Tag: jamie parish

SANFL Women’s Round 1 wrap: Dogs and Bays impress as Roosters and Bloods knock off finals scalps again

FOR the first time in their history, Central District recorded the highest South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s score of the round, booting 8.5 (53) during a win against Woodville-West Torrens Eagles to wrap up a huge weekend of action. The Bulldogs showed why they will be a tough team to beat this season, scoring one more point than an equally impressive Glenelg outfit that raced to the top of the table with a 32-point win over Sturt. In the Saturday games of last year’s finalists, North Adelaide won by 21 points over South Adelaide, while West Adelaide defeated Norwood by 14 points.

NORTH ADELAIDE 1.0 | 4.2 | 5.3 | 5.3 (33)
SOUTH ADELAIDE 0.3 | 1.3 | 1.3 | 1.6 (12)

GOALS:

North: K. Barltrop 2, T. Gordon 2, C. Castle.
South: N. Campbell.

DC BEST:

North: H. Ewings, T. Radan, E. Sundstrom, K. Harvey, L. Daniel, J. Tabb
South: G. Schirmer, C. Cavouras, N. Campbell, R. Moon, M. McKinnon. S. Flanagan-Sjoberg

Reigning premiers North Adelaide kicked off the 2021 season in style, with a 21-point victory over their grand final victims, South Adelaide. The Roosters kicked the only goal of the first term through Cristie Castle after three Panthers behinds to lead by three points at the first change. A Kelly Barltrop goal straight out of the blocks in the second term saw the Roosters extend the lead out to ads much as 10 points, before Nicole Campbell scored what would be the only South goal on the day. From there, it was all North Adelaide as Barltrop and Tayla Gordon booted three goals in the next 19 minutes, and by the two-minute mark of the third term, the Roosters were out to a 23-point lead. The 24-point final break advantage would be the most of the match, with three behinds to a desperate South in the final term not enough to overthrow the result.

The stats were fairly even in terms of ball-winning, but the Roosters were more efficient, running at 70 per cent compared to 63 per cent, whilst laying 12 more tackles (79-67). The five goals from eight scoring shots was far higher for the home side over the Panthers’ one from seven, but it was the Roosters’ defence that stood tall. South Adelaide dominated the inside 50s (34-26), hitouts (29-14) and clearances (22-17), but the reliable Roosters rebounded the ball 32 times to 21 to ensure they were able to hold up against the Panthers’ advances.

Young gun bottom-ager Hannah Ewings was unbelievable to kick-off the season, racking up 22 disposals, two marks, five tackles, five clearances, eight inside 50s and three rebounds in the win, whilst Kristi Harvey (12 disposals, five rebounds), Talia Radan (17 disposals, four rebounds) and Poppy Waterford (nine disposals, six rebounds) were among the steadfast defenders for the winners. New recruit Jaimi Tabb fitted in seamlessly with 14 disposals, seven tackles, three clearances and three rebounds, while Lauren Daniel (17 disposals, three rebounds) and Erin Sundstrom (17 disposals, three marks and four tackles) also found plenty of the ball.

For the Panthers, AFL Women’s Academy member Gypsy Schirmer had a day out driving the ball forward with 21 disposals, seven inside 50s and a whopping nine tackles in the loss, as Renee Moon came in and stood out thanks to 23 disposals, five clearances and three inside 50s. Campbell (16 disposals, three marks, five tackles, three clearances, three rebounds and a goal) was sensational once again, while Czenya Cavouras‘ tackling pressure (18 disposals, 11 tackles and three clearances) were crucial around the stoppages. Young guns, Tahlia Buethke (12 disposals, three inside 50s) and Montana McKinnon (11 disposals, 20 hitouts), and Sophia Flanagan-Sjoberg (19 disposals, five marks and three inside 50s) also shone.

North Adelaide face Glenelg in the second of three games at Hisense Stadium next Saturday afternoon, while South Adelaide host Norwood on Friday night at Flinders University Stadium.

 

NORWOOD 1.1 | 1.2 | 1.3 | 2.4 (16)
WEST ADELAIDE 1.2 | 2.3 | 3.4 | 4.6 (30)

GOALS:

Norwood: E. Drake, K. Fenton
West: A. Considine, M. Newman, B. Owen, G. Ramsay

BEST:

Norwood: L. Cutting, E. Clark. E. Drake. E. Gallagher, S. Armitstead, T. Maher
West: L. Young, M. Newman, A. Considine, Z. Venning, S. Whiting,. B. Owen

A remarkable performance from 15-year-old debutant Lauren Young, and a defence that was hard to penetrate has led to West Adelaide grabbing an important 14-point Round 1 win over Norwood on Friday night. The Bloods were consistent throughout the game, booting a goal in each of the four quarters, and whilst the Redlegs were never out of the contest, could not put enough on the board to surpass them, going down 4.6 (30) to 2.4 (16).

Adelaide AFL Women’s player Ailish Considine suited up for the Bloods and immediately made her presence felt with the first goal of the match seven minutes in. The reply came from Norwood’s Kate Fenton to put her team a point up midway through the term, before a couple of late behinds in favour of the Westies levelled the scores. After near misses from both sides in the second term, Madison Newman kicked truly and the visitors led by seven points at the main break. A low-scoring third term again saw West boot the one goal with Gretel Ramsay adding her name to the list of scorers, whilst an early final quarter goal to Elizabeth Drake cut the deficit to within seven points and give the home team a sniff, only for Bec Owen to kick truly five minutes later and shut the door on the contest.

Norwood’s ball use was strong, winning 13 more disposals at 68 per cent efficiency compared to West Adelaide’s 59 per cent. The Redlegs also dominated the hitouts (35-13) and inside 50s (34-21), but the defence of the Bloods was unbelievable, with 29 rebounds to 16, and scoring almost 50 per cent of the time they went inside 50. Norwood on the other hand could not fully capitalise on their dominance, and managed to score in less than 20 per cent of occasions the ball went inside 50.

All eyes were on the highly-touted Young coming into the side for her first League game, and she did not disappoint, recording a match-high 23 disposals, as well as nine marks – three contested – seven tackles, two clearances, five inside 50s and five rebounds to genuinely do it all for the Bloods. Considine showed why she can play at the highest level with 18 touches, three marks, five tackles, two inside 50s, three rebounds and a goal, while boom recruit Sharnie Whiting was symbolic of the Bloods’ defence with six rebounds from 16 touches and two marks. Newman (13 disposals, four marks, nine tackles and three rebounds), Zoe Venning (13 disposals, four tackles, two clearances and two inside 50s) and Owen (11 disposals, two tackles, two clearances and four inside 50s) were others who stood out.

Leah Cutting used all of her experience to dominate the ruck for the Redlegs with 33 hitouts and five clearances to accompany her 11 disposals, nine tackles and three inside 50s. Emma Clark (12 disposals, four marks, four tackles and five inside 50s) and Drake (11 disposals, four marks and four inside 50s) were busy in the front half, while Elisha Gallagher (16 disposals, three clearances and four inside 50s) and Sophie Armitstead (14 disposals, five tackles, six clearances and two inside 50s) were strong on the inside. Ex-Eagles talent Tesharna Maher also made a solid debut in Redlegs colours with 11 touches, two marks, three tackles, two clearances and two inside 50s.

Norwood head to Friday night lights once again when they take on South Adelaide at Flinders University Stadium, while West Adelaide play in the final of three games at Hisense Stadium on Saturday when they take on Woodville-West Torrens Eagles.

 

STURT 0.0 | 1.0 | 2.1 | 3.2 (20)
GLENELG 3.1 | 5.2 | 6.3 | 8.4 (52)

GOALS:

Sturt: G. Swan, A. Gepp, K. Harris.
Glenelg: C. Packer 3, C. Swanson 2, M. Freeman 2, S. Franson.

DC BEST:

Sturt: Z. Prowse, I. Kuiper, H. Prenzler, K, Mueller, A. Gepp, L. Schenscher
Glenelg: S. Franson, C. Packer, J. Bates, E. Kellock, M. Freeman, C. Swanson

Glenelg has kick-started its 2021 season with an impressive four-quarter performance against the Double Blues, defeating Sturt by 32 points at X Convenience Oval. The Bays booted five goals to one in the opening half to set up the win, and either levelled or won the four quarters to put together a commanding performance.

The first 30 minutes belonged to Glenelg as they piled on 5.1 to 0.0 in a complete domination. By the 12th minute mark of the second term, Chelsea Packer had two goals, as did Caitlyn Swanson, of whom the latter slotted back-to-back majors in the opening term. Madisyn Freeman also kicked an early goal in the second quarter, while Sam Franson was looking dangerous with a couple of behinds. It took until the 16th minute of the second term for Kate Harris to break the drought for Sturt.

Less than two minutes into the second half Franson added more pain to the Double Blues, then stretched the lead out to 33 points midway through the quarter. Georgia Swan responded late in the term, but Sturt was on the back foot, trailing by 26 points at the final break. Any chance of a comeback was soon stuffed out by Freeman three minutes into the final term, and then Packer slotted her third midway through the quarter for a game-high 38-point lead. Alisha Gepp scored a consolation goal in the dying minutes to reduce the final margin to 32 points, but the Tigers were too good with Glenelg securing the 8.4 (52) to 3.2 (20) victory.

Glenelg dominated possession with 41 more disposals, and also lifted the defensive intensity to lay 64-37 tackles in the match. Despite being overwhelmed in the hitouts (Sturt won 40-17), the Bays managed to shark the clearances (29-20) and absolutely smash the Double Blues in the inside 50s (37-12). To Sturt’s credit the defence held up best it could with 28 rebounds to eight, while the forwards managed to score five times from the 12 entries, while Glenelg scored 12 times from 37 entries.

Franson starred for the Bays, picking up 21 disposals, four marks, four tackles, three clearances, eight inside 50s and booting 1.3, as she and the likes of Packer (13 disposals, four marks, four inside 50s and three goals), Freeman (eight disposals, four tackles, two inside 50s and two goals) and Swanson (eight disposals, two tackles and two goals) all hit the scoreboard multiple times. In midfield, Ellie Kellock (17 disposals, five clearances and three inside 50s), Jess Bates (14 disposals, seven tackles, four clearances and three inside 50s) and Tessa Kohn (10 disposals, three tackles and five clearances) were all strong.

For Sturt, it was no surprise to see Zoe Prowse dominating through the ruck with 20 hitouts to go with 13 touches, six tackles, four clearances and three inside 50s, teaming up well with Isobel Kuiper (18 disposals, four clearances) and Gepp (11 disposals, three marks and three clearances). Helping out in defence, Larissa Schenscher (11 disposals, four rebounds), Hannah Prenzler (seven disposals, four rebounds) and Maya Rigter (seven disposals, five rebounds) all tried hard to keep the game alive.

Sturt and Glenelg both head to Hisense Stadium in Round 2, with the Double Blues taking on Central District, while Glenelg face reigning premiers North Adelaide.

 

CENTRAL DISTRICT 3.0 | 5.2 | 5.3 | 8.5 (53)
WWT EAGLES 2.1 | 3.1 | 3.3 | 4.3 (27)

GOALS:

Central: C. Reynolds 3, L. Huynh 2, P. Allan, N. Biagi, L. Breguet.
Eagles: E. Gianakis, A. Gooley, C. Whitington-Charity, J. Zecevic.

DC BEST:

Central: N. Biagi, L. Smith. C. Teague, L. Huyhn, C. Richards
Eagles: A. Falkenberg, N. Holmes, J. Zecevic, K. Lee, C. Dolan

Central District showed just how good it could be these season with an impressive performance against Woodville-West Torrens Eagles to notch up a Round 1 win by 26 points in front of home fans. Whilst the Eagles challenged the Bulldogs throughout the contest, a three goals to one final term saw the home team kick away and win, 8.5 (53) to 4.3 (27).

The Bulldogs signalled their intentions early with two quick goals – to Chantel Reynolds and Lauren Breguet – in the opening three minutes of play to race away to an early lead. Eli Gianakis was looking dangerous for the Eagles with an important goal midway through the term, before speedster Laitiah Huynh responded for the bulldogs. A late goal to Jovanka Zecevic saw the Eagles cut the quarter time margin to less than a kick. When Astrid Gooley kicked truly just 47 seconds into the second term, the Eagles had hit the front.

They would not kick another goal until the final term, as ex-Rooster Paige Allan kicked her first in Doggies colours, while Huynh scored a second for the home team to lead by 13 points at the main break. Neither team could put through a major in the premiership quarter, with the Eagles only cutting into the deficit by one point, but back-to-back goals to Reynolds – making it three for the day – and Nicola Biagi put the final nail in the coffin as a consolation goal to Chloe Whitington-Charity only reduced the final margin, with the Bulldogs getting up by just over four goals.

Central District dominated the disposals, with 50 more touches than their opponents, but it was their kick-first mentality (70.3 per cent kicks to Eagles’ 63.2 per cent) that made their efforts more effective. They also had more marks (47-39), tackles (48-37), hitouts (33-20), clearances (24-21), inside 50s (26-25) and rebounds (20-17) in a complete performance. A promising aspect of the Eagles’ play was the fact in many of their statistics they broke even, and had better ball efficiency (74 per cent to 69 per cent).

Lauren Smith led all-comers with 17 disposals, three marks, six tackles, three clearances, two inside 50s and two rebounds, while Caitlen Teague (16 disposals, four marks, three tackles, three clearances and two inside 50s) and Biagi (16 disposals, three marks, five tackles, four inside 50s and a goal) also won plenty of it. Youngsters, Huynh (12 disposals, five tackles, two clearances and two goals) and Breguet (11 disposals, five marks, two inside 50s and one goal) both hit the scoreboard and looked dangerous. Reynolds (eight disposals, three goals) managed to make the most of her chances, while Katelyn Rosenzweig (12 disposals, five marks and three behinds) could have been an equal threat with greater accuracy.

