Tag: abbey scheer

SANFL Women’s preview: Round 2 – Bulldogs and Roosters lock claws in standalone Saturday game

AT least one team will suffer its first loss in Round 2, while another will get on the board with its first win in the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s competition, as a blockbuster Friday night is planned across two venues. The undefeated clash between Central District and North Adelaide then takes place on Saturday morning in what could be a blockbuster match.

WEST ADELAIDE vs. GLENELG
Friday, February 21, 6.30pm
Hisense Stadium

Opening up the second round of the SANFL Women’s is a clash between two sides with differing results from the opening round of action. Glenelg went down to North Adelaide by 24 points at X Convenience Oval on the back of conceding six consecutive goals, while West Adelaide ran out 21-point winners over Sturt in the game immediately after that contest. Looking across both games, Glenelg had the much higher efficiency, running at 73 per cent in a match that was higher skilled against the Roosters, while the Westies had a 61 per cent efficiency against Sturt, but got the job done. The Tigers dominated the hitouts (+8) and clearances (+7) but lost the inside 50s (-2) and booted 2.10 for the match in a disappointing effort in front of goal. Had it been 10.2 instead, the Tigers win by 16 points. The Bloods were well beaten in the hitouts (-13) but completely dismantled Sturt in the clearances (+15) and inside 50s (+11), while also laying more tackles (+10). One area the Bloods would want to improve on from Round 1 was the opposition’s uncontested ball movement, with Sturt taking 46 marks to 20. What the Round 1 matches tell us is that Glenelg need to make more of its chances inside 50, and limit the influence of West Adelaide’s superb onball division, which included Abbie Ballard – who led the league in disposals with 27 – and Rachelle Martin who both form a damaging contested-ball duo. Glenelg should get first hands to the ball at stoppages with Soriah Moon playing well on debut, and recording more hitouts than the entire West Adelaide side. But with Ballard and Martin combining for 14 hitouts – and ruck Kate Walsh even recording four, it is a tough midfield to combat. Glenelg will rely on the likes of Madisyn Freeman to push up the grounds at times, winning an equal team-high four clearances last week, and if the likes of Sam Franson (two behinds) and Molly Althouse (four marks, two contested) can start to have an impact up forward, then they will be a damaging forward six to combat. Keely Kustermann looked settled last week and covers a lot of ground, while Lauren Rodato is a consistent player in defence for the Bloods. Up forward, Kasia Culhane and Melanie Elsegood both scored multiple goals, and Elsegood could have had a real day out if she put through a few more of her five chances (2.3). West Adelaide will start favourites in this clash due to the onball and forward talent, but Glenelg’s loss last week was not as bad as it might appear on the surface, and it is about taking chances in Round 2.

SOUTH ADELAIDE vs. STURT
Friday, February 21, 7pm
Flinders University Stadium

These two teams also come into this clash with different results from Round 1, but both sides would know they can improve on their output from those respective matches. South Adelaide pulled off the great escape against Woodville-West Torrens, while Sturt suffered a disappointing defeat at the hands of West Adelaide. In that game, the double Blues were well beaten around the contest with the clearances (-15) and the inside 50s (-11) going the way of the Bloods. This all came despite Sturt winning almost double West Adelaide’s hitouts (+13). The area where Sturt impressed was in its outside ball as the Double Blues took 26 more marks (more than double) and had a solid 68 per cent disposal efficiency, playing a kick-first gamestyle. South Adelaide plays a possession-style brand of football, racking up 33 more disposals than the Eagles in Round 1, nullifying the opposition’s ability to get ball to boot with a low kick-to-handball ratio. The Panthers are great at shutting down the outside run, with the Eagles only taking 18 marks to South Adelaide’s 37, while the Panthers also won the hitouts (+4), clearances (+9) and inside 50s (+6). Despite all this going the reigning premiers way, they won by just four points, and it was the defensive pressure of the Eagles that forced them to overuse the ball, and also the visitors’ inaccuracy that helped the Panthers get home. South Adelaide is an incredible side and it will be expected to put out a similar effort against Sturt in shutting down the outside run and making more chances in front of goal. With Montana McKinnon potentially heading back to AFL Women’s after being named in the extend squad, Sturt will have a advantage in the ruck, and the Double Blues’ defensive setup is quite solid, but they cannot afford to be beaten out of the middle again. Stephanie Ratliff and Zoe Prowse were impressive in the ruck last week, with the mobile Prowse also doing her part around the stoppages. Georgia Bevan and Maya Rigter (five combined clearances last week) will have to step up again in this contest, with South Adelaide having the likes of Indy Tahau (eight clearances), Czenya Cavouras (six) and Teah Charlton (four) all standing out as a dominant trio in there. Rachel Dunstan and Hannah Prenzler were able to work hard defensively, with Prenzler picking up two rebounds and seven marks against the Bloods to hold up in the defensive 50. Along with Alysha Healy and Aajiah Jerico, it will be important for the visiting side to hold up back there and drive the ball forward against an unpredictable forward line. South gets a lot of goals out of its midfield, and once it wins the ball, it is hard to stop it being locked in the Panthers’ forward half. Expect South Adelaide to come out firing, with so much depth in its side, but if Sturt can make more of its ruck dominance, then the Double Blues can try and up the tempo and play keepings-off.

WOODVILLE-WEST TORRENS vs. NORWOOD
Friday, February 21, 8.15pm
Hisense Stadium

Yet to have a win in their short history, Woodville-West Torrens Eagles would be seeing this Friday night clash as a real chance to breakthrough and record a ‘W’. The Eagles came agonisingly close to causing a boilover against reigning premiers South Adelaide on the road, and now take on a Norwood side still finding its feet after so much change in the off-season. With a brand new midfield brigade, the Redlegs still looked solid, but will be better for the run during the loss against Central District last week. Norwood had an extra scoring shot than the Bulldogs, and played their traditional possession style game with 33 more disposals and 30 more marks – including seven more contested – but were not able to capitalise on their inside 50 entries (+7). The Central defence was able to pick-off the attacking forays with eight more rebounds and 16 more tackles. Norwood’s ruck, Leah Cutting is the best in the business and dominated the Bulldogs with 21 more hitouts and that helped the Redlegs win three more clearances too – an area that could further improve considering that ruck work dominance. The Eagles will have seen the pressure that Central applied to the Redlegs and bring much of the same, laying 14 more tackles than the Panthers, and three more rebounds. They will need to make more of their opportunities count as well, booting just three goals from nine scoring chances in Round 1, and you cannot afford to do that every week. The Eagles are not a huge disposal-winning team, but instead have that shared brand of football where everyone plays their role and it seemed to be effective for the most part against a highly-credentialed Panthers side last week. Youngster, Tesharna Maher recorded six rebounds in the loss last round, while Allison Evans had three as the pair patrolled the backline. In the middle, Teagan Usher had a team-high four clearances, but the Eagles will need to muster up more of those by sharking the opposition ruck. The tackling pressure is something that the Eagles had no problems bringing, with Evans and Sophie Zuill both laying eight, and Adele Gibson having a team-high four inside 50s. Kiana Lee was quiet on the scoreboard last week but will be better for the run, taking three contested marks and signalling her intent in the air. In the absence of a number of midfielders who made the step up to AFL Women’s this season, Matilda Zander picked up a game-high 20 touches against the Bulldogs last week, well aided by Alison Ferrall (15) and Lindsay Bigg (14). Mattea Breed was also important in that midfield group with three clearances and four inside 50s, while Jo Hill made the most of her chances up forward with two goals. Sophie Armitstead was the leading clearance worker, and while the Redlegs midfield is still developing, they have the talent to make more opportunities from Cutting’s dominance. Norwood have the runs on the board over past years, but the Eagles arguably looked more impressive last week. It will be an absolute blinder of a game.

