s: Glenelg 8.14 (62) defeated Centrals 9.4 (58)

Five goals from Luke Reynolds and three apiece for SANFL leading goalkicker Lachlan Hosie and tall forward Liam McBean ensured Glenelg left Elizabeth with the two points. Despite strong four goals from Justin Hosking, 35 disposals from Travis Schiller and 28 touches from former-Blue and Crow Troy Menzel, Central Districts was unable to match the high-flying Bays. Young midfield duo Luke Partington and Jonty Scharenberg were prolific again, collecting 35 and 29 disposals respectively for Glenelg. Highly-touted defender Will Gould again performed strongly at senior level, taking seven marks, amassing 20 disposals and sending the ball inside-50 on seven occasions.

Glenelg’s reserves side secured an unexpected first win of the season over top placed Centrals in a sold win. Experienced players helped the Tigers, along with U18 SA members Declan Carmody with 26 disposals and two goals, along with Brady Searle who finished with eight marks secure the win away from home. Centrals’ Oliver Shaw was good for the Bulldogs with 15 disposals in the losing side.

Under-18 Glenelg talent Reid Kuller was rewarded with an Under 18s Most Valuable Player (MVP) nomination after a huge game with 32 disposals, six tackles and 10 clearances to be best afield.

Sturt vs West Adelaide

League: Sturt 9.18 (72) defeated West 8.5 (53)
Reserves: Sturt 8.9 (57) defeated West 8.6 (54)
Under 18s: West 14.13 (97) defeated Sturt 10.6 (66)

Sturt has continued its resurgence and find themselves back in the top five after an impressive away against West Adelaide. They were led by captain Zane Kirkwood who had a best-on-ground performance with 35 disposals and six clearances. Sam Colquhoun – nominee for the Mid-Season Rookie Draft- was prolific once more recording 33 disposals and 10 marks across the half back line and wing. Midfield bulls and former Crows James Battersby and Aidan Riley were dominant throughout gathering 29 and 23 disposals respectively. Rookie Draft nominee Josh Hone kicked two goals and is starting to find his rhythm in the senior side after an early season layoff with fellow nominee and former SA U18 forward Hugo Munn struggling to make an impact with only three touches for the game. For West Adelaide, former Power-listed player Will Snelling is continuing his wonderful season so far with another 33 touches and 16 tackles. Former Crow Jono Beech kicked another four goals for the third week running, as Rookie Draft nominee John Noble was solid contributing with 16 disposals.

It was a tight win for the Blues, and again their young players Josh Shute with 28 disposals and 11 marks along with Jed McEntee 18 disposals and eight tackles led the way.

North vs South

League: South 12.12 (84) defeated North 8.14 (62)
Reserves:North 20.15 (135) defeated South 6.9 (45)
Under 18s: North 12.9-81 defeated South 11.9 (75)

An inspired display from co-captain Joel Cross and a four goal breakout game from Kyle Emery sealed a comfortable victory away to premiers North Adelaide. All eyes were on in-demand ruckman and Fos Williams medallist Michael Knoll, contributing 38 hit-outs and 10 disposals, backing up his best on ground performance in the State game. Mid-Season Rookie-Draft nominee and state representative Joe Haines had another superb outing with 28 disposals and 10 rebound 50s for the Panthers. South leaders Nick Liddle gathered 31 disposals and five clearances, as co-captain Matt Rose contributed 25 disposals and six inside 50s. Liam Fitt and former U18 South Australian championship winner Hayden Sampson were solid with 17 and 14 disposals respectively. North Adelaide continued their struggles so far this season, but were aided by Jarred Allmond who racked up 30 disposals with 11 marks. Midfield duo Tom Schwarz and Aidan Tropiano dug deep, with 25 and 24 disposals respectively for the Roosters. U18 talent Dyson Hilder featured with nine disposals and will be better for the opportunity at senior level.

North dominated the Reserves game in a massive win, with goal sneak Liam Verity finishing with another five goals for the Roosters, while Coby Helyar and Luke Bogle were best for South. South U18 forward Daniel Sladojevic finished with 0.4 on the day while fellow SA member Darnell Tucker had one goal in the big loss

Norwood vs Eagles

League: Eagles 10.21 (81) defeated Norwood 10.10 (70)
Reserves: Eagles 9.9 (63) defeated Norwood 6.8 (44)
Under 18s: Eagles 15.8 (98) defeated Norwood 6.5 (41)

It was a clean sweep for the Eagles over Norwood, and a consistent team effort for Sam Lonergan’s Eagles side in securing their win over the league-leaders. The Eagles midfielders in Jordan Foote and Jesse Lonergan stood up along with ruckman Jarrad Redden. Norwood youngster Cam Taheny was amongst Norwood’s best and was very good at the highest level finishing with three goals, seven marks and 13 disposals, while Dylan Stephens was solid as well with 17 disposals. It was an important win for the Eagles league side who have taken time to settle in season 2019.

In the Reserves win by the Eagles, Jake Comitogianni continued his good form for the season finishing with 27 disposals and a goal and U18 SA member Jackson Mead just backs up again with another solid reliable game of 26 disposals and five clearances.