For the Eagles, Anastasia Falkenberg had 17 touches, four marks, five tackles, three clearances, two inside 50s and three rebounds, teaming up well with Zecevic (18 disposals, three clearances and one goal) through midfield. The Eagles’ youngsters in Kiana Lee (14 disposals, six marks – four contested – two inside 50s and two rebounds), Charlotte Dolan (12 disposals, three marks, two tackles, three clearances and two inside 50s) and Jamie Parish (nine disposals, four marks, four tackles, two clearances and two rebounds) held their own in the match.

Next week the Bulldogs head to Hisense Stadium where they face Sturt in the opening game of a triple-header, while the Eagles meet West Adelaide in the final of the three matches there on on Saturday afternoon.

Picture credit: On The Ball Media

Eagles looking for a balance of youth and experience in 2021

WOODVILLE-West Torrens Eagles boast a young line-up heading into their Round 1 clash in the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s with development coach, Andy Hood highlighting the amount of work the side has done to become fitter and stronger heading into their 2021 campaign.

“Preseason has been really strong. It started way back in November, we’ve got a real focus on getting fitter. I think in the three years that we’ve been in the competition, I certainly feel we’re better prepared and a lot fitter and stronger than we had been the last couple of years. So it’s been a really good preseason, we’ve got excellent strength and conditioning people in our team that’s been fantastic. It’s been really a strong preseason,” he said.

Over the pre-season, Hood made mention of the number of young players that managed to make their way down and wasted no time highlighting the number of exciting prospects preparing to take on the season.

“During our trials and sort of our preseason we’ve really been able to get some really good young players come into our football club,” he said.

Hood, heaped plenty of praise on the likes of Shineah Goody, Astrid Gooley and Chloe Whitington-Charity with the trio causing waves at the club with their intensity, willingness at the contest and skillset while Audrey Holt has also caught the eye ahead of Round 1.

“The ones that we really have been impressed with is Shineah Goody, young kid,” he said. “From our country zone, really excited about her in the future. She’s definitely someone to keep an eye on. She can play back and up forward, very elusive has a bit of x-factor, reads the ball really well. Just really strong around the front and centre of the contest.”

“There’s Astrid Gooley from SMOSH, excellent, young lady of 16 years of age, big future, great overhead mark, will play up forward.”

“Chloe Whitington-Charity another young kid from Henley just a real fit young athletic type player, fast we feel that she’s going to be a future leader this young lady has done really well to get a debut game tomorrow. Just really fast on the outside, good overhead mark loves the contest.”

“Audrey Holt, I’m not sure where she’s from, no she’s from Woodville South. Just a tackling machine hard at it. Will bounce up and just go again and again and again we love her appetite for the contest. She’s someone that you’ll just “geez that girl just goes hard.” A real small frame but just has a real desire for the, for the contest in the battle.

In terms of familiar faces, Hood also made mention of reigning best and fairest winner Jovanka Zecevic along with Lili Gambrainis and Jamie Parish with the trio hoping to elevate their game even further for the Eagles this season.

“[Zecevic] won our club champion last year has had a really strong preseason,” Hood said. “You know, we’re expecting she’ll take her game to another level and starting to develop into one of these players where you’re just a real match winner. Strong midfield player that sets up some opportunities for your team.”

“[Lili] is a real athletic strong at the contest, a real competitor loves the contest and good overhead and you know won’t give her opponent anything.”

“The other is Jamie Parish, of course who has been in the team last year and this year, Jamie’s in the state team and just someone that is going to develop into a really good footballer strong overhead, likes the contests likes to body the opponent has a real strong football brain.”

Although she is new to the team she is not new to the league, as Hood highlighted the influence Brooklyn Kraft has had since crossing over to the club for her first season in Eagles colours despite still being a developing player.

“Brooke Kraft from South Adelaide came over,” he said. “She’s great, overhead mark, tall. “Developing player, but someone that will give us a lot in the aerial contest, which is something that we probably lacked around the ground.”

With youth aplenty throughout the squad it can be somewhat difficult to find that perfect mix of young up and coming players along with experienced members however, Hood believes that the Eagles have really focused on developing a side that can balance all aspects throughout the pre-season.

“I think the coaching staff and just the way we’ve started preseason and trials and just our different phases of how we train is has really been first class and been able to develop the players of our expectations and standards, we’ve set the standards, really early. It was pretty clear what everyone had to do I think that’s been a big help,” he said.

“I think training … it’s an old analogy, but we’re really training the way that we want to play.”

Looking at what the club wants to be renowned for as a whole throughout the 2021 season, Hood made it clear that he was not going to give away all of his secrets but the side is keen on implementing an attacking brand of footy.

“I think it’s just attacking, attacking and taking the game on,” Hood said. “I mean every team wants to do that but you know it’s to win the footy and then attack, you know, get it into the forward line. “It’s to defend and to defend hard and then get the ball in quickly.”

Woodville-West Torrens Eagles are set to kick things off against Central District tomorrow.

2021 SANFL Women’s Round 1 preview: Grand Final rematch opens season

AFTER a shorter-than-usual wait for the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s competition to restart due to the delayed 2020 season, the eight sides are ready to go in 2021 starting tonight.

NORTH ADELAIDE vs. SOUTH ADELAIDE
Friday, February 26 @ 6.30pm
Coopers Stadium

What better way is there to open a new SANFL Women’s season than with a grand final rematch? The opening game of the double-header at Coopers Stadium sees North Adelaide take on South Adelaide in a massive clash. The Roosters will be able to unfurl the flag against the Panthers, which should give both teams plenty of motivation. It is worth noting that they will be without a number of AFL Women’s talents which means others will have the chance to step up in their place.

Full-forward Kelly Barltrop will be hungry for success after being unlucky to miss out on last year’s flag, while Kristi Harvey has been named at centre half-forward. With league best and fairest winner Anne Hatchard and leading goalkicker Ashleigh Woodland both playing for the Crows in the AFL Women’s the Roosters will need to look for others to play a role. Jaimi Tabb has crossed from the Eagles to Roosters, while Glenelg ruck revelation Soriah Moon will now pull on the Panthers’ jumper. Providing a formidable tag-team with Montana McKinnon, South should get first hands to it, and with a midfield containing the likes of Czenya Cavouras and Nicole Campbell, they will be hard to beat.

Gypsy Schirmer is the young gun to watch from the Panthers with the half-forward an excitement machine, whilst the same can be said for reigning Rising Star Hannah Ewings who will have added responsibility this season. Throw in Leah Tynan and Lauren Daniel through the onball, and the likes of Cristie Castle and Brianna Arthur able to rotate between midfield and forward, and the Roosters have plenty of options. It will be great to see full-back Sarah Wright return for the Panthers, with both her and Lauren Clifton providing some great stability in the defence.

This match is hard to predict, with either team capable of getting up, and both have a great history of just getting the job done. Just for the home fans the edge might go to North, but there is something about the South lineup that looks ready to strike.

NORWOOD vs. WEST ADELAIDE
Friday, February 26 @ 8.15pm
Coopers Stadium

The second match of the double-header is predicted to be just as good, with reigning preliminary finalists West Adelaide locking horns with the side they dispelled in the elimination final, Norwood. West Adelaide have a huge opportunity to make the next step up, with such a large contingent of state league players remaining at the club, and then bringing in some serious talent such as key defender Sharnie Whiting from Carlton.

The youth of West Adelaide cannot be stated enough, with Zoe Venning a standout in terms of this year, and then over the next two years, the Bloods have Keeley Kustermann and then Lauren Young respectively who both loom as great talents. Venning will start off half-forward and look to push into the midfield, while Kustermann will form a new partnership with South Adelaide’s Natalie Gibbs off half-back with Madison Newman likely to have Crows AFL Women’s duties this season. The 15-year-old Young has been thrown into the deep end to start in the midfield, potentially on the experienced Sophie Armitstead.

Norwood have an array of young talent themselves, with Alana Lishmund named on a wing, and Jade Halfpenny surprisingly named in defence after making her name as a leading forward predominantly last season. Tesharna Maher is a new name in the Norwood line-up, having crossed from Eagles over the break. Melanie Elsegood is a player to stop for West, with the Norwood defence looking strong, as Isabel Martin has been named back there, while the likes of Jess Macolino will come off the bench to have an impact.

West Adelaide could well be the team to beat this season, and therefore should be favourites in this game, but Norwood has some exciting young talents as well to watch out for, in what should be an entertaining game.

STURT vs. GLENELG
Saturday, February 27 @ 10.40am
X Convenience Oval

Fast forward to Saturday and two sides looking to make a strong start to the season after missing finals do battle in Sturt and Glenelg. The Double Blues were actually strong defensively last season, but they just struggled to score at times, whilst the Bays were ultra-impressive in some games, and then just not themselves in others, so will be eyeing off some consistency in 2021. It will be a big game for Caitlyn Swanson who has cross from the Double Blues to the Bays this season and will come off the bench in Round 1.

Glenelg has some some developing talents to watch out for, with top-ager Brooke Tonon alongside over-ager Madisyn Freeman at half-forward. They will be looking to create some run and carry going inside 50, with the likes of Tamsyn Morriss and Sam Franson transitioning from the wings. Looking strong as outside movers, Tessa Kohn has been slotted in at half-back after being predominantly an inside midfielder last season, while Lucy Armitage will never take a backwards step and is also in defence. Without Ebony Marinoff and Eloise Jones the Bays will need other midfielders to step up, but they have the depth there.

The Double Blues have some of the best young talent running around, and the depth through the key position options is showing, with Zoe Prowse now running around as a midfielder instead of ruck. The 180cm talent has the athleticism to beat much smaller opponents, and she will provide a point of difference at ground level. Alex Ballard looks set for a move into the midfield, while other over-agers such as Hannah Prenzler (half-back) and Isobel Kuiper (half-forward) will be better for another season. Add in top-ager Georgia Swan at centre half-forward, and the inclusion of Eagles’ Chloe Forby, and the Double Blues are starting to build some firepower.

It will be another tough match to pick, and without Georgia Bevan – having been picked up late to Gold Coast Suns – more will fall to the likes of Maya Rigter for Sturt, but they have the young talent to get it done. One cannot discount Glenelg though, as they have some great outside movers.

CENTRAL DISTRICT vs. WOODVILLE-WEST TORRENS
Saturday, February 27 @ 12.25pm
X Convenience Oval

The final match of the round takes place with Central District hosting Woodville-West Torrens in a battle of the league’s two newest clubs. Though now into their third seasons, both the Bulldogs and Eagles are becoming well established, and if 2020 is anything to go off, they should be more competitive again. Without a heap of AFL Women’s talent last season, both these sides are well adapted to being without that top level experience, which puts them in good stead to have plenty of developing young guns coming through the programs.

The Bulldogs were one of the more exciting teams in 2020 even if their results may not have shown it. They were willing to run the ball forward, and with the need for speed, were taking it up to sides. Latiah Huynh is a perfect example of the way the Dogs play – with speed and tenacity, as well as confidence – and teaming up with fellow youngster Lauren Breguet in the forward half, Central District will look to share the load outside of notable goalkicker Katelyn Rosenzweig. Eagles’ key position utility Kiana Lee has been named at full-back with Anastasia Falkenberg another reliable talent in defence, as is Jamie Parish.

The midfield battle will be just as intriguing with new captain and reigning best and fairest winner Shelby Smith leading the Bulldogs onball, and the likes of Caitlen Teague and Lauren Smith in there. A couple of experienced recruits in Paige Allan and Nicole Mark among those inclusions into the Bulldogs’ line-up, while Madison Lane is a top-age talent with reliable foot skills from defence, while Demi Sonneman is always one to watch coming out of the back 50. A big inclusion for the Eagles is former South Adelaide raw ruck/forward prospect Brooklyn Kraft who will make her debut amongst a host of new faces coming out of the local leagues, while Kiley Green has made the move from the ACT and been named at centre-half back. Charlotte Dolan and Jovanka Zecevic are others to keep an eye on in the match for the Eagles.

Central District has beefed up its side in 2021, with more experience to settle the youth down and the Dogs could start favourite in this one, though the Eagles are always tough to score against.

Picture credit: SANFL

SANFLW Academy Ones to Watch: West Adelaide and WWT Eagles

IN the final of four SANFL Women’s Ones to Watch, we take a look at those West Adelaide and Woodville-West Torrens Eagles players inside the South Australian Under-19 State Academy, and what they could offer to their club.

WEST ADELAIDE:

Abbie Ballard
Midfielder | Over-ager

The over-age talent has a potent left foot that can impact a game when she is able to find time and space. She attacks the contest hard and is a natural ball-winner, racking up big numbers week-in, week-out. Unfortunately Ballard has missed the final cut of 30 for the Academy due to an ankle injury which required surgery lately, and is racing the clock to impact later on this season.

Scarlett Griffiths
Forward | Top-ager

A talented forward with some nice upside, Griffiths uses the ball well and can take good grabs overhead. Possessing some athleticism, she is one who could really step up in 2021 as a top-ager and have an even greater influence on the contest after some promising performances last season.

Abby Hardwick
Forward | Top-ager

Much like Ballard, Hardwick is racing the clock to be fit sooner rather than later. Having strained her quad in the preseason, Hardwick is expected to be back much sooner, and as another forward with good athleticism and strong overhead, is a crucial player to the West Adelaide setup.

Keeley Kustermann
Defender | Bottom-ager

One of the most talented teenagers in the competition, Kustermann earned SANFLW Team of the Year honours in her first season last year, and has such a well-balanced game. She is equally impressive in the air or at ground level and is able to read the ball off half-back and drive it forward. As a 2022 draft prospect, Kustermann stands as one of the top ones to watch for next year, with an ability to hit targets under pressure.