CENTRAL DISTRICT vs. NORTH ADELAIDE
Saturday, February 22, 11.30am
X Convenience Oval

The only game in Round 2 that features two Round 1 winners is between the sides that finished second and second last, in 2019. A much improved Central District team outlasted last year’s minor premiers Norwood in a nice little upset to start 2020, while North Adelaide booted six consecutive goals to run out four-goal winners over Glenelg and now sit top of the table. In that win, the Roosters actually had five less disposals and seven less tackles, but were so efficient with their scoring accuracy, capitalising on more chances than the Tigers’ 2.10. North lost both the hitouts (-8) and clearances (-7) but rebounded well to win the inside 50 count (+2) and overall were a more efficient side going forward. They will need to continue that throughout the season, because as impressive as the win was, the Roosters can still improve further. The Bulldogs also had less disposals for greater efficiency which makes this an intriguing match. Central had 33 less touches than Norwood in the win last round, and were beaten on the outside with 30 less marks. But the Bulldogs made more of their chances inside 50 and tackled their way to victory (+16). They were smashed in the ruck (-21) and lost the clearances (-3) and inside-50 (-7) counts, but the Bulldogs defence held firm under the attacks with eight more rebounds. The Bulldogs will not be afraid to make it a contested game, with Shelby Smith (20 touches, five clearances and three tackles) leading the way in Round 1, while Jaymee-Lee Sonneman and Lauren Smith both had the three clearances. Demi Sonneman, Kimberley Fry and Abbey Scheer were reliable in defence with a combined 12 clearances, and then Katelyn Rosenzweig was the dominant force up forward with four goals from five scoring chances and seven disposals. North Adelaide has its own goal-scoring machine in Kelly Barltrop, with last year’s leading goalkicker booting two goals in the Round 1 win to start her season off on the right note, while Cristie Castle was sensational across the ground with 17 touches, six marks (three contested), five clearances, four inside 50s and a goal. Hannah Ewings won the Breakthrough Player for Round 1 after the 16-year-old won 12 disposals and four marks, and also booted a goal on debut. Kristi Harvey will likely have the tough job of containing Rosenzweig in the match, while the likes of Lauren Daniel and Amber Ward provide the offensive run out of the back half. North Adelaide have the experience in big games and go in deserving favourites, but the Bulldogs look to have built on last season and will be up for the fight.

SANFL Women’s Team of the Week: Round 1 – West Adelaide quintuplet lead the way

IN a new addition to our South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s coverage for 2020, we have crunched the numbers and gazed across the four games to come up with a hypothetical Team of the Week. Our Draft Central SANFL Women’s Team of the Week features a 24-player team with 18 on the field and six on the bench, allowing for exceptional performances. For Round 1, West Adelaide has a remarkable five players in our Team of the Week, with an even spread across the league with five other teams recording three players, and Glenelg and Woodville-West Torrens having two apiece.

The Bloods cover five of the starting places no less, split across the three thirds of the ground, with one defender, two midfielders and two forwards after a consistent team performance. Abbie Ballard racked up a round-high 27 disposals and nine clearances, as well as five marks (one contested), four tackles and three inside 50s to be our vice-captain for the week. Joining her in the midfield is Rachelle Martin who returned from AFL Women’s to have 15 disposals, 11 tackles and five clearances, while Keeley Kustermann slots in at half-back after a solid showing in defence. Up forward, Zoe Venning had 17 disposals and worked hard up the ground for three clearances, two inside 50s and five tackles, while Melanie Elsegood played deep and booted two goals from five scoring shots.

The captain in our Team of the Week is South Adelaide’s Montana McKinnon who was unlucky to miss out on a spot in Adelaide’s AFL Women’s side, but with the performance she put out, it will not be long before she forces her way in. The 18-year-old racked up a remarkable 18 disposals, 7 marks (five contested), two tackles, 20 hitouts, four clearances, six inside 50s and two rebounds in the Panthers’ narrow win over the Eagles. She will be amongst familiar faces with midfielder, Czenya Cavouras on the wing after racking up an equal round second-highest 20 disposals, as well as 11 tackles, six clearances, two inside 50s and two rebounds, while teenager Indy Tahau earned an onball spot thanks to 17 disposals, four tackles, three hitouts, eight clearances, three inside 50s and two rebounds.

The last starting midfielder in the side is Sturt’s co-captain Georgia Bevan, who is joined in the side by co-captain Maya Rigter, and centre half-back, Hannah Prenzler. Bevan had 19 disposals, two marks, six tackles, three clearances and three rebounds in the Double Blues’ loss to West Adelaide, while Rigter was her partner-in-crime through the midfield with 18 disposals, seven marks, six tackles and two clearances. Prenzler stood tall under fierce pressure with 12 disposals, seven marks, three tackles and two rebounds. Filling out the other key defensive position is Kristi Harvey who returned to North Adelaide from Carlton’s VFL side this season. She was steadfast in her strength and approach, having five rebounds to go with nine disposals and two marks. Other Roosters who made the side were Cristie Castle – who booted two goals from 17 disposals, six marks (three contested), five clearances and four inside 50s – and Lauren Daniel who made her way onto the bench after 14 disposals, five marks, two tackles, two clearances and two rebounds.

In a game of multiple impressive individual performances, both Central District and Norwood registered three players apiece. The Bulldogs had defender, Demi Sonneman record 13 disposals and six rebounds up one end, while Katelyn Rosenzweig booted four goals from seven disposals and three marks (one contested) up the other to be the leading goalkicker for the round. Shelby Smith racked up 20 touches and had three marks (one contested), two inside 50s and three rebounds to be the third Bulldog to make the side. For the Redlegs, forward Jo Hill made the starting squad after 11 disposals, two marks, five hitouts, three clearances and two goals, while Bella Smith and Matilda Zander both squeeze onto the bench. Smith had 10 disposals, five marks (two contested), two tackles, six hitouts and five inside 50s, while Zander had 20 touches, six marks, four tackles, two clearances and two rebounds and was unlucky to miss a starting spot but the midfield was stacked.

The two sides with just the two representatives are Woodville-West Torrens and Glenelg. The Eagles’ Tesharna Maher made the squad in the back pocket after 10 disposals, three tackles and an impressive six rebounds, while Alison Evans was her sides’ highest ball winner and will come off the bench following 15 touches, three marks, eight tackles, two inside 50s and three rebounds. For the Tigers, Madisyn Freeman‘s run-and-carry from her 14 disposals, two marks, two tackles, four clearances and two rebounds saw her make the side off half-back, while up forward, Sam Franson had 16 disposals, two marks (one contested), six tackles and two inside 50s.

In terms of unlucky players, the first emergency would be Norwood’s Leah Cutting with the ruck the most unluckiest not to be picked. She had a second highest total of hitouts with 19, as well as five marks and six tackles, but with the squad balance there were a number of part-time rucks who would assist McKinnon in that area. Along with Cutting, West Adelaide’s Kasia Culhane booted two goals from 12 touches, four tackles, two clearances and two inside 50s, while South Adelaide’s Teah Charlton was also solid with 14 disposals, five tackles, four clearances and three inside 50s. Others considered for the team this week were Norwood’s Mattea Breed, Shai Hiscock and Lindsay Bigg, North Adelaide’s Leah Tynan and Kelly Barltrop, Central District’s Kimberley Fry, Abbey Scheer and Latiah Huynh, West Adelaide’s Emma Smith, Woodville-West Torrens’ Jaimi Tabb and Glenelg’s Soriah Moon.

DC SANFL WOMEN’S TEAM OF THE WEEK: ROUND 1

B: Tesharna Maher (WWT) – Kristi Harvey (NA) – Demi Sonneman (CD)
HB: Madisyn Freeman (GL) – Hannah Prenzler (ST) – Keeley Kustermann (WA)
C: Czenya Cavouras (SA) – Abbie Ballard (WA – vc) – Georgia Bevan (ST)
HF: Jo Hill (NW) – Cristie Castle (NA) – Zoe Venning (WA)
F: Melanie Elsegood (WA) – Katelyn Rosenzweig (CD) – Sam Franson (GL)
R: Montana McKinnon (SA – c) – Rachelle Martin (WA) – Indy Tahau (SA)
INT: Lauren Daniel (NA) – Alison Evans (WWT) – Maya Rigter (ST) – Bella Smith (NW) – Shelby Smith (CD) – Matilda Zander (NW)

EMG: Leah Cutting (NW), Kasia Culhane (WA), Teah Charlton (SA)

SANFL Women’s review: Round 1 – Panthers survive scare as Bulldogs topple Redlegs

IN a huge first round of the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s competition, the reigning premiers just escaped a fierce battle against last year’s wooden spooners, while fellow bottom two side from 2019, Central District claimed a confidence-boosting win over last year’s minor premiers, Norwood.

SOUTH ADELAIDE 2.2 | 2.2 | 4.3 | 4.4 (28)
WWT EAGLES 1.0 | 3.2 | 3.2 | 3.6 (24)

GOALS:

South: L. Buchanan, J. Kirk, K. Nijhuis, C. Wilson.
Eagles: M. Cavallaro, N. Collie, J. Zecevic.

DISPOSALS:

South: C. Cavouras 20, M. McKinnon 18, I. Tahau 17, J. Smith 15
Eagles: A. Evans 15

Reigning premiers, South Adelaide survived an almighty scare from Woodville-West Torrens to post a win in its opening game of the season. Heading into the match, the Panthers were strong favourites despite so much off-season turnover with a number of players earning places on AFL Women’s lists. Montana McKinnon was available for South in this game however, while Jaimi Tabb ran out for the Eagles after missing out on Crows selection as well.