SCHOOL/COLLEGE FOOTY

Sacred Heart 17.9-111 defeated Pembroke 3.4-22

Sacred Heart welcomed back state representative Will Day with open arms in a big win over Pembroke on Saturday afternoon. The talented utility showed glimpses of his potential playing across half-back. Fellow SA squad member Zac Dumesny was consistent throughout the four-quarters, whilst full-forward Lachie Stoddard again proved a handful. The side will look to make it four from four against arch-rivals Rostrevor next weekend.

Other Results:

Rostrevor 27.13-175 defeated Scotch 4.9-33
PAC 15.13-103 defeated Immanuel 6.5-41
Westminster 11.9-75 defeated Trinity 6.7-43

Standout performance from PAC draft talent and captain Karl Finlay along with future prospect James Borlase (son of Daryl) were highlights for PAC on the weekend. Rostrevor was without its big names in Taheny and Anzac Lochowiak.
Both Sacred Heart and Rostrevor meet as undefeated this week, but will be a close tussle with some of their stars missing due to SA state commitments.

Scouting notes: WAFL Colts Round – Subiaco vs. South Fremantle

IN this week’s scouting nots for the West Australian Football League (WAFL) Colts competition, Subiaco defeated South Fremantle in a low-scoring contest.

Below were the best players from each team.

Subiaco 7.7 (49) defeated South Fremantle 5.7 (37)

SUBIACO

#1 Jacob Peletier
The Esperance product was outstanding for the Lions in the midfield, throwing his big frame around the stoppages to win the contested possession for his team. He finished with 38 possessions, 10 marks, six tackles and three inside 50s.

#6 Chayse Grabe-Paparone
The Kambalda small forward was lively in the forward half for the Lions, finishing with two goals from nine possessions. What would have pleased the Subiaco coaching staff was his defensive pressure, finishing with five tackles.

#8 Ben Golding
The North Beach junior played brilliantly as the rover for the Lions, finishing with 39 possessions, six inside 50s, five tackles, three marks and a goal, to be best afield. After finishing in the top 15 of last year’s Best and Fairest, there are high hopes for Golding to take his game to another level, and against the Bulldogs he showed he is on his way.

#12 Matthew Johnson
Only 16 years old, Johnson showed he has a big future ahead of him with a wonderful performance on the weekend. Against South Fremantle, he collected 15 possessions, laid seven tackles, took three marks and kicked a goal to be one of the most damaging players for the Lions.

#16 Noah Ash
Stationed on the wing, Ash ran riot against the Bulldogs collecting 38 possessions, taking eight marks, recording six inside 50s, and kicking a goal. His run and carry along with his penetrating skills made him a lethal option for the Lions.

#19 Lachlan Henderson
Opposed to Malachi Walley, Henderson more than held his own in the key match-up. He collected 15 possessions and took two marks, while holding Walley goalless and limiting him to just eight possessions.

#37 Abraham Clinch
Put in the midfield, Clinch was sublime in the midfield for the Lions. He collected a season-high 43 possessions, laid six tackles, took five marks and recorded four inside 50s to be one of the best players for Subiaco.

SOUTH FREMANTLE

#1 Jack Musika
The 2017 WA U16s State Academy member showed why he is considered to be a premier midfielder against the Bulldogs with a team-high 26 possessions, six tackles, three marks and two inside 50s. With such performances, Musika could force his way into this year’s WA U18s State squad.

#3 Jarrod Salmeri
The Boddington product was his usual cool and composed self on the half-back line for South Fremantle. Against the Lions, he gathered 17 possessions, grabbed five marks and laid four tackles, to be one of South Fremantle’s best.

#4 Robbie Woods
The Bibra Lakes junior was electrifying on the wing for the Bulldogs, often using his elite speed and penetrating skills to carve up the Subiaco defensive zone. He accumulated 17 possessions, took four marks, recorded four inside 50s and laid three tackles.

#5 Jaxon Bellchambers
The bottom-aged prospect showcased why he is highly regarded for the 2020 AFL Draft with a sublime performance against the Lions. He finished with 21 possessions, seven marks, three tackles, two inside 50s and a goal to be one of South Fremantle’s best players.

#31 Jacob Sax
Stationed at centre half-back, Sax tried his heart out all game to thwart the Lions’ attacking forays. He collected 19 possessions, laid three tackles, took two marks and kicked a goal in a solid performance.

#40 Solomon James
The athletic ruckman produced a performance that highlighted why he is considered to be one of the top ruckmen in this year’s WAFL Colts competition. He collected 12 possessions, won 41 hit-outs, and took three marks to dominate the ruck battle.

WAFL Colts weekly wrap: Swans surge continues while Thunder stumble

AFTER a bye for the state game, the youngsters were greeted with a taste of winter chill with the temperatures around five degrees at bounce-down on Saturday morning. Which teams did not miss a beat on their return to competitive action and who slipped up?

Read on to find out.

WAFL Colts Round 6

Swan Districts 13.10 (88) def. East Fremantle 3.4. (22)

Swan Districts confirmed its status as the team to beat in the 2019 WAFL Colts competition as it ruthlessly disposed of East Fremantle to the tune of 66 points at Steel Blue Oval on Saturday morning.