Tamika May
Defender | Top-ager

A raw talent compared to some of her other teammates, May is coming into her second season having had experience at League level last year. Still developing her fundamentals, May is another Bloods defender who could step up with the absence of Madison Newman and other AFL Women’s teammates.

Zoe Venning
Midfielder/Forward | Top-ager

A tenacious midfielder/forward, Venning attacks the contest hard and is not afraid to take on much bigger opponents. Speaking to Draft Central in the preseason, Venning said her goal was to improve her skill to round out her intensity and work rate, also being one of the better athletes across the competition. She had a huge impact for the Bloods last season, and now as a top-ager could take the next step up in her development.

WWT EAGLES:

Charlotte Dolan
Utility | Top-ager

Entering what will be only her second season at SANFL Women’s level, the Eagles utility has shown great progression throughout 2020 and will look to build on that in 2021. Having played as a running defender, wing and also on the inside, Dolan has the traits to be a versatile player with a high-level endurance base from her surf lifesaving and soccer.

Jamie Parish
Defender | Top-ager

Parish had a solid season in 2020 with a strong finish to the year, stepping up in the back 50 for the Eagles. Not a huge ball-winner, but Parish makes the most of her chances and is strong overhead and not afraid to play both offensive and defensive roles out of defence.

Jaida Tabb
Midfielder | Top-ager

The younger sister of former Adelaide talent Jaimi, Tabb is one who got a taste of SANFL Women’s action last season and will be looking to build on that in 2021. Much like her sister, Tabb possesses a mix of power and speed that will help her attack the contest with vigour. She is expected to play an increased role in 2021 after a couple of strong seasons at local level for SMOSH West Lakes.

Picture credit: Karley J Photography

2021 AFLW Under 18s Ones to Watch

NOW the curtain has closed on the 2020 AFL Women’s off-season period, we turn our attention to the next group of budding stars across the country who will be vying for a spot on an AFL Women’s list. We have named 25 players who have already shown some great signs in their bottom and middle-age seasons, as well as a number of others to watch out for in 2021.

Georgie Prespakis (Calder Cannons/Vic Metro)

A name that has been circulating for a number of years now, it is hard to believe the all-round talent was robbed of what she could potentially do in her middle-age year. She looked more than comfortable at the level in her bottom-age year as a 16-year-old and caught plenty of attention with a seven-goal haul against Greater Western Victoria Rebels. Taller than her sister – AFL Women’s league best and fairest winner Madison – Prespakis is hard at it, has great athleticism and is ridiculously strong one-on-one. A highlight-reel package nearly any time she steps out on the field, Prespakis is a future star and could play just about anywhere, but expect her to play inside midfield and rest forward.

Teagan Levi (Bond University/Queensland)

The sister of recently drafted Gold Coast Suns’ talent Maddison, Levi is 11cm shorter and plays onball rather than forward. Her athletic traits are similar to that of Georgia Patrikios in the way that she can seamlessly get herself out of trouble by wrong-footing and side-stepping opponents with ease. Not only is she able to beat them in congestion, she can run and take the game on down a wing, and then when the opponent wins it, she is the first to lay a strong tackle. Similar to Prespakis, Levi has so many weapons and is as effective defensively as she is offensively, and is the standout Queensland prospect for next year and in the clear top few talents running around.

Courtney Rowley. Picture credit: Owen Davies / Peel Thunder

Courtney Rowley (Peel Thunder/Western Australia)

A player who has been building very nicely over in Western Australia over the past two seasons and then was the most impressive of the middle-agers in the WAFL All-Stars game. A really smooth mover, Rowley often plays off a wing and knows how to distribute the ball so well, winning Peel Thunder’s League best and fairest last year as a 16-year-old competing against senior opponents including AFL Women’s talents. Whilst she had more support in 2020 as the Thunder rose from wooden spooners to premiers in a remarkable turnaround, it is hard not to admire what the talented midfielder could be in her top-age season next year.

Zoe Prowse (Sturt/South Australia)

The standout ruck prospect in next year’s draft, Adelaide will have another promising talent on their radar in Prowse. Winning Sturt’s best and fairest award this year, Prowse was just about the best in nearly every game she played for the Double Blues, particularly in the second half of the season. Despite standing at just under 180cm, Prowse has ridiculous athleticism with a high vertical leap and is almost like a fourth midfielder. She can get down and apply second and third efforts to ground level players, and is one who could also play forward if required. With great ruck nous, she can outwork her opponents around the ground, and it was easy to see why she was the sole South Australian AFL Women’s Academy member in her middle-age year.

Charlie Rowbottom (Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro)

An absolute star in the making. Capable of playing midfield or forward, Rowbottom just knows how to set scoring opportunities up in transition. The sister of Sydney’s James, Rowbottom has similar ball-winning abilities and defensive attributes, but has a lot to offer offensively as well. She showed in the Chargers’ win over Tasmania that she is not only able to hit the scoreboard herself – kicking two goals – but set up a number of chances for her teammates. One that will really surprise in 2021 as a leader for the Chargers.

Charlie Rowbottom. Picture credit: Solstice Digital & Photography

Tara Slender (Bendigo Pioneers/Vic Country)

With quite a few tall defenders in this year’s AFL Women’s Draft, Slender would be putting her hand up as potentially the pick of the bunch. Her intercepting capability and reading of the ball in flight is exceptional, and while she did miss her middle-age year, Slender is one who could catch the attention pretty quickly. Having played alongside some Vic Country representatives in the past – and playing at Under 16s level for her state – Slender is good in one-on-ones and looms as a key lynchpin for the Pioneers. It would also not be too surprising to see her take a similar transition to Isabelle Pritchard and move into the midfield given she has the traits to slot right in there.

Makaylah Appleby (Northern Knights/Vic Metro)

Class personified. Appleby has managed to catch the eye on more than a few occasions over the past few seasons despite playing in such a stacked team at the Northern Knights. She often played off a wing or provided run on the outside like during the 2019 NAB League Finals Series. Appleby is now the top prospect at the Knights for the upcoming season as a member of the AFL Women’s National Academy, and as a damaging ball user, Appleby is one that teammates want to get the ball in the hands of in order to create scoring opportunities up the field.

Charlotte Thomas (Subiaco/Western Australia)

A dangerous forward half player with clean skills and a nous for goals, Thomas is the other AFL Women’s Academy member from Western Australia in her middle-age year along with Rowley and has a big future. Playing in an experienced team like Subiaco, Thomas was able to still stand out, regularly hitting the scoreboard. Standing at 175cm, Thomas has good size and good hands and having made her League debut in 2020, big things are predicted for 2021 with a lot of AFL Women’s talent, and more experienced heads around her.

Nyakoat Dojiok. Picture credit: Draft Central

Nyakoat Dojiok (GWV Rebels/Vic Country)

A player who is not afraid to take the game on and really take it to the opposition is GWV Rebels’ Dojiok who has been developing year-on-year over the last few years. Playing as a 15-year-old a few years back, Dojiok is one who when she gets going is hard to contain, and she has that rich blend of power and speed. She is utilised best as that outside runner, playing off half-back or along a wing, but is eye-catching in the way she plays and the way she can bring teammates into the game. Entering her top-age year, expect her to see even more midfield time as she has some seriously great traits.

Elizabeth Dowling (Geelong Falcons/Vic Country)

A player who might be flying under the radar that has some casual NAB League Girls watchers reaching for the team lists next year is Dowling. An incredible talent who showed progression in her two games this year, she has only managed to fly under the radar due to the enormous amount of talent coming out of the Falcons’ football factory. She played in defence as a bottom-ager then got time more up the field last year, and expect her to play through the midfield in 2021. She can play anywhere, at that hybrid 171cm-plus size and can be too athletic for talls and too strong for smalls, Dowling is one who should not be forgotten when talking about Vic Country prospects.

Ally Morphett (Murray Bushrangers/NSW-ACT)

The standout NSW/ACT prospect for 2021, Morphett is the sole AFL Women’s Academy member from her state. The developing 189cm-plus ruck is one who improved from her bottom-age season and it would have been fantastic to see her going up against the Melbourne-drafted Maggie Caris if their teams had met in the NAB League Girls before the season ended. She is commanding overhead and able to drift forward if required, Morphett is one of the few NAB League Girls prospects to play this year. Representing Belconnen Magpies in the AFL Canberra League, Morphett finished second in the league best and fairest, and then won best on ground in the Magpies’ premiership win. Not bad for a 17-year-old and she is one anticipated to take a huge step in 2021.

Maggie Harmer (Maroochydore/Queensland)

Stood tall at senior level in the QAFL Women’s competition for the Roos and is one of a remarkable three players in the AFL Women’s Academy from the side. Harmer showed in the Queensland All-Stars game that she looms as a strong prospect in 2021 with her overhead marking, read of the play and powerful kicking standing out in a tight game. A member of the Brisbane Lions Academy, Harmer is 170cm and could play at half-back as that intercepting rebounder, or through the middle, seemingly able to break down opposition defences on transition by getting in the way and then pumping it long.

Maggie Harmer. Picture credit: Deion Menzies, Highflyer Images

Amy Franklin (Claremont/Western Australia)

If we are talking upside, then Franklin, not too dissimilar to her West Australian namesake, has plenty of that for the future. A tall marking forward, Franklin has speed that makes smaller opponents envious, and standing at 180cm, she is big enough to outmark most opponents. Still quite raw and lightly built compared to more experienced WAFL Women’s defenders she came across, Franklin is one that once the ball gets goalside, you can almost put the glasses down. Terrific athleticism and one who is threatening to be an even bigger threat in 2021, she is yet another exciting tall forward to come out of Western Australia.

Tahlia Gillard (Calder Cannons/Vic Metro)

If you are talking upside and potential in next year’s AFL Women’s Draft crop then take 186cm Gillard as an example. Only turning 17 in December this year, the key position utility can play in all three lines, starting off as a key defender, spending time up forward and has the size if required to play ruck. For a player of her size, Gillard is so good at ground level and able to create something out of nothing. While she is still a raw and developing talent, she is another from the Cannons’ program who has already had plenty of NAB League Girls experience that will only make her better.

Ella Friend (GWV Rebels/Vic Country)

A second GWV Rebels player making the list, Friend did not get many chances this season to show what she is capable of, but what she did in that short space of time was quite remarkable. Another member of the AFL Women’s National Academy, Friend looked comfortable in the tight contest against the Western Jets back in Round 3, racking up a ton of the ball – 19 touches – and having a real influence in the forward half. Not only that, but she iced the game for the Rebels with a match-winning goal, and provided as much offence (six inside 50s) and defence (five tackles) to suggest she is a gamechanger and one to look out for next season.

Jorja Livingstone (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)

Made her debut in the NAB League Girls competition and just has that X-factor about her that makes you sit up and take notice. Elite acceleration out of the stoppage and some really top-end traits, Livingstone came into the Ranges’ midfield and assimilated easily that it was hard to believe she was not a top-ager. Behind the experienced Olivia Meagher and Tarni Brown, Livingstone was the next biggest performer onball, and with another preseason behind her, it will be exciting to see just what she can produce with her athletic traits and ability to get forward and look dangerous.

Emelia Yassir (Calder Cannons/Vic Metro)

Yassir is just a fierce competitor who can play through the midfield or as a small forward. Standing at just 161cm, Yassir defies her size and is not afraid to take on bigger opponents, laying multiple tackles and is a contested ball winner. She stood up during Calder’s NAB League Girls finals series as a bottom-ager in 2019, and started strongly in 2020. She will have a bigger role in 2021 and has a bucketload of talent that will have opposition players wary of when she is in the zone.

Mikayla Pauga (Maroochydore/Queensland)

Another small forward and member of the AFL Women’s Academy, Pauga might just stand at 161cm like Yassir, but packs plenty of punch as a damaging forward. The second Maroochydore player in this list, Pauga finished second in her club’s goalkicking with 13 majors in 14 games, and was a clear standout. With an eye for goal and a large endurance base that sees her outwork opponents, Pauga is one who could step up again in 2021 and will be one to watch at the AFL Women’s Under-18 Championships having shown her wares at senior level in the QAFL Women’s already.

Zoe Venning. Picture credit: SANFL

Zoe Venning (West Adelaide/South Australia)

A hard-nosed midfielder/forward from West Adelaide, Venning came on in leaps and bounds throughout her second season in the red and black. She became a crucial member of the Bloods’ midfield, playing between wing and forward, though her attack on the ball shows she can easily translate into an inside midfielder. Providing great assistance to equal league best and fairest winner, Rachelle Martin as well as young talent Abbie Ballard, Venning is one who is dangerous around goals. She is still developing some areas of her game such as her kicking, but her work rate and intensity in play is superb.

Kasey Lennox (Calder Cannons/Vic Metro)

A reliable key defender for the Cannons, Lennox is a fourth member of the Calder side to make this list, and shows just how strong their top-age group will be next season. Lennox is one who is good at ground level for a taller player, being one of the most dominant rebounders in the competition to start the 2020 NAB League Girls season. As a player who stood out on the big stage of the 2019 NAB League Girls Grand Final, Lennox is not afraid of big moments, and will team up well with Gillard as a couple of talls in a really strong Cannons outfit.

Amy Prokopiec (Clarence/Tasmania)

The sole Tasmanian prospect in the AFL Women’s National Academy, Prokopiec became one of the standout defenders for Tasmania Devils, albeit in just a handful of games in her bottom and middle-age years. As she showed with Clarence in the TSL Women’s competition this year and in the Tasmanian All-Stars game, Prokopiec is capable of playing at either end, and becoming that versatile tall utility. As a long kick and strong overhead, she is a crucial cog in the both the Roos and Devils sides, and will be hoping for a full season next year to test herself against the best in the NAB League Girls.

