Tag: lauren kenny

SANFL Women’s review: Round 7 – Roosters send warning with huge win

LAST year’s runners-up North Adelaide look determined to go one better in the 2020 South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s competition following a huge win over finals-bound Norwood. Similarly, reigning premiers South Adelaide went to a clear second with victory over West Adelaide, while Glenelg and Central District both picked up wins in their bottom four clashes.

WEST ADELAIDE 0.1 | 0.4 | 1.5 | 1.8 (14)
SOUTH ADELAIDE 1.5 | 1.6 | 2.8 | 3.11 (29)

GOALS: 

West: C. Biddell.
South: T. Charlton 2, S. Peters.

ADC BEST:

West: S. Thompson, K. Kustermann, R. Martin, M. Newman, A. Ballard
South: T. Charlton, L. Whiteley, C. Cavouras, S. Pratt, I. Tahau

South Adelaide did what the reigning back-to-back premiers do best and found a way to not only win, but get home by 15 points despite West Adelaide controlling possession for the majority of the contest. It was young gun Teah Charlton who led the charge for the Panthers, kicking two terrific goals and setting up a third in what was a low-scoring match riddled with inaccuracy, but filled with some big tackles and individual moments of brilliance.

In contrast to what the rest of the match would be like, South Adelaide controlled possession in the opening term, with Nikki Gore getting the first inside 50 out of the middle. Hannah Munyard was providing her usual dash on the outside of the contest, but the work of Keeley Kustermann and Madison Newman in the back 50 was making life hard for the Panthers.

Czenya Cavouras was having an influence through the middle, and was equally matched by Stevie-Lee Thompson would would go on to be one of West’s best. Equally up to the task in their back 50 were Samantha Pratt and Lisa Whiteley who battled hard, and when they went forward, South was beginning to apply scoreboard pressure – albeit behinds.

West registered its first score midway through the term, when Rachelle Martin bumped Nicole Campbell off the line and kicked towards the goals but went to the right. It was not until the last 90 seconds of the quarter that after five straight behinds, the Panthers got a major to break the drought. South’s resilience paid off as they kept surging forward and several players getting boot to ball as they were dragged down by West’s defence, but eventually Charlton had snuck to the goalsquare and got a clean boot to the ball to put through the first of the game and hand her side a 10-point lead at the first break.

Whiteley saved a certain West goal early in the second term and then immediately after, Pratt won a free kick at the stoppage for a terrific tackle. The Panthers were cleaner with their possession, though were happy to provide unpredictability going forward with kicks along the ground to stop the influence of Newman and Kustermann in the air taking easy intercept marks.

Chelsea Biddell was having an influence pushing up the ground alongside Martin and then Indy Tahau had a highlight-worthy moment with a bounce and drawing a second opponent to kick forward. While both Tahau and Thompson showed off the jets on different occasions, neither side could muster up a major. By the time the half-time siren sounded, just four behinds had been added to the total score, three to the Westies and one to the Panthers, for South Adelaide to still lead by eight points.

The third term saw some more action, but again it was heartbreak for the Westies as they dominated the major of forward possession and only managed the one major. Biddell kicked that opportunistic one on the back of hard work from Thompson and Ballard getting it forward to a pack, and the key forward was first to her feet to dribble it home five minutes into the term. Earlier Biddle unfortunately fumbled when she had a lot of space in front of her close to goal and her opponent closed her down. The defence was holding up for West Adelaide, but they needed to make more of their dominance.

Instead, it was Charlton who had had enough with the arm-wrestle up the home side’s end, somehow breaking the highlight-drought with a magical goal from the pocket. It was something out of nothing and exactly what the game needed. She was later crunched in a tackle but managed to recover, but the momentum rolled back to West as the Bloods desperately attacked. Yet again, shots just fell short or missed targets marginally and the siren sounded with the Panthers up by nine.

Not disparaged by not capitalising on their chances, the Bloods continued their forward half dominance, with Thompson getting better and better throughout the game, and Biddell having a presence, even though accuracy was a problem. Melanie Elsegood had a chance with the ball falling into her lap early in the term, but her quick pass to Biddell fell at her feet and forced a stoppage. Martin was desperate in her attempts to get her side back in the contest, but gave away a couple of free kicks in the process. Ballard was equally influential for the Bloods, but nothing was able to really break through.

Instead, once South got a chance, the Panthers took it, with Charlton stepping up, winning the ball close to the line from a kick out, and while many expected her to take a chance on goal, she spotted the loose Sienna Peters 15m out and drilled a perfect pass to her. Peters turned around and effectively iced the game with nine minutes remaining.

The remainder of the term saw Charlton put one out on the full despite being ambitious from a tight angle though not suitable for a right footer, and South’s desperate attempts to add to the score just missed with rushed behinds. West Adelaide continued to roll the dice, and surge forward, but nothing was doing, and the last kick of the day on goal to Biddell from 35m out missed, which was the story of the tape. West Adelaide was so impressive, but just missed in crucial circumstances to take control of the match.

The defence of Whiteley and Pratt, along with Charlton and the run of Gore and Munyard was impressive. Cavouras’ hardness was welcomed for the Panthers as Ballard and Martin provided that, as did Thompson who was arguably the Bloods’ best. Kustermann and Newman did what many expected them to do out of defence, and Biddell was superb outside of her accuracy, but both teams will be there at the pointy end of the season.

WWT EAGLES 1.3 | 2.3 | 2.3 | 4.5 (29)
CENTRAL DISTRICT 2.0 | 3.0 | 6.2 | 7.2 (44)

GOALS:

WWT: K. Lee 2, J. Zecevic, G. Smallacombe.
Central: K. Rosenzweig 3, E. Keys, L. Huynh, A. James, C. Reynolds.