The top of the table side made a dominant start to proceedings with nine inside 50s and five scoring shots inside the first fifteen minutes. The Sharks were lucky to be down by no more than 22 points at quarter time, such was the performance of the Black and Whites. That pattern continued in the second term with Atem Deng proving a lively focal point with two first half goals. It was slim pickings for East Fremantle’s forwards but Tyrone Papertalk was able to make his only disposal for the first half count kicking the Sharks’ first goal of the game. Swan Districts had close to fifty more possessions than their opponents during the first two quarters and restricted the Sharks to just seven inside 50s, which was a terrific effort.

Swans were firmly in control of proceedings in the third term and while not as fluent in an attacking sense, were still keeping their opponents completely at bay. A late goal by Ryan Letessier pushed the lead beyond eight goals and the premiership favourites were set for another boost to their already impressive percentage.

East Fremantle started to show some life in an attacking sense during the final quarter with Michael Wright kicking two goals in quick succession. However, Swan Districts responded in kind through Ashley Brockbernd, Bodhi Nordahl and Kade Wallrodt to regain their eight goal margin. Benjamin Taylor then kicked two goals in three minutes and Walldrot pushed the lead beyond eleven goals, putting an exclamation point on their most complete performance of the season. The dominance of Swan Districts was not only seen on the scoreboard as they had 103 more disposals (328-225), marks (73-46) and inside 50s (46-25). They also had a even number of contributors across the board.

Walldrot, just like he is most weeks, was at the forefront with 28 disposals, seven inside 50s, five tackles and three goals. Ruck-forward Letessier had impact all over the ground with 18-hit-outs to go with 15 disposals and two goals while Denver Grainger-Barras marshalled the back six superbly with 11 disposals and three marks. For the Sharks, Wright was a tireless worker throughout the four quarters with 23 disposals and nine tackles.

Claremont 10.8 (68) defeated Peel Thunder 8.8 (56)

A stunning six-goal last quarter saw Claremont shock the previously unbeaten Peel Thunder by 12 points at Claremont Oval.

The Tigers’ defensive unit stood strong withstanding 14 inside 50s by Peel to lead by eight points at quarter time. However, the weight of numbers eventually told in the second term with Peel scoring four goals to one to lead by 13 points at the long break. Peel were certainly outworking their opponents with pressure around the ground, amassing 17 more tackles (51-34) and their midfield gave the forwards consistent opportunities with 26 inside 50s to just 11 by the Tigers.

Killian Rawson gave Peel their biggest lead of the game of 19 points, and they extended it soon after when Kyle Penny kicked his first goal of the game. Like they had done all game, the Tigers hung tough and went into three-quarter time still a chance, trailing by 18 points. A early goal by Jonathon Ietto seemed to ease any nerves in the Thunder camp, however the Tigers came storming back by kicking four goals in five minutes to suddenly level the scores at 8.7 a piece and suddenly it was game on again.

Luke Knight then gave Claremont their first lead since the second quarter when he kicked his second for the game. The mobile ruck-forward then kicked his second of the final term to complete a remarkable and stirring fight back as the Tigers recorded their second win of the season. Meanwhile, Peel fell one game behind Swan Districts at the top of the ladder.

WA Under 18 squad member Ronin O’Connor was a tireless worker with 10 tackles, six inside 50s to go along with 15 disposals, while ruck-forward Luke Knight was influential with the game on the line amassing 18 hit-outs, 11 disposals and three goals. Thomas Baldwin also was a fine contributor with 22 disposals and six tackles.

Peel will look back at this game as a major opportunity lost having been in control of the contest for a large part of the game. Zachary Rankin was the best for the Thunder with 22 disposals and six inside 50 while bottom ager Jonathon Ietto was a real presence in and around the forward 50 with two goals and 18 disposals.

Subiaco 7.7 (49) defeated South Fremantle 5.7 (37)

Reigning premiers Subiaco finally got off the mark for season 2019 with a 12-point victory over fellow strugglers South Fremantle at Leederville Oval on Saturday morning.

South Fremantle scored the only goal of the first quarter through Toby McQuilkin with the Lions held scoreless. The Lions edged back into the contest in the second quarter by kicking three goals to one and only trailed by two points at the long break. Ben Golding and Abraham Clinch were catalysts for the impressive reversal in fortunes combining for 43 disposals while Chayse Grabe-Paparone kicked two goals in the second term.

In this low-scoring, tight affair, goals were worth their weight in gold. The home team kicked three goals to one in the third term courtesy of 16-year-old Matthew Johnson, Golding and Trey Kennedy to push the lead out to 12 points with one quarter to play. In keeping with the pattern of the contest, the last term was tense and tight with both sides looking to claim the victory which could kick start their season. Each team could only muster one goal each in the final 25 minutes but that was more than enough for Subiaco as they outlasted their gallant opponents.

Subiaco had close to 400 disposals for the game with one player ticking over the 40 mark and three players who fell just short, a rare feat indeed. Abraham Clinch collected 43 disposals and six tackles, Ben Golding was elite with 39 disposals, six inside 50s, five tackles and one goal, Noah Ash had 38 disposals and eight marks while Jacob Peletier had 38 and 10 tackles. The individual stats weren’t as eye watering on the South Fremantle side of things, but Jack Musika was impactful in his own way with 26 disposals and six marks.

West Perth 12.10 (82) defeated Perth 8.10. (58)

West Perth remains on the heels of the the top two after recording its fourth win for the season, defeating Perth by 24 points at Mineral Resources Park.

