Tag: bella smith

Travel just the beginning for Bella Smith

TWELVE hours in the car to get to and from training and games is not the first choice for any budding footballer, but for Bella Smith, it was an easy choice when the Eyre Peninsula local opted to play women’s football in Adelaide. Whilst she did end up moving to Adelaide in the recent years, Smith still remembers the long car journeys to begin her career in the sport she loved.

“I’m originally from Eyre Peninsula so I started playing with the boys up until I was 14 until I was told I wasn’t able to play anymore with the boys,” Smith said. “So I gave it up for a bit because I wasn’t allowed in. “I ended up moving to Adelaide when I was 16 and brought it back up. Had my first season with the girls last year and went from there. “(I) went from under 17s with Norwood, and got into the Under 18s team last year and the Allies last year. (I) came back again this year with the Norwood SANFL team.”

The success of Norwood in the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s has helped Smith develop and learn from some of the most talented footballers in the country. It was such a successful program that Head Coach Steve Symonds earned the chance at coaching the elite competition at Collingwood in the AFL Women’s for the 2020 season. Smith said the group was close and wanted to achieve success together, and while they missed out on the elusive premiership this year, they still loved the season.

“It was awesome to be in such a successful team,” she said. “We had such a great minor rounds series and we were just a really tight knit group. “We all wanted to get better, we were all training as a squad and it was really good to be in that sort of environment just learning off other players such as Sally Riley when she’d come back from the Crows. “It was just so good to learn from people who had been so successful.”

Over the years, Smith has noticed a marked improvement in the talent across the board in women’s football, with both the competition and training standards held in much higher regards.

“The talent is just growing more and more,” Smith said. “It’s just getting more competitive and the elite standards. “The standards have just grown so much – just over the past year and it’s just going to continue to grow so much.”

For all the travel as she paved the way to her eventual state representation at the 2019 AFL Women’s Under-18 Championships, Smith said there was always the passion burning inside her. Smith thanked her parents for their support and credited them for inspiring her to believe in herself and her career.

“I have my parents have to thank for that, they had to give up so much for me to keep travelling and ended up moving me over,” she said. “Just having that support behind me has been awesome.”

As for on-field, an AFL Women’s premiership captain has been one who Smith has looked up to and tried to model her game on and off the field.

“If I’m talking about role models, I’d probably say Chelsea Randall,” Smith said. “I just think she’s such a fierce competitor. Just the way she plays, I just love watching her play, it’s just so awesome. Watching her train and her work ethic, it’s just so admirable.”

While her top-age year has crept up, The 182cm Smith has been working hard to continually improve her game and hope to take it to another level going forward.

“I think working on would be probably my athleticism, just getting more endurance into me,” Smith said. “As well as using my body a bit more, probably my strengths are my hands and my kicking. I’m able to take a few good marks here and there and can kick a fair distance which is good and efficient.”

Weekend preview: SANFL Women’s – Round 10

AFTER an entertaining nine rounds, everything comes down to the final week with five teams attempting to squeeze into four in what is set to be an entertaining Round 10 of football in the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s competition. The only guarantee is Norwood has locked up the minor premiership, with a double-chance on offer for North Adelaide with a win, and a loss to South Adelaide, who will have stiff opposition in West Adelaide with Bloods having to win to book a finals place. Their poor percentage means a loss will certainly see them drop out of the four assuming Glenelg can topple the winless Woodville-West Torrens. For the Eagles, Sturt and Central District, they cannot make finals, but they can certainly shape the top four if they throw spanners in the works with upsets.