Amy Prokopiec (right). Picture credit: Solstice Digital & Photography

Gypsy Schirmer (South Adelaide/South Australia)

There are quite a few talls in this list with potential, and Schirmer is another one who just has that look about her that she could be in for a big 2021. In her middle-age season with reigning premiers South Adelaide, she acquitted herself well and while she did have some really outstanding performances, even when she was quieter, there was always a moment or two within games where you could see she was capable of kicking a couple of goals and winning the match for her side. Not far off 180cm, Schirmer can push up to a wing or even in defence, but she always looks damaging inside 50 and a real target for her teammates to kick to.

Eliza James (Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro)

A good size and capable of hitting the scoreboard, the 176cm James is a damaging prospect. She showed in her two games this year how she has developed both her offensive and defensive traits, and even as an Under 16s player for the Chargers, stood up in nine games and booted five goals. As one of a number of Chargers who were able to provide support to the top-end talent this year, James is another leader in the group to standout in her own top-age year in 2021.

Alana Lishmund (Norwood/South Australia)

Was a prominent member of the Norwood side in her debut SANFL Women’s season, then really stepped up as one of the best in the All-Stars match last month. She is predominantly a forward talent who can push up the ground into the midfield, and then play high or deep forward when required. A reliable kick for goal, she has that X-factor about her inside 50 and can be a leading or crumbing target, playing taller than her 166cm size, and one who will be another South Australian jostling for a spot as one of the more prominent talents in the state.

Alana Lishmund. Picture credit: AFL Media

Jaide Anthony (Dandenong Stingrays/Vic Country)

A multi-sport talent for the Stingrays, Anthony also has that something special about her game playing as a forward. She can play at either end, and has progressed through the pathway from V/Line Cup to the NAB League Girls. One who has shared her football journey with cricket duties – she has only managed the five games for the Stingrays – she knows how to hit the scoreboard and provide a presence. Despite standing at just 166cm, Anthony plays like a taller forward and finds space, and will be a top talent to watch out for from the Stingrays in 2021.

Others:

Maroochydore’s Bella Smith is another member of the AFL Women’s National Academy who stood up for Maroochydore this season in the QAFL Women’s, whilst Georgia Hutton and Caitlin Thorne are a couple of Gold Coast Academy members who showed some top-end traits during the All-Stars match.

The South Australian group has been sensational with plenty having senior experience, led by South Adelaide’s Lauren Clifton who stood out in the All-Stars match up forward. Central District’s Madison Lane, North Adelaide’s Kate Case, Glenelg’s Brooke Tonon and Woodville-West Torrens’ Jamie Parish are others who have been ones to watch at SANFL Women’s level this season.

Over in the west, Chloe Reilly remains a dangerous forward option for East Fremantle with her work at ground level and around goals, whilst Swan Districts’ Emma Nanut, and South Fremantle trio, Tayla Whincup, Taylah Cruttenden and Poppy Stockwell are also great talents.

Looking to the NAB League and there are plenty of names to throw up, but a few in the mix include Mikayla Jones (Murray Bushrangers), Jemma Radford (Dandenong Stingrays) and Annie Lee (Geelong Falcons) who have shown to be natural players in their respective areas. From the Vic Metro perspective, Peppa Poultney (Calder Cannons), Stella Reid (Oakleigh Chargers), Caitlin Sargent (Western Jets) and Tarrah Delgado (Northern Knights) were terrific this year, while a host of middle-age Sandringham Dragons got their starts and will no doubt produce a number of surprise packets alongside their elite bottom-age talents.

Perri King is another Tasmanian prospect behind Prokopiec to watch, making history as the Devils’ first goalkicker last season and will be keen to build on that again. From Northern Territory, there is a heap of great young talents coming through from 2022 onwards, with one 2021 draft prospect being Georgia Johnson, a 160cm talent from Waratah who stood out in the NT All-Stars match last month. Playing in defence, she was one to take note of as she regularly mopped up and got the ball down the field for Team Hewett.

Alongside the top-age talents, a number of over-age talents who missed out on being drafted this year will no doubt be trying to stake their case against be it via the NAB League or state leagues, including Brooke Hards, Jemma Finning and Annabel Strahan (all Bendigo Pioneers), Zoe Hill, Abbey Jordan and Jess Matin (all Dandenong Stingrays), Ash Snow and Maeve Chaplin (both Northern Knights), Amber Micallef (Oakleigh Chargers), Olivia Meagher (Eastern Ranges) and Grace McRae (Gippsland Power) who all received AFL Women’s Draft Combine invites but were unlucky to miss out.

In Western Australia, Maggie MacLachlan (Subiaco), Brianna Hyde and Mikayla Hyde (both Swan Districts) head into 2021 as over-agers, while mature-agers Ella Smith and Jess Low (both Claremont), Rosie Walsh (East Fremantle) and Sarah Wielstra (Swan Districts) are others who missed out on the AFL Women’s Draft but will remain ones to watch.

Elsewhere, Northern Territorian Mattea Breed continues to develop for Norwood in South Australia, whilst Abby Favell (Murray Bushrangers), Jayde Hamilton (Queanbeyan Tigers) and Kiara Beesley (Southern Power) were draft combine invitees from NSW/ACT.

In Queensland, Beth Pinchin has shown great resilience as a mature-ager coming back from multiple injuries, while Courtney Bromage and Brooke Spence are other mature-agers who caught attention this year. Christine Okesene, Ebony Peterson, Laura Blue, Chloe Gregory and Madison Goodwin were also in the mix this year with Draft Combine invites so will be kept on close watch in 2021. The other two players to receive AFL Women’s Draft Combine invites but miss out were the exciting Freda Puruntatameri (Calder Cannons/Northern Territory) and Charlie Vandenberg (Wynyard/Tasmania) who have plenty of development left in them.

Player notes: SANFLW All-Stars

LAST week’s South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s All-Star display between Team Marinoff and Team Hatchard was a brilliant spectacle as plenty of players stood up and had an impact. We have taken a look at every player from the sides.

Team Marinoff:

Alex Ballard

Playing out of full-back, Ballard was one of the smoothest movers on the ground, but balanced equally in her attacking and defensive efforts. Donning the bright white boots which stood out under lights, Ballard’s use by foot and decision making was impressive, as was her positioning in marking contests. At one stage in the second term, Ballard handballed to herself to sidestep an opponent and continue at full speed to kick long down the line. In the third term, she sold candy to Charlotte Dolan and worked her way out of the back pocket, and tried to play on out of full-back on every occasion. Her second and fourth quarters were particularly influential and reminded people of the talent she has.

Nicole Campbell

Had the type of game you would expect from the South Adelaide midfielder, constantly winning the ball in close and giving her teammates the best chance of running free. She was often under a pack or feeding the contested ball out, and did it throughout four quarters in a real team performance. She showed her experience in that onball group and remained vital in the team’s success, doing her job around the clearances and when it counted with the game on the line.

Kate Case

As one of the youngest players out there, Case was busy inside 50, and continued to present throughout the night. Unfortunately she had a few unlucky moments, including a pass towards her hitting the ground just before she could grab it last in the third term, and then gave away a free in the final term. She was always active inside 50 however.

Lauren Clifton

The middle-age talent played forward and had an impact, kicking a second quarter goal to put her team within a kick at the main break. She had a chance on the end of quick ball movement earlier in the term, but got a poor bounce and ended up having to be the tackler on Zoe Prowse. Her 1-2 work with Laitiah Huynh led to her running into an open goalsquare and putting it home from 40m. In the third term, she had a set shot from a similar distance, but looked for a short option in Kate Case, only for the ball to just fall short and the opposition wrap it up for a stoppage. Moments later, Clifton had a quick snap but just went wide.

Leah Cutting

The ruck competed well around the ground against the athletic Prowse. Whilst Prowse was better in the centre square bounces, Cutting used her strength wherever possible, and was able to get back and help an under-siege defence in the first term. She intercepted with a strong mark in the goalsquare to save a certain goal, and worked hard throughout the four quarters to use her long kick to penetrate through the defence.

Jorja Eldridge

The talented medium utility played forward and took a great mark in the third term to get front position and kick the goal to put Team Marinoff in front for the first time.

Lauren Gauci

Was solid throughout the game, but her third quarter in particularly early, was a key reason Team Marinoff won the game. Time and time again she would intercept mark or lay a great tackle that stopped Hatchard in its tracks. One-on-one, Gauci positioned herself well and then would search for a difficult target inboard for the 45-degree kick. In one instance in the third term, Gauci intercepted, kicked forward, then immediately got back in position to mark one-on-one against Zoe Venning and do it all again.

Jade Halfpenny

Showed in glimpses what she is capable of playing as a forward and taking some really strong marks. She used the ball well such as in the first term where she hit up Emma Smith going inside 50. Another long bomb in the second term put the opposition under pressure in defence but unfortunately Clifton got a poor bounce. Halfpenny had another nice kick inside 50, hitting up Clifton well and showed quick hands at ground level in the fourth term gathering the ball inside 50 before being immediately tackled.

Kristi Harvey

The experienced full-back was a rock in defence and one of the standouts, particularly at the bookends of the game where the back 50 saw plenty of action. She took a number of contested marks, and then spread to offer an option to kick long with her raking kick an advantage to get out of trouble. She started the game on Katelyn Rosenzweig and was terrific one-on-one, but her ability to read the ball in flight and then take off when required was great. At one stage, she was beaten for speed against Alana Lishmund, but had the smarts to keep going and apply a tackle and win it back.

Laitiah Huynh

Huynh got better as the game went on and became a real factor in the second half of the match. Her quick hands in close were a standout with her ability to fire off a quick handball to a teammate under pressure, with a score assist via Tessa Kohn for a Jorja Eldridge goal in the third term. She set up another scoring chance to Lauren Clifton later in the term, and then was lively along the win in the final term. While she gave away a free kick for a tackle in the last quarter, she often teamed up with Central District teammate, Madison Lane and used her speed to advantage.

Jess Kirk

Did what you would expect South’s leading goalkicker to do and got front position early with a mark at the top of the square in the second term. She took the grab and protecting the ball drop, sent it home with four minutes remaining in the half to kick her side’s second goal of the contest. Kirk had another involvement in the third term when she scooped the ball off the deck for a quick snap but was marked on the goalline by Tahlia Meyer.

Tessa Kohn

The Glenelg midfielder had her moments, playing predominantly up forward and having a few chances on goal. A quick snap midway through the second term was bungled after a strong tackle from the opposition, but then a neat kick to the square set up Jess Kirk for a drought-breaking goal. She also locked the ball up inside 50 with a good tackle against two opponents to nullify the situation. Kohn had a direct goal assist in the third quarter with her kick going straight to Eldridge for a goal at the top of the square. Kohn switched into defence in the final term and was used on a number of occasions to kick outside 50, but was often sold into trouble against multiple opponents. Midway through the term, Kohn rushed through a behind for safety.

Brooklyn Kraft

The developing 182cm ruck/forward played permanently forward with Cutting taking the the ruck duties around the ground. Her first kick was intercepted going inside 50, but her next was the first goal for her side after a free kick inside 50. She converted from 20m out to draw within two points at that stage of the first term. Kraft bobbed up again with a second goal in the third term, winning a fortunate free kick because she tried to take the tackler on, slipped and the tackler fell in her back. Once again her perfect set shot routine won out and she kicked a second goal. She took a good mark on the wing in the final term, but rushed kicking and it was smothered by Tahlia Meyer, but showed off her long kick drifting to half-back later in the quarter.

Madison Lane

The Central District middle-age talent hit up Kraft with her first kick of the game in the first term, but became more lively later in the game. She was often looking for her Bulldogs teammates in Shelby Smith and Huynh, coming off half-back to spot them free on the wing. In the third term she was one of Marinoff’s best, mopping up in the back 50 and kicking long on multiple occasions. She was mowed down in a tackle by Grace Duffy after great work in a marking contest later in the quarter, then took a huge intercept mark on the wing in the dying moment to kick inside 50 and lead to the last goal of the game. Lane was just as prominent in the final term, and while on one occasion she was overzealous with a tackle to fall in her opponent’s back, she won it back with another tackle moments later. Her short kicking and work with Huynh down the outside was a feature of her game.

Kiana Lee

After a quieter first half, she won a fair few touches in the second half, particularly in the last term when she was handed a number of kick outs from defence. She won a free kick in defence and hit up Kraft, and then kicked long to safety from full-back, though Marinoff had plenty of numbers at the drop zone. She showed her strength in the air and her quick disposal with a handball out of a stoppage earlier in the game in the third term.

Jess Macolino

A superb performance by the inside midfielder and would have been among those considered for best on ground if they had awarded it. She put together a four quarter performance and used her hands in close and strength around the stoppages to have an impact. Time and time again she would be tackled, but remained upright and handballed off to a teammate to clear the ball out of congestion, which was vital for her side. She was a clear best-on in the second term, racking up the ball with ease and showed off her work rate to get to multiple contests in a passage of play. She set up a scoring chain by fending off an opponent inside 50 and handball to Huynh which eventually led to an Eldridge goal. Finally Macolino’s hard work had extra reward, getting on the end of a movement forward to win a free kick just before the final break, kicking a set shot goal from 35m out, which would end up being Marinoff and the game’s final goal.

Tesharna Maher

One of Marinoff’s best in the first quarter, she stood tall in the first term when her side was under-siege and played the percentages long towards the boundary line. She was often the first kick out of defence, and used her speed to take the game on. Whilst she missed the odd target, she showed what she can offer in spurts and certainly showed in in the first term.