West Perth was well worth its 13-point lead at quarter time and the visitors were able to spread the load with four individual goalkickers in the first 25 minutes. Perth responded in the second quarter kicking three goals to one and trailing only by one point at the long break.

The Falcons, who were trying to keep pace with the top two set up their victory in the third term kicking four goals to three behinds to head for home with a 24 point lead. Each team kicked three goals in the final quarter and while the Demons narrowed the gap to 12 points with seven minutes remaining, bottom age talents Cooper Blackburn and Corey Rundle finished off the job and moved the Falcons to within half a game of Peel Thunder in second place.

The Falcons were tireless in their pressure efforts with 80 tackles and Callum Johnson led the way with nine tackles to go along with 24 disposals, five inside 50s and three marks. Tyron Hindmarsh topped the disposal charts with 33 and four tackles while Cooper Blackburn was very lively with 15 disposals, seven inside 50s, seven marks and two goals. For the Demons, Simon Hayward was prominent with 31 disposals, seven tackles and four inside 50s.

Weekend wash-up: SANFL Women’s Preliminary Final

NORTH Adelaide has exorcised any lingering demons that haunted the playing group in its previous two finals series, after holding on in a titanic struggle against minor premiers Norwood. The Redlegs have been a source of pain for the Roosters over the past two years, defeating them in the 2017 South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s decider, before sending them packing in the Preliminary Final last year. Twelve months on and the Roosters had to do it tough, but survived in a 2.6 (18) to 1.10 (16) armwrestle. While the Roosters are used to using their firepower to overwhelm teams, they had to do it with a low-scoring struggle, but did it well to move through into the 2019 decider. It was more than remarkable considering the Redlegs won the hitouts (32-17), clearances (29-18) and inside 50s (35-18) but struggled with accuracy which ultimately cost them.

Neither team could score in the opening term as the minor premiers applied plenty of forward pressure, booting four behinds to just one behind in the opening term. The game opened up immediately in the second term with Matilda Zander putting one through the big sticks just 43 seconds into the quarter, before three minutes later Paige Allan responded for the Roosters. A couple of behinds each later and the Redlegs still held a narrow three-point advantage. Norwood continued to pepper the goals after the main break, booting three behinds, but it was competition leading goalkicker Kelly Barltrop who found the opening and slammed it home after two behinds, to give the underdogs the first – and what would be only goal of the second half. Leading by only a point at the final break, Allen and Erica Greet both missed chances in the opening seven minutes to add to the Roosters’ lead, but Norwood could not apply any scoreboard pressure, and when Rhiannon Busch missed the only scoring shot in the final term for Norwood, the Roosters had held on by two points in a low-scoring nail-biter.

Amber Ward stood up gallantly in defence for North Adelaide, starring with 23 disposals and eight rebounds, while Olivia Gallio was also good with 14 disposals, three rebounds and two clearances. Kathryn Reynolds laid six tackles to go with her 14 disposals, while Erica Greet was the other main ball winner with 13 touches, four marks, two tackles, two inside 50s and two rebounds. The usual ball winners were kept quiet, but the Roosters found a way to win against a Norwood side that was missing its biggest ball winner, Najwa Allen. In her absence, Hannah Dunn put out her usual performance with 26 disposals, nine clearances, six tackles and four marks, while Sally Riley was also busy around the stoppages with 22 disposals, five clearances and four tackles, as was Michele Reid (18 disposals, five clearances, four inside 50s and three rebounds. Now Norwood are left ruing what might have been for the second year running, while North Adelaide must find a way to topple reigning premiers South Adelaide and make it a remarkable nine wins on the trot.

NORTH ADELAIDE 0.1 1.3 2.4 2.6 (18)
NORWOOD 0.4 1.6 1.9 1.10 (16)

GOALS:

North: Kelly Barltrop, Paige Allan
Norwood: Matilda Zander

DISPOSALS:

North: Amber Ward 23
Norwood: Hannah Dunn 26, Sally Riley 22, Tahlia Meyer 19, Michele Reid 18, Monique Hollick 17, Sophie Armitstead 16, Leah Cutting 15

VFL weekly wrap: Bombers suffer big first loss

RICHMOND occupies top spot on the Victorian Football League (VFL) ladder following Round 6, as Essendon dropped their first match of the season, while North Melbourne picked up their first win.

Essendon 8.7 (55) defeated by Casey 15.6 (96)

The undefeated Bombers entered their clash with the Demons on a high, with a huge percentage and a win expected against a Casey side who only had one victory. It was the Demons, however, who led from the first bounce to the final siren to take home the four points. The only positive for Essendon was the final term, where they booted five goals to four. Brayden Preuss dominated for the away side with 40 hitouts and two goals while Tim Smith slammed home four, and Mitch White three. Dylan Clarke was best for the Bombers with 28 disposals.

Port Melbourne 16.9 (105) defeated Werribee 14.5 (89)

The Borough continued their winning streak with a win over the Tigers at home. Port lead by as much as 50 points halfway through the second term, but Werribee did well to turn the contest into a competitive one despite ultimately going down. Tom Gribble had 27 disposals while Harvey Hooper notched up 25 and a goal. Campbell Walker and Matthew Munro kicked three goals each, as Blake Pearson slotted four.

