Tag: caitlin gould

2021 SANFLW team review: Glenelg

IN summarising the 2021 South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s season, Draft Central will run through a team-by-team review of how each of the sides fared, and who some of the standout performers throughout the clubs were. The final team in the firing line is Glenelg.

Position: 2nd (Premiers)
Wins: 7
Losses: 3
Draws: 1
Points For: 379 (2nd)
Points Against: 261 (2nd)

Season in a Sentence: “A consistent team all season, the Bays stood tall at the pointy end of the year to claim their maiden SANFL Women’s premiership.

TOP PERFORMERS:

Jessica Bates

As consistent as ever, the midfielder had an outstanding 2021 season, earning a place in the SANFL Women’s Team of the Year. Averaging 15.4 disposals, 2.2 marks, 3.0 clearances, 2.2 inside 50s, 1.7 rebound 50s and 8.5 tackles, Bates was able to influence in multiple parts of the ground. Playing all 13 matches, Bates only dipped into single-digit disposals once, and had back-to-back games of 24 disposals against South Adelaide and North Adelaide, where she also averaged 6.0 clearances, 6.5 tackles and 5.0 inside 50s in those matches.

Ellie Kellock

Captaining the SANFL Women’s Team of the Year, Kellock proved she could play anywhere on the field in 2021, averaging 13.8 disposals, 1.6 marks, 3.5 clearances, 3.1 inside 50s, 1.2 rebound 50s, 2.9 tackles and booting six goals. She only had less than 10 disposals once, and had a memorable finals series, averaging 15.5 disposals, 6.0 clearances and 4.5 inside 50s against Norwood and West Adelaide. Kellock also made history by becoming the first Glenelg SANFLW captain and did it with a ray of consistency all season.

Brooke Tonon

The State Academy member had an outstanding season and really raised her draft stocks, proven by the fact she earned and AFLW Draft Combine invitation. Tonon earned a place at half-back in the SANFL Women’s Team of the Year, a role she made her own after playing in multiple positions in her debut season. Now in her draft-eligible year, Tonon provided great run out of the back 50 and could push up to a win to impact as well. In her 11 games, Tonon averaged 14.7 disposals – at 78 per cent efficiency – 2.5 marks, 3.1 tackles and 2.5 rebound 50s.

Tessa Kohn

After a solid debut season, Kohn stepped it up a notch in her second year at SANFL Women’s level, playing 13 matches and relishing the inside midfield role amongst some incredibly consistent performers. Kohn herself earned Draft Central SANFL Women’s Team of the Year honours, racking up 12.4 disposals, 5.4 tackles and 3.5 clearances, doing her best work at the coal face and impacting regularly for her side. In a purple patch between Rounds 8-10, Kohn averaged 18.7 disposals, 4.7 tackles and 6.3 clearances.

OTHERS:

Glenelg earned the premiership off some terrific contributors across the board, as the returning AFL Women’s talents in Ebony Marinoff and Caitlin Gould bolstered the already impressive outfit. State Academy member Tamsyn Morriss, 15-year-old Piper Window and the versatile Madisyn Freeman all impressed, with Sam Franson, Chelsea Packer and Meara Girvan all amongst a host of Glenelg talents who stood up when it counted, and helped the Bays win their last seven games of the season and romp to a premiership.

Picture credit: SANFL

Glenelg claims maiden SANFLW premiership with 23-point triumph

GLENELG has claimed its maiden South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s premiership after defeating West Adelaide by 23 points in a hard-fought and memorable grand final yesterday. The Bays lead from start to finish, as Adelaide AFL Women’s star Ebony Marinoff won best on ground honours for a remarkable 31-disposal game. Whilst West Adelaide showed plenty of promising signs for the future, Glenelg showed why they had reached the decider off a direct semi-finals win over Norwood, defeating Westies 5.10 (40) to 2.5 (17).

Glenelg came into the match with fresh legs after the week off, and the first goal in any grand final is important, but to get the ball rolling in the opening 30 seconds is rare. Jess Searle achieved just that with a superb major to get her side on the board. In what would be a fitting effort symbolic of her exploits on the day, Marinoff showed strength, poise and grace to snap a goal midway through the term to help her side to a 12-point quarter time lead.

Fellow AFL Women’s talent Chelsea Biddell got her side on the board seven minutes into the second term, and whilst Searle kicked her second major, soon Sarah Dargan got involved and Westies were back within five points with only a few minutes left in the half. Jessica Bates settled the nerves with an important response in the dying minutes of the first half, and the Bays headed into half-time with another 12-point advantage.

Neither team could really take the advantage in the third term, as Searle missed a chance, and Biddell kicked two behinds for Westies, and the teams were again separated by two straight goals when the break came about. With one quarter to play, Glenelg through everything at maintaining the lead, and whilst they could not quite find the big sticks for the most part – kicking five behinds as part of eight straight behinds since half-time – Marinoff came in and put the icing on the cake in the final minute to hand the Bays a memorable 23-point victory.

Glenelg lead the disposals (plus-36), marks (plus-12) and tackles (plus-12) in a really impressive inside and outside effort. Whilst the clearances did tip the Bays’ way (27-24), it was the hitouts (34-13) and inside 50s (43-14) that really weighed in the second placed side’s favour. West Adelaide did impressively well to clear the ball more often than not with a massive 37 rebound 50s to Glenelg’s 11, but in the end the weight of numbers won out and Glenelg was able to capitalise.

Marinoff was a clear best on ground with 31 disposals, three marks – one contested – five tackles, five clearances, seven inside 50s and two goals. Caitlin Gould dominated through the ruck with 27 hitouts, five clearances and six inside 50s to go with 21 touches, eight marks – six contested – and six tackles. Ellie Kellock (14 disposals, three marks, six clearances and five inside 50s) also dominated on the inside, whilst Brooke Tonon (14 disposals, two marks, two tackles, two clearances and two rebound 50s), Piper Window (13 disposals, two marks, two clearances and five inside 50s) and Sarah Goodwin (12 disposals, two marks, two tackles and seven inside 50s) all provided movement in transition.

For the Bloods, Sharnie Whiting stood up in defence with a whopping 14 rebounds 50s – the most of any individual in a game this year – as well as 24 disposals, two marks and three clearances. Young guns Lauren Young (18 disposals, six marks – five contested – four tackles, two clearances, two inside 50s and three rebound 50s), Keeley Kustermann (15 disposals, three tackles and four rebound 50s), acting captain Abbie Ballard (14 disposals, four tackles, five clearances, two inside 50s and two rebound 50s) and Zoe Venning (14 disposals, four marks, five tackles, two inside 50s and two rebound 50s) were all impressive. AFL Women’s talents in Biddell (14 disposals, six marks – five contested – four tackles, three hitouts, three rebound 50s and 1.3) and Dargan (14 disposals, four tackles, four clearances, two rebound 50s and a goal) also tried to provide a spark.

Upon being announced best on ground, Marinoff spoke of her love for returning to the yellow and black at the end of the AFLW season.

“It’s great to be able to come back to this league and help some players and I love this footy club and I’m so proud to be apart of Tigerland, the Bays,” she said. “The club supports us girls week-in, week-out and I just love coming back and playing for them and having an influence on the younger girls.

Glenelg premiership coach Jason Fairall praised his group saying everyone had helped lead the side to its premiership, not just the team on the day.