STURT vs. NORTH ADELAIDE
Saturday May 4, 10.45am
Peter Motley Oval

In the first game on Saturday, the only guarantee is that North Adelaide will play finals, and Sturt will not. With a massive percentage of 184, the Roosters have been the dominant scoring team since being 1-3 after four rounds. They have strung together five straight wins, albeit against lower sides, and this is no different with a match against the bottom three side Sturt. With all bottom three sides facing finals hopefuls, it will be a tough ask for them to get up and cause an upset, meaning Sturt will likely finish six ahead of the two newcomers. A win would be a just reward for the Double Blues’ efforts this season, but there is much more on the line for North Adelaide. If the Roosters win, and West Adelaide cause an upset against the Panthers, and North Adelaide slides into second spot, and the double chance. The Roosters percentage is better than South Adelaide, but are a game behind and therefore must win to take the spot. If Glenelg does make it into the finals series, it will mean the Roosters are surrounded by the only three teams they have lost to, but they were incredibly close contests. The last time North Adelaide and Sturt faced off was in Round 2, with the Roosters getting the win in a seven-point contest. It was North Adelaide’s only victory in the first four rounds, while Sturt had to wait until Round 5 for its first triumph. In the Round 2 clash, Roosters’ captain Nadia Von Bertouch lead from the front with 20 disposals, four marks, four clearances and six inside 50s, while Kelly Barltrop announced herself as a genuine leading goalkicker this season with five straight snags from six kicks. For Sturt, Georgia Bevan was her characteristic dominant self, picking up 24 touches as well as eight clearances, three inside 50s and two rebounds. Looking ahead to this weekend, both sides have been forced to make a couple of changes with Ashleigh Woodland injured and Julia Clark unavailable for North, while for Sturt, Jess Schulz and Casey Fraser will miss the Double Blues’ final game of the season. Into the underdogs side comes forwards, Zoe Prowse and Holly Temby, while Paige Allan is a massive inclusion for the Roosters for an already brimming midfield. The midfield battle will be the highlight of the game, with Bevan, Maya Rigter and Caitlyn Swanson going head-to-head with the likes of Allan, Brittany Perry and Kat Reynolds. The Roosters’ forward line is dynamic and hard to stop, with Barltrop leading the way, although Cristie Castle and Leah Tynan have both been able to find avenues to go, and the likes of Paxton Davis-Mattner and Hannah Prenzler will be keen to restrict those players. Up the other end of the ground, Georgia Swan, Nicole Baker and Alex Ballard can cause their own headaches for the Roosters’ defence. but Amber Ward has been as consistent as they come this season, so look to her for plenty of rebound, whereas the Double Blues will be keen to shut her down in this match. North Adelaide have to be overwhelming favourites in this game. The Roosters could take second with a win, but could also drop to fourth with a loss, so everything is on the line, and as far and away the highest scoring team, they should have too much firepower for the Double Blues.