Box Hill 12.12 (84) drew Foostcray 12.12 (84)

The lead for either side never extended beyond three goals as the Hawks and Bulldogs recorded the first draw of the season at the MCG. Dropped former Hawthorn captain Jarryd Roughead excelled, kicking five goals, and famously coaching Bulldog Reuben William on-field. Tory Dickson and Kyle Dunkley kicked three each for the Dogs. Bailey Williams continued his push for an AFL berth with 31 disposals.

Collingwood 8.7 (56) defeated by Sandringham 7.14 (56)

Sandringham crawled over the line at Victoria Park to defeat the Magpies. While the margin was never more than 19 points, the Zebras led all day until three early final quarter goals put Collingwood in front by 5 points. Sandy then got six consecutive points through a combination of rushed behinds and inaccurate kicking to register the victory. Alex Woodward did what he does with 39 disposals, while Hunter Clark had the second most touches on the ground with 28. Travis Varcoe and Sam Rowe each kicked two goals.

Frankston 7.8 (50) defeated by Richmond 19.10 (124)

Frankston remains the only team in the VFL without a win after their loss to Richmond at home. The Dolphins started brightly, leading early in the first term, but the class of the Tigers prevailed. Patty Naish kicked four goals and had 29 disposals as Mabior Chol slotted three goals. Mav Weller had 27 touches while Josh Newman was immense for the Dolphins once again, with 25 disposals and a goal.

North Melbourne 17.11 (113) defeated Geelong 14.9 (93)

North Melbourne put together a superb final quarter to overrun Geelong and record their first win of the season. While the Cats led at every break, North had the lead at one stage of every term, and finally unleashed in the last, kicking 6 goals to 2. Aaron Hall responded to his VFL demotion with 29 disposals and two goals while Lachie Fogarty was impressive for the Cats with 27 disposals and a goal. Nathan Hrovat was the star of the show however, booting six goals, including the one that gave the Kangaroos the lead in the final quarter.

Bye – Coburg, Williamstown, Northern Blues

Pic: VFL.com.au

Scouting notes: WAFL vs. SANFL State Game

IN the latest instalment of the Hayden Bunton Jnr Cup between Western Australia and South Australia, the Croweaters defeated the Sandgropers by seven points at Optus Stadium. There was a host of potential mature-age draft prospects putting their hands up for AFL selection for both sides.

Below were the best AFL draft prospects in the game:

 

WESTERN AUSTRALIA

#4 Haiden Schloithe
The 2017 Sandover Medallist was excellent on the wing for the Sandgropers with 14 possessions, six marks, four tackles, four inside 50s, and two goals. Often the link-up player for Western Australia, Schloithe was the catalyst for many of WA’s attacking forays.

#9 Josh Deluca
The former Fremantle rookie produced another outstanding performance that could see him picked up in the AFL’s Mid-Season draft. Against South Australia, Deluca accumulated 29 possessions, laid seven tackles, took six marks, recorded four inside 50s and kicked a goal to be a deserving winner of the Simpson Medal.

#12 Michael Sinclair
Stationed in defence, Sinclair was superb for the Sandgropers, often intercepting South Australia’s attacking forays. He accumulated 16 possessions, took five marks and laid four tackles to showcase why he is one of the best defensive prospects for this year’s AFL Draft.

#15 Michael Bennell
The Albany product demonstrated why he is considered to be one of the most dangerous forwards in this year’s WAFL competition. He booted three goals (and two behinds) from just eight possessions but also laid a team-high nine tackles.

#16 Jye Bolton
The dual Sandover Medallist put in a dazzling performance that should make recruiters consider drafting him. He accumulated 28 possessions, took five marks, recorded four inside 50s, and laid three tackles to be one of WA’s best.

#23 Ben Sokol
In his first State game, Sokol emphatically confirmed why he is considered to be one of the best big-game performers in this year’s WAFL competition. He booted four goals (three behinds) from 13 possessions and 11 marks.

 

SOUTH AUSTRALIA

#1 John Noble
Stationed on the wing, Noble was excellent for South Australia providing speed and class throughout the match. He finished with 24 possessions, five marks, five rebounding 50s, four inside 50s, and four tackles.

#3 William Snelling
The former Port Adelaide player illustrated why he is deserving of another chance at AFL level, with a classy performance against the Sandgropers. He accumulated 19 possessions, laid eight tackles and kicked a goal.

#7 Aidan Tropiano
The 2015 Sandover Medallist was sensational against his native state. He collected a team-high 28 possessions, laid a game-high 11 tackles and recorded four inside 50s to be an influential figure for the Croweaters’ victory.

#15 Jonathon Beech
Playing at centre half-forward, Beech always offered a presence in the attacking half. He gathered 11 possessions, took three marks (one contested), and booted four goals to be one of the best players for South Australia.

#23 Jordan Foote
The former Sydney Swans Academy product was brilliant for South Australia with 24 possessions, six marks, three inside 50s, three rebounding 50s, two tackles and two goals. With such performances, Foote could be headed for a second chance at AFL level.

#33 Michael Knoll
The former basketballer was a deserving winner of the Foss Williams Medal (South Australia’s Best on Ground medal) in the Croweater’s victory over the Sandgropers. He finished with 15 possessions, 31 hitouts, five marks, four tackles and three inside 50s.