“To our squad .. there’s more than 22, there’s a lot more substance to our program than that. We’ve been on an intentional journey over the last four years. There’s been some ups and downs, and a fair bit of blood, sweat and tears and it does take a long, deep squad to contend at this level, so today’s not a result of 22 players, it’s because every single member of our squad has worked their backside off and surrendered the ‘me for we,’ so thank you players.”

In defeat, Ballard said Glenelg was the better team on the day, but praised her teammates for their efforts all season in getting the side to the decider.

“I just wanted to say how proud I am of you girls,” she said. “Devastated we didn’t get the win, but I could not be prouder, we did so well this season, we’ve worked so hard and just to get to the grand final was a huge achievement.”

GLENELG 2.1 | 4.2 | 4.5 | 5.10 (40)
WEST ADELAIDE 0.1 | 2.2 | 2.5 | 2.5 (17)

GOALS:

Glenelg: E. Marinoff 2, J. Searle 2, J. Bates.
West: C. Biddell, S. Dargan.

DC BEST:

Glenelg: E. Marinoff, C. Gould, E. Kellock, P. Window, B. Tonon
West: S. Whiting, A. Ballard, L. Young, K. Kustermann, C. Biddell

Picture credit: SANFL

No VFLW? No worries, women’s state league action across the country

IN light of Victoria’s Circuit Breaker Lockdown, the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s will not take place this weekend in the state. Whilst the fixture might involve tinkering in the future, the only thing for certain is the teams will not be competing over the weekend of May 29-30, as the lockdown takes full effect. However, there is still plenty of football action across the country to keep an eye on.

In South Australia, it is already well and truly at the pointy end of the season, with the second week of finals underway for the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s competition. Last week, minor premiers Norwood were taken down by a fast-finishing Glenelg outfit who have the likes of Ebony Marinoff and Caitlin Gould leading a star-studded midfield and consistent all-round side. The Bays booked their spot in the Grand Final, forcing the Redlegs into a Preliminary Final. Norwood has Najwa Allen as a key Adelaide Crows player on the list, though have plenty of experience and youth rolling through the side, with utility Sophie Armitstead, ruck Leah Cutting, and mid-forwards Jade Halfpenny and Jess Macolino amongst those who stood out this year making the Draft Central SANFL Women’s Team of the Year.

West Adelaide is stacked with both AFLW and State Academy talent, as key forward Chelsea Biddell and the experienced Sharnie Whiting headline the bookends for the Bloods. For those wanting a glimpse of the future, 15-year-old Lauren Young is a star in the making, already taking home South Australia’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) at the AFL Women’s Under 19 Championships, and is among the top players on the field every week. Add in fellow youngsters, midfielder/forwards Zoe Venning and Abbie Ballard, and bottom-age utility Keeley Kustermann, and there are plenty of reasons to watch how the Bloods go against this year’s top side. The Norwood-West Adelaide match is available via the SANFL Digital Pass.

Without the AFL Women’s Under 19 Championships going ahead, Queensland’s most talented teenagers will filter back to their Queensland Australian Football League (QAFL) Women’s sides for Round 12 of the competition. The benchmark team of the competition this year has been Bond University, winning all 11 games thus far, though they now come up against reigning premiers Yeronga South Brisbane who on their day, could knock off anyone with the amount of talent on their list. The Bull Sharks have talented AFL Women’s Academy member Mikayla Pauga on their list, with Lily Tarlinton and Jasmyn Davidson other teenagers to watch. The Devils have Lexia Edwards who has slotted 17 goals in 10 games, whilst Madison Goodwin has really impressed in her 11 games this year.

If youth is what you are wanting to focus on, then Aspley has plenty of state representatives. Led by the likes of Ella Smith, Charlotte Mullins, Lucia Liessi and Kadie Fletcher among a number of the others, the Hornets also welcomed back Brisbane Lions’ Sophie Conway last round. Their opponents Coorparoo also have regained AFLW talent in the last couple of rounds, with Jess Wuetschner, Ally Anderson and Tori Groves-Little among the returning players. In other matches, Coolangatta Tweed hosts Maroochydore, and University of Queensland takes on Wilston Grange. All QAFL Women’s matches are uploaded on Vimeo post-game.

In the West Australian Football League (WAFL) Women’s, the top three sides in Swan Districts, Peel Thunder and Claremont have all stood up as the teams to beat in the six-team competition, whilst the two Fremantle-based sides – East Fremantle and South Fremantle – and Subiaco are the three sides battling for the last finals spot. The top three face off against the bottom three this week with the South Fremantle Bulldogs searching for their first win in their short one-and-a-half year history hosting Claremont. On Saturday, the unbeaten Swans host East Fremantle Sharks, while Peel Thunder travels to Leederville Oval to take on Subiaco.

The WAFL Women’s has an abundance of talented youth who stand up at senior level, but a few names to keep an eye on include Western Australia’s MVP Ella Roberts who plies her trade as a forward for the Thunder, as well as her teammate Courtney Rowley, and Claremont key utility Amy Franklin. The latter two are both members of the AFL Women’s Academy, alongside Subiaco’s Charlotte Thomas. The Bulldogs have some exciting youth such as Lauren Wakfer and Makaela Tuhakaraina, whilst Swan Districts have a ton of future stars such as Tara Stribley and Jaime Henry. Each week one game is streamed free to the WAFL Women’s YouTube channel and via Facebook, with another via The West subscription.

These are the three main leagues that enable viewers to get easy access to the up-and-coming talent of women’s football, but also AFL Women’s players returning to the league. Down in Tasmania, the Tasmanian State League (TSL) Women’s unfortunately disbanded, with the new competition structure having the teams split into the Northern Tasmanian Football Association Women’s (NTFAW), North West Football League (NWFLW) and Southern Football League Women’s (SFLW). Clarence and Glenorchy (SFLW) and Launceston (NTFAW) are among the sides coming back from the TSLW.

New South Wales and Australian Capital Territory (NSW/ACT) have plenty of leagues spread around, with the AFL Sydney Women’s competition – featuring the impressive East Coast Eagles, Manly Warringah Wolves and Southern Power – the top league in the Harbour City. The Wolves feature AFL Women’s Academy member Jess Doyle who has slotted 16 goals in three games showing her future potential alongside GWS GIANTS’ Erin McKinnon. In the AFL Canberra, Queanbeyan Tigers and Belconnen Magpies are again enjoying strong seasons, with third placed Eastlake Demons a cut above the bottom three sides as well. All the top three sides have percentages over 500, with Allies’ MVP winner Cynthia Hamilton a key player for the Tigers.

Picture credit: David Mariuz / SANFL

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

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

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

GOALS:

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

DC BEST:

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

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

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

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

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

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

GOALS:

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

DC BEST:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Picture credit: Cory Sutton / SANFL

2021 SANFL Women’s Semi-Finals preview: Redlegs and Bays fight for GF spot, while no turning back for Panthers and Westies

FOUR teams are out and just four remain in the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s competition this weekend, with the finals kicking off. In two blockbuster semi-finals, Norwood will take on Glenelg for a spot in the 2021 SANFL Women’s Grand Final, whilst for the loser, they will activate a second chance. That second chance next week will see the unsuccessful top two team taking on the winner of West Adelaide or South Adelaide, with the losing semi-finalist of that pairing joining the other four eliminated teams.