The match started relatively as expected with Lauren Buchanan and Kelli Nijhuis both booting goals, the latter of whom was on debut prompting much celebration. The celebrations did not last long though, with Nicole Collie breaking through with a major for the Eagles, before Madison Bennett missed a couple of chances on goal. In a surprise to the home fans, the Eagles showed they were well and truly up for the fight, booting two goals to zero in the second term, courtesy of Jovanka Zecevic and 21-year-old debutant, Mikayla Cavallaro. The quarter put the underdogs up by a goal at the main break, but four minutes in and the scores were level again thanks to a Jess Kirk major for the Panthers. Callie Wilson regained some breathing space for South Adelaide with a major midway through the term, and then an arm-wrestle ensured for the remainder of the contest. Neither side could find the big sticks, with five behinds in the last quarter – four to the Eagles with the breeze, and it meant they fell agonisingly short of an inaugural win and massive upset.

South Adelaide had a kick-first mentality that seemed to work, with 35 more disposals, with 65 per cent of those 204 disposals being kicks, while the Eagles had a much lower 56.7 per cent from 171 disposals. It was the outside marking ability of the Panthers that really stood out, taking 37 marks to 18, eight of which were contested. They also won the hitouts (24-20), clearances (26-17) and inside 50s (31-25), but you could not take the defensive pressure out of the contest with the Eagles winning the tackle (73-59) and rebound 50 (25-22) counts.

McKinnon was absolutely sensational and would have given the Crows’ coaching staff plenty to think about, amassing 18 disposals, 20 hitouts, seven marks (five contested), six inside 50s, two tackles and two rebounds in a clear best on ground performance. Working hard through the midfield roving the teenagers’ taps were fellow teens, Indy Tahau and Teah Charlton. The pair combined for 31 disposals, eight clearances, six inside 50s and nine marks in a combination that will no doubt be on show at the AFL Women’s Under-18 Championships later in the year. Czenya Cavouras‘ ball-winning ways continued with 20 touches, 11 tackles and six clearances to be the next best after McKinnon, while Jaslynne Smith (15 disposals, seven rebounds) was superb in defence.

For the Eagles, Allison Evans had a team-high 15 touches, three marks, eight tackles, two inside 50s and three rebounds, while Sophie Zuill finished with 13 disposals, eight tackles and two clearances. Providing a hard edge along with that duo was Tabb, who finished the game with 12 disposals, two marks, seven tackles and three rebounds, but was unlucky not to boot a goal in the game, finishing with two behinds. Tesharna Maher was really prominent defending in the back half, having a team-high six rebounds to go with 10 touches and three tackles, while Adele Gibson was fluent in midfield, with four inside 50s, five tackles and 10 disposals.

In the end it was just the overall class of the Panthers and star-stuffed top dozen players that helped them get over the line against a plucky Eagles outfit. Woodville-West Torrens will be better for the run, and come up against a vulnerable Norwood next week at Hisense Stadium, while South Adelaide faces Sturt back at Flinders University Stadium again in a match they should be strong favourites for too.

NORTH ADELAIDE 1.0 | 5.4 | 6.4 | 7.4 (46)
GLENELG 1.4 | 1.4 | 2.9 | 2.10 (22)

GOALS:

North: K. Barltrop 2, C. Castle, H. Ewings, T. Gordon, K. Reynolds, L. Tynan.
Glenelg: J. Bates, J. Bradley.

DISPOSALS:

North: C. Castle 17
Glenelg: S. Franson 16

A hungry North Adelaide side desperate for redemption following last year’s SANFL Women’s Grand Final loss sent a message to the rest of the competition with a four-goal victory over an inaccurate Glenelg side. Six unanswered goals from the 12th minute of the first term through to the 12th minute of the third term handed the Roosters the win, and showed exactly why they could well be the team to beat in season 2020.

It was a mid-morning game on Saturday and Jordana Bradley was the first player to seize the moment, pouncing on a goal for the Tigers to put her side in front. For the majority of the first term, Glenelg dominated, booting 1.4 and looking like they would really build a strong lead. Unfortunately inaccuracy plagued them – as it would throughout the contest, and instead thanks to a Leah Tynan goal midway through the term, the Tigers only led by four points at the first break. Any doubts about the Roosters’ premiership credentials were soon put to bed with a massive four-goal second term, booting 4.4 to 0.0 to run away with a 24-point lead at half-time. Last year’s competition leading goalscorer, Kelly Barltrop got on the board for the first time in season 2020 with a couple of goals, while Hannah Ewings and Cristie Castle both booted majors. All three players could have had more, with Ewings missing a couple of chances and Barltrop and Castle also missing the opportunity for an additional major. With the breeze again in the third term, it was up to Glenelg to make the most of it, but four consecutive behinds in the first 10 minutes of the quarter stung deep. When Tayla Gordon converted the Roosters’ sixth consecutive goal, it was like a dagger to the heart. Jessica Bates managed to boot a drought-breaking major a minute later, but the result was decided. Kathryn Reynolds booted a fourth quarter goal – the only one from either side – to help North Adelaide record a 24-point win.

Despite the lop-sided result, it was largely the second term that decided the match, with Glenelg largely matching it with the Roosters across the statistics. The Tigers had three more disposals – and looked to utilise their kicking ability more – with a 73 per cent disposal efficiency, while laying seven more tackles (41-34). They won the hitouts (23-15) and clearances (22-15), but their decision making once inside 50 needed improvement with just two goals from 12 chances – an additional scoring shot to their opponents. The Roosters showed that despite not playing at their best and being beaten in the midfield, they were able to put away a side by four goals, and still show the damaging firepower they have at their disposal which was a feature of their game in 2019.

Castle was a real inspiration in the forward half and through midfield, winning a game-high 17 disposals and five clearances, as well as taking six marks – three contested and four inside 50s. Lauren Daniel was predictably busy around the ground with 14 disposals, five marks, two clearances and two rebounds, while Adrienne Davis had 13 touches, four marks, three tackles and a clearance. All eyes were on Bek Rasheed in the ruck, with the debutant continuing on the famous family ties – father Mick Redden is the club’s games record holder – with the red and white, having 14 hitouts in the bulk of the ruckload, while also helping herself to seven disposals, three clearances, two tackles and two inside 50s. Barltrop booted two goals, but also had three marks and two tackles, while up the other end, Kristi Harvey marked her return from Carlton’s VFL Womens’ side with nine disposals, two marks and five rebounds playing at full-back. Tynan also had a notable game, amassing 12 touches, four marks, three inside 50s, two rebounds, two clearances, two tackles and a goal.

For Glenelg, youngster Madisyn Freeman looked impressive through the midfield, buzzing around with 14 touches, two marks, four clearances, two tackles, two rebounds and one inside 50, only bettered by Sam Franson who looked fierce through the middle, racking up 16 touches, two marks, six tackles and two inside 50s in her first performance back for 2020. Lucy Earl had 13 kicks which were her total amount of disposals, spreading nicely and trying to create run with five marks and three rebounds out of the back half. Tessa Kohn was one of Glenelg’s most prominent midfielders with the debutant looking good thanks to 12 disposals, four clearances, three inside 50s and two tackles. Also making her debut and holding her own against fellow debutant Rasheed, ruck Soriah Moon had 15 hitouts to accompany 10 disposals, four tackles, two clearances and two inside 50s.

Overall it was a promising, yet not quite perfect performance for the Roosters who once they click across four quarters will be hard to stop. North Adelaide travels to X Convience Oval once again in Round 2, this time being the genuine visiting side against a Central District outfit that looked impressive in Round 1. Glenelg on the other hand takes on West Adelaide at Hisense Stadium in the first game of a double header at the ground on Friday night.

STURT 0.0 | 0.0 | 0.1 | 2.3 (15)
WEST ADELAIDE 1.1 | 2.5 | 4.6 | 5.6 (36)

GOALS:

Sturt: A. Ballard, A. Ladas.
West: K. Culhane 2, M. Elsegood 2, Z. Venning.

HIGH DISPOSALS:

Sturt: G. Bevan 19, M. Rigter 18
West: A. Ballard 27, Z. Venning 17, R. Martin 15

An absolutely inspired performance from pocket rocket, Abbie Ballard has propelled West Adelaide to an opening round win over Sturt. The Westies always looked in control, but stepped it up in the second half to boot three goals to two, restricting the Double Blues to just five scoring shots for the entire match. It was an imposing performance from the West Adelaide line-up that looked desperate to undo the wrongs of last season where the Bloods narrowly missed out on finals. Fast forward to the start of 2020, and they look ready and raring to go for a big season ahead.