Weekend wash-up: SANFL Women’s – Semi-finals

THE reigning premiers are back in the decider after a 13-point win over minor premiers, Norwood – South Adelaide’s second win over the Redlegs in three rounds – while North Adelaide breathed a sigh of relief, coming back from a four-point final break deficit against Glenelg to ensure their premiership dream remains alive.

NORTH ADELAIDE 2.0 | 2.1 | 2.1 | 4.1 (25)
GLENELG 0.3 | 2.5 | 2.5 | 3.5 (23)

GOALS:

North: Kelly Barltrop 2, Brittany Perry, Leah Tynan.
Glenelg: Ellen Fauser, Melinda Speechley, Tasja Batzavalis.

DISPOSALS:

North: Lauren Daniel 17
Glenelg: Ebony Marinoff 38, Cass Hartley 17, Samantha Franson 16, Caitlin Gould, Ellie Kellock, Chelsea Packer 15.

A herculean effort from Ebony Marinoff and Glenelg was not enough for the Tigers to cause an upset win over North Adelaide in the do-or-die semi-final on Friday. The underdogs conceded the first two goals of the game with Leah Tynan and Kelly Barltrop getting the Roosters on top in the first term, before majors to Ellen Fauser and Melinda Speechley saw the Tigers hit the front at half-time by four points. The third quarter was a titanic struggle with neither side able to score such was the intensity and defensive pressure, and the Rooster fans were feeling nervous still down at the final break having scored one behind since quarter time. Luckily their fears were put to bed early in the fourth with Brittany Perry putting her side in front, before Barltrop booted her second a couple of minutes later to five them an eight-point lead. Tasja Batzavalis picked a good time for her first league goal in the tenth minute and the margin was back to two points. Unfortunately for the Tigers despite their best efforts they were not able to breakthrough and the Roosters breathed a sigh of relief knowing the next two weeks were going to be tough. North Adelaide shared the ball around in the win, with Lauren Daniel amassing a team-high 17 disposals, as well as two marks, two clearances, two inside 50s and four tackles. Amber Ward won 14 touches, laid five tackles and had two rebounds, while Perry worked hard between the arcs with four clearances, four rebounds and three inside 50s, while laying six tackles and having 13 disposals. Barltrop made the most of her opportunities with two goals from six disposals. The clear standout player on the ground to no-one’s surprise was Marinoff, who broke her own league disposal record for a third consecutive week, amassing 38 disposals, taking nine marks (two contested), eight clearances, five inside 50s, four rebounds and laying nine tackles. Cassie Hartley also had 17 touches, while Samantha Franson was fierce around the stoppages with 16 touches, four clearances, three inside 50s and a game-high 12 tackles. Caitlin Gould was busy in the ruck with 24 hitouts, three clearances, seven inside 50s and five tackles as well as 15 disposals. It was a promising season for Glenelg but the Tigers now bow out, while the Roosters face Norwood next week for a spot in the decider.

SOUTH ADELAIDE 2.1 | 4.2 | 4.2 | 5.4 (34)
NORWOOD 0.2 | 1.2 | 3.3 | 3.3 (21)

GOALS:

South: Teah Charlton 2, Tamara Page, Jessica Kirk, Tiffany Copley.
Norwood: Kate Fenton 2, Matilda Zander.

DISPOSALS:

South: Nicole Campbell 16, Nikki Gore
Norwood: Najwa Allen 20, Hannah Dunn 18, Hannah Priest 17, Sally Riley 15

It was the game talked up as the biggest of the weekend, but South Adelaide almost put the result to bed in the first half, piling on four unanswered goals – including two to Teah Charlton – to lead by as much as 24 points late in the second term. Matilda Zander gave the minor premiers a glimpse of hope in the dying minutes of the second term with the Redlegs’ first goal, before Norwood looked to have found its groove in the third, with Kate Fenton slotting two majors. The Redlegs had drawn within five points at the final break and looked to have the momentum running into the last quarter, but it was only South Adelaide who managed to get on the board, with Tiffany Copley booting the winning goal midway through the quarter as the Panthers ended up winning by 13 points in a more comfortable fashion than predicted. Nicole Campbell and Nikki Gore both had 15 disposals in the win, while combining for eight clearances, 14 tackles, four inside 50s and four rebounds, while Sarah Wright was busy in defence with four rebounds to go with her 14 disposals and three tackles. Hannah Munyard had 13 disposals, while Czenya Cavouras was down on her usual numbers like most of her teammates, but still laid eight tackles. For Norwood, Najwa Allen still managed 20 disposals in the loss, while taking three marks, having three inside 50s and laying three tackles. The usual suspects were all at the top of the disposal tallies with Hannah Dunn (18 touches, five marks, six tackles, three clearances, three rebounds), Hannah Priest (17 disposals, four marks, six tackles and two rebounds) and Sally Riley (15 disposals, two marks, three clearances and three tackles) all important. Leah Cutting was once again strong in the ruck with a game-high 19 hitouts as well as 14 disposals, two marks, four clearances and four tackles. It was a disappointing result for the minor premiers who have had a terrific season but dropped two of their past three games, both to the same opponent. Now the Redlegs must prepare for a preliminary final against North Adelaide who escaped Glenelg’s clutches in order to book a rematch with the Panthers in the 2019 decider and try and reverse the result of last year’s grand final.