NORWOOD vs. GLENELG
Saturday, May 22 @ 4:45pm
Coopers Stadium

Minor premiers Norwood is the only side which has named its final team for the huge semi-final clash with Glenelg, bringing in Sachi Symes and Adrienne Davies to replace the injured Emma Clark, and Jessica Meachin. Meachin remains an emergency with Ella Murison, as the Redlegs eye off their first flag since the inaugural year of the competition. Having made the finals every season, Norwood was bundled out in the first week last year by a red-hot West Adelaide outfit, and will be keen to bounce back here. For Glenelg, they enter their second finals series having made it in 2019, before losing to North Adelaide in the first week by a narrow two points. They have included Molly Affolter, Lucy Armitage and Sarah Wilton to an extended bench.

LAST TIME: Norwood 3.11 (29) defeated Glenelg 4.3 (27), Round 5

In a thrilling contest, Glenelg led for most of the game, with Norwood unable to fire straight, booting 1.9 to 3.3 at the final break. Luckily thanks to Rosette Zerella and Erika Sporn in the last quarter, the Redlegs came from 12 points down three and a half minutes into the final stanza to win by just two points. The now-injured Clark recorded 15 disposals, six tackles and three clearances, but it was Leah Cutting who tore the opposition to shreds with 34 hitouts, 14 disposals, 15 tackles and four inside 50s. Morgan Johnston (14 disposals, four rebounds) and Murison (14 disposals, five rebounds) were also busy for the Redlegs. Sheridan Howell amassed the match-high 17 disposals for the Bays, as Milli Gentle (16 disposals, five tackles) was also lively. Ellie Kellock (12 disposals, four clearances, four inside 50s and a goal) was best-on, whilst Tessa Kohn (11 disposals, six tackles and five clearances) and Madisyn Freeman (10 disposals, four rebound 50s) were also strong.

CHANGES SINCE:

Norwood has regained the services of Najwa Allen from the Adelaide Crows, as well as State Academy members Jade Halfpenny, Alana Lishmund and Sarah Branford, while Isobel Martin is another one who missed that clash. For the Bays, there are no bigger inclusions that Ebony Marinoff and Caitlin Gould who are outstanding players at AFL Women’s level, let alone state league, which is why the Bays could easily be considered favourites. Throw in the red-hot form of Brooke Tonon returning alongside Tamsyn Morriss, and the Bays have some terrific players that were not involved in that tight loss.

KEY QUESTIONS:

  • Can Norwood back up its brilliant regular season by booking straight entry into the grand final, or will Glenelg play party pooper with the incredible inclusions?
  • Can the Redlegs find a way to win the midfield against the likes of Marinoff, Kohn, Kellock and Jessica Bates who are the strongest combination going around?
  • Will Glenelg find a way to reduce the dominance of Cutting through the ruck by tag-teaming her through Meara Girvan and Gould?

Overall, the inclusions for the Bays seem to have Glenelg in the box seat given the midfield core they have, but the Redlegs just have a really consistent all-round team, and are playing at home which will hand them the advantage. With Norwood still having some great experience across the board, and good form in Sophie Armitstead, Elisha Gallagher and Jess Macolino among those already mentioned, they have every chance of following through with a win here, though it will be tough given Glenelg’s recent inclusions.

WEST ADELAIDE vs. SOUTH ADELAIDE
Saturday, May 22 @ 6:35pm
Coopers Stadium

Unlike the other match, these teams do not have to look too far back for recent matchups. They went head-to-head in the final round of the season last week, with West Adelaide booking its finals spot with the narrowest of victories. Fast forward to this week, and both teams have opted to just add to their sides, with three inclusions to extended benches. South Adelaide bring back the experienced and talented Hannah Munyard, joining State Academy member Sarah Wright, and pocket rocket Madison Bennett as inclusions. For the Bloods, Tiana Fernandez, Georgie Gray and Maddy Zacher have all earned temporary recalls before the final team is confirmed. South Adelaide has been the most successful team in the SANFL Women’s, winning back-to-back flags in 2018-19 and then knocking West Adelaide out last year in the preliminary final on their way to a third straight grand final, albeit a loss to the Roosters. The Bloods only played in their first finals series last year, defeating Norwood before falling to the Panthers, hoping to at least match that stage with a win here.

LAST TIME: South Adelaide 5.3 (33) defeated by West Adelaide 5.4 (34), Round 11

In a virtual finals atmosphere, West Adelaide took control in the third term, booting three goals to one to race out to a 21-point lead. The match looked done and dusted until Jess Kirk, Jorja Hooper and Gypsy Schirmer all slotted goals in the first half of the final term. The Panthers were able to get within a point courtesy of a Tahlia Meyer behind late in the term, but unable to overthrow the result. The Westies win meant they grabbed the finals spot over reigning premiers North Adelaide who won its clash with Sturt. Nicole Campbell (21 disposals, nine marks – two contested – three tackles, five clearances and six inside 50s) and Teah Charlton (21 disposals, three marks, five tackles, four clearances and six inside 50s) ran rampant, as Montana McKinnon through the ruck (14 disposals, 27 hitouts, five tackles, three clearances, three inside 50s and two rebound 50s) and Brianna Wedding (12 disposals, four rebound 50s) were both impressive. For the Bloods, teenage star Lauren Young had 22 disposals, four marks, eight tackles and a goal, whilst fellow State Academy member Zoe Venning finished with 18 disposals, six tackles, three clearances and four inside 50s. Add in the AFLW experience of Ailish Considine (19 disposals, four tackles, six clearances, three inside 50s and two rebound 50s) and strength of Sharnie Whiting (15 disposals, four marks and six rebound 50s) and the visitors had plenty of top performers.

CHANGES SINCE:

As mentioned in the opening par, the match was last week, so the three inclusions for each side are the only changes. Munyard is the biggest one of the lot, with the AFLW talent adding extra pace to the Panthers outfit, whilst the younger inclusions will be hoping to force their way into their respective sides for some finals footy.

KEY QUESTIONS:

  • Given West showed it could take control with a flurry of goals, while South showed it could catch them if required, how much will last week play into this week?
  • Will there be negating/tagging through the midfield or just genuine head-to-heads with so many talented players across the field?
  • South Adelaide dominated the hitouts last week (39-10) but West won the clearances (24-21), will the teams make any chances to reverse their fortunes?

This looms as a genuine classic, with South Adelaide’s full strength side as good as anyone’s, but that includes West Adelaide’s. The strength of the competition means any of the four competing teams could be deserving premiers, and both these sides have incredible youth. The likes of Young and Venning – as well as bottom-ager Keeley Kustermann and Scarlett Griffiths as other Academy members – up against Schirmer, Tahlita Buethke and developing tall Hooper are ones to watch for the future. Jordann Hickey was a crucial inclusion for the Panthers at the back-end of the season, as was Sarah Dargan for the Westies, so these teams are brimming with talent and it is likely to go right down to the wire once again.

Picture credit: David Mariuz / SANFL

2021 SANFLW Team of the Week: Round 11

IN the final week of the season, the competition for spots in the Draft Central South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s Team of the Week is as high as it has ever been. A shortlist of more than 30 players had to be whittled down to 24, as West Adelaide and Glenelg both finished with a round-high four players each. Fellow winners, Norwood and North Adelaide had three players each, as did losers South Adelaide and Sturt, whilst Central District and Woodville-West Torrens ended up with two representatives apiece.

Securing a finals spot with the one-point win over South Adelaide, West Adelaide had plenty of contributors with experienced duo Sharni Whiting and Ailish Considine, and State Academy members Lauren Young and Zoe Venning making the Team of the Week yet again. Their opponents South had the three players themselves, with Brianna Wedding being the other key position lock, alongside Teah Charlton and Team of the Week vice-captain, Nicole Campbell.