Katelyn Pope

Her night ended early with a broken wrist in the fourth term, but showed her trademark speed and desire around the contest prior to that. Running hard down the wings and providing an option, Pope was used in transition as Marinoff got back on top in the match. In one instance she won a free kick on the wing, darted around Grace Duffy and went for a run to kick forward, having a number of inside 50s on the night.

Gypsy Schirmer

A highlight-reel player, the middle-age talent’s best moment came midway through the second term when she produced a massive run-down tackle in the middle of the ground, showing off her closing speed. Whilst she did not hit the scoreboard as she regularly can for South, Schirmer showed she will be one to watch next year having that defensive mindset to accompany her offensive prowess.

Bella Smith

A rock in defence, particularly early when Team Marinoff was under pressure. She touched what would have been a certain goal on the goal line to rush a behind, then took a strong contested mark at half-back and rebound well. She continued to have an impact throughout the game, and rolled forward in the third term to put the hands out to gather, but was immediately tackled. She had another goal-saving effort in the final term with a relieving kick out of the danger zone to Lane.

Emma Smith

Really prominent early as one of the few who was moving the ball in transition. While others took over as the game went on, Smith remained vigilant in her attack between the wing and half-forward. Her first instance in play was a great one-on-one contest to outbody her opponent and have a shot on goal with probably the weirdest run up. She stopped midway through the run up only metres from her opponent, then started again but her kick fell short and bounced on the line to remain in. Her work overhead was great, taking a number of strong marks, and then showed off her speed in the final term with a nice run, through it was intercepted going inside 50.

Shelby Smith

Did not look out of place roaming through the Marinoff midfield, and contributed with her attack on the ball and desire to win the footy. Often combining with her Central District teammates in Huynh and Lane, Smith found space on the wing and maintained a high work rate throughout the match.

Teagan Usher

Had a busy middle two quarters coming out of defence for Team Marinoff, and continually tried hard to move the ball quickly. Made a few mistakes and was caught early in the second term trying to take on Hannah Prenzler, but did well deep in defence late in the second term and then early in the third. She managed to hit up Jess Macolino at half-forward and kept the ball moving. Once she adapted to the speed – having missed a fair bit of footy this year – she played short and sharp passes which proved effective.

Andie Zbierski

Unlucky to give up a free kick in the second term for going in hard, Zbierski was able to gain plenty of experience out of the match having come from Whyalla in North Adelaide’s country zone. With plenty of development left, she will be one to watch for the future.

Team Hatchard:

Abbie Ballard

Worked hard throughout the game for not a great deal of reward, but was ever present cracking in and giving it her all. Her best quarter came in the final term when she had a number of inside 50s in an attempt to haul her team back into the contest. Spending time around the ground, once she went into the middle she had more of an impact and had a great kick inside 50 to hit up Rosenzweig leading out 20m late in the quarter.

Tahlita Buethke

Had some impressive moments throughout the game, being involved in one of her side’s first quarter goals, winning it at half-forward, then combining with Cristie Castle to get it to Brooke Tonon to run on and kick her second of the quarter. She had some great moments through the third term and was one of the best for her side in the quarter, often used as a link in the chain going forward. Copped a knock in the final term from a tackle but got up and was able to take her kick inside 50.

Rhiannon Busch

Reliable as ever, Busch did not need to rack up a heap of the ball to just play her role. She often nullified an opposition forward when the ball went in there, and showed some great defensive pressure. She laid a huge tackle in the back 50 in the final term, and her team won the ball as a result of her pressure. Then she showed her aggressive side with possession by intercepting it further up the ground in the last quarter and bombing deep, but the shot was rushed across the line by Tessa Kohn.

Cristie Castle

Might not have got on the board herself, but seemed to always be in the periphery whenever the ball went forward. The North Adelaide forward came out to attack the ball and whilst she was sold into trouble in the first term, managed to get the ball to Tonon who kicked the second goal of the game. Moments later, she beat two opponents and gave off quick hands to Lishmund who also finished off. Involved in those two early goals, the Hatchard forwards had a tougher day after quarter time, with Castle again bobbing up in the final term, copping a knock and ending up a bit sore, but bouncing up and continuing to compete.

Czenya Cavouras

Much like Campbell, had a game that you would expect of someone with her experience. A train-on player at the Crows, Cavouras is one of those players you know will play a four-quarter game and she did just that. There was not much flashiness about it, but her hardness and attack on the contest around the stoppage was rarely matched. She had a couple of strong moments where she just kept the ball moving forward and trying to crash through opponents to keep it live in the forward half, and then had a great shrug from a tackle and kick to Rosenzweig inside 50 in the third term. A fourth term intercept mark against a much taller Cutting showed how well she reads the play and is able to position herself so effectively in one-on-one contests. Her set shot from the intercept mark 45m out just fell short.

Julia Clark

Had some moments throughout the game and won a free kick on the wing for last-touch and kicked forward. Was able to utilise her speed on a number of occasions despite not winning a heap of the ball. Uses the ball well when she does have it.

Charlotte Dolan

The lively player did not have the usual time and space that she is afforded at SANFL Women’s level, but still had a number of highlights. In the second term she got down and won the ball out of a pack by hand to get it to Izzy Kuiper for a kick downfield. She then gave by hand to Grace Duffy not long after to go inside 50, and whilst in the third term she was sold candy by Alex Ballard at half-back, she mopped up the ball in defence late in the game, with a number of clever plays at ground level, and a free kick in a marking contest with five minutes remaining on the clock.

Grace Duffy

Played a good four quarter game and was lively early in the match, with the opening clearance of the game. She would drop back into defence to mop up and look to run down the field, winning plenty of it through the first half to be quite prolific. Often she would receive it in space and kick inside 50, then did well one-on-one against the dangerous Katelyn Pope to use her strength and tap it away from Pope to a teammate in space. She laid a huge tackle on Lane in the third term, and whilst she was sidestepped by Pope not long after, she did well to back up and create a contest. Duffy won a free kick in the final term when she was tackled and looked to create an extra number at each contest she attended.

Madisyn Freeman

The over-ager first appeared early in the second term with a free kick and 25m penalty inside 50 to try and give her side their fourth goal of the contest. Unfortunately the kick horribly skewed off the boot and went wide for a behind. She remained lively through the early stages of the term, winning a free kick, turning it over, but then pressuring the opposition at the next stoppage to win a free kick.

Izzy Kuiper

Her notes from the game were almost identical each time, went in hard and won the contested ball. The Sturt teenager did it time and time again and refused to back down from a challenge. Using her taller frame around the stoppages, she can win the ball with ease and showed during the second term, create scoring opportunities by kicking inside 50. Her intent and tackling pressure never waivers.

Alana Lishmund

The middle-age talent was one of the more prominent for Hatchard, kicking an opening term goal after great work by Castle against two opponents to get it free by quick hands to Lishmund who finished off with a great goal 15 minutes into the term to extend the lead to 14. Lishmund remained prominent after quarter time, beginning with a huge run-down tackle in defence in the second quarter. She laid another big tackle, this time inside forward 50. Managing to pick up touches around the ground, Lishmund was able to kick towards Rosenzweig midway through the third term, and then had a clean pick-up off the deck who kicked forward but was intercepted by Lane. A final term set shot resulted in one behind, whilst doing well later in the final stanza to keep the ball inside the lane in forward 50.

Tahlia Meyer

Able to stand out wearing the long socks, Meyer found plenty of the ball and was predominantly stationed in defence. She pushed up the ground when he side had more ascendancy, but was involved in a lot of attacking plays. Meyer played well to win the ball in dangerous positions for the opposition and safely exit the back 50 by foot. She was among the best on the field in the second term, as she did her best to restrict the damage done by Team Marinoff. Meyer worried the opposition early in the third term with a quick kick along the ground inside 50, but Rosenzweig could not quite get a proper shot on goal. Meyer pulled in a strong goal-saving mark on the goal-line after a quick snap by Kirk in the third term, and then smothered a ball on the wing off Kraft’s kick. She was so clean at half-forward in the final term, spotting up the loose Lishmund to hand her younger teammate a set shot on goal.

Tamsyn Morriss

Named among Team Hatchard’s best by the coaches, Morriss played her team role well. Possessing a terrific kick and an ability to run hard, she was involved in plays in transition and did what was asked of her on the night. She might not win as much of the ball as others, but she uses it well and can play just about anywhere on the field.

Jamie Parish

Took a strong mark in defensive 50 in the second term, and whilst she did not win a heap of it, gained a great deal of experience playing in a back 50 with a lot more experienced players. She played her role and rotated around despite having a quieter night.

Hannah Prenzler

Made her impact early with a charge through the middle and a willingness to take the game on. She kicked long down the guts and her work set up a vital goal to Brooke Tonon on the end of some handballs which had put the defence under pressure. When Teagan Usher tried to take her on at half-back, the Sturt talent was having none of it, laying a superb tackle and winning a free kick to kick deep. One of those players that does not need to win a lot of the ball to have an impact and she showed that, because she is a natural metres-gained player.

Zoe Prowse

Had a great battle with the more experienced Cutting around the ground. Cutting had more influence early in the game, but Prowse won more after quarter time, laying some strong tackles and getting her hands dirty at ground level. She thrived in the air with her athletic leap. Prowse had a number of forward half possessions and was able to lock up a ball in the second term when Clifton was about to run into an open goal. With another year of development, the talented young ruck will be one to watch in 2021.

Katelyn Rosenzweig

The Central Districts forward was well held by Kristi Harvey early on when her side was on top, though the duel was entertaining between the two contested marking players. She did manage to get free and give the handball off to Zoe Venning in the opening term, but unfortunately her kick was marked on the line. Early in the third when she had more space, she gathered the ball and gave it to Buethke, but whenever the ball came in her direction, the defenders were often aware of her ability to hit the scoreboard and were quick to lay the tackle.

Rayne Rivalland

Played in defence and had a couple of noticeable moments. In the first term, Rivalland played a great passage of play by intercepting the ball under pressure and used it well by foot midway through the quarter. In the second term when under pressure, she had the sense to rush through a behind and help her team reset to kick out of defence. Lastly, she laid a great tackle in the back 50 to lock the ball up and force a stoppage for her side when Marinoff was attacking.

Erin Sundstrom

Really productive, particularly in the second half coming out of defence when Hatchard was under pressure. On a number of occasions she charged out of defence, and kicked long down the wing to safety. Showing her ability to pressure opponents with her closing speed, Sundstrom laid a great tackle on Kate Case who could not take the sliding mark, and it forced a ball-up inside the defensive 50.

Brooke Tonon

Finishing with two goals, Tonon was really lively in the opening term, with both her majors coming from running goals. The fast transition from Team Hatchard helped the middle-ager on this occasion, being on the end of a play and using her speed to create some distance between her and her opponent goalside. That resulted in her putting through the first major of the game in the third minute, and then made it two when Castle got the ball to her and she ran into another open goal in the last five minutes of the quarter. She almost set up a third goal with a nice kick inside 50 to a leading Zoe Venning, but unfortunately Venning missed the set shot. Tonon attacked the contest hard when inside 50, and whilst she did not get a great look at it after the first term – due to Marinoff’s dominance, she featured in the final term with a set shot from 35m that just fell short and was marked on the line.

Zoe Venning

One of Hatchard’s best even if it was an almost-game in the sense that she just fell short of kicking multiple goals. Nonetheless, Venning was lively, quick on the lead and strong in the air, just needed the extra touch of confidence when kicking for goal. She had an early touch off the first play going forward, and then had a couple of marks inside the fist five minutes. Her first set shot was touched on the line and then a quick snap with her second was marked on the line. A third shot on goal in the last minute again just fell short from 25m, but she was getting amongst it. Venning won an early free in the second term for her pressure, and remained busy rotating through the Hatchard midfield. She was beaten a couple of times one-on-one against more experienced opponents, but showed her class with a terrific kick inside 50 late in the game to hit-up Tonon leading out.

Amber Ward

The over-ager had a strong performance in the back half, and even went forward throughout the game to be a target, but it was her booming kick from half-back in the first term that set up an end-to-end goal for Tonon. Her tackling pressure was impressive, laying multiple tackles on opponents early in the second and kicking long inside 50. She had a minor slip in the final term but otherwise had a really solid game with her penetrating kicking and intercepting when needed.

Ashleigh Woodland

The midfielder-forward spent a fair chunk of time in defence in the match, trying to use her skill and run to impact the contest off half-back. She was not afraid to break the lines and use her booming kick to advantage, having a real impact in the first term as one of Hatchard’s best players. Whilst she was not able to ply her known scoreboard impact in the game due to her role, she certainly showed her versatility by spending minutes behind the ball. Unfortunately a head knock in the opening minute of the final term ended her night.

Matilda Zander

It was no surprise to see Zander covering a heap of ground and being one of the more prominent ball winners on the ground. Even in a losing team, the Norwood talent remained among the better players on the ground. She spent a great deal of time on-ball and combined well with Cavouras and Isobel Kuiper on the inside, then would also go forward and try and keep it moving. She had a flying shot at the goal in the final term but just missed to the right, her second behind of the contest after a first quarter miss. She was involved in the transition play going inside 50, setting up Venning with an early set shot, then had a neat kick to Ward early in the second term. Overall, she remained pivotal in Hatchard’s game plan and was always busy across the field.

Picture: AFL Media

South Australian AFLW All-Stars to battle it out in blockbuster clash of talent

SOUTH Australia’s best young talents will have a chance to strut their stuff via the SANFL site tonight when 48 of the top talents from the state run around in an AFL Women’s All-Stars match. The teams are named after Adelaide stars, Anne Hatchard and Ebony Marinoff, with no AFL Women’s players, and those in their 16th year or younger playing in an under 16s showcase prior to this game.