The first half was largely anticlimactic for the neutral as West Adelaide completely dominated its opponent. Kasia Culhane kicked the first goal of the match six minutes into the game, before a goal early in the second term to Melanie Elsegood was the only other major in a low-scoring half of action. Elsegood had chances to add to her total with a couple of behinds either side of her goal in the first half, while West Adelaide’s fierce pressure provided plenty of forward entries, four consecutive behinds meant the Westies were not getting value for money going forward. Ally Ladas finally broke the drought for the Double Blues in the opening two minutes of the third term, albeit with a behind, before business returned to normal as Culhane and Elsegood both booted their second goals to race out to a 29-point advantage at the final break. Something clicked in Sturt to start the last term, as co-captains Maya Rigter and Georgia Bevan both had chances in the opening few minutes but missed, while Ladas broke through with her first goal, joined by Alex Ballard four minutes later. The margin was back to 15 points and there was an air of uncertainty about the result for the first time since before the game, though Zoe Venning soon put that to rest with a goal midway through the term to solidify a 5.6 (36) to 2.3 (15) victory.

West Adelaide dominated the clearances and inside 50s which was where the game was won, as the Westies doubled Sturt’s clearances (30-15) and almost doubled the inside-50 count (24-13). This came off the back of Sturt actually dominating the ruck contest (28 hitouts to 15), and taking more marks around the ground (46-20). They used the ball more efficiently with a 68 per cent record on the day, but the Double Blues could not win enough of the ball around stoppages and give their forwards enough chances in front of goal. Their effort and intensity was certainly there, but the Bloods were too strong around the clinches.

In what was not only a best on ground performance, but a Player of the Round performance, Ballard had an absolute field day out on X Convenience Oval, racking up 27 disposals, five marks – one contested – nine clearances, four tackles and three inside 50s. To put that in perspective, Sturt only had 15 clearances, six more than Ballard alone. Her partner-in-crime, Rachelle Martin looked very impressive coming back from her debut with Adelaide as the top-up injury player, amassing 15 disposals, five clearances, a game-high 11 tackles and two inside 50s to support Ballard on the inside. Venning’s late goal capped off a strong performance of 17 disposals, two marks, five tackles, three clearances and two inside 50s, while Keeley Kustermann worked hard around the ground on debut with 14 disposals, two marks, three tackles, three inside 50s and three rebounds. To go with her two goals, Culhane also had 12 touches, two marks, four tackles, two clearances and two inside 50s, while Elsegood could have had a real day out with straighter kicking, booting 2.3 from 10 disposals and two marks – one contested.

It was no surprise to see co-captains, Bevan and Rigter lead from the front. Bevan had a team-high 19 disposals, as well as two marks, six tackles, three clearances and three rebounds, while Rigter helped herself to 18 disposals, seven marks, six tackles and two clearances.  In a career-high, Rachel Dunstan‘s homecoming to Sturt – the side she had played with in 2018 before her local club Woodville-West Torrens gained a team and she moved – proved fruitful with the young talent having 11 touches, two marks and two rebounds – five more disposals than any other game last season. Teenager Zoe Prowse showed she will only continue to get better with time, having 11 touches, eight hitouts, three clearances and two inside 50s, working in tandem with ruck Stephanie Ratliff (16 hitouts).

In Round 2, both sides face off in Friday night encounters as West Adelaide returns home to Hisense Stadium where the bloods host Glenelg to try and continue their winning run, while Sturt heads to Flinders University Stadium to take on reigning back-to-back premiers, South Adelaide.

CENTRAL DISTRICT 0.1 | 1.2 | 3.3 | 5.3 (33)
NORWOOD 1.1 | 2.3 | 3.4 | 4.5 (29)

GOALS:

Central: K. Rosenzweig 4, M. Lane.
Norwood: J. Hill 2, L. Bigg, J. Halfpenny.

HIGH DISPOSALS:

Central: S. Smith 20, L. Huynh 15
Norwood: M. Zander 20, A. Ferrall 15

It is often said that the gap is closing between the best and worst sides in the competition, and that could not be more true in the SANFL Women’s considering the results in Round 1. While the winless Eagles from 2019 almost toppled the reigning premiers, last year’s second bottom side and fellow inaugural outfit, Central District defeated one of the premier sides of the past three years in Norwood. With a new coach, an almost entirely new midfield group and a high turnover of players due to the success of the Redlegs, Norwood went down to a determined Central District outfit, led by Katelyn Rosenzweig in a come-from-behind win.

Norwood was the first team on the board during the match with Jo Hill getting an early goal two minutes in which followed from an Isabel Martin behind. The visitors were already looking dangerous but the Bulldogs settled down the tempo as Rosenzweig had a chance but missed early, and a dour first term came to an end at 1.1 to 0.1. It was not long before the crowd got up and about in the second term with Madison Lane converting a major two minutes into the quarter. Lindsay Bigg soon responded for the Redlegs and both sides had multiple chances to add to their totals, but in the end it was Norwood up by seven points. What happened next was a mixture of shock and elation for the X Convenience crowd as their Bulldogs – or more accurately Rosenzweig – piled on four of the next five goals to race out to an eight-point lead five minutes into the final term. Hill had added her second goal to briefly grab back the lead midway through the second quarter, but it was not until Jade Halfpenny finally broke the drought in the ninth minute of the final term that Norwood could get back on track. But in a twist, it would not be enough for the favourites, as the Bulldogs held on despite fierce pressure to record a narrow four-point win and start their season off on the right foot.

Unsurprisingly despite a new-look group the Redlegs still played a possession brand of football with 23 more disposals (211-178) and tried to use quick handballs and run to move the ball going forward. They had a whopping 30 more marks (55-25) and were too strong in the air (7-2 contested), as well as dominating the hitouts (32-11) and inside 50s (28-21). The Bulldogs defensive unit – which was underrated last season given the high amount of inside 50s its opposition was getting – played incredibly well with 22 rebounds to 14, whilst the Bulldogs laid 54 tackles to 38. The home side also used the ball better (68-65 per cent) and were more efficiency with five goals from eight chances compared to four from nine.

While the statistics might have looked like Norwood should have been on top, Rosenzweig’s finishing ability – 4.1 from seven touches and three marks – one contested – was the difference and she will prove to be hard to stop not only each game, but for the leading goalkicker trophy overall. Shelby Smith was terrific for the Bulldogs on debut with the 28-year-old having an equal game-high 20 touches, as well as five clearances, three marks and three tackles, getting back to help the defence with three rebounds and getting forward for two inside 50s. Latiah Huynh had her share of the ball with 15 disposals, two marks, two tackles and two inside 50s, while Demi Sonneman played at a high level in defence, racking up six rebounds and 13 touches on the day. Youngster Kimberley Fry had 11 disposals, two marks, three tackles and three rebounds, while Abbey Scheer was also strong defensively with 11 touches, six tackles and three rebounds.

One of the few remaining midfielders from last season, Matilda Zander stepped up in the absence of Najwa Allen, Hannah Dunn and Ebony O’Dea, picking up an equal game-high 20 disposals, as well as six marks, four tackles, two clearances and two rebounds. Alison Ferrall had 15 disposals and six inside 50s running hard on the outside, while Lindsay Bigg and tall utility, Mattea Breed both had 14 touches and three clearances, as well as combining for seven inside 50s and five tackles. Sophie Armitstead was another consistent performer with 12 disposals, three tackles and four clearances, while Hill (11 disposals, two marks, five hitouts and three clearances) and Bella Smith (10 disposals, five marks – two contested – two tackles, six hitouts and five inside 50s) aided ruck, Leah Cutting (eight disposals, five marks, six tackles and 19 hitouts well.

Looking ahead to Round 2, Central District faces North Adelaide in a battle of the two most impressive sides from the opening round – at X Convenience Oval – while Norwood has to back up and look to knock off the Eagles at Hisense Stadium on Friday night.

Weekend preview: SANFL Women’s – Round 9

THE PENULTIMATE round of the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s season is here, with finals spots up for grabs as five teams fight for four spots, and wins for West Adelaide and Glenelg in particular become of the upmost importance.

NORTH ADELAIDE vs. CENTRAL DISTRICT
Friday, April 19, 4.15pm
Prospect Oval

The Roosters have been in ripping form of late and after a slow start to the year which saw North Adelaide start 1-3, last year’s minor premiers have strung four games on the trot to not only all but guarantee a finals spot, but keep the heat on second placed South Adelaide who are just one win ahead. For Central District, their finals dream was doused last week, but there is still plenty of pride in performance on the line as the Bulldogs look to leapforg Sturt into sixth place if they can muster an unlikely away win. North have brought back Melbourne AFL Women’s player Ashleigh Woodland who has returned to the half-back flank alongside Amber Ward and the duo will no doubt make it hard for the Bulldogs to score. The Roosters have lost Paige Allen to a hamstring, while winger Erica Greet also comes into the side among three changes. The Bulldogs have named an extended bench which includes Taryn Wills and Shannen Solly who return to the side, while the Bulldogs were forced to make a change with their half-back general, Gemma Doughty out of the team with a knee injury. The Bulldogs will look to Katelyn Rosenzweig up forward, while Chantelle Reynolds and Abbey Scheer are among the consistent performers thus far, while sisters, Jayme-Lee Sonneman and Demi Sonneman have been crucial cogs since coming into the club this season. For North, they have the dominant Kelly Barltrop who leads all-comers in the goalkicking and beside her is Brittany Perry and Cristie Castle who are potent in attack, while Nadia Von Bertouch has enjoyed her time at half-forward leading the troops, with Jane Altschwager dominant in the ruck and Leah Tynan consistent in midfield. With a strong line-up across the park, North should get the job done here, while Central will miss Doughty who has been an important player in their side.