Glenelg also managed the four players, with last week’s captain Ebony Marinoff unsurprisingly back again. She is in the side with Caitlin Gould, Jess Bates and State Academy Brooke Tonon, all into the 24-player squad. The Bays defeated Central District who had the two players in the side, with Chloe Scheer and Shelby Smith back again in the team.

Norwood finished on top of the SANFL Women’s table and their final round win netted them three representatives in this week’s team, with Jess Macolino, Najwa Allen and Lana Schwerdt all into the side in what was an even team contribution. They defeated Woodville-West Torrens who had the two players in the squad, with Kiana Lee in defence, and Amie Blanden on the interchange.

The final match saw North Adelaide get the job done against Sturt, led by Ashleigh Woodland who slotted six goals to earn the captaincy of the team this week. Along with Woodland, defender Amber Ward and midfielder Jaimi Tabb also made the side. The Double Blues had a standout in Kiera Mueller off half-back, ruck Jess Good and midfielder Jaimee Wittervan all in the starting side.

In terms of emergencies, South Adelaide’s Montana McKinnon, Norwood’s Sophie Armitstead and Woodville-West Torrens’ Marlie Fiegert were chosen, whilst Sturt’s Isobel Kuiper and Zoe Prowse, North Adelaide’s Brianna Arthur and West Adelaide’s Abbie Ballard were also amongst those on the extended list for this week’s Team of the Week.

DRAFT CENTRAL SANFL WOMEN’S TEAM OF THE WEEK: ROUND 11

B: Amber Ward (NA) – Brianna Wedding (SA) – Kiana Lee (WWT)
HB: Kiera Mueller (ST) – Sharnie Whiting (WA) – Brooke Tonon (GL)
C: Ailish Considine (WA) – Ebony Marinoff (GL) – Jaimi Tabb (NA)
HF: Teah Charlton (SA) – Lauren Young (WA) – Jess Macolino (NW)
F: Ashleigh Woodland (NA) (c) – Caitlin Gould (GL) – Chloe Scheer (CD)
R: Jess Good (ST) – Nicole Campbell (SA) (vc) – Jaimee Wittervan (ST)
INT: Najwa Allen (NW) – Jess Bates (GL) – Amie Blanden (WWT) – Lana Schwerdt (NW) – Shelby Smith (CD) – Zoe Venning (WA)

EMG: Montana McKinnon (SA) – Sophie Armitstead (NW) – Marlie Fiegert (WWT)

SANFL Women’s Round 11 wrap: West grabs finals spot with one-point win

WEST Adelaide has won a nail-biter against South Adelaide in the final round of the regular South Australian National Football League (SANFL) season, as top two sides Norwood and Glenelg both posted victories, and North Adelaide won to give itself a finals chance, only for the Bloods’ result to effectively negate that win.

NORWOOD 2.3 | 6.6 | 9.6 | 11.7 (73)
WWT EAGLES 0.0 | 0.1 | 2.1 | 2.2 (14)

GOALS:

Norwood: R. Zerella 3, E. Sporn 3, N. Allen, E. Drake, S. Branford
Eagles: J. Zecevic, M. Fiegert.

DC BEST:

Norwood: J. Macolino, L. Cutting, S. Armitstead, N. Allen, L. Schwerdt
Eagles: K. Lee, A. Blanden, M. Fiegert, N. Collie, A. Falkenberg

Booting the first six goals of the game, and nine of 11 by three quarter time, minor premiers Norwood never looked like losing against Woodville-West Torrens Eagles. Aside from a burst of two out of three goals early in the third term for the visitors, the Eagles had to accept the 2021 wooden spoon as the Redlegs piled on 18 scoring shots to four, booting the final four goals of the game as well to win by 59 points.

Rosette Zerella and Erika Sporn both booted three goals in the win, whilst it was the midfield of the Redlegs that really stood up. Leah Cutting had 36 hitouts to go with 11 disposals and six tackles, while Najwa Allen (19 disposals, five marks, four tackles, four inside 50s, two rebound 50s and a goal), Sophie Armitstead (16 disposals, four tackles, two clearances, three inside 50s and two rebound 50s), Jess Macolino (13 disposals, three marks, five tackles, three clearances and seven inside 50s) and Lana Schwerdt (11disposals, five tackles, four clearances and three inside 50s) all stood out.

Kiana Lee was outstanding in defence for the Eagles, racking up 18 disposals, nine marks – two contested – six rebound 50s, five hitouts, two tackles and two clearances. Teaming up with her back there was Nicole Collie (13 disposals, five marks, three tackles and four rebound 50s), while Amie Blanden (15 disposals, two marks, four tackles, nine hitouts, six clearances and four inside 50s), Marlie Fiegert (14 disposals, two marks, four tackles, five clearances, three inside 50s and a goal) and Anastasia Falkenberg (16 disposals, five marks, seven tackles, two clearances and two inside 50s).

Norwood now takes on Glenelg in the semi-finals for a spot in the 2021 SANFL Women’s Grand Final, as the Eagles’ season comes to an end.

SOUTH ADELAIDE 1.0 | 1.0 | 2.1 | 5.3 (33)
WEST ADELAIDE 1.2 | 2.4 | 5.4 | 5.4 (34)

GOALS:

South: J. Hooper 2, J. Hickey, J. Kirk, G. Schirmer.
West: M. Elsegood, C. Biddell, L. Young, I. Loftes.

DC BEST:

South: N. Campbell, T. Charlton, M. McKinnon, G. Schirmer, T. Meyer
West: L. Young, A. Considine, S. Whiting, Z. Venning, A. Ballard

In the most thrilling match of the weekend, the third against fourth contest lived up to its billing, as West Adelaide held on against a fast-finishing South Adelaide outfit. The teams were fairly even as early as the third term, before West piled on three goals in seven minutes to race out to a 21-point lead at the final break. Looking home and hosed, the Bloods could not manage to score in the final term, as they watch South boot the last three majors of the contest, only to fall a point short, 5.4 (34) to 5.3 (33).

West’s youth stood up in the win, as Lauren Young had a game-high 22 touches to go with four marks – two contested – eight tackles, two clearances, two inside 50s and a goal. Fellow State Academy members Zoe Venning (18 disposals, six tackles, three clearances and four inside 50s) and Abbie Ballard (11 disposals, nine tackles, four clearances and two rebound 50s) both impressed, while the experience of Ailish Considine (19 disposals, two marks, four tackles, six clearances, three inside 50s and two rebound 50s) and Sharnie Whiting (15 disposals, four marks, two tackles, two inside 50s and six rebound 50s) stood out.

For South, Nicole Campbell (21 disposals, nine marks – two contested – three tackles, five clearances and six inside 50s) was outstanding alongside Teah Charlton (21 disposals, three marks, five tackles, four clearances and six inside 50s). Tahlia Meyer (15 disposals, two marks and four tackles) and Gypsy Schirmer (15 disposals, four tackles and a goal) both found plenty of the ball, while Montana McKinnon (14 disposals, 27 hitouts, five tackles, three clearances, three inside 50s and two rebound 50s) was strong.

These two sides lock horns again next weekend in a do-or-die semi-final that promises to go down to the wire, with the Bloods securing the home ground advantage with this win.

STURT 1.2 | 1.2 | 3.3 | 3.4 (22)
NORTH ADELAIDE 1.2 | 4.2 | 4.4 | 7.5 (47)

GOALS:

Sturt: Z. Prowse, K. Harris, A. Ladas.
North: A. Woodland 6, T. Thorn.