For those Adelaide fans keen to get a glimpse as some of the players who received AFL Women’s Draft Combine invitations, unfortunately two of the brightest stars will no be out there. Teah Charlton will miss the game due to injury, while Indy Tahau is unavailable due to other commitments. The others two players who received Draft Combine invitations – Amber Ward and Ashleigh Woodland will both front up for Team Hatchard, coached by North Adelaide premiership coach, Krissie Steen. We take a look at our potential line-ups, though it is anticipated players will be heavily rotated all across the field.

TEAM HATCHARD:

B: Rhiannon Busch – Erin Sundstrom – Julia Clark
HB: Charlotte Dolan – Amber Ward – Madisyn Freeman
C: Matilda Zander – Isobel Kuiper – Tahlia Meyer
HF: Tamsyn Morriss – Ashleigh Woodland – Hannah Prenzler
F: Cristie Castle – Katelyn Rosenzweig – Tahlita Buethke
R: Zoe Prowse – Czenya Cavouras – Abbie Ballard
INT: Alana Lishmund – Brooke Tonon – Jamie Parish – Rayne Rivalland – Zoe Venning – Grace Duffy

With players being so versatile, it is hard to pinpoint a number of players and where they will slot in. For the purpose of our hypothetical 24, any middle-agers (2003-born or later) are automatically on the bench, giving preference to those who are eligible to be picked up this year. The exception to the rule is Zoe Prowse who is the standout ruck not only on the team, but on the field as a whole. She is still only 17, but stands at 180cm and is the obvious choice to be starting ruck.

Ward is a reliable centre half-back with terrific intercepting capabilities. She was one of the more unlucky players not to be picked up in her draft year last year, but she is strong, positions herself well and is extremely good by foot. At the other end, Woodland has already tasted AFL Women’s experience with Melbourne, and, while it did not work out, it is no surprise to see the now 22-year-old as of Wednesday, being considered after winning the competition’s leading goalkicker award.

Another former AFL Women’s player in Katelyn Rosenzweig will play at full-forward, and the forward half as a whole is something to watch, with Tamsyn Morriss and Hannah Prenzler all able to play further up the ground. Prenzler and Morriss are both top-agers who can switch to the opposite end if need be, with Prenzler’s work off half-back and Morriss’ kicking among their eye-catching traits. Abbie Ballard onball is the other top-ager to keep an eye on with her hardness and precision left foot winning plaudits.

Charlotte Dolan running off half-back and along the wing provides great speed and determination to any side, while Julia Clark has become a reliable defender who uses the ball well and makes the right decisions. Tahlita Buethke is another top-age player who cracked into the strong South Adelaide team this year and would have been one to watch – as a dominant goalkicker at local level – at the championships had they occurred.

In terms of mature-agers, Erin Sundstrom often plays off half-back but due to her height – 174cm – she is one of the few likely to play in a key position role. Given her work with Ward back there in the SANFL Womens and with Steen coaching, the pair will make a strong duo. Matilda Zander is a small, tough midfielder who attacks the contest hard and runs all day. She was in line to play for Collingwood in the VFL, and with her former coach Steve Symonds at the helm for the Magpies, expect him to be watching this game carefully.

Some others who have caught the eye this season include Crows’ train-on player Czenya Cavouras who racks up the ball and is hard around the contest, over-ager Isobel Kuiper who will provide good height in midfield, and then the run of another over-ager in Madisyn Freeman. Tahlia Meyer‘s decision making through midfield going forward is superb, winning the preliminary final off her own boot such was her skill. Cristie Castle is a reliable mark and source of goals up front, with Rhiannon Busch as steady as they come down back – though she has the versatility to play at either end – much like Grace Duffy.

Of the 2003 group outside of Prowse, Venning is the top one to watch, regularly dominating through the midfield and half-forward, using her speed and strength to cause headaches for the opposition. Alana Lishmund will provide some rotation up forward, with Brooke Tonon also spending time there, and Jamie Parish showing great signs in the second half of the season for the Eagles. Rayne Rivalland rounds out the prospects as the youngest player on the team – not turning 17 until late November – which shows the depth of talent within South Australia.

TEAM MARINOFF:

B: Tesharna Maher – Kristi Harvey – Teagan Usher
HB: Lauren Gauci – Bella Smith – Tessa Kohn
C: Katelyn Pope – Shelby Smith – Emma Smith
HF: Laitiah Huynh – Kiana Lee – Alex Ballard
F: Jess Kirk – Brooklyn Kraft – Jade Halfpenny
R: Leah Cutting – Nicole Campbell – Jess Macolino
INT: Andie Zbierski – Jorja Eldridge – Kate Case – Lauren Clifton – Madison Lane – Gypsy Schirmer

Turning our attention to Team Marinoff, coached by former international cricketer and North Adelaide footballer Emma Sampson, there are plenty of strong marking key position players in the line-up. Like with Team Hatchard, the 2003-born players automatically got named on the bench as they still have another year to show off their remarkable talents. While none of the players in this team got a Draft Combine invitation, there are some that have certainly showcased their ability at past AFL Women’s Under-18 National Championships.

At either end are the contested marking Bella Smith and Kiana Lee, with ruck Brooklyn Kraft likely to spend time forward given Leah Cutting – Norwood’s star ruck – has been named in the team. Kraft provides extra height to the team at 182cm and will stretch the smaller Hatchard backline. Also coming off championships last year, Alex Ballard often plays at half-forward but can play just about anywhere, the same can be said for Emma Smith who we have named on the wing. Teagan Usher and Tesharna Maher are great runners out of defence, and Maher particularly has got a set of wheels that make her hard to catch.

Of the top-agers, Latiah Huynh is a raw prospect with terrific speed, great defensive pressure and a strong hardness at the contest. She can rotate between half-forward and wing, and often be the link in the transition between midfield and forward. Also in their top-age year is Jade Halfpenny who can play in all thirds of the ground, but given she can take a grab and knows where the goals are, she has been named forward. Jorja Eldridge and Andie Zbierski are the other top-agers named, with Eldridge coming from a basketball background but did not manage to crack into the strong North Adelaide senior outfit, while Zbierski has played predominantly country footy and not playing this year in the SANFL Women’s but did play four games last year.

From the mature-age perspective, Kristi Harvey lines up at her usual full-back spot and she has plenty of experience having played for Carlton’s VFL Women’s side as well as the successful North Adelaide line-up. Another strong contested mark and rebounder, Harvey will be hard to pass in the defensive end. Also back there is Lauren Gauci who will team up well with Roosters teammate Harvey, providing good dash out of defence, while Tessa Kohn is a natural inside midfielder, but has been trialed elsewhere including in defence, and expect her to get a bit of a taste everywhere. On the wing, Katelyn Pope is one of the quickest going around and the Roosters’ speedster will be hard to catch where she gets going.

A couple of the big improvers in 2020, Norwood’s Jess Macolino returned for her second season, and Shelby Smith made her debut and was one of Central District’s most consistent players all year. They will not take a backwards step and match the Hatchard midfield in hardness for the ball. Up forward, Jess Kirk had led the goalkicking up until injury cost her, but she is good overhead and usually a reliable set shot.

Of the middle-agers on the bench, Gypsy Schirmer provided some nice highlights as an athletic tall up forward for the Panthers this year, while Madison Lane continued her good work after captaining South Australia’s Under 16s side last year, and been a strong contributor for the Bulldogs. Lauren Clifton can provide some depth anywhere on the field, playing defence, forward or even on a wing, while Kate Case is another midfielder who could be one to watch in 2020 after some strong performances through midfield.

Along with Charlton and Tahau, others who would have earned spots but were either injured on unavailable for the clash include: inside midfielders, dual league best and fairest winner Rachelle Martin and talented teenager Maya Rigter; the versatile Jaimi Tabb and athletic utility Mattea Breed.

Picture: SANFL

SANFL Women’s season review: WWT Eagles

WOODVILLE-WEST Torrens Eagles are the next team up in our South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s season review series as we look at the eight sides in reverse ladder order and how their 2020 seasons went down.

Position: 7th
Wins: 2
Losses: 8

2020 IN A NUTSHELL

Woodville-West Torrens Eagles landed the wooden spoon in their inaugural season, going through 2019 without a win. Luckily for the Eagles they broke that drought after a number of close contests, winning against Glenelg by 25 points in Round 4. It was a deserving victory just before the break, and gave them confidence going forward. After a couple of tight losses – and a couple of beltings – the Eagles won in the final round of the season, toppling Sturt by 15 points to leap off the bottom of the table and avoid the wooden spoon.

AFL WOMEN’S ALL-STARS GAME REPRESENTATIVES:

Charlotte Dolan

A 17-year-old with some serious wheels, Dolan came into her own in the last month of the season, being amongst the Eagles’ best. She was able to play in defence or further up the ground, and generally use it well when having time and space. She is not afraid to take a bounce and try and gain metres for her side.

Kiana Lee

A versatile utility who just played consistently all year, Lee started as a full-forward and progressed into a full-back, then would play at both ends during games. She was the club’s leading goalkicker last season and went that way again in 2020, but what made it more remarkable was her ability to adapt to defence. Her contested marking and long kicking are among her strengths.

Tesharna Maher

One of the quickest players going around, Maher provided the need for speed out of defence. She went on four or five-bounce runs more than any other player and was great at finding space down the outside of the field. Continued to improve throughout the year and is still only an over-ager.

Jamie Parish

Represented South Australia at Under 16s level last season, Parish is still only young but showed good progression signs as the season went on. Playing in her first season at League level, Parish held her own, often standing up in defence and providing good run off half-back. She does not need to be a high disposal winner to catch the eye.

Teagan Usher

Another Central Allies representative at the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships last year, Usher is one who has a crack in the midfield, or can play in defence and settle the team down. While only standing at 157cm, coaches know what to expect from Usher.

OTHERS WHO STOOD OUT:

  • Jovanka Zecevic
  • Amie Blanden
  • Renee Forth
  • Chloe Forby
  • Anastasia Falkenberg

Some of the more consistent performers throughout the season, 21-year-old Jovanka Zecevic won the club best and fairest, hardly putting a foot wrong all year in a multitude of roles. Renee Forth and Chloe Forby provided great experience and reliability through midfield and half-back respectively, while Amie Blanden rotated well between the middle of the ground and as a target up forward. Another underrated player was Anastasia Falkenberg who continued to deliver from a team perspective each week.

Summary

Woodville-West Torrens Eagles became renowned for their tackling pressure throughout the season, and made it really difficult for opposition teams to score in the first half. Once the others gained more AFL Women’s experience back, the Eagles struggled, but still picked up a win to get off the bottom of the table. Had Jess Sedunary not gone down with injury, and Jaimi Tabb been available, no doubt the Eagles would have pushed some of the other sides in the run home.

Picture: Jack Chambers

SANFL Women’s Round 9 preview: Fourth spot up for grabs

A WEEK ago it looked like the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s finals series might be decided a fortnight out from it occurring, but after a stunning effort from Sturt to draw with Norwood, fourth spot is very much up for grabs. The top three sides – North Adelaide, South Adelaide and West Adelaide are locked into finals, the latter for the first time in the club’s history. Fourth spot will be one of Norwood, Sturt or Glenelg, with the Redlegs needing to win just one of their two remaining games.

 

CENTRAL DISTRICT vs. SOUTH ADELAIDE
Saturday, July 25, 12.00pm
Thebarton Oval

Central District takes on South Adelaide in the opening game of the weekend and the first in a double-header at Thebarton Oval. The Bulldogs are mathematically in contention for fourth spot as they are two wins and percentage behind the fourth placed Redlegs. But unlike Glenelg who sit a spot above them on the same amount of wins, a couple of heavy losses prior to the break hurt the Bulldogs’ percentage and they would need to win by record margins in the final two rounds. Adding to the dilemma is the fact they play the top two teams, starting with reigning back-to-back premiers, South Adelaide.

The Panthers are primed to strike but look destined to occupy second spot on the ladder due to North Adelaide far superior percentage. Unable to catch them unless they have a massive final two weeks and North slip up at least once, then it is near-impossible that South takes the minor premiership. That will not both them though as they won the premiership the last couple of seasons without it. In this clash they have lost a number of crucial players to injury and work commitments with Sam Pratt (calf), Czenya Cavouras (eye) and Jess Kirk (toe) covering each third of the ground, with Kirk being the competition leading goalkicker this year. Lucy Northcott will also miss the match due to work, but Tahlia Meyer returns.

For the Bulldogs, they have made a couple of confirmed changes, with Nicola Biagi out but Chantel Reynolds among four players coming into the side. Last week the Bulldogs looked pretty good in defeat, matching it with West Adelaide in patches, but not quite having enough to do it for four quarters. Katelyn Rosenzweig is firing up and looking dangerous, while Demi Sonneman and Gemma Doughty make a formidable and reliable duo down back. Shelby Smith has been a four quarter performer all season, whilst the likes of Alicia Butler and Latiah Huynh provide the speed, and Sarah Allan the class around the ground.

South Adelaide have no shortage of big names in their side, and whilst the outs will hurt, the Panthers have so much depth across the board they will make do. Teah Charlton and Indy Tahau could be South Australia’s top two prospects this year in the AFL Women’s Draft, while Lisa Whiteley had a sensational game in defence last week. Along with Jaslynne Smith and Lauren Buchanan, the Panthers will find a way to cover the loss of Pratt. In midfield, Meyer will slot straight in for Cavouras, with Hannah Munyard, Nicole Campbell and Nikki Gore among the rotations through there. Kirk will be the biggest loss, but no doubt coach Rick Watts will find a way to get the job done.

South Adelaide will head in as strong favourites because the Panthers just find a way. Even with backs against the wall and down, they know how to win. Central will give them a fight, and with the outs the Panthers are a bit more vulnerable than usual, but they should still win in a close one.