WEST ADELAIDE vs. WOODVILLE-WEST TORRENS
Friday, April 19, 5.15pm
City Mazda Stadium

West Adelaide hold the coveted fourth spot in the SANFL Women’s competition with Glenelg biting at the Bloods’ heels to sneak into the final four. The Bloods face the winless Woodville-West Torrens Eagles in this clash and will be keen to take the points and set up a huge final round. Youngster Jaimi Tabb has returned for the Eagles to join Kiana Lee in the forward line with the midfielder Tabb looking to add extra firepower up front. Jess Wilson also comes into the forward line amongst at least four changes for the underdog, with Annastasia Falkenberg forced out of the team due to a finger injury. The Eagles have some good developing talent in the team, but have not been able to sustain their intensity for four quarters, with blow-outs often not reflective of the effort, more lapses in play. Natalie Subelli and Natasha Farrier will hope to win the midfield battle, while Stephanie Walker and Tesharna Maher will hope to provide some good movement out of defence. Chelsea Biddell and Melanie Elsegood are a dominant key forward duo, and the likes of Ashlee Reid and Colbie Frankland could have their work cut out for them. For West Adelaide, Kasia Culhane will miss after a great 18-disposal, five-clearance game last week; she has succumbed to a shoulder injury. The big return – both literally and metaphorically – for the the home side is Leah Swain who will be an important presence in the ruck. She, along with Alexandra Mason in the forward pocket, join five potential inclusions on an extended interchange bench. Maddie Newman is the one to watch in defence, sure to rebound time and time again, while through the midfield, Rachelle Martin and Abbie Ballard lead an underrated group who can match it with most sides. West Adelaide have much more to play for and should grab the points in this one, although the Eagle could enjoy spoiling the finals party for their opponents.

GLENELG vs. STURT
Friday, April 19, 7.15pm
ACH Group Stadium

The inclusion of the round, and arguably the season by far is that of Ebony Marinoff, the Adelaide Crows’ star onballer who slots into the Glenelg midfield for her first local game in a few years. Marinoff supported the Tigers growing up and now will run out for Glenelg at home as they try and keep in touch with West Adelaide in the penultimate round. She is joined by ruck, Rhiley Ritchie and Hannah Crump in the side, while Sturt have opted for an unchanged line-up for this game. Sturt’s season unofficially came to an end last week when its hopes for finals were dashed. A win here and the Double Blues can dash those of Glenelg fans too. It will be more than a tough ask for the visitors, with Georgia Bevan, Maya Rigter and Caitlyn Swanson a strong trio onball, but coming up against Marinoff will make the Tigers hard to combat. Throw in the likes of Ellen Fauser and Charlotte Dawe and the Tigers are still solid through midfield. Glenelg is one of the teams which does not have a particular strength, rather relying on efforts across the ground with Tess Morcom and Samantha Franson making a consistent key defensive duo, Lucy Bellinger providing the firepower up forward, and Madisyn Freeman and crucial key position player, Caitlin Gould also have great seasons. All eyes will be on Marinoff given the midfielder had the most touches at AFL Women’s level in a game this season, so seeing what she could do at state level will be reminiscent of the time Nathan Buckley suited up for Williamstown and packed out the stadium – hopefully we see the same at ACH Group Stadium. The Double Blues have a strong midfield, while Alex Ballard has been a talent in defence, and Georgia Swan and Nicole Baker good in the forward half. If they can win the midfield battle while controlling Marinoff, the Double Blues are a solid chance, but like West Adelaide in the previous game, Glenelg have a lot more at stake and should grab the points.

SOUTH ADELAIDE vs. NORWOOD
Saturday, April 20, 1pm
Flinders University Stadium

The final game of the round and standalone match is that of the top two sides going head-to-head in what could be a Grand Final preview. Last year’s premiers host last year’s grand finalists in what is shaping up to be a sensational clash. Both teams have taken different approaches to their team selection, with South Adelaide making at least seven changes compared to Norwood’s one confirmed change. Both have crucial players returning, with ball-winner and Adelaide Crows midfielder, Nikki Gore coming into the Panthers line-up alongside Mykala Walker-Murphy who booted a bag of four goals earlier in the season. Also returning to the Panthers are defenders Emily Brockhurst and Tiffany Copley, while Rhiannon Busch comes into the fold for Norwood, as does recently departed Crow, Sally Riley. The Panthers will be smiting at their second defeat of the season last weekend when they went down to Glenelg having defeated them a week earlier, while the Redlegs are yet to taste defeat and will look to secure top spot with a victory here. Norwood won the clash between the powerhouses in Round 1, and have had such a settled team throughout the season. Their midfield is the best in the competition, and the inclusion of Riley allows Ellen Maple Medallist Najwa Allen to play forward which is a fantastic luxury to have. Add in Matilda Zander and Hannah Priest in attack, and the defensive rebound duo of Sophie Armitstead and Monique Hollick in defence, and the Redlegs are covered at both ends. Leah Cutting provides first use to her midfielders including Busch and Hannah Dunn, but she will have to contend with the athletic, Montana McKinnon who is a terrific emerging talent. Their young and talented midfield at South Adelaide include Hannah Munyard and Teah Charlton who get forward and apply scoreboard pressure, while Czenya Cavouras, Elyse Haussen and Nicole Campbell make the Panthers have the best depth of anyone in the competition. Basically, the best top-end midfield going against the deepest midfield makes for a fascinating contest. Norwood deservedly go in as favourites for this game, while South Adelaide would have geared itself up for this match as both sides look to go deep in finals. With North Adelaide breathing down the Panthers’ necks, South will hope to get the job done and secure second spot.

Weekend wash-up: SANFL Women’s – Round 7

AS the final few weeks of the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s season approaches, Norwood and South Adelaide look settled in the top two, while North Adelaide is coming with a bullet. The remaining teams are fighting it out for fourth, with West Adelaide in the prime spot ahead of Glenelg.

SOUTH ADELAIDE 2.0 | 5.3 | 5.5 | 6.7 (43)
GLENELG 1.0 | 1.3 | 2.3 | 2.3 (15)

GOALS:

South: Madison Bennett 3, Danielle Goding, Elyse Haussen, Hannah Munyard.
Glenelg: Lucy Bellinger 2.

DISPOSALS:

South: Hannah Munyard 23, Czenya Cavouras, Teah Charlton 20
Glenelg: Cass Hartley 18, Lucy Bellinger 16

South Adelaide’s winning streak stretched to six on the weekend, whilst also sentencing Glenelg to its fourth straight defeat, following the Panthers’ 28-point victory. Madison Bennett and Danielle Goding got the visitors off to the perfect start early, booting two goals before Lucy Bellinger got the Tigers on the board. By half-time the writing was on the wall as Elyse Haussen, Bennett and Hannah Munyard all converted opportunities as Glenelg registered the three behinds. To Glenelg’s credit the Tigers tightened the screws in the second half, booting the only goal of the third term – another major to Bellinger, and holding the Panthers goalless until the 15-minute mark of the final term when Bennett converted her third to put the icing on the cake. Munyard was the top disposal winner for the Panthers, collecting 23 disposals, three marks, three clearances, two tackles and booting a goal, while Czenya Cavouras and Teah Charlton were again busy for the visitors, combining for 40 disposals, 23 tackles and nine inside 50s, constantly bringing pressure to the ball carrier. Bennett was the most influential forward, booting the three goals as well as having 11 disposals, three tackles and three inside 50s. For Glenelg, Bellinger had 16 touches, six marks and five tackles to go with her two majors, while Cassie Hartley finished with 18 disposals and eight marks – the most of any Tiger – as well as six tackles and four rebounds. Caitlin Gould‘s strong season continued with 13 disposals, seven tackles, 16 hitouts, five clearances and three inside 50s. These teams will not have to wait too long to face off again, with a Saturday evening clash scheduled in a fixture anomaly.

STURT 1.1 | 1.7 | 3.10 | 8.14 (62)
WWT EAGLES 4.0 | 4.2 | 4.4 | 4.4 (28)

GOALS:

Sturt: Alexandra Ballard 2, Georgia Swan, Nicole Baker, Lauren Lovell, Taylor Prenzler, Maya Rigter, Caitlyn Swanson.
Eagles: Kiana Lee 2, Natasha Farrier, Chloe Forby.