DC BEST:

Sturt: K. Mueller, J. Good, I. Kuiper, J. Wittervan, Z. Prowse
North: A. Woodland, J. Tabb, T. Gordon, B. Arthure, K. Harvey

Despite the West Adelaide result meaning North Adelaide missed out on a chance to defend its title in the final series, a six-goal performance from Ashleigh Woodland ensured the reigning premiers ended their season on a high note. The teams were even in the first term, before three consecutive goals to Woodland in the second broke the game open. Sturt continued to press and move to within seven points at the final break – and as low as six points early in the fourth, for Woodland to stand up again, and along with Tayla Thorn kick the last three goals of the game to win by 25 points.

Along with six majors, Woodland had the 13 disposals, four marks – one contested – and three tackles, while Thorn finished with 10 disposals, two hitouts, four inside 50s and a goal. Through the middle and forward half, Tayla Gordon (18 disposals, three marks, three clearances, two tackles and two inside 50s), Jaimi Tabb (12 disposals, 12 tackles, five clearances, four inside 50s and two rebound 50s) and Kristi Harvey (10 disposals, four marks – two contested – four tackles and four inside 50s) were all lively.

For the Double Blues, Kiera Mueller was again the standout for the second week in a row, picking up 17 disposals, eight marks, eight rebound 50s and four tackles coming out of defence. Jess Good (14 disposals, four marks, 42 hitouts, four clearances and three inside 50s) dominated the ruck, as the midfield of Jaimee Wittervan (15 disposals, two marks, six clearances, three inside 50s and two rebound 50s), Isobel Kuiper (21 disposals, two marks, six tackles and four clearances) and Zoe Prowse (nine disposals, two marks, five tackles, seven hitouts, five clearances and one goal) went to work.

Both these teams end their 2021 campaigns and will head back to their local clubs before a big preseason looking towards 2022.

GLENELG 2.1 | 3.2 | 5.3 | 6.4 (40)
CENTRAL DISTRICT 1.0 | 2.2 | 2.4 | 4.5 (29)

GOALS:

Glenelg: C. Gould 2, M. Green 2, C. Swanson, E. Marinoff.
Central: K. Rosenzweig 2, C. Scheer, N. Biagi.

DC BEST:

Glenelg: E. Marinoff, C. Gould, J. Bates, B. Tonon, E. Kellock
Central: C. Scheer, S. Smith. K. Rosenzweig, L. Smith, L. Breguet

Whilst the result mattered little to Glenelg in terms of ladder positioning – the Bays had already secured second spot heading into the round – the home team still came away with a morale-boosting victory over Central District. After Chloe Scheer slotted the first major for the Bulldogs inside the first two minutes, the Bays booted five of the next six goals to lead by as much as 18 points. Katelyn Rosenzweig kicked back-to-back goals in the final term to cut the deficit to within a single kick before a last minute major to Caitlin Gould saved the day and handed Glenelg the win.

Ebony Marinoff led the way again with 24 disposals, five marks – three contested, five clearances, five inside 50s and a goal, while Gould slotted two majors from 18 touches, six marks, 23 hitouts, three clearances and three rebound 50s. Jessica Bates (18 disposals, four marks, four tackles, four clearances, two inside 50s and two rebound 50s) and Ellie Kellock (13 disposals, three tackles, three clearances and four inside 50s) were both impressive in midfield, while Brooke Tonon (15 disposals, two marks, three tackles and five rebound 50s) impressed again for Glenelg.

The forward combination of Rosenzweig (12 disposals, three marks, six hitouts, three clearances, three inside 50s and two goals) and Scheer (18 disposals, three marks – two contested – six tackles, four clearances, four inside 50s and a goal) were both dangerous, while captain Shelby Smith (12 disposals, 11 tackles, three clearances, two inside 50s and two rebounds 50s), Lauren Smith (nine disposals, two tackles and three rebound 50s) and Lauren Breguet (10 disposals, two marks and three tackles) were among a group of even contributors for the Dogs.

Glenelg now takes on Norwood in a top of the table clash for a spot in the 2021 SANFL Women’s Grand Final, as the Bulldogs impressive season comes to a close.

Picture credit: Cory Sutton / SANFL

2021 SANFL Women’s Round 11 preview: Final chance for Bloods, Roosters and Bulldogs to grab finals spot

THREE teams will fight it out for the last finals spot in the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s competition as West Adelaide holds fourth position at this stage, but both North Adelaide and Central District could take it with either side winning and the other results going their way in Round 11.

NORWOOD vs. WOODVILLE-WEST TORRENS
Saturday, May 15 @ 11:00am
ACH Group Stadium

Norwood and Woodville-West Torrens are at opposite ends of the table and will open the round without a great deal of ladder permutations. North Adelaide are expected to take care of Sturt, which allows the Eagles a chance at avoiding the wooden spoon for the second consecutive year. They will need to step up from last week’s heavy loss to Glenelg, whilst the Redlegs have proven to be the benchmark team this season. They do not have anything other than form and momentum to play for heading into the last round, having already secured top spot and the minor premiership. Youngsters Lana Schwerdt and Sarah Branford have replaced Sachi Syme and Ella Murison in Norwood’s 22, whilst the Eagles have been forced to make at least three chances with Adelaide AFLW talent Renee Forth, and Lakeesha Pickett both unavailable, and Panagiota Pipinis missing due to a shin injury, Alicia McNeill could be in line for a debut in the final round, named in the side amongst five inclusions, which features Georgia Taylor and Audrey Holt. The Eagles will need to try and quell Norwood’s dominant midfield, with the likes of Sophie Armitstead, Jade Halfpenny, Jess Macolino and Elisha Gallagher among the names that roll through there. With Leah Cutting likely to have a field day given her form and size advantage over Amie Blanden, the Eagles will hope to use Blanden like another midfielder at ground level, with Jaida Tabb and Shineah Goody named onball showing the future of the side, whilst Jamie Parish and Charlotte Dolan have also been in impressive form for the visitors.

SOUTH ADELAIDE vs. WEST ADELAIDE
Saturday, May 15 @ 12:30pm
Flinders University Stadium

In the match of the weekend, third placed South Adelaide hosts West Adelaide in a battle where the result will either mean they likely face off again in the first week of finals, or the Panthers have a grand final rematch with North Adelaide. South Adelaide has secured its 2021 SANFL Women’s finals spot thanks to a win last week, with the Panthers’ percentage too great for the Roosters to chase down. South Adelaide would slip to fourth if the Bloods get up in this contest, but a win would see them hosting an elimination final. If they win, and North Adelaide lose then it opens the door for Central District to upset Glenelg and book its first finals spot, but the Dogs loom as outsiders at this point. In terms of the team chances, AFL Women’s talent Hannah Munyard misses out this week, with St Kilda’s Tahlia Meyer returning to the side along with State Academy member Sarah Wright, and Caitlin Ross. West Adelaide has some crucial inclusions as well, with State Academy member Keeley Kustermann returning from injury sustained at the championships, coming into the side with the likes of Louella McCarthy and Georgie Gray for an extended team. Charlie Scutchings was injured early last week and is out of the side, with Georgie Pater also the other confirmed out. South has earned the right to be favourite in this game, with the form of AFL Women’s returnees Teah Charlton and Jordann Hickey, along with Montana McKinnon and Lisa Whiteley. Add in the continued development of teenagers Gypsy Schirmer, Tahlita Buethke and Jorja Hooper, and consistency of Nicole Campbell, and the Panthers have the complete squad. West has plenty of talent itself, with the AFL Women’s contingent of Ailish Considine, Sarah Dargan and Chelsea Biddell leading the way. Lauren Young continues to have an outstanding debut season for the Bloods, with Zoe Venning and Kustermann other youngsters who can have a huge impact on the match, and Sharni Whiting being the brick wall in defence.