 

NORTH ADELAIDE vs. STURT
Saturday, July 25, 1.40pm
Prospect Oval

All eyes will turn to Prospect Oval as Sturt faces an uphill battle in a must-win clash against the top of the table Roosters. For the Double Blues to play finals, they must win their final two games, and would no doubt be ruing the after-the-siren Redlegs goal last week as otherwise one win would have been enough in the remaining two rounds to at least match on points. The Double Blues’ task is made more difficult by the losses of Alysha Healy and Alex Ballard who miss the clash, with an extended bench added to Sturt’s side as the likes of Shae Daly and young talent Kiera Mueller coming in to add some strength to the defensive back six. North Adelaide have only lost ruck Bek Rasheed to general soreness as Hanni Howe comes in as a like-for-like replacement, and West Coast AFL Women’s defender Talia Radan also returns.

One area Sturt can try and take advantage of is in the ruck given the loss of Rasheed, with terrific middle-age AFL Women’s Draft talent Zoe Prowse among the most in-form players in the competition following back-to-back best-on performances for the Double Blues. The trouble will be trying to contain the Roosters midfield led by Adelaide best and fairest winner, Anne Hatchard, One has to expect someone will go to Hatchard to limit her influence, and it could well be Maya Rigter who went head-to-head with Ebony Marinoff a couple of weeks ago. Hatchard is more athletic though, and still strong which makes her a tough matchup for any opponent. Isobel Kuiper is one in that midfield group that might be given a chance, though it would be exciting to see her match up on fellow young talent, Hannah Ewings. The other third of the trio would be Georgia Bevan and Ash Woodland, with both midfields having a great mix of hardness and excitement.

Up either end, the biggest issue for Sturt by far is scoring. The Double Blues come up against a defence of Kristi Harvey and Amber Ward with Radan back in there too, stifling any high ball that comes their way. They might have to try and create a bit of a hazard ball going in there, with Nicole Baker looking good on debut last week, and young talents in Georgia Swan and Hannah Prenzler providing targets. Up the other end, there is no trouble scoring whatsoever as Kelly Barltrop is surrounded by the likes of Brianna Arthur, Kathryn Reynolds and Cristie Castle all of whom can hit the scoreboard multiple times in a game when required.

Sturt was good last week, certainly their best performance since the break. North Adelaide is a completely different machine though, and without Ballard and Healy, if the Roosters are firing on all cylinders then this spells danger for the Double Blues.

NORWOOD vs. WEST ADELAIDE
Saturday, July 25, 2.00pm
Thebarton Oval

Given the timing of this week’s fixtures, West Adelaide might have added a few more to the fan base in this game hiding their yellow and black gear. So much rests on this game when it comes to finals after Norwood’s slip-up against Sturt last week when the Redlegs dominated play but could not seemingly find the big sticks until the last kick of the day gave them a couple of points to bank. The celebration post-goal showed everything, that they were a much better chance of making finals than if they had lost that. But they still need to win one of their last two games to qualify, and it is a tough draw. First up is West Adelaide, a side that is frankly in better form and should win here. If the Bloods do, then it opens the door for Glenelg who should take care of Woodville-West Torrens in the final game of the day. In a way, it creates intrigue in the final round of the season given the Redlegs and Bays face off in Round 10. In other words, a virtual elimination final before an elimination final.

A lot of the talk will be around Norwood and whether the Redlegs can secure a finals birth with a win, but one cannot forget there is still plenty on the line for West Adelaide. The Bloods sit in third, three points off South Adelaide and if the Bulldogs upset the Panthers this week, then it is game on for second spot. In exactly the same way it is for Norwood and Glenelg. If West Adelaide wins and South Adelaide lose, then the final round clash between the Bloods and Panthers will be for second spot on the table and a double chance. Moving to the teams, Tiarna Harfield comes into the side with the Adelaide Uni player a straight swap for the injured Abbie Ballard who will be a key loss for the Bloods. The Redlegs have kept the opposition guessing by adding an extended bench with only Georgia Avery out of the side.

No doubt the youth of both sides will be the feature here, with midfield battles between Matilda Zander and Zoe Venning, as well as AFL Women’s experienced Najwa Allen and Rachelle Martin. Without her partner-in-crime in Ballard, Martin will look more to Zoe Greer, as well as Stevie-Lee Thompson to play more minutes in there. Thompson has been getting more dangerous by the week for the Bloods, and she is a part of a dominant forward line in Chelsea Biddell and Rachel Killian who also have that AFL Women’s experience. Norwood will need to contain the forwards, with Bella Smith likely to have a key role at centre half-back. Up the other end, Mattea Breed could be a target for the Redlegs along with captain Alison Ferrall, while it still seems a surprise teams do not try and negate the influence of Madison Newman. Easily one of, if not the most damaging players by foot in the competition, Norwood can not allow her to just run off half-back with ease because she can slice up opposition zones.

West Adelaide is in better form and should win here, but this is match of the round for a reason, so expect there to be plenty of highlights as teams jostle for the finals spots.

 

GLENELG vs. WWT EAGLES
Saturday, July 25, 4.45pm
ACH Group Stadium

Could Glenelg sneak into a second straight finals series with a late run in the final few rounds? It is certainly possible and for it to be in their own hands, the Bays must put this match to bed without any hiccups. They hold the percentage advantage over Norwood, but only marginally. Four points behind, there is no opportunity for wriggle room. Glenelg must win both remaining games and the Redlegs must lose both. One round luckily is well within the Tigers’ capabilities given they face off with the Redlegs in the final round. By the stage the first ball is bounced at ACH Group Stadium, the players will be well aware of what is on the line. If West Adelaide won in the prior game, then finals are well and truly alive, but if Norwood got up, then the dream is over for 2020. For the Eagles, they can actually avoid the wooden spoon with a win, holding a better percentage than Central District, a second win could see them take seventh spot on the table.

In terms of changes, Glenelg have a fairly huge loss in the form of Marinoff who is out of the side and the Bays will need to get the job done without here. The Eagles have also lost Kate Poole who has been a solid player over the past, but welcome back Stephanie Walker who will provide some excitement coming in at half-forward. The Eagles have a number of questions including where they play contested marking utility, Kiana Lee. She looked good in defence, but given they still lost by 86 points, now is not the time to try and stem the flow. She is the most damaging forward in the team, so should line-up there and potentially surprise the opposition with a few goals. If the midfield can match it with the experience of the Bays, through the likes of Chloe Forby, Jovanka Zecevic and Natasha Holmes, then it will go a long way to getting the win. The Eagles have always struggled in the ruck, and Caitlin Gould had a field day last time out against this team, something the visitors will be well aware of and looking to contain.

Glenelg has the experience in Gould, Eloise Jones and Deni Varnhagen able to play in multiple positions across the ground. With no Marinoff, young talent Tessa Kohn should get into the midfield again where she is not afraid to win the contested ball. Madisyn Freeman, Sam Franson and Brooke Tonon do not might moving the ball, which they will need to do against an Eagles side that has some runners. Jamie Parish played an underrated game off half-back last week, and along with Tesharna Maher and Renee Forth, their half-back line can repel Tigers attacks if they back themselves. Charlotte Dolan has been shifted up to a wing which is a good move as another who takes the game on, while Zahn Anthony has played some impressive football of late. It will not be easy to win, but if the Eagles are to cause an upset, they need to be unpredictable, take chances and run the ball. The midfield cannot afford to be exposed and they have to limit the influence of Gould around the ground.

Glenelg just have too much top-end talent in this game even without Marinoff, but Eagles should make it closer than last time. The 86-point loss last week to North Adelaide was not as bad as the scoreboard might suggest, but they are still a fair way off the top sides. Not without a chance in this game the Eagles, but Glenelg have much more on the line and one cannot see them dropping this game, particularly if Norwood loses and opens the door for the Tigers.

SANFL Women’s weekly wrap: Round 8 – Redlegs salvage draw as top three cement finals spots

FINALS is just about sorted, albeit with perhaps another chapter left in the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s competition. With two rounds remaining, the top three sides in North Adelaide, South Adelaide and for the first time, West Adelaide will play finals, though Norwood failed to lock up a spot, but came away with a draw thanks to an after-the-siren goal to ensure they need just one win to lock up finals.

NORTH ADELAIDE 1.3 | 4.4 | 9.5 | 13.10 (88)
WWT EAGLES 0.0 | 0.2 | 0.2 | 0.2 (2)

GOALS: 

North: A. Hatchard 2, B. Arthur 2, C. Castle 2, K. Reynolds 2, K. Barltrop, L. Daniel, K. Pope, A. Woodland, B. Perry.
WWT: Nil.

ADC BEST: 

North: A. Hatchard, H. Ewings, K. Pope, L. Daniel, B. Arthur
WWT: J. Zecevic, K. Lee, T. Maher, A. Blanden, J. Parish

It was not a four quarter demolition job, but once North Adelaide Roosters got going, there was little Woodville-West Torrens Eagles could do to stop them. The ladder-leading Roosters piled on nine goals to nil in the second half to storm to an 86-point win over the cellar dwellers despite the Eagles’ best efforts by only allowing one goal in the first 10 minutes of the opening three terms combined. Unfortunately for the league’s bottom side, weight of numbers and class won out with the Roosters stamping their authority on the game in the second half and showing why they are the premiership favourites.

Despite the teams coming into the clash at opposite ends of the ladder, the first 10 minutes of the game looked like a couple of sides on even keel. The Eagles were up for the fight, whilst the Roosters were peppering away getting their structures right and working out which way best to inflict pain on the opposition. Hannah Ewings and Anne Hatchard shared in a massive first term around the ball, as Bek Rasheed dominated the ruck against smaller opponents. Jovanka Zecevic was busy for the Eagles, whilst Amie Blanden and Kiana Lee were impressive up opposite ends of the field.

The Eagles did the bulk of the attacking in the first six minutes, with the Roosters’ second inside 50 – after an initial one of the first clearance – coming six minutes into the quarter. From there though, it was a case of locking it in their forward half, and whilst the likes of Chloe Forby – who ran down Katelyn Pope before she could have a shot on goal – and Tesharna Maher were trying their best to clear the ball, a goal seemed inevitable. That came in the 10-minute mark on the counter attack by Pope who instead of blazing forward at half-forward, paused and turned laterally to kick inside. It opened up space and a series of short kicks ended with Brianna Arthur finding space 25m out straight in front which she duly converted. It was the only major of the first term, but it gave the Roosters a nine-point lead at the break with the Eagles yet to score.

North Adelaide had missed a few chances in the opening term, including a nice piece of play leading to Ashleigh Woodland having a shot but hitting the left woodwork late in the quarter. The Roosters started from the first bounce to really attack with Hatchard’s vision and hands through traffic elite, able to find Lauren Daniel who was starting to really get busy. Zecevic was working hard and Maher and Lee were among the best on the ground. Ewings was right up there with Hatchard, having multiple inside 50s and whilst the Eagles often intercepted, she just constantly looked dangerous.

Again, while the Eagles held up for 10 minutes, the Roosters finally cracked through the dam wall and this time it was a set of another elite hands in Woodland who between multiple defenders put the ball into the path of Pope who ran onto it at full speed and just got boot to ball before being run down, and it bounced home for a goal. It might have opened the floodgates, but the Eagles stepped up and showed they were not going to just hand over the premiership points. Instead, they went forward and had a couple of chances of their own through Natalia Ayesu who just missed her set shot after marking strongly one-on-one against Kristi Harvey on the lead – a terrific feat in itself – before buttering up to receive a spill and take a shot but it missed to the right. The two behinds would be the only Roosters scores of the game.

Lee was racking up the intercept marks and being a rock at full-back with the early switch to the opposite end paying dividends. Unfortunately for the Eagles defence, the counter attack was proving an issue as they struggled to get it past half-back late in the term, and North Adelaide punished them. The Roosters won the ball at half-forward and flooded numbers into the attacking 50 with free space all over, ending with Woodland marking in the square and truly from a couple of meters out. Less than two minutes later, the Roosters again used the ball well forward of centre with neat short kicks hitting up teammates, and Charlotte Taylor – who had it at half-forward – put it perfectly to Hatchard’s advantage. The Adelaide best and fairest winner read the ball in flight better than the two opponents guarding her, and she marked and goaled from 25m out to hand her team a 26-point advantage at half-time.

Coming out of half-time, the Roosters were trying to attack and really build on their first half. An early inside 50 was chopped off by Zahn Anthony well, but Amber Ward was a rock in the back half and pushing up to the wing, while Hatchard was elite in midfield. The first meaningful chance was to Kathryn Reynolds after a nice low ball in from Hatchard, but her set shot went way wide and out of bounds. Lee and Jamie Parish were standing up well in defence, but the Eagles were scrambling with some missed handballs and fumbles, and eventually the Roosters were going to make them pay. A high coach-killing ball to the back pocket floated enough for Pope to drift across and take an intercept mark and the speedster centred it to Hatchard who booted her second without a problem from 30m out straight in front.

The goal opened the flood gates a little for the Roosters as they would go on to kick four more goals for the quarter, all of which came after the 10-minute mark once again. Hatchard was often the facilitator, setting up Cristie Castle in the goalsquare, and then Reynolds was the beneficiary on the end of some scrappy but ultimately rewarding play. The Eagles had a rare inside 50 late in the term but a free against helped North clear it down the wing, and eventually both Arthur and Barltrop converted majors from free kicks for the Roosters to lead by a massive 57 points at the final break.

With the game done and dusted by the final term, the last quarter was always going to be about how much the Roosters could pile on, and how well the Eagles could limit their scoring. A minute into the term, Daniel kicked a great goal off a step and the warning bells were sounding. Ewings and Pope were sensational with their speed and movement through the middle, but the Eagles were not giving up and to their credit managed to hold firm the next five minutes. It eventually was going to be too much, with weight of numbers in the red and white jumpers as Castle again was on the end of a perfect pass from Hatchard who fended off an opponent and found her teammate in the goalsquare.