DISPOSALS:

Sturt: Georgia Bevan 19, Lauren Lovell 17
Eagles: Kiana Lee, Stephanie Walker 13

Sturt has overcome a sluggish start to storm home against Woodville-West Torrens and claim a memorable 34-point win. It took until the final term to finally open the floodgates, but the result was glorious after the Eagles kicked four of the first five goals, including two to Kiana Lee, to lead by 17 points. The Double Blues had all the play in the second term but could not convert on the scoreboard, booting six straight behinds to still trail by 13 points at the main break. Nicole Baker finally broke the drought five minutes into the third term, and then Alexandra Ballard converted on her third opportunity, as Sturt drew level at the final break. With all the momentum firmly with Sturt, the Double Blues stormed home, albeit with some more inaccuracy early, booting three straight behinds before five final-quarter goals in 12 minutes put an exclamation mark on Sturt’s best performance to-date. Georgia Bevan was the top possession winner for the Double Blues with 19, while laying fierce tackles totalling 11, as well as five marks, seven clearances and five inside 50s. Lauren Lovell finished with 17 touches, two marks, three tackles and three inside 50s, while Ballard booted 2.3 from 10 disposals and four marks. Caitlyn Swanson was another who stood up in the win, booting a goal from 13 disposals, four tackles, five clearances and three inside 50s. For the Eagles, Lee was the standout performer, booting two goals from 13 touches, three marks (two contested) and three tackles. Stephanie Walker also had 13 touches as well as three tackles, while Abby Pengelly finished with 12 disposals, three clearances and two rebounds, and Jovanka Zecevic worked hard in defence for four rebounds from 10 touches. Next week, Sturt hosts the top-of-the-table Norwood, while the Eagles head into a home clash against the in-form North Adelaide.

NORTH ADELAIDE 4.0 | 6.1 | 7.2 | 8.5 (53)
WEST ADELAIDE 2.1 | 2.1 | 5.2 | 5.3 (33)

GOALS:

North: Christie Castle, Emma Sampson 3, Kathryn Reynolds, Leah Tynan.
West: Megan Rich, Abbie Ballard, Melanie Elsegood, Alexandra Mason, Mary Smith.

DISPOSALS:

North: Erica Greet 19, Lauren Daniel 17, Leah Tynan 16
West: Abbie Ballard, Madison Newman 17

North Adelaide have leapfrogged West Adelaide into third spot following a convincing 20-point win over the Bloods. The Roosters showed their intent early with the first four goals, including three to Emma Sampson, before Melanie Elsegood and Alexandra Mason converted chances for the visitors to cut the deficit to 11 points at the first break. Leah Tynan and Cristie Castle booted the next three goals of the match to extend the deficit out to five goals, before West Adelaide answered with three of their own in the premiership quarter to cut the deficit to just 12 points. In a tighter final term, Kathryn Reynolds booted the only major of the quarter less than four minutes in as the Roosters controlled most of the play and enjoyed the 8.5 (53) to 5.3 (33) victory. Erica Greet had a game-high 19 touches for the Roosters, as well as five marks and six inside 50s, while Tynan was prolific in midfield with seven clearances and 16 disposals. Lauren Daniel (15 disposals, five inside 50s) and Castle (13 disposals, three goals) were also busy in the front half for the winners. Abbie Ballard and Madison Newman were again the top stars for the Westies, amassing 17 disposals each, as well as a combined eight inside 50s and seven rebounds, while Ballard found the big sticks with one major. In round 8, North Adelaide travel to face the winless Woodville-West Torrens, while West Adelaide hit the road in a clash with Central District.

NORWOOD 1.4 | 3.6 | 5.6 | 7.9 (51)
CENTRAL DISTRICT 1.1 | 1.1 | 1.1 | 2.1 (13)

GOALS:

Norwood: Najwa Allen, Erika Sporn, Matilda Zander 2, Leah Cutting.
Central: Abbey Scheer, Isabella Wilson.

DISPOSALS:

Norwood: Najwah Allen 30, Hannah Dunn, Monique Hollick 22, Thalia Meyer 18, Matilda Zander 16
Central: Laitiah Huynh 15

It was a grind, but premiership favourites Norwood eventually shook off the early challenge from newcomers Central District to post an impressive 38-point win and remain undefeated after seven rounds. The Redlegs have already booked their finals spot and indeed look locked in to the top two. Matilda Zander scored a goal in the first 41 seconds to give Norwood something to celebrate early, before Abbey Scheer put a major through after missing just prior. Leading by three points at the first break, Zander booted the first of the second term, shortly followed by high possession getter, Najwah Allen. When Leah Cutting and Erika Sporn booted the next three goals of the game, the result was beyond doubt and as Allen made it two, the margin was seven goals. Isabella Wilson booted a late consolation goal for the Bulldogs, with the final margin sitting at 38. Unsurprisingly, Allen received leather poisoning again for her 30 disposals, two clearances, three inside 50s, two rebounds, two goals and nine marks. Fellow midfielder, Hannah Dunn also found plenty of it with 22 touches, three clearances and six tackles, while Monique Hollick was busy on the outside with 22 disposals and five inside 50s. Zander had 16 disposals and four inside 50s to accompany her two majors. For the Bulldogs, Jayme-Lee Sonneman had a big day in the ruck with 17 hitouts and eight clearances as well as 13 disposals, while Gemma Doughty had four rebounds with 13 touches, five tackles and two clearances. Latiah Huynh had a team-high 15 disposals, as well as three clearances, four tackles and two inside 50s.

Weekend preview: SANFL Women’s – Round 5

FOUR rounds down and the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s competition ladder is starting to take shape. Norwood remains the only undefeated team and takes on West Adelaide in what should be a terrific clash, while Central District and North Adelaide looms as another tight encounter.

STURT vs. GLENELG
Saturday, March 23, 12pm
Coopers Stadium

In the first game of a triple header at Coopers Stadium, the winless Sturt takes on Glenelg, a side seething from its first loss of the season last week. The Tigers will be keen to bounce back from the defeat at the hands of West Adelaide and regain ascendancy in the mid-table logjam. The Tigers have brought in four players to the side with ruck, Lauren Bungey and key defender, Olivia Walker-Obushak among those returning to the fold. The Double Blues have been forced to make some changes with Izzy Kuiper out due to injury, Jessie Keech out to play softball and Alexandra Ballard also omitted from the side. Into the team comes full-forward, Caroline Burgess in a bid to try and create more scoring power, and defender Brooke-Lee Chaplin. Glenelg will be the favourites in this game to bounce back from a rare los and hand Sturt its fifth consecutive defeat, however the Double Blues have been competitive across the board this season and would be edging towards a victory sooner rather than later.

NORWOOD vs. WEST ADELAIDE
Saturday, March 23, 1.45pm
Coopers Stadium

In the Game of the Week, top-of-the-table Norwood takes on fourth placed West Adelaide in a vital game for shaping the top four early in the season. The Bloods are one of three teams with a 3-1 win-loss record and victory would be crucial in getting an upperhand on their rivals. The undefeated Redlegs have made three confirmed changes, with Elisha Gallagher and Rhiannon Busch key outs as they have army duties, while Zoe Greer will miss through injury. Into the side comes forward, Tara Robertson, GWS GIANTS defender, Ebony O’Dea and Crows’ onballer Sally Riley. For the Bloods, They have brought in four players to an extended team, including full-back Jacalyn Pickering and defender Emma Smith. Norwood deservedly head in as favourites and are expected to continue their undefeated run, but the Bloods knocked off Glenelg last week in a low-scoring contest, so could have the defensive ability to restrict the Redlegs. Riley, Monique Hollick and Najwa Allen is a formidable midfield, while O’Dea and Sophie Armitstead provide good rebound out of attack. For the Westies, Abbie Ballard has been a shining light in the midfield, while Maddie Newman and Chelsea Biddell have been others to watch this season.

CENTRAL DISTRICT vs. NORTH ADELAIDE
Saturday, March 23, 3.30pm
Coopers Stadium

In the final game of the double header at Coopers Stadium, the in-form Central District faces North Adelaide. The Bulldogs have won back-to-back games against the Eagles and Double Blues and will look to make it three on the trot against North Adelaide. The Roosters have had a tough draw to start the season and are unlucky to have just one win from four games. Victory would see North Adelaide have a chance of overtaking the Bulldogs, while also keeping the bottom two at arms-length. With more of a favourable draw coming up in the future, the Roosters could get on a roll. For the Round 5 match, just the combined two changes have been made with Alex Fittridge and Elysha Willis coming into the Roosters’ line-up, while four players have been added to an extended bench for Central District. This could be the game of the round if both teams play at their best, with firepower and consistent players across the field. Katelyn Rosenzweig has been a lively point at full-forward this season, while Jessica Sedunary has serious abiloty. Abbey Scheer and Demi Sonneman have been consistent so far this season, while Jayme-Lee Sonneman has stood tall in the ruck. For North Adelaide, Amber Ward has been a rebounding machine in defence, Kelly Barltrop has been a target up forward, while Leah Tynan, Nadia Von Bertouch and Rheanne Lugg have made a formidable midfield trio. North Adelaide could be considered favourites given their experience, but the Bulldogs have the confidence after stringing two wins together and the scoring power to make it three.