CENTRAL DISTRICT vs. NORWOOD
Saturday May 4, 12.20pm
Alberton Oval

The second game of the round pits minor premiers Norwood up against Central District at Alberton Oval at a touch just after midday. It is the only game of the round that does not have a bearing on the finals race, with Norwood having locked up top spot a couple of weeks ago, and could even afford to lose to second placed South Adelaide in Round 9. If there is anything we have come to know about champion teams that have a rare loss, it is that they are fully determined to atone for that loss the next week, which could spell trouble for the Bulldogs. Central District could jump ahead of Sturt with a victory, but cannot fall lower than seventh on the table, safe in the knowledge that fellow newcomer to the competition, Woodville-West Torrens has taken out the wooden spoon for season 2019. These two teams do not have to look far to find the last time they faced off, with the Round 7 match going comfortably the way of the Redlegs. After keeping touch with them in the ladder leaders in the first half, Central District eventually relented as Norwood piled on six consecutive goals before the Bulldogs booted their second major, resulting in a 38-point win to the favourites. Najwa Allen suffered a bout of leather poisoning on the day, racking up 30 touches as well as nine marks, two clearances, three inside 50s, two rebounds and 2.2 in a best afield performance. Hannah Dunn and Monique Hollick both had 22 touches and combined for 13 marks and eight inside 50s, while Central’s Jayme-Lee Sonneman did all she could in the ruck with 17 hitouts and eight clearances to go with 13 disposals. Gemma Doughty (13 disposals, four rebounds) and Shannen Solly (12 disposals, three rebounds) also stood up in defence for the losing side. Heading into this match, Central has made at least four changes, with Laitiah Huynh – the Bulldogs’ highest disposal winner in these sides’ last match – back into the team, while Norwood has lost Alison Ferrall to injury, with Jane Fitzgerald coming into a forward pocket. The game may lack the finals-defining quality of the other games over the weekend, but the Redlegs will still have plenty to focus on, finishing the season on a high and heading into a clash with either South Adelaide – who the Redlegs lost to in Round 9 – or the red-hot scoring machine that is North Adelaide. Either way Norwood will have a tough task and will be keen to take care of business in this game. It is spoken about each week in this preview, but the ridiculous depth in the Redlegs midfield is sensational with Allen, Hollick and Dunn, as well as former Adelaide midfielder, Sally Riley, as well as Hannah Priest, Tahlia Meyer and Sophie Armitstead rolling through there. Matilda Zander and Rhiannon Busch have had some terrific games, while Jo Hill and Bella Smith make up a strong key defensive combination, and Leah Cutting is a dominant ruck. Along with the other top three sides, Norwood has all the hallmarks of a premiership side. Central have the beginnings of a great side, but are not quite there. Katelyn Rosenzweig is a developing key forward, the Sonneman sisters (Jayme-Lee and Demi) are always key players in the side, while Kimberley Fry, Chantel Reynolds and Danielle Stewart have all had their moments throughout 2019. It is almost impossible to look past Norwood in this clash. Everyone is hoping the Bulldogs can finish off their season with a strong performance, although with Norwood casting an eye ahead to the next few weeks in what will be a big finals series, the Redlegs must play with finals intensity so expect them to come away with a comfortable win.

SOUTH ADELAIDE vs. WEST ADELAIDE
Saturday May 4, 4.15pm
Flinders University Stadium

The most finals-defining game of the round is that between South Adelaide and West Adelaide, for the simple reason that both teams have so much to gain, and to lose by the result. If South Adelaide triumphs, the Panthers secure second spot and a double chance to try and topple Norwood for the second time in three weeks when they face off in the semi-final next weekend. That result would likely see West Adelaide tumble out of the four with Glenelg taking on the winless Woodville-West Torrens. Despite being a win ahead of the Tigers, the Westies have the worst percentage of any finals hopeful, and it is now coming back to bite them. If however, the Bloods can get up in the game, they will secure a finals birth, and, if North Adelaide somehow drops its game wot Sturt, can even take third on the table. In that scenario, South Adelaide would still retain second, but in the much more likely scenario, the Roosters would have their way with the Double Blues, snatching second spot at the expense of the Panthers in the process. So all in all, this game has everything on the line which makes for a fascinating contest. The last time these teams met was back on March 1 in Round 3 when the Panthers got the job done in a 16-point win. Czenya Cavouras was easily best on ground in the win, amassing 29 disposals, and having a whopping nine clearances, five inside 50s and laying 10 tackles. Teah Charlton showed promise as she has all season, racking up 19 disposals and booting a goal alongside Adelaide midfielder, Nikki Gore. Montana McKinnon was superb in the ruck with 23 hitouts, four clearances and five of her seven marks contested. For West Adelaide, Abbie Ballard had a team-high 18 touches, as well as four clearances, three inside 50s and six tackles, while sharp shooter, Chelsea Biddell snagged two majors from 13 disposals and five marks (two contested). Looking ahead to this weekend, on paper, South Adelaide has the stronger side, the depth across the ground is terrific and the midfield up there with Norwood in terms of both ability and depth. They don’t have a dominant forward like some teams, relying on contributions from not only forwards, but midfielders as well. West Adelaide have Biddell who has shown herself to be capable of kicking a bag on her day when she is on fire, but she will not be there to help them in this clash. The Bloods have made at least three changes to their side, with full-back Kelly Whittaker and forward Ashlea Brown among the inclusions to the side with Leah Swain among those out of the team. For the Panthers, they will miss the impact of Lauren Buchanan who did her knee, but will welcome back Emogen Johnson and Brooklyn Kraft to the forward line, and Samantha Pratt into defence. While Ballard and ball magnet Rachelle Martin can be huge influences for their team, the likes of Cavouras, Hannah Munyard, Elyse Haussen and Nicole Campbell form a dominant midfield brigade, and one of the few that can go toe-for-toe with Norwood’s star-studded line-up. For the likes of Charlton, Munyard and McKinnon, they will have the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships coming up over the next couple of months and will be keen to continue their great form, while from a team perspective, will be excited to tackle the imminent finals series. The Bloods know a loss will more than likely mean the end of their season after sitting in the top four for the entire season, which would leave a bitter taste in their mouths. Melanie Elsegood and Emma Smith will be the ones needing to pile scores on the board for the Bloods, while Maddie Newman and Lauren Rodato will hope to provide good rebound out of defence. Helen Maidment and Rebecca Owen can add to the movement in transition on the outside, but face a stiff opposition this weekend. South Adelaide are the team to beat at the moment having slayed the top side last round, but West Adelaide must be respected as they have done enough thus far to put themselves in a position to contend for finals.