SANFL Women’s weekend preview: Semi-finals

FINALS fever is in the air in South Australia as the South Australia National Football League (SANFL) Women’s finals series commences tonight in a double-header at Coopers Stadium. Three of the four sides were in last year’s finals series, with Glenelg bundling West Adelaide out in the final round to ensure a fresh face made it to the final month of competition. The Tigers won the wooden spoon last year and will take on the high-scoring North Adelaide outfit, while minor premiers Norwood were the clear best team all year, only dropping one game – but that was to their opponents South Adelaide.

NORTH ADELAIDE vs. GLENELG
Friday, May 10, 6pm
Coopers Stadium

The do-or-die clash between North Adelaide and Glenelg has the relentless scoring team up against the underdogs whose wildcard – that of Adelaide star Ebony Marinoff – is the best of any team. She joined the Tigers in the penultimate round and has led them to two victories, lifting the confidence of the team heading into the clash. It is hard to weigh up how much she can do against a top three side with so much depth, but making it to the finals was the first box ticked. Now she and her teammates will have to compete with the likes of Kat Reynolds, Brittany Perry, Lauren Daniel and Paige Allan in the midfield, while Amber Ward will patrol the backline with ease. The one aspect the Tigers will have over the Roosters is the Round 2 victory where they won a see-sawing contest 7.6 (48) to 5.3 (33). Since then, the Roosters have dropped just one match and won six on the trot, and have looked every bit the premiership contender. In that win, Chelsea Packer picked up 16 disposals, while Lucy Bellinger and Jordana Bradley both had the 12, while Madisyn Freeman booted two majors. Ward was terrific out of defence with 15 touches and four rebounds, while Adrienne Davies and Nadia Von Bertouch had 14 disposals each and laid seven tackles between them. Dominant goalkicker, Kelly Barltrop booted two goals in the match from limited opportunities, amassing just the five disposals. In this game, expect Samantha Franson to head to her, while Ward will take the dangerous Bellinger who can play anywhere on the field.

Key players:

Kelly Barltrop (North Adelaide)

Barltrop has booted 12 more goals than any other player in the SANFL Women’s competition and looms as a make-or break player in the side. While the Roosters do have others who can hit the scoreboard, Barltrop is averaging 2.6 goals per game, a remarkable effort and is a key cog in the Roosters’ machine. Franson will have her work cut out for her in defence, but it will likely be double-teaming and third efforts that will slow her impact if they manage to at all.

Ebony Marinoff (Glenelg)

There is no more dominant player in the competition than Marinoff who has played the two games and racked up 35 and 36 disposals respectively. She holds the record for the two highest individual disposal efforts in the competition, but is also damaging defensively, carrying over her tackling prowess from the AFLW to the SANFLW, laying 15 tackles. Throw in a casual 9.5 clearances, 8.5 inside 50s and 143.5 Dream Team Points per game and it is a no brainer that she is the player North Adelaide must nullify in the midfield.

NORTH

B: (14) Olivia Gallio, (7) Jess Eichner, (31) Nicole Collie
HB: (17) Sarah Ellis, (24) Amber Ward, (30) Kendall Howell
C: (25) Erica Greet, (9) Lauren Daniel, (10) Paige Allan
HF: (8) Nadia Von Bertouch, (29) Emma Sampson, (6) Adrienne Davies
F: (1) Cristie Castle, (15) Kelly Barltrop, (4) Leah Tynan
R: (12) Jane Altschwager, (3) Kat Reynolds, (19) Brittany Perry
INT: (33) Julia Clark, (2) Alex Fitridge, (34) Danielle Nunns, (20) Elysha Willis

IN: Julia Clark, Alex Fitridge, Elysha Willis
OUT: Bonnie Felsbourg, Gabrielle Gormlie, Tyra Pix

GLENELG

B: (15) Caitlin Gould, (1) Samantha Franson, (2) Madisyn Freeman
HB: (8) Ellie Kellock, (7) Tess Morcom, (10) Jordana Bradley
C: (13) Brooke Trevena, (19) Lucy Earl, (21) Melinda Speechley
HF: (11) Tasja Batzavalis, (18) Lucy Bellinger, (5) Cassie Hartley
F: (12) Tamsyn Morriss, (6) Chelsea Packer, (28) Rhiley Ritchie
R: (24) Ellen Fauser, (17) Ebony Marinoff, (3) Charlotte Dawe
INT: (30) Lauren Bungey, (34) Hannah Crump, (14) Lucy Armitage, (4) Laura Isaac, (22) Sheridan Howell, (9) Bonnie Wells

IN: Hannah Crump, Laura Isaac

Final word:

North Adelaide deserve to win the game after an outstanding season that realistically had it not been for a sluggish start could have netted them a top two spot. For as good as Norwood and South Adelaide have been, when it comes to scoring, North Adelaide have done it consistently and it will take a mighty effort for Glenelg to restrict them. In saying that, Marinoff will give her forwards at least nine chances inside 50 and have a couple herself, so if the Tigers can make the most of their opportunities this is anyone’s game. North Adelaide by 15 points.