SOUTH ADELAIDE vs. WOODVILLE-WEST TORRENS
Saturday, March 23, 4.15pm
Flinders University Stadium

The final game of the round has reigning premiers South Adelaide coming up against a Woodville-West Torrens side that has been forced into making changes. The Panthers head into the game with a loss to Norwood the only blemish this season, having not put a foot wrong since then. The Eagles are still searching for their first win this season and team selection has not helped them. Sarah Perkins and key midfielder, Jaimi Tabb are unavailable, while Chloe Forby was suspended and Natalie Subelli forced out due to concussion. Add in the omissions of Taylor Hand and Amie Blanden and the Eagles head into the match with at least six different players to last round. Cassandra Glover will look to replace Perkins up forward, Georgia Taylor returns to the side to help out the defence as will Colbie Frankland. South Adelaide also lose a crucial player with Nikki Gore out due to AFL Women’s duties with Adelaide’s preliminary final against Geelong, while Alana Browne will miss due to a hamstring. The Panthers have brought four players into the mix, with Tonia Fielke slotting on a wing to replace Gore. The Panthers midfield might be missing Gore, but with Hannah Munyard, Czenya Cavouras, Elyse Haussen and Nicole Campbell in the team, it will make life difficult for the Eagles. Rachel Dunstan and Natasha Farrier are potential match-winners, while Kiana Lee will shoulder the load up forward and has plenty of talent. Stephanie Walker‘s work in defence is also important in this game as they look to cause an upset. Woodville-West Torrens will need to bring the heat for four quarters as the Panthers are an impressive outfit, but anything can happen on the right day.

Weekend preview: SANFL Women’s – Round 4

AFTER a week off, the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s competition recommences tonight for Round 4 action. The night sees a double header at X Convenience Oval, as well as 7pm games at both Flinders University Stadium and City Mazda Stadium. Two sides remain undefeated, and two are yet to get a win on the board in season 2019.

NORWOOD vs. WOODVILLE-WEST TORRENS
March 15, 6.45pm
X Convenience Oval

The first of two games at X Convenience Oval pits one of the premiership favourites, Norwood against newcomers, Woodville-West Torrens. The Eagles are yet to taste victory in season 2019, having gone down to Glenelg, Sturt and fellow 2019 debutants, Central District in the opening three rounds. For the Redlegs, they have answered every challenge thrown at them, knocking off the reigning premiers, South Adelaide, as well as North Adelaide and Sturt. They will head into this game as strong favourites to make it four in a row, while the Eagles will be keen to break their winless start to the season. Norwood’s team selection includes two forced outs with Bree-Anna Liebhadt and Emma Clark both out of the side with injury, while Jiarna Zerella has also made way. Into the team comes defender, Rosette Zerella, as well as Michele Reid, Zoe Greer and Tara Robertson who have all been named on an extended bench. For the Eagles, they lose a couple of players due to concussion, as Annastasia Falkenberg and Georgia Taylor are both out of the side. Jessica Wilson will be looked upon to play Taylor’s role out of defence, as the Eagles have also named ruck Taylor McKay and winger Tesharna Maher among five inclusions for their Round 4 clash. All eyes will be on both sides’ forward lines with Sarah Perkins and Kiana Lee providing some serious firepower up front for the Eagles, while Hannah Dunn has been a ball magnet this season, and has been named at centre half-forward. The Redlegs’ rebounding power of Sophie Armitstead and Monique Hollick will also give them an advantage, while a potential head-to-head between Najwa Allen and Jaimi Tabb could be a battle in itself. Expect Norwood to get the job done, but the Eagles have shown that if they can get it forward, they are always able to cause some headaches.

SOUTH ADELAIDE vs. NORTH ADELAIDE
March 15, 7pm
Flinders University Stadium

The clash of the round is set to occur at Flinders University Stadium, with last year’s minor premiers taking on the reigning premiers. The Roosters have had just the one win, but their losses have come against the two undefeated sides in Norwood and Glenelg. The Panthers’ only loss also came against the Redlegs, and they will head into the game as favourites, having pushed Norwood, and looked impressive in the other matches. The Roosters still have some really dangerous players, and their leaders will be keen to get a vital win here. South Adelaide have made three changes to their Round 3 side, with Tiffany Copley and Brianna Wedding both out due to injury. The Panthers have named an extra extended bench, bringing in five players, including forwards, Lauren Buchanan and Jess Kirk, and winger Nicole Campbell. Nikki Gore has been named on an extended bench, timing her debut with Adelaide in the AFL Women’s perfectly to coincide with a bye last week. For North, they have made three changes, as they bring back important onballer, Rheanne Lugg, as well as Cristie Castle and Kathryn Reynolds. Both sides contain some of the top players in the SANFL Women’s with South’s team brimming with young talent. From ruck/forward Montana McKinnon, to midfielders, Teah Charlton and Hannah Munyard, the Panthers have some future stars developing within the club. Czenya Cavouras tore the game apart in Round 3 and will once again be a key contributor in South’s efforts, while Madison Bennett and Jaslynne Smith are others who have gone through the Under 18s state side. For the Roosters, captain Nadia Von Bertouch has been consistent all season, and with Lugg back in the side the pair will combine with Leah Tynan through the inside, and look to set up leading goalkicker, Kelly Barltrop at full-forward. Meanwhile up the other end, Amber Ward has been a prolific rebounder this season and could be a player to set up attacking drives. South Adelaide head in as favourites, but North Adelaide are not a team to take lightly.

WEST ADELAIDE vs. GLENELG
March 15, 7pm
City Mazda Stadium

Both West Adelaide and Glenelg were undefeated heading into Round 3, but the Bloods dropped their first game of the season to South Adelaide, while the Tigers showed they were the most improved team of the competition by toppling the Roosters. In Round 4, Glenelg would look to win to keep touch with Norwood, while West Adelaide will keep its spot in the top four if it can salute in this game. The Bloods have lost ruck, Leah Swain due to work commitments, while Alana Lowery is out following a knee injury and suspension. Tekira Hoffman has been thrown into the ruck, while Phoebe Edwards returns to the side, slotting straight into full-back. Helen Maidment returns to the onball brigade, while Emma Smith and Alex Czabayski have been named on an extended bench. For the Tigers, they remain unchanged, with Olivia Walker-Obushak and Eirenn Harkness added to an extended interchange. West Adelaide’s forward targets of Chelsea Biddell and Melanie Elsegood always attract attention when going inside 50, while Lucy Bellinger and Hannah Crump have equally shown to be a handful to opposition sides. Samantha Franson will look to take advantage of the in-form Swain’s absence in the ruck, to get forward and try and hit the scoreboard. Ellen Fauser is another Tiger who has been impressive this season and will likely match-up on one of the twin towers in the Westies forward line. Abbie Ballard continues to develop for the Bloods, as does Maddie Newman, while Glenelg have a well balanced team that continues to get the job done. In this match, Glenelg will use their consistency across the field to head in as favourites, but West Adelaide are every chance of causing an upset.

CENTRAL DISTRICT vs. STURT
March 15, 8.30pm
X Convenience Oval

The second game in the double header at X Convenience Stadium sees newcomers, Central District go up against Sturt. The Bulldogs claimed their first win in Round 3 following a victory over Woodville-West Torrens, while a brave Double Blues side is still yet to taste a win, but is competitive each match. The Bulldogs have lost Isabella Wilson to suspension – a key out after the tall forward booted 2.2 from 11 disposals in the previous game. They have welcomed back Jessica Sedunary who will look to fill that void, while Karissa Searle has also been added into the forward mix. For Sturt, Nicole Baker has to miss due to work commitments, while Jess Schulz has been omitted. Key defender, Paxton Davis-Mattner comes into the side, as does forward, Brianna Burt. The game will see Sturt’s strong midfield take on a Central side that has some standout players across the ground without a dominant third in particular. Katelyn Rosenzweig looms as the X-factor up forward for the Eagles, with Abbey Scheer, Rebecca Catterall and Shalee O’Brien looking to win the ball in the midfield and get it forward. The half-back line of Gemma Doughty, Nicola Biagi and Chantelle Reynolds has been effective, while Sturt’s forward line that contains Georgia Swan and Caitlyn Swanson will need some careful watching. Izzy Kuiper, Maya Rigter and Georgia Bewvan are a challenging midfield at the best of times for any opposition and with a forward line that shares goals around, it will be an unpredictable set-up to combat. Sturt might not have won a game yet, but the Double Blues have never been out of a contest and remain firmly in contention to be a competitive outfit in season 2019. Expect them to go hard at the contest and they could almost be favourites, although Central’s efforts last week were very impressive.