GLENELG vs. WOODVILLE-WEST TORRENS
Saturday May 4, 5.15pm
ACH Group Stadium

The final game of the round is another match with huge consequences for one side, as Glenelg battles to snatch fourth spot. The Tigers need to win against the winless Eagles, who are unable to move off the bottom of the table, but could end their season on a high with their inaugural victory. The biggest problem the Eagles will have in achieving this feat comes in Adelaide Crows star, Ebony Marinoff who simply dominated last week, picking up the most disposals of any player this season, in her debut. She is a class above and will be one that has to be watched and restricted if the Eagles are to be any chance in this match. These two teams first met in Round 1 with Glenelg coming off a wooden spoon but victory in Round 1, and Woodville-West Torrens playing its first match in the competition. Despite hitting the front late in the first quarter courtesy of a Kiana Lee goal, the Eagles were no match for the Tigers as Glenelg piled on six of the last seven goals of the match to record a comfortable 35-point victory. The versatile Lucy Bellinger had 23 disposals, 10 marks (two contested), four inside 50s, five tackles and two goals, while Ellen Fauser and Samantha Franson both booted a goal from 15 disposals. For the Eagles, Jaimi Tabb had a strong performance through the midfield with 17 disposals, five clearances and five inside 50s, while Georgia Taylor played her best game of the season, rebounding the ball nine times while clocking up 17 disposals in the loss. Looking to the final game of the season on Saturday, Hannah Crump and Tamsyn Morriss have been brought in as some extra firepower for the Tigers, with no confirmed outs as of yet. For the Eagles, Rachel Dunstan returns to the side on an extended bench, with Courtney Plowman and Eboni Tiller also named there, while Jo Baltais has slotted into the ruck to allow Taylor McKay to play forward and provide some much needed height inside 50. When looking at the sides on paper, it is hard to look past the influence Marinoff will have, and the importance for the Eagles to send a player to watch her all game. It will not be easy, but if the likes of Natalie Subelli and Natasha Farrier can continue their good form, then it opens up possibilities for the underdogs. Lee is a future star and will find the ball wherever it foes inside 50, while Taylor has been playing forward of late and could be an X-factor in there, as could Tabb who will provide fresh legs off the bench and run all day while finding the pill. Tesharna Maher and Stephanie Walker are the defenders Woodville-West Torrens needs to provide the movement out of the back half, while still minding the likes of Bellinger and Lucy Armitage who can be dangerous forwards. Tess Morcom and Franson are consistent key defenders, while Gould can rotate through the ruck or defence, and Madisyn Freeman has the run to help the Tigers out of trouble. Glenelg would be the overwhelming favourites in this game given their position, the Eagles’ position and the finals predicament that the home side faces, not to mention the star quality they have with Marinoff in the team. The Eagles need to play at their best to secure their first win, but with so much on the line for Glenelg, it is hard to see them slipping up in this contest.