STURT vs. NORTH ADELAIDE
Saturday, May 15 @ 12:45pm
Unley Oval

Whilst Sturt cannot secure a finals spot this year, the Double Blues can certainly play party pooper to a North Adelaide team which needs a win to retake fourth position on the table. The Double Blues have proved they are more than capable of kicking a big score this season, though will be tested against the most experienced defence in the league. The Roosters missed an opportunity to lock up fourth place last week, and now will be at the mercy of South Adelaide if they are to book a finals spot. They need the Panthers to beat West Adelaide, and then knock off Sturt on the road in order to leap up to fourth on the table. A loss automatically knocks them out of the running, and an upset win to Central District would see the reigning premiers slip to sixth on the table as well. Sturt have recalled three players for the clash, with dangerous forward Nicole Baker named as an in alongside Millie McCarthy and Lucy Griffith, while Abby Pengelly is the sole out at this stage. Unfortunately for the Roosters, they have had to make a couple of forced changes due to injury. Julia Clark suffered concussion in the second term of the Roosters’ loss last weekend and will miss this game, as will Jaime Norup who injured her shoulder in the same match. Coming into the side are a couple of bookends in Kelly Barltrop and Talia Radan who are important talls, whilst another State Academy member in Kate Case comes into the side after missing last week. North Adelaide should get up in this game given the Roosters have a defence that not only features Radan, but Amber Ward and Kristi Harvey are intercept machines, and the talent and run of Poppy Waterford, with the tough Jaimi Tabb and Amelie Borg. Lauren Gauci has also been a crucial inclusion to the side, whilst Ashleigh Woodland remains a difficult player to quell up forward. For the Double Blues, the midfield could try and match it with the Roosters, with Alisha Gepp, Jaimee Wittervan and Isobel Kuiper roving to Jess Good who are all in good form. Zoe Prowse has managed to get up for this game, and will rejoin fellow State Academy members Alex Ballard and Georgia Swan inside 50, while Kiera Mueller was superb off half-back last week.

GLENELG vs. CENTRAL DISTRICT
Saturday, May 15 @ 12:45pm
ACH Group Stadium

The final game of the round pits second placed Glenelg up against a Central District side needing a lot of luck to secure a finals berth. The Bulldogs could grab fourth, but not only need to win, but need South Adelaide to beat West Adelaide – certainly possible – but also Sturt to upset North Adelaide – a lot less likely – in order to be playing next week. Madison Lane was stretchered off last week and will miss this game, with the likes of Chantel Reynolds, Paige Allan, Nicola Biagi and Taryn Wills named in an extended Central team. Shae Partington and Airlie Schirmer are out of the Bays’ side, and into it come Molly Affolter, Lucy Armitage and Sarah Goodwin among five chances to the side. The Bulldogs can beat anyone on their day, and with Isabelle Starmer having a good season in the ruck, and the likes of captain Shelby Smith, Caitlen Teague and Chloe Scheer impressing through the midfield, they have the core for an upset. Laitiah Huynh and Lauren Breguet are exciting young forwards, whilst Katelyn Rosenzweig with Reynolds form a great duo inside 50. The Bays have proven to hold the strongest clearance side in the business, with Ebony Marinoff returning last week with a best on ground performance, and she teamed up well with the likes of Tessa Kohn, Ellie Kellock and Jessica Bates. Brooke Tonon was superb off half-back, with Caitlin Gould and Sam Franson dangerous forwards. Overall the Glenelg side has quite strong depth, though the direct and exciting play of the Bulldogs always gives them a shot at the win.

Picture credit: SANFL / Cory Sutton

SANFL Women’s Round 10 wrap: Top two decided as two finals spots up for grabs

NORWOOD and Glenelg have confirmed their spots as the top two sides in the South Australian Football League (SANFL) Women’s competition following wins on the weekend. It left two spots up for grabs, with third placed South Adelaide saluting to have one foot in the post-season series, whilst West Adelaide temporarily dislodged North Adelaide in fourth spot thanks to a victory over the Roosters.

STURT 1.0 | 1.0 | 1.0 | 2.1 (13)
SOUTH ADELAIDE 2.3 | 5.6 | 7.6 | 9.6 (60)

GOALS:

Sturt: A. Ballard, C. Forby.
South: J. Hickey 3, J. Hooper 2, N. Campbell 2, S. Flanagan-Sjoberg, J. Kirk.

DC BEST:

Sturt: K. Mueller, J. Good, J. Wittervan, K. Harris, H. Prenzler
South: T. Charlton, T. Buethke, M. McKinnon, J. Hickey, C. Hammond

South Adelaide has moved into third spot on the SANFL Women’s ladder with a commanding 47-point win over Sturt to all but secure yet another finals series for the two-time premier and reigning runner-up. The Panthers piled on seven of the first eight goals – including three to Jordann Hickey and two to Jorja Hooper – to lead by as much as 42 points at the final break. Chloe Forby kicked the first of the final term, but a couple of late ones in favour of the visitors secured the win, 9.6 (60) to 2.1 (13).

Cheyenne Hammond (16 disposals, five marks, four tackles and three rebound 50s) and Jaslynne Smith (15 disposals, six marks, four tackles, three clearances and two rebound 50s) were both lively out of the back half, while Teah Charlton (15 disposals, six marks, three tackles, two clearances and two rebound 50s) and Nicole Campbell (14 disposals, three marks, seven tackles, three inside 50s and two goals) got it done in opposites halves of the ground roaming through the midfield. Tahlita Buethke (13 disposals, four tackles, five clearances and three inside 50s) was again influential, whilst Montana McKinnon (nine disposals, 31 hitouts, four clearances and four inside 50s) stood tall.

Kiera Mueller led the Double Blues out of defence with 20 disposals, three marks, two tackles and four rebound 50s, whilst Hannah Prenzler (16 disposals, four marks, two clearances and two rebound 50s) was also solid back there. Jess Good (18 disposals, four marks, 23 hitouts and five clearances) was influential around the ground having a great battle with McKinnon, while Jaimee Wittervan (19 disposals, six clearances and three inside 50s) and Kate Harris (16 disposals, two tackles and four clearances) were prolific at the stoppages.

South Adelaide take on West Adelaide next week, with the winner to play finals, and the loser to wait on other results. For Sturt, the Double Blues are a part of those other results, with the chance to stop reigning premiers North Adelaide from entering the top four when they host them at Unley Oval.

NORTH ADELAIDE 0.1 | 0.4 | 1.6 | 2.7 (19)
WEST ADELAIDE 0.1 | 2.3 | 4.3 | 6.3 (39)

GOALS:

North: E. Greet, K. Pope.
West: L. Young, C. Biddell, A. Considine, S. Griffiths, B. Owen.

DC BEST:

North: K. Pope, L. Gauci, A. Ward, M. Ney, P. Waterford
West: L. Young, S. Whiting, C. Biddell, Z. Venning, S. Dargan

West Adelaide has kept its finals hopes alive by knocking off reigning premiers North Adelaide and securing fourth spot heading into the final round. Both sides took a while to get going with the ridiculously strong defences standing tall and not allowing much through. It took until young gun Lauren Young split the big sticks in the second term to break the drought, with the Bloods booting the first four goals of the game to lead by 23 points midway through the third term. North Adelaide kicked the next two of the match – and could have had more with the likes of Ash Woodland (three behinds) and Tayla Thorn (two) both having chances, but late majors to State Academy members Young and Scarlett Griffiths sealed the 20-point win.