The only saving grace for the Eagles in the final term was the inaccuracy of the Roosters who could well have passed triple figures, but with a couple of rushed shots and touched balls en route to goal, they could only managed the 4.5. The third goal of the term went to Perry who found space 30m out and never looked like missing, while it was almost back-to-back goals in quick succession for the Roosters as both Arthur and Reynolds had gettable shots, but one missed and the other was crucially touched on the line by Eagles defenders. The final play of the day saw a chain of handballs inside 50 end with Reynolds who was paid a free kick against an unlucky Charlotte Dolan, with Reynolds popping through a goal with the last kick of the game moments before the siren for an impressive 86-point win.

STURT 1.1 | 1.1 | 3.2 | 3.2 (20)
NORWOOD 1.0 | 1.4 | 1.6 | 2.8 (20)

GOALS:

Sturt: N. Baker, H. Prenzler, G. Bevan.
Norwood: A. Ferrall, K. Fenton.

ADC BEST: 

Sturt: Z. Prowse, G. Bevan, A. Ballard, L. Schenscher, J. Keech
Norwood: M. Zander, B. Smith, A. Ferrall, J. Halfpenny, R. Busch

An after-the-siren goal from Kate Fenton has saved Norwood from suffering a potentially devastating loss in terms of finals ramifications, during a draw with Sturt. The Redlegs had the majority of the play throughout the contest, but could not put it through the big sticks, only converting the first and last goals of the contest in a low-scoring 2.8 (20) to 3.2 (20) draw. Indeed, full credit to Sturt who through the work of Zoe Prowse were able to hold off Norwood and put scores on the board themselves in one of the Double Blues’ best performances of the year.

The first match in the triple header had a slow start with both team’s defences making life difficult for the opposition. Norwood had the bulk of the play throughout the first half but missed a number of opportunities on goal in the second term, while the Double Blues through debutant Nicole Baker ensured they were in touch at the main break.

Matilda Zander has a busy start to the game as expected and was one of the best Redlegs on the ground, as was Bella Smith whose first term – which included several strong marks and long, piecing kicks – was simply sensational. Alison Ferrall provided her teammates with a number of opportunities, but her first was a point-blank goal from the top of the goalsquare. Najwa Allen had been a driving force in getting it forward, but Ferrall was first to the ball and rewarded with a free kick.

Sturt soon got one back through the debutant in Baker, who had a quick snap at the 10 and a half minute mark of the term that just missed. Showing the inclusion was an all-round player, Baker ran down Rhiannon Busch who had got around one would-be tackler, but not the second. The subsequent free kick needed a 45-metre attempt on goal and it not only was true, but sailed home with ease much to the celebration of Baker’s teammates and handed Sturt the lead at the first break.

The second term saw just four behinds kicked, with Norwood ruing a number of chances gone begging. Prowse was breaking up the attacking forays for the Redlegs, while Larissa Schenscher and Jessie Keech were terrific in defence. Ferrall had a couple of chances in the second but missed both, though the first long-range effort was unlucky not to go through, hitting the post on its journey. Sturt had the odd chance such as a quick snap by Georgia Bevan off her non-preferred but a cruel miss went over the head of Georgia Swan and Norwood cleared it. By half-time, Norwood’s inaccuracy had seen the Redlegs take the lead by three points.

The premiership quarter was an armwrestle for the majority of the contest until Sturt popped up with some great highlight-worthy moments. Ally Ladas had a chance to goal with a quick snap but missed to the side, and then the early driving work from the Double Blues handed Hannah Prenzler a chance. It started with a Prowse intercept at half-back who got it to Bevan, and she pumped it inside where Baker cleverly shepherded and Prenzler did the rest to hand her side a four-point lead. From then on, it was all Norwood but much like the second term, the Redlegs could not capitalise.

Jade Halfpenny and Lindsay Bigg both had a couple of chances but missed in the last five minutes. It looked as if Norwood might get an answer with their fierce attacking in the dying moments. In a shock against the momentum, it was Sturt instead that capitalised, with the ball rushed down into an open forward line and the co-captains combined with Rigter handing it off to Bevan who sailed it home with 30 seconds remaining and Sturt was out to an eight-point advantage.

The final term did not see a goal kicked in regular time as Norwood spent the bulk purely attacking, while Sturt bravely defended for the majority of the quarter. It looked for the most part that the work of Schenscher, Prowse and Keech would get the Double Blues an unlikeliest of victories, even when Sturt drew level midway through the term with a second behind. But surprisingly, neither team could score as the Double Blues kept holding it up and with 20 seconds left, the ball was at half-back for the Redlegs and the game looked surely over.

Norwood had other ideas though, but needed to be perfect. They ran the ball end to end and Ferrall put it to a two-on-one contest. The ball fell to ground after great work from the Sturt defence, but in trying to rush in and get it clear in the final second, a Double Blue threw the ball out as the siren sounded. Momentarily, Sturt players thought they had finally secured the six-point win, but to their horror, a free kick was paid to Fenton straight in front of goal. With the game on her boot, and potentially Norwood’s finals hopes depending on whether on not it sailed through, she stepped up and delivered a perfect kick through the middle for Norwood to level the match and share the points.

CENTRAL 1.1 | 1.2 | 1.2 | 3.3 (21)
WEST ADELAIDE 1.1 | 4.1 | 5.5 | 6.7 (43)

GOALS: 

Central: A. James, K. McInerney, Z. Perry.
West: R. Killian 2, S. Thompson, M. Newman, A. Hardwick. G. Gray.

ADC BEST:

Central: S. Allan, D. Sonneman, S. Smith, C. Teague, A. Butler
West: M. Newman, S. Thompson, A. Ballard, R. Martin, Z. Venning

After a spirited opening term from Central District, West Adelaide opened the floodgates with three straight goals in the second term to bolt out to a 17-point lead at half-time. The first term was as even as it came with Central up for the fight and putting the first goal on the board through Amber James before West Adelaide inclusion, Rachael Killian marked well and put one through for the Bloods. Heading into the first break, the scores were level, and while the Bulldogs had the majority of the play in the first 10 minutes, West had begun to settle and have more run in the final five minutes of the term.

The game opened up in the second quarter, with Stevie-Lee Thompson and Madison Newman doing all sorts of damage to the opposition. Newman’s lethal long boot was clearing defences and then breaking up the Bulldogs defensive zones,. Thompson was the first goal on the board after repeat stoppages saw the former AFL Women’s leading goalkicker put one through off a ruck tap 15m out. It led a procession of inside 50s for the Bloods as Chelsea Biddell moved into the ruck to have an impact and found Thompson again not long after. She hit up Newman who slotted the goal 35m out and her team was out to a 12-point lead.

A third goal in the term came through Abby Hardwick in the goalsquare after Zoe Venning got a quick kick out of a pack inside 50. The Bloods were in complete control by now despite some good work from Demi Sonneman in defence, and the fierce pressure of Katelyn Rosenzweig up forward. Shelby Smith was working hard through midfield and gave her side a chance late in the term with a rare forward venture. Rosenzweig fended off a couple of opponents, had a snap but missed to the left making the deficit 17 points at the main break.

The second half started as the first half had left off, with West Adelaide doing all the attacking. Central could not put a score on the board or have a proper inside 50 as the Bloods half-back line was sensational throughout the term. Arguably the three quarter time margin of 27 points could have been even greater, as a second goal to Killian nine minutes into the term was the only major of the quarter. It was more opportunistic in a pack than planned, and missed chances from the likes of Kasia Culhane, Thompson, Biddell and Venning when they had looks on goal resulted in the Bloods kick 1.4 for the quarter.

Credit had to be given to the Dogs defence, who through the likes of Sonneman, Smith, Gemma Doughty and Lauren Breguet, were able to stop the flow of goals. Rosenzweig was even busy in there and Sarah Allan was trying hard around the ground, but Thompson, Biddell, Rachelle Martin and especially Abbie Ballard were having a massive say on proceedings in the premiership quarter. While the Dogs had held up the Bloods from scoring, they would need a massive final term against the flow to hit back.

After an exclamation mark on the performance from a clever Georgie Gray – who capitalised on a Central turnover inside defensive 50 – West led by more than five goals and it looked like the Bloods would storm to a massive win. Yet again though, Central showed it has plenty of potential for the future, with the last two goals of the game going to Kayla McInerney and Zoe Perry. The two clever goals in play which surprised the West defence handed the Dogs some confidence heading into next week.

 

GLENELG 1.1 | 1.1 | 2.1 | 3.3 (21)
SOUTH ADELAIDE 1.1 | 3.2 | 5.2 | 6.4 (40)
 

GOALS:

Glenelg: E. Jones 2, E. Woods
South: J. Kirk 2, H. Munyard, S. Flanagan-Sjoberg, C. Cavouras, C. Hammond

ADC BEST:

Glenelg: E. Marinoff, J. Bates, C. Packer, E. Jones, E. Kellock
South: L. Whiteley, C. Cavouras, T. Charlton, H. Munyard, J. Kirk

In a scrappy first half between the sides, neither team could gain real ascendancy in the opening term. South had plenty of the play, but Glenelg was fiercely attacking as well. The entry inside 50 could have been better for both sides as Lisa Whiteley (South) and Jessica Bates (Glenelg) were picking off the inside 50s well, and setting up their teams on the counter attack. South speedster Hannah Munyard broke the deadlock early by running onto a loose ball at the back of the back deep inside the Panthers forward line and putting it through.

Midway through the term, it took a great mark from Adelaide talent, Eloise Jones who soared above the pack to clunk a great mark off a perfectly weighted kick from young gun Tessa Kohn. Jones went back from 40m out and slotted it without the goal umpire needing too much trouble, and by the quarter time siren, scores were level at 1.1 apiece. The South defence with Whiteley, Samantha Pratt and Jaslynne Smith were making life difficult for the Bays, while Soriah Moon was impressing up the other end for Glenelg playing out of full-back with Caitlin Gould in the ruck.

The second term was much of the same, except the reigning premiers punishing the Tigers for a couple of grave errors. After an armwrestle for the majority of the term – and Whiteley continuing her dominance in the defensive 50 – the Panthers got through via a free kick. Teah Charlton had a kick towards goal under pressure which was intercepted by the taller Moon against Jess Kirk, but it was deemed the teenager was pushed as she kicked and Kirk awarded the free kick 15m out from goal. The competition’s leading goalkicker made no mistake and gave South the clear lead by seven points after an earlier Charlton behind.

A second error by the Bays was one of those ‘coach killers’ where in the dying seconds, Glenelg looked to cross the defensive 50 to wind down the clock. Instead, the miskick went straight into the arms of a surprised Sophia Flanagan-Sjoberg who marked just 15m out herself. The siren sounded and she popped it home with ease handing her side a 13-point lead, off effectively two defensive 50 errors from the Bays. Whilst the deficit would have been frustrating for the home team, the Bays had stuck with the Panthers for the majority of the contest, with Ebony Marinoff working hard through midfield and Gould battling hard in the ruck.

Both teams looked up for the fight early in the second half with some big tackles and bodies flying everywhere. After a couple minutes of not much territory gain and a lot of repeat stoppages, it was Czenya Cavouras who provided the highlight with an elite pick up at full speed to charge through the opposition defence and get the good bounce for an early goal to the Panthers. Helped through with good body work by Kirk on the goal line, Cavouras made an early statement and the going looked tough for the Bays from then on.

The Tigers did get one back though through a rare perfect inside 50 thanks to Ellie Kellock. The midfielder won a free kick and looked inboard to hit up a rampaging Jones who marked out on the lead, crashing through the pack again. She turned around and converted her second goal to give the Tigers another sniff. Marinoff continued to work hard with fellow Crows AFL Women’s talent, Deni Varnhagen also winning a number of crucial touches on the outside. But Cavouras and Munyard were impressing, for the Panthers. Just as it looked like Glenelg would head into the break with a 13-point deficit, South had other ideas.

For the second consecutive quarter, the Panthers managed to muster something up out of nothing, with a neat centring kick inside 50 to find a loose Kirk who marked seconds before the siren. Yet again, South would convert a goal after the siren with Kirk’s second and the 19-point advantage suddenly looked a lot more difficult for the trailing Bays who needed a win to keep the finals dream alive.

The last term was predominantly Glenelg throwing everything at the Panthers once again, desperately trying to get across the line. But despite their work and a number of close shaves, the Bays could not quite do enough to get over the line. South’s defence held up well, and while Glenelg’s did likewise, it took until a downfield free kick to Emily Woods for the Tigers to get the first major on the board. She converted her set shot from 15 metres out to cut the deficit to 12 points with five minutes remaining.

Glenelg kept daring to dream with some fierce attacking moves, bu the work of Whiteley and Lauren Buchanan mopped everything up in the back 50. Then, the Panthers counter attacked and had their own chances. At one stage Glenelg had a chance through Varnhagen straight down the middle, but instead Cavouras chopped off the ball in defence, got it to Charlton in the middle who found Munyard out in space at half-forward. Her kick was dropped by Peters close to the boundary line, but it was locked inside the forward 50 for the time being, and eventually forced as a rushed behind with 90 seconds remaining. That behind meant the margin stood at 13 points and was near-impossible to come back from.

Instead, it was South with a remarkable final kick of the quarter for the third straight quarter where Cheyenne Hammond picked it up off the deck and snapped around her body for it to sail home moments before the siren sounded. It gave the Panthers confidence heading into next week knowing they had not just held off a fast-finishing Glenelg side, but put an exclamation mark on their performance to win by 19 points.