 

NORWOOD vs. SOUTH ADELAIDE
Friday, May 10, 7.45pm
Coopers Stadium

The other semi-final pits the two best sides of the season against one another for a spot in the decider. Last year South Adelaide triumphed over Norwood in the Grand Final after finishing top of the table, while this year it is the other way around, with the Redlegs gaining the vital pole position heading into finals. The Panthers are the only side making a forced change heading into the post-season series with Maddison Bennett out with a hamstring injury. She is a crucial loss for the Panthers, rebounding and creating run out of defence. Otherwise both sides have named extended benches to keep their opposition guessing, with the sole on-field inclusion being South Adelaide’s Jess Kirk named at half-forward. These two powerhouses have met twice throughout the season, with South Adelaide defeating Norwood – the Redlegs’ only defeat of the season – in Round 9 by seven points. The pair faced off in Round 2 as well, which saw Norwood take home the chocolates with a 12-point victory. Unsurprisingly, Najwa Allen has been the top ball winner across the two games, picking up 24 disposals in each match, and averaging six marks, 3.5 clearances, 3.5 inside 50s, three tackles and one goal per game. Hannah Dunn also has 37 disposals across her two games, as well as averaging six tackles per match. For South Adelaide, Czenya Cavouras has been the major ball winner, averaging 20.5 disposals, as well as 7.5 tackles, while Teah Charlton was the Panthers’ best in their win over the Redlegs as only inaccuracy (five behinds) stopped her from having a massive day out as she had 12 touches and laid 14 disposals with terrific forward pressure. Heading into this match, the likes of Charlton, Hannah Munyard, Nicole Campbell, Cavouras and Elyse Haussen go head-to-head with Allen, Dunn, Sally Riley and Monique Hollick as the best two midfielders go to-for-toe. What makes these teams so damaging is not having a dominant goalkicker and instead sharing the load making them unpredictable inside 50.

Key players:

Najwa Allen (Norwood)

No surprises her for Norwood’s top player. While a number of the Redlegs are so crucial to the team, Allen has time and time again being named best on ground and will be a real leader for them in the midfield or when she plays forward. In nine games she is averaging 26 disposals at 74 per cent efficiency, while also having 5.2 marks, 3.4 clearances, 3.3 inside 50s, 2.7 tackles and 2.1 rebounds. With the exception of her Round 3 game where she had just 13 disposals against Sturt, Allen has amassed at least 20 touches in every game – having three matches greater than 30.

Montana McKinnon (South Adelaide)

There is a long list of key players you could name in this line-up for a key player, but I’ve opted with McKinnon – not only because she is a terrific young prospect, but the fact if she can win her head-to-head ruck battle against Leah Cutting, it will got a long way to winning the match. Cutting is the number one ruck in the league, averaging 20.8 disposals and also laying 7.7 tackles. If McKinnon can get on top of her, being able to drift forward and make her accountable, she can try and not only nullify Cutting’s influence, but have an influence on the game herself. She averages three more touches and three more marks than her direct opponent, and will look to get around the ground and help her side get the important win.

NORWOOD

B: (5) Cassie Tsoumbris, (30) Bella Smith, (35) Jessica Macolino
HB: (36) Sophie Armitstead, (25) Jo Hill, (16) Ashlee Gould
C: (18) Hannah Priest, (8) Hannah Dunn, (17) Tahlia Meyer
HF: (24) Kate Fenton, (6) Najwa Allen, (1) Matilda Zander
F: (28) Rhiannon Busch, (26) Erika Sporn, (29) Jane Fitzgerald
R: (21) Leah Cutting, (2) Monique Hollick, (15) Sally Riley
INT: (12) Elisha Gallagher, (33) Lindsay Bigg, (14) Michele Reid, (4) Zoe Greer, (3) Jiarna Zerella, (32) Rosette Zerella, (39) Ella Murison

IN: Jiarna Zerella, Rosette Zerella, Ella Murison

SOUTH

B: (22) Samantha Pratt, (35) Jaslynne Smith, (44) Elke Jarvis
HB: (41) Indy Tahau, (29) Cheyenne Hammond, (39) Emily Brockhurst
C: (25) Teah Charlton, (6) Hannah Munyard, (9) Nicole Campbell
HF: (2) Nikki Gore, (14) Tiffany Copley, (7) Jess Kirk
F: (33) Brooklyn Kraft, (40) Sarah Wright, (45) Emogen Johnson
R: (19) Montana McKinnon, (11) Czenya Cavouras, (8) Elyse Haussen
INT: (1) Emily Woods, (5) Mykala Walker-Murphy, (20) Tamara Page, (21) Alana Browne, (30) Emma Gryczewski, (34) Nat Gibbs

IN: Emily Woods, Jess Kirk, Alana Browne, Nat Gibbs
OUT: Madison Bennett (hamstring), Airlie Schirmer

Final word:

Norwood will be keen to stamp its authority on the game in what is a coin toss of a result. They looked to have let loose last week on Central District after losing to the Panthers and will look to exact revenge here. South Adelaide have the key to beating them with a midfield to match them one-on-one, but there is a reason the Redlegs finished on top of the table. This has all the makings of an absolute epic contest, and the tip will be Norwood by a point, but do not be surprised if this goes into extra time.