Young was outstanding once again, collecting 20 disposals, taking seven marks – three contested – laying six tackles, and having two clearances, two inside 50s and two rebound 50s, as well as slotting her two goals. In defence, Sharni Whiting was back to her best, racking up a match-high 22 disposals, as well as seven marks – two contested – and six rebound 50s. The AFLW experience of Ailish Considine (15 disposals, two marks and a goal), Sarah Dargan (15 disposals, two marks, 11 tackles and two clearances) and Chelsea Biddell (14 disposals, five marks – two contested – three tackles, eight hitouts, four inside 50s and a goal) counted for plenty, while Zoe Venning was fierce around the ground picking up 15 disposals, five marks, three inside 50s and three rebound 50s.

For North, Katelyn Pope kicked a goal and had a team-high 19 disposals, as well as two marks, three tackles and two clearances, while Lauren Gauci (15 disposals, four marks, two tackles, two inside 50s and two rebound 50s) and Amber Ward (14 disposals, three marks and three rebound 50s) were superb bringing back their AFLW experience. Woodland had chances with her three behinds, but still put together a solid performance of 13 disposals, two marks, four tackles and two inside 50s while Poppy Waterford (12 disposals, two marks, two clearances, four inside 50s and two rebound 50s) and debutant Monika Ney (10 disposals, five tackles and five clearances) also impressed.

The final round is huge for both these teams, with West Adelaide needing a win to secure a finals spot when they take on the Panthers, while if they lose, they will need Sturt to knock off North Adelaide, otherwise North will take fourth position back and knock the Bloods out of the finals.

NORWOOD 4.0 | 4.0 | 5.1 | 6.2 (38)
CENTRAL DISTRICT 0.1 | 2.3 | 4.4 | 5.5 (35)

GOALS:

Norwood: E. Drake 2, R. Zerella 2, N. Allen, J. Halfpenny.
Central: A. Butler, K. Rosenzweig, C. Scheer, L. Breguet, C. Wendland.

DC BEST:

Norwood: L. Cutting, N. Allen, A. Ferrall, S. Armitstead, J. Halfpenny
Central: S. Smith. C. Scheer, K. Rosenzweig, L. Breguet, K. Searle

A fast start has helped Norwood secure the minor premiership and sit pretty heading into the final round to prepare for Glenelg in the first week of finals. The Redlegs piled on four goals in the opening term to race out to a 23-point lead at quarter time. Central District showed the amount of development over the past 12 months by fighting back to boot four of the next five goals over the two quarters to head into the final break just three points down. Norwood kicked a steadier early in the quarter, before Katelyn Rosenzweig almost stole the win for the Bulldogs with a couple of chances on goal to boot 1.1, with her second shot in the remaining 10 seconds missing for the Redlegs to win 6.2 (38) to 5.5 (35).

Leah Cutting was enormous around the ground, dominating in the ruck with 17 disposals, six marks – two contested – 10 tackles, 38 hitouts, four clearances, three inside 50s and four rebound 50s in a clear best afield effort. Najwa Allen (18 disposals, two marks, two clearances and 1.2) also impressed in the midfield, while Sophie Armitstead (10 disposals, five tackles, five clearances, three inside 50s and two rebound 50s) aided her cause. Youngsters Jade Halfpenny (11 disposals, four marks, three tackles, three inside 50s and a goal) and Alana Lishmund (13 disposals, seven tackles) found their fair share of the ball, as did Alison Ferrall (12 disposals, two marks, three tackles and six rebound 50s) in defence.

Captain Shelby Smith led from the front for the Bulldogs, picking up 14 touches, laying nine tackles and having two clearances and two inside 50s. Rosenzweig (13 disposals, four marks – two contested – four tackles, two hitouts, two clearances and two inside 50s) and Chloe Scheer (13 disposals, three marks – one contested – four tackles, two clearances, four inside 50s and one goal) both hit the scoreboard. State Academy players Lauren Breguet (10 disposals, three marks – one contested – four tackles, two inside 50s and a goal) and Laitiah Huynh (nine disposals, three tackles) had solid performances, while Karissa Searle (eight disposals, four inside 50s and Caitlen Teague (seven disposals, three marks three tackles and two inside 50s) also tried hard throughout the contest.

Norwood takes on Woodville-West Torrens Eagles in the final round in a battle of top-against-bottom, with the result effectively negligible for the Redlegs who have secured top spot. They will still want to head into the post-season series with a win, whilst for the Eagles, a victory could keep them from the wooden spoon. Central District has done enough to ensure they cannot win the wooden spoon in 2021, but are not completely out of the race for finals. They need West Adelaide to lose to South Adelaide, and Sturt to upset North Adelaide in order to grab fourth spot.

WWT EAGLES 0.1 | 0.2 | 0.2 | 0.4 (4)
GLENELG 2.2 | 3.3 | 7.5 | 11.6 (72)

GOALS:

Eagles: Nil.
Glenelg: M. Freeman 3, M. Girvan 2, E. Kellock 2, C. Swanson, C. Gould, S. Franson, C. Packer.

DC BEST:

Eagles: A. Falkenberg, S. Goody, K. Lee, N. Collie, R. Forth
Glenelg: E. Marinoff, M. Girvan, T. Kohn, C. Gould, B. Tonon

In the most one-sided game of the season, Glenelg has stormed to an easy 68-point belting of last placed Woodville-West Torrens Eagles to secure second spot on the SANFL Women’s ladder heading into the finals. The Bays booted eight goals in the second half after only leading by 21 points at the main break, restricting the home side to just two behinds in each quarter. Glenelg had 58 more disposals, 30 more hitouts, 28 more clearances and 25 more inside 50s in an old fashioned shellacking.

A player by the name of Ebony Marinoff did alright upon her return to state level from the AFLW, racking up a casual 30 touches, three marks, five tackles, 10 clearances and five inside 50s, having more clearances than the entire opposition team (10-9). She had plenty of support around her though, with Tessa Kohn (16 disposals, four tackles, six clearances and three inside 50s) and Ellie Kellock (12 disposals, two marks, two tackles, three clearances, three inside 50s and two goals) both influential at the stoppages, and Meara Girvan (15 disposals, five marks – two contested – 23 hitouts, three clearances and two goals) and Caitlin Gould (13 disposals, five marks – one contested – four tackles, 22 hitouts, two clearances, two inside 50s and a goal) taking control through the ruck. Brooke Tonon (14 disposals, two marks, five tackles, two clearances and four rebound 50s was again impressive off half-back, while Jessica Bates (13 disposals, three marks, 10 tackles and two inside 50s) was consistent yet again.

Anastasia Falkenberg was a clear standout of the Eagles in the heavy loss, collecting a team-high 18 disposals, five marks and 10 tackles, while Shineah Goody continued her strong debut season with 17 touches, four marks, three tackles and two rebound 50s. Kiana Lee (14 disposals, two marks, three tackles and three rebound 50s), Nicole Collie (12 disposals, three marks and five rebound 50s) and Renee Forth (16 disposals, four marks – two contested – and three tackles) also tried hard against stiff opposition.