Weekend wash-up: SANFL Women’s – Round 6

MOVING past the halfway point of the season, premiership favourites Norwood remain undefeated, while North Adelaide and South Adelaide both flexed their muscles against the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s new sides, and West Adelaide grabbed another four points bouncing back from a poor performance last week.

NORWOOD 1.4 | 1.4 | 4.7 | 4.8 (32)
GLENELG 1.0 | 2.3 | 2.3 | 3.3 (21)

GOALS:

Norwood: Hannah Dunn, Monique Hollick, Bella Smith, Sophie Armitstead.
Glenelg: Lauren Bungey, Samantha Franson, Bonnie Wells.

DISPOSALS:

Norwood: Hannah Dunn 26, Monique Hollick 20, Hanna Priest 16, Sophie Armitstead 15
Glenelg: Caitlin Gould, Chelsea Packer 15

After two goalless weeks, Glenelg took less than a minute to get on the board with a major through Bonnie Wells getting their match started. Norwood peppered the goals early, booting one goal from five attempts as Hannah Dunn became the sole Redlegs goalkicker in the first term to hand the undefeated side a four-point advantage at the first break. Refusing to fade away, Glenelg put in a strong defensive effort in the second term to hold the Redlegs scoreless, while booting 1.3 themselves as Samantha Franson converted an opportunity in the tenth minute. After heading into the main break with a surprise five-point lead, the Tigers were hit by a determined Norwood in the third term as Monique Hollick and Bella Smith booted goals in the opening five minutes, before Sophie Armitstead added a third for the top-of-the-table side to race away to a 16-point lead at the final break. Lauren Bungey gave the Tigers hope early in the final term with a major to put the visitors within 10 points, but neither side could seemingly convert chances into opportunities in the final quarter and that was enough for Norwood to take home the four points with a 4.8 (32) to 3.3 (21) win. Dunn led the way for the Redlegs with 26 disposals, six marks, four tackles, three clearances, three inside 50s and two rebounds, while Hollick had 20 touches, 10 marks, three tackles and four rebounds. Hannah Priest (16 disposals, four inside 50s and three rebounds) and Leah Cutting (nine disposals, 25 hitouts) were also impressive, while Armitstead was again productive with a goal from 15 disposals, five clearances and three inside 50s. For the Tigers, it was Caitlin Gould with 15 disposals, 17 hitouts, six tackles, seven clearances and four inside 50s who was the clear standout against a strong opponent, while Chelsea Packer had 15 disposals, six marks, three tackles and three rebounds. Brooke Trevena was strong in defence with five rebounds from 12 disposals. Next week, Glenelg hosts South Adelaide, while the Redlegs look to make it seven consecutive wins when they face Central District.

 

WEST ADELAIDE 1.0 | 3.4 | 5.4 | 6.7 (43)
STURT 4.0 | 5.0 | 5.1 | 5.1 (31)

GOALS:

West: Chelsea Biddell 4, Melanie Elsegood, Helen Maidment.
Sturt: Caitlyn Swanson 2, Tess Maple, Sophie Hoyle, Hannah Prenzler.