Weekend wash-up: SANFL Women’s – Round 3

IN the third round of the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s competition, Glenelg and Norwood remained unbeaten, while Central District picked up its first win of the season and South Adelaide bounced back with a victory.

GLENELG 3.1 | 4.2 | 5.3 | 7.6 (48)
NORTH ADELAIDE 2.1 | 4.2 | 5.3 | 5.3 (33)

GOALS:

Glenelg: Madisyn Freeman 2, Hannah Crump, Tamsyn Morriss, Lucy Armitage, Samantha Franson.
North: Kelly Barltrop 2, Lauren Daniel, Nadia von Bertouch, Paige Allan.

DISPOSALS:

Glenelg: Chelsea Packer 16
North: Amber Ward 15

In the opening game of the round, last year’s wooden spooners, Glenelg showed the opening two rounds were far from a fluke, knocking off preliminary finalist, North Adelaide in a 15-point win at City Mazda Stadium. In a high-scoring opening term, Norwood got on the board first courtesy of a goal from Lauren Daniel, before three consecutive goals to Glenelg had them hit the front by 12 points. Roosters’ leading goalkicker, Kelly Barltrop scored one more before quarter time to cut the deficit to six points, before Paige Allan leveled the score just two minutes into the second term. Madisyn Freeman booted her second of the contest shortly before Barltrop nailed her second and both sides were level at the main break. A goal each in the third term could still not split them, before Glenelg’s Rebecca Steer and Hannah Crump both made opportunities count in the last term to record an impressive win. Chelsea Packer was the highest ball winner for the Tigers, racking up 16 touches, four rebounds and two tackles, while Jordan Bardley (five inside 50s) and Lucy Bellinger (six tackles) both had 12 disposals. For North, Amber Ward had 15 disposals and four rebounds in the loss, while Nadia Von Bertouch laid five tackles from 14 disposals and booted a goal. Leah Tynan played an important role with seven tackles from 10 disposals and three inside 50s, while Adrienne Davis recorded four inside 50s as well as 14 touches. Next round after a bye, Glenelg hopes to make it four on the trot when they take on West Adelaide, while North Adelaide takes on reigning premiers, South Adelaide.

CENTRAL DISTRICT | 2.1 | 5.1 | 8.5 | 10.6 (66)
WWT EAGLES 1.1 | 2.6 | 2.8 | 5.8 (38)

GOALS:

Central: Katelyn Rosenzweig 3, Isabella Wilson, Chantel Reynolds 2, Abbey Scheer, Amy Fisher.
Eagles: Sarah Perkins 2, Kiana Lee, Stephanie Walker, Rachel Dunstan.

DISPOSALS:

Central: Abbey Scheer, Danielle Stewart 13
Eagles: Stephanie Walker 18, Jaimi Tabb 15, Kiana Lee, Sarah Perkins

Central District gained the early bragging rights between the league’s two newst sides, running out 28-point winners over Woodville-West Torrens. Both sides headed into the game with two consecutive losses under their belts, but it was the Eagles who struck first blood. A goal to Kiana Lee resulted in the visitors taking an early lead, before Bulldogs Isabella Wilson and Katelyn Rosenzweig booted goals before the first break to lead by six points. The Eagles missed a number of opportunities in the second term and Central District made them pay, with Tara McDermott, Sarah Perkins and Kiana Lee (the latter two twice) all missing opportunities. Wilson and Rosenzweig both scored majors, as did Chantel Reynolds, while Perkins kicked the Eagles’ only goal of the term to trail by 13 points at the main break. Central District went on with it after the half, as Amy Fisher, Reynolds and Rosenzweig all capitalised, though they also missed a number of opportunities in the scorching heat, but took a 33-point lead into the final break. Goals to Rachel Dunstan and Perkins early in the fourth quarter cut the deficit to 22, but Abbey Scheer snuffed out any chance of a comeback with an important goal as the Bulldogs ran out comfortable winners. The Bulldogs shared the ball around with no-one dominating possession as Scheer and Danielle Stewart both recorded 13 touches. Stewart also had four inside 50s, three rebounds and five tackles, while Gemma Doughty was strong in defence with five rebounds. Alicia Butler laid a team-high seven tackles from her nine disposals. Stephanie Walker was the Eagles’ highest ball winner with 18 disposals, seven inside 50s and two rebounds, while Jaimi Tabb was prolific again with 15 disposals, five inside 50s and five tackles. Lee and Perkins were the key targets but missed some opportunities, booting 3.5 between them. After the bye, Central District hosts the winless Sturt in a chance to go back-to-back wins, while Woodville-West Torrens faces premiership favourites Norwood.

NORWOOD 1.2 | 2.5 | 3.6 | 5.7 (37)
STURT 2.0 | 3.0 | 3.2 | 3.5 (23)

GOALS:

Norwood: Emma Clark, Jo Hill, Monique Hollick, Najwah Allen, Kate Fenton.
Sturt: Sophie Hoyle, Lauren Lovell, Lane Trenorden.

DISPOSALS:

Norwood: Sophie Armitstead 19, Monique Hollick 18
Sturt: Hannah Prenzler 14

Norwood did what many expected the Redlegs to do, but not without a fight. The undefeated side took on the winless Double Blues, but found themselves 12 points down early following goals from Sophie Hoyle and Lane Trenorden. Jo Hill booted a late major for the Redlegs to cut the deficit to four points at the first break, then Monique Hollick made it count midway through the second term. Lauren Lovell booted on on the edge of half-time for the Double Blues to hit the front, but only by a point at the main break. The second half belonged to Norwood as the Double Blues could only boot five behinds as Kate Fenton, Emma Clark and Najwa Allen all converted opportunities to run over the top of Sturt and remain undefeated from three rebounds. Sophie Armitstead had 19 disposals, nine tackles, four inside 50s and two rebounds, while Hollick was busy with 17 touches, six tackles, four inside 50s and a goal. Leah Cutting was dominant once again in the ruck with the former basketballer amassing 28 hitouts and six tackles from nine disposals, while Alison Ferrall and Rhiannon Busch were vital in the back half with a combined seven rebounds. For Sturt, Hannah Prenzler recorded a team-high 14 disposals as well as two inside 50s, four rebounds and four tackles, while Alex Ballard and Lucy Griffith both had 13 touches. After next round’s bye, Norwood hosts the winless Eagles, while Sturt hopes to break its winless drought against Central District.

SOUTH ADELAIDE 3.1 | 4.2 | 5.4 | 7.6 (48)
WEST ADELAIDE 1.1 | 2.2 | 4.2 | 5.2 (32)

GOALS:

South: Indy Tahou 2, Teah Charlton, Danielle Goding, Hannah Munyard, Madison Bennett.
West: Chelsea Biddell 2, Melanie Elsegood, Emma Smith, Zoe Venning.

DISPOSALS:

South: Czenya Cavouras 29, Teah Charlton, Nikki Gore 19, Samantha Pratt 15
West: Abbie Ballard 18, Rebecca Owen 16

In the final game of the round, reigning premiers South Adelaide showed their class with a 16-point win over West Adelaide. The Bloods headed into the game undefeated having knocked over the two new clubs of the competition, and leading goalkicker, Chelsea Biddell booted the opening goal of the game to give the visitors some hope. Indy Tahau, Madison Bennett and Mykala Walker-Murphy all booted goals heading into the first break to take a 12-point advantage into quarter time. Melanie Elsegood was quick to get West Adelaide back on the board early in the second term, but Danielle Goding scored in the dying minutes to re-extend the lead back to two goals. By the final break West Adelaide showed they were up for the fight thanks to goals to Emma Smith and Zoe Venning to draw within eight points at three quarter time. When Biddell booted the first goal of the fourth quarter to give the Bloods hope, the reigning premiers found an answer in Hannah Munyard and Indy Tahau who both found the big sticks and resulted in the Panthers recording a solid victory over much improved opposition. Panthers big ball winner, Czenya Cavouras had 10 more touches than anyone else in the competition on Friday, racking up 29 disposals as well as 10 tackles and five inside 50s. Teah Charlton (19 disposals, three tackles and two inside 50s) and Nikki Gore (19 disposals, six tackles and three inside 50s) were also productive, while Montana McKinnon continued her good season in her top-age year with 23 hitouts from 14 disposals, seven marks (a massive five contested), two tackles and two inside 50s. Abbie Ballard was the top disposal winner for the Bloods with 18, also recording six tackles and three inside 50s, while Rebecca Owen (16 disposals, four marks, four tackles, two inside 50s and three rebounds) and Madison Newman (13 disposals, two tackles, three inside 50s and four rebounds) were also impressive despite the loss. After the bye, South Adelaide takes on the Roosters, while West Adelaide hosts the undefeated Glenelg.

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.