Woodville-West Torrens Eagles finish their season up against minor premiers Norwood who come in winning eight of the past nine games, and the Eagles’ hope that the chance of missing the wooden spoon will spur them onto victory against a Redlegs side that already has locked up top spot. For the Bays, second place is secure, but they can knock Central District out of the finals race of they get up in the Saturday afternoon clash at ACH Group Stadium.

Picture credit: John Emery / SANFL

2021 SANFL Women’s preview: Round 10 – Ladder-defining round of action

IT might not be finals time just yet, but if the top four sides can topple the bottom four sides this weekend in the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s action, then it will seal up the finals spots ahead of the last round.

NORWOOD vs. CENTRAL DISTRICT
Friday, May 7 @ 7:00pm
Coopers Stadium

Coming off their first loss in eight weeks, Norwood will be hungry to get back to business against Central District who did pretty well last week against a strong West Adelaide side, but it was not enough to come away with the points. Unlike the other three sides in the bottom four, the Bulldogs do have a superior percentage to those teams just inside the four – and both above have one draw – meaning an upset win, and a loss to either South Adelaide or North Adelaide this week will hand Central District a top four spot heading into the last week. Norwood is looking pretty good to secure top spot on the table, sitting one-and-a-half games clear of Glenelg, with just one win needed to secure the minor premiership. The likes of Alicia Butler and Ella Mickan will return to the Bulldogs outfit on an extended bench, while the Redlegs have brought back vital ruck, Leah Cutting, and in-form Ella Murison. Youngsters Sarah Branford and Lana Schwerdt are amongst the outs for this game, but the Redlegs are looking very strong. Isabelle Starmer has put together some great form through the ruck and will enjoy a battle with Cutting and possibly youngster Jade Halfpenny who has been named there. Bulldogs captain Shelby Smith and Adelaide AFLW midfielder Najwa Allen could go head-to-head in the midfield, whilst the Norwood defence will need to find a way of slowing down key forward duo Katelyn Rosenzweig and Chantel Reynolds. Sophie Armitstead could be the player to try and quell the red-hot Chloe Scheer, whilst State Academy members Alana Lishmund and Madison Lane could go head-to-head in this clash. Norwood should be too strong, but the Bulldogs have the capacity and talent to beat anyone on their day if they take their chances.

WWT EAGLES vs. GLENELG
Saturday, May 8 @ 10:10am
Maughan Thiem Kia Oval

Whilst finals seems a stretch for the Woodville-West Torrens Eagles – the results needed to occur are near impossible – they can still play the role of party pooper to finals-bound sides, whilst trying to jump off the bottom of the table. The Eagles strung three consecutive wins together this season, but with the return of AFL Women’s talents, they have been more inexperienced, but providing games to great future talents. For Round 9, the Eagles have lost Jessica Evans to concussion, but regain Renee Forth to bolster that minimal AFL Women’s talent. Their opponents Glenelg are not mucking around though, with Ebony Marinoff pulling on the black and gold for the first time this season, returning to the Bays’ outfit with Molly Affolter, Lucy Armitage and Caitlyn Swanson among others for an extended bench after multiple players have dropped out due to illness. Marinoff joins an already strong midfield of Ellie Kellock, Jessica Bates, Tessa Kohn and Brooke Tonon who are all in great form, and Caitlin Gould is a crucial player up forward or through the ruck. The Eagles have so much developing talent that will benefit from the experience against AFLW-listed players with Shineah Goody, Jamie Parish and Charlotte Dolan just a few of them. The reliable combination of Anastasia Falkenberg and Jovanka Zecevic will always stand up in big moments, and they will need to be key players in this game if the Eagles are to cause a massive boilover. The Bays also need to win this to keep touch with Norwood at the top of the table, and fend off last year’s grand finalists in North Adelaide and South Adelaide. It is hard to see the Bays losing this given their side on paper, but this has been one heck of a season for upsets.

STURT vs. SOUTH ADELAIDE
Saturday, May 8 @ 11:00am
Prospect Oval

South Adelaide can go a long way to securing a finals spot with a win over a Sturt team that just refuses to go away in the SANFL Women’s competition. Just when you think the Double Blues are out of the running, they produce a massive performance like they did against the Eagles last week to just remain in contention. A loss here would cut the chord on any finals hopes if North Adelaide get up as well, but a win, and the Double Blues could be in the top four given their percentage is higher than the two sides in there, and they take on the fourth placed Panthers. Captain Maya Rigter will miss with a foot injury, Alysha Healy is out with a shoulder injury and Lane Trenorden suffered a knee injury. They welcome back Tiah Hough, Nicole Baker and Ally Ladas to an extended bench as they try and plot South Adelaide’s downfall. The Panthers are coming off a great win over Norwood, and with their team at full strength, it showed just how good this side could be. Madison Bennett is the sole exclusion from the team, with young key forward Jorja Hooper, and defender Lucy Northcott among the inclusions. Jaslynne Smith will run out for her 50th game this weekend, and will be a key part of that Panthers backline with Lisa Whiteley and Brianna Wedding who have put together strong performances. The Sturt forward line of young talent seems to be ticking over nicely, with Alex Ballard slotting three goals last week, and with Zoe Prowse providing the height, and Chloe Forby and Georgia Swan among the developing talents in there, the Double Blues have enough firepower down there. The Sturt midfield of Alisha Gepp, Jaimee Wittervan and Isobel Kuiper will get its greatest test this weekend with Teah Charlton, Nicole Campbell and Tahlita Buethke all in ripping form and could be the deciding factor. The Panthers should get up based on their lineup, but the Double Blues will not make it easy for them.

NORTH ADELAIDE vs. WEST ADELAIDE
Saturday, May 8 @ 12:45pm
Prospect Oval

The final game of the round, and the second of a double-header at Prospect Oval sees the Roosters host West Adelaide in a massive clash. The Roosters tentatively sit in third spot, and thanks to their higher percentage compared to South Adelaide, have some sort of a buffer, but they could lose that with West and one of Central District or Sturt getting up. The Westies need to win to keep touch with the top four and frankly their side is too good not to play finals, but the Roosters also have such a consistent lineup it is hard to imagine them not competing at the pointy end. North has just brought in a potential debutant in Monika Ney to an extended bench, with not too much needing changed for the reigning premiers. Despite Marinoff coming back for Glenelg, the Roosters have not unleashed Anne Hatchard yet, with the team having a strong enough team on its own with Leah Tynan, Brianna Arthur and Erica Greet rolling through the midfield. Youngsters Kate Case and Julia Clark are versatile enough to slot in anywhere, whilst the defence of Kristi Harvey, Amber Ward and Talia Radan is just ridiculously strong. Amelie Borg can be utilised as a more athletic tall, whilst Jaimi Tabb has the freedom to play inside or out, add in Lauren Gauci who returned in style to the competition, and Ash Woodland up front, and the Roosters have so much past and present AFLW talent. West Adelaide has plenty of talent itself, as one of the most exciting young sides. Sarah Dargan, Ailish Considine and talented junior Lauren Young form a massive midfield trio, while Chelsea Biddell and Melanie Elsegood are reliable targets to hit up forward. The talls are surrounded by young talent in Zoe Venning, Abbie Ballard and Charlie Scutchings, while Imogen Loftes was one of four players to return, and slots straight onto a wing. Sharni Whiting has been strong overhead in defence for the Westies this season, while Madi Russell and Taylah Jayne have also served as strong interceptors and rebounders. This is a 50/50 game with North Adelaide having an incredibly experienced defence, but there is something about West Adelaide that could see the Bloods grab the win and make the final week interesting.

Picture credit: SANFL