DISPOSALS:

West: Madison Newman 21, Chelsea Biddell 20, Abbie Ballard 18
Sturt: Caitlyn Swanson 16, Casey Fraser, Maya Rigter 15

A sluggish West Adelaide has run over the top of Sturt to bounce back from a disapppointing performance the week before and ensure the Double Blues did not make it two consecutive wins. Sturt blew the Westies out of the water early, as Caitlyn Swanson booted two majors, while Sophie Hoyle and Hannah Prenzler also got in on the act with goals, as dominant goalkicker Chelsea Biddell was her side’s sole scorer. The Double Blues stunned the favourites to lead by 18 points at quarter time, and when Tess Maple converted to respond to a second Biddell goal, the Double Blues had five majors on the board, and were three goals up. Unfortunately for the Double Blues, Biddell and her teammates were not going to fade away, converting a third goal in the dying minutes before half-time, then putting her side in front midway through the third term, with her fourth following a Melanie Elsegood goal. While Sturt had managed to stem the goals, the Double Blues could only manage the one behind in the second half, as Helen Maidment consolidated the result with a final goal in the last quarter to hand West Adelaide a 6.7 (43) to 5.1 (31) win over Sturt. Madison Newman had a game-high 21 disposals – 19 of which were kicks – as well as five marks (one contested), eight inside 50s and five rebounds. Biddell worked hard up the ground for 20 disposals and four marks (one contested) as well as four inside 50s and her four goals. Abbie Ballard (18 touches, six inside 50s and seven tackles) was good, while Tekira Hoffman had five clearances and 10 disposals to go with her 15 hitouts in the ruck. For Sturt, Swanson had 16 disposals, two marks and four clearances to go with her two majors from the first term, while Maya Rigter was strong again with a game-high 11 tackles as well as 15 disposals, five clearances and five inside 50s. Casey Fraser (15 disposals), Kate Harris (13 and seven tackles) and Nicole Baker (12 and six) were also among the Double Blues’ best. Next week West Adelaide take on North Adelaide in a crucial clash with finals ramifications, while Sturt will hope to win their second game in a bottom two match against Woodville-West Torrens.

 

SOUTH ADELAIDE 1.0 | 1.1 | 4.5 | 9.7 (61)
CENTRAL DISTRICT 1.2 | 1.3 | 1.3 | 1.3 (9)

GOALS:

South: Mykala Walker-Murphy 4, Teah Charlton, Nicole Campbell, Danielle Goding, Jessica Kirk, Hannah Munyard.
Central: Chantel Reynolds.

DISPOSALS:

South: Czenya Cavouras, Teah Charlton 22, Nicole Campbell, Cheyenne Hammond 20, Hannah Munyard 18, Emogen Johnson, Sarah Wright 17, Jaslynne Smith 16, Indy Tahau, Montana McKinnon 15
Central: Danielle Stewart 23, Demi Sonneman 15

Despite a slow start, South Adelaide has stormed to a massive 52-point win over Central District to win its fifth concecutive match. Danielle Goding converted the first opportunity for the Panthers five minutes into the opening term, before Chantel Reynolds responded for the Bulldogs late in the quarter for Central District to hold an unlikely two-point lead at quarter time. The visitors managed to maintain their defensive pressure in the second term as both sides added just one behind for the Bulldogs to retain a two-point advantage at the main break. The half-time address must have been something special for South Adelaide as the Panthers clicked into gear and went back to the level everyone has come to expect of them this season, piling on eight goals from 14 scoring schots, while keeping their opponents scoreless in a dominant 40 minutes of football. Mykala Walker-Murphy booted four goals to be the true headache inside 50, while Teah Charlton, Nicole Campbell, Jessica Kirk and Hannah Munyard all got on the goalkickers list in the 9.7 (61) to 1.3 (9) victory. Czenya Cavouras had an equal team-high 22 touches as well as five clearances, three inside 50s and seven tackles, while Charlton also had 22 disposals, four marks, four clearances, four inside 50s as well as 1.2. Campbell and Cheyenne Hammond had plenty of the football with 20 disposals apiece, while Campbell also had three clearances, four inside 50s and eight tackles. Munyard (18 disposals, four tackles) Emogen Johnson (17 disposals) and Sarah Wright (17) were also prominent in the victory. Young ruck, Montana McKinnon had another 16 hitouts to go with 15 disposals, three clearances and five inside 50s. For the losing side, Danielle Stewart tried hard with 23 disposals, two marks, six clearances, six rebounds, two inside 50s and four tackles, while Demi Sonneman was strong with 15 touches, six rebounds and seven tackles. Jayme-Lee Sonneman (13 dicsposals, three clearances, three rebounds and three tackles) and Kimberley Fry (10 disposals six tackles and two rebounds) were other Bulldogs in double-figure disposals. Next week the Panthers take on Glenelg as the Tigers hope to respond to three consecutive losses, while Central District host Norwood in the toughest challenge in the league at present.

NORTH ADELAIDE 2.3 | 4.5 | 6.9 | 8.9 (57)
WWT EAGLES 0.1 | 1.1 | 1.1 | 1.2 (8)

GOALS:

North: Kelly Barltrop 3, Emma Sampson, Adrienne Davies 2, Kathryn Reynolds.
Eagles: Cassandra Glover.

DISPOSALS:

North: Nadia von Bertouch 22, Lauren Daniel, Brittany Perry 19, Leah Tynan 18
Eagles: Jovanka Zecevic 19

North Adelaide is starting to kick into gear, trouncing cellar dwellers Woodville-West Torrens in an impressive 49-point win on Sunday. The Roosters had their work cut out for them early before eventually shaking off the bottom side in an 8.9 (57) to 1.2 (8) victory. Adrienne Davies booted the first two goals of the match for the Roosters to take a 14-point lead into quarter time, before Cassandra Glover booted the Eagles’ first in the fifth minute of the second term. From there it was all North Adelaide as Kelly Barltrop took control to add a couple more majors before the half-time break and continue her likely leading goalkicker award campaign. After four consecutive behinds in the third term, Barltrop added her third, and Emma Sampson joined the party with back-to-back goals either side of three quarter time. Kathryn Reynolds converted her first in the fifteenth minute of the last quarter, to help the Roosters to the eye-opening win. Nadia Von Bertouch again led from the front with the captain picking up 22 disposals, seven marks, eight tackles and four inside 50s, while Lauren Daniel and Brittany Perry both managed 19 disposals, the latter of which als ohad five marks (two contested), five clearances, three inside 50s, four rebounds and six tackles. Leah Tynan was strong on the inside with six clearances from 18 touches, while Sampson had 14 touches and five marks to go with her two goals. For the Eagles, Jovanka Zecevic stood up with 19 disposals, one mark and five rebounds in defence, while Jaimi Tabb made a welcome return to the midfield with 14 disposals, two marks, four clearances, four inside 50s, two rebounds and six tackles. Stephanie Walker had three rebounds and four tackles to go with 12 touches, while Grace Smallacombe also had four rebounds from her nine disposals. Next week North Adelaide travel to face their West counterparts, while Woodville-West Torrens takes on Sturt in a bottom two clash.

Vic Metro finishes off Championships with dominant win

VIC Metro has recorded a comprehensive 45-point win over Central Allies to end their successful AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships. Breathing fire from their loss to Queensland on Wednesday, the Victorian side was back to its menacing best early as Calder stars Maddy Prespakis and Georgia Patrikios lit it up from the midfield, causing damage going into the forward 50. The damage was quite literal from Prespakis’ end as a tackle in the last minute of the term saw Bella Smith stretchered off, with goals from Holly Bate, Daisy Bateman and Gabby Newton seeing Metro to a 13-point lead at the first break. Montana McKinnon marked everything early for the Allies, while Rachelle Martin snared their sole goal with a snap.

It was more of the same in the second term as Cleo Saxon-Jones and Britney Gutknecht hit the scoreboard for Metro with Prespakis again at her damaging best, while McKinnon’s marking display continued for Central, with Hannah Munyard finding plenty of the ball. Metro were unlucky not to go into the main break with a bigger buffer, as the likes of Bateman and Bate were in everything inside forward 50 – instead, the margin stood at 25 points.

With Central Allies held to just a sole behind in each of the second and third quarters, Metro shot out to 51-point lead going into the final break with Bateman and Newton booting their second majors, while Prespakis also found her way onto the scoresheet with 1.2 and plenty of forward run. Amber Ward and Nikki Gore were solid for Central in the ‘premiership quarter’ but could do little to stop the onslaught.

Despite Metro’s Gutknecht claiming her second major to start the term, Central did well to pull the margin back with goals to Danielle Ponter and Katelyn Rosenzweig, while Madison Bennett looked dangerous despite copping a hard knock up forward. Metro’s Mikala Cann and Sarah Sansonetti contributed well coming out of defence in the final term as the ball spent a lot of time there in a tighter end to the contest. Munyard, McKinnon and Madeline Gault were fantastic all day for the Allies, while Prespakis dominated from midfield and half-forward alongside the likes of Bateman, Patrikios and Katie Lynch to notch their big win.

Final scores:

VIC METRO: 3.1 | 5.2 | 9.5 | 10.6 (66)
CENTRAL ALLIES 1.0 | 1.0 | 1.2 | 3.3 (21)

GOALS:

VIC METRO: Gabby Newton 2, Daisy Bateman 2, Britney Gutknecht 2, Cleo Saxon-Jones, Holly Bate, Madison Prespakis, Georgia Patrikios.
CENTRAL ALLIES: Danielle Ponter, Katelyn Rosenzweig, Rachelle Martin.

ADC BEST:

VIC METRO: Madison Prespakis, Georgia Patrikios, Daisy Bateman, Katie Lynch, Sarah Kendall, Eleanor Brown
CENTRAL ALLIES: Hannah Munyard, Montana McKinnon, Madeline Gault, Nikki Gore, Amber Ward, Madison Bennett

South Australian Under 18 Girls squad announced ahead of National Championships

SOUTH Australia has announced the squad it will take to the National AFLW Under 18 Championships, with 24 players confirmed in the team yesterday. In the National Championships, South Australia combines with Northern Territory to form the Central Allies. The announcement has followed on from that of Western Australia and Victoria’s two sides.

Of the 24 player squad, 17 had made debuts in the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Statewide Super Women’s League, with five of them – Nikki Gore, Jaslynne Smith, Katelyn Rosenzweig, Esther Boles and Rachelle Martin – going one step further and making the league’s Team of the Year. Looking across the squad, only half of the team is eligible to be drafted at the end of the 2018, with 12 players – including two Under 16 players in Abbie Ballard and Teah Charlton – eligible for selection in next year’s squad.

West Adelaide and South Adelaide dominate the squad, making up almost half of the team with six and five representatives respectively. Woodville-West Torrens and North Adelaide have three representatives, Central District, Norwood and Sturt each have two representatives, while Madisyn Freeman is the sole Glenelg member. Bill Economou will coach the team, with Tess Baxter, Craig Lum and Rick Watts named as his assistants.

South Australia will play two practice games against Northern Territory on Friday, May 25 and Sunday, May 27 at TIO Stadium in Darwin ahead of the National AFLW Under 18 Championships in July.

The full South Australian squad is as follows:

Central District: Kimberly Fry, Katelyn Rosenzweig
Glenelg: Madisyn Freeman
North Adelaide: Esther Boles, Shai Hiscock, Amber Ward
Norwood: Thandi Murada, Bella Smith
South Adelaide: Teah Charlton, Nikki Gore, Montana McKinnon, Hannah Munyard, Jaslynne Smith
Sturt: Paxton Davis-Mattner, Maya Rigter
West Adelaide: Abbie Ballard, Tesharna Maher, Rachelle Martin, Marie Martino, Madison Newman, Emma Smith
WWT: Rachel Dunstan, Kiana Lee, Jaimi Tabb

For more information about the squad and to hear from SANFL Female Talent Manager Robbie Neill head to the SANFL website.