ADC BEST:

WWT: J. Zecevic, K. Lee, T. Maher, J. Sedunary, B. Davey
Central: K. Rosenzweig, C. Reynolds, S. Smith, C. Teague, S. Allan

An all-time record team score from Central District has helped the Bulldogs record an impressive 15-point win over Woodville-West Torrens Eagles and move to sixth on the SANFL Women’s ladder. Katelyn Rosenzweig booted three goals during the match, while the likes of Shelby Smith, Chantel Reynolds, Caitlen Teague and Sarah Allan were all busy. For the Eagles, Jovanka Zecevic and Kiana Lee were busy in defeat.

The opening term saw a number of entertaining moments including a couple of bounces and run off half-back from Eagles’ Tesharna Maher, and a strong intercept mark under fierce contact from Central’s Nicola Biagi. Lee had an early chance at the seven minute mark to put a major on the board after a neat Kate Poole kick, but it went through for a behind. A few minutes later though, it was Central on the attack and the pressure led to Emma Keys running into an open goal and slotting it from almost point-blank range.

The very next clearance out of the middle went down the other end and the strong hands of Lee clunk and mark and sent it straight over the goal umpire’s hat to hand her team back the lead. As if not to be outdone, the Bulldogs worked it forward in the last few minutes, with Smith earning a free kick and got it to the danger zone, where a quick handball out to Rosenzweig saw the talented forward snap and goal for the lead once again. Alicia Butler had been impressive throughout the entire term for the Bulldogs, while Demi Sonneman on the last line was crucial.

The game had opened up a bit more and after repeat stoppages the first half of the term, it was a crucial moment by Rosenzweig who booted her second and gave the game more life. She positioned herself well under a floating ball inside 50, then clunked the contested mark and slotted the goal for a nine-point lead. Zecevic, Jess Sedunary and Maher were all busy early, and Bronwyn Davey was starting to get involved up forward for the Eagles. Davey missed a couple of chances but missed, though soon Zecevic would capitalise on the counter attack after a missed Bulldogs kick saw Poole intercept and find Davey whose kick fell short but Zecevic was quick to think and snap around her body to cut the half-time deficit to three.

Smith continued her good form winning plenty of it and getting involved in the third term, and Butler had a chance 35m out on a slight angle, but missed the chance early in the third. Not long after the floodgates would begin to open for the Bulldogs as Smith intercepted an Eagles kickout, handballed to Reynolds who put it to Rosenzweig’s advantage in the goalsquare to mark and convert the set shot three and a half minutes in. Sensing the tide was turning the Eagles sent Lee into defence where she took a strong mark and provided some rebound, but the play was all with Central.

Laitiah Huynh had a quick snap on goal but missed, then had a second chance moments after, tricking the Eagles defence into thinking the teenager would kick to the square, but instead had the set shot from 35m out and sailed over their heads to hand the Bulldogs an impressive 17-point lead. Zecevic was trying everything for the Eagles, while Charlotte Dolan was attempting to create some run down the ground, with little space available. The Eagles needed a goal to have a realistic chance in the final term, but instead it was the Bulldogs who through Allan and Reynolds got it forward. Rosenzweig battled one-on-two in the goalsquare, but the crowd she attracted left Amber James free to receive a handball and she snapped around her body for a terrific goal in the last 30 seconds and Central headed into the final break up by 23 points.

The final term was more of a celebration for the Bulldogs, though the Eagles were not going to throw in the towel. Sedunary’s early chance missed with the snap, and then Grace Smallacombe found herself in the unusual position of inside 50 and she took a good mark and with the subsequent 25m penalty for some spoken words, booted it home from point-blank range. The margin was back to 17 points and not completely out of it. However it was soon done and dusted when Reynolds achieved the Bulldogs’ highest score in their history with a terrific snap to see them pass their record of 38 and achieve 44 for the game.

Lee kicked a consolation goal shortly after following a contested grab above her head and put through the set shot from 35m out, but it wold not be enough as the Bulldogs would reign supreme on the day. The contested marking and runs from defence, the latter particularly from Maher were eye-catching, whilst Rosenzweig’s game was highly underrated because she not only slotted three majors, but her one percenters around the contest were terrific. Smith and Reynolds also really stood out in what was ultimately an even team performance.

STURT 0.1 | 0.2 | 0.4 | 0.5 (5)
GLENELG 1.3 | 4.4 | 6.6 | 8.8 (56)

GOALS:

Sturt: Nil.
Glenelg: E. Jones, T. Morriss, L. Bungey, E. Marinoff, L. Kenny, T. Kohn, B. Tonen, S. Franson

ADC BEST: 

Sturt: Z. Prowse, G. Bevan, E. Dawes, S. Daly, K. Harris
Glenelg: T. Kohn, S. Franson, E. Jones, L. Bungey, E. Marinoff

Glenelg has kept its finals hopes alive with a commanding 51-point victory over Sturt, holding the Double Blues goalless and leaping up to fifth on the SANFL Women’s ladder. The Tigers took a while to kick into gear, but when they did, they never looked back, having 16 scoring shots to five and defending perfectly.

The first term was a real arm-wrestle with neither side able to heap on any considerable scoreboard pressure. Glenelg had the majority of the play, with young gun Zoe Prowse having an early impact with her work rate around the ground and tackling pressure. For the Tigers, Eloise Jones and Ebony Marinoff were working hard in midfield, while reliable young defender Hannah Prenzler started forward as eluded to in the team selections. Madisyn Freeman was also busy continuing on from last week, providing some dash off half-back, and the first score came off the boot of Tessa Kohn – who would be in for a big day – with a behind after a nice turnover courtesy of an Ellie Kellock bump.

Another behind for Glenelg, this time from Marinoff, was followed by a drought-breaking goal from Tamsyn Morriss who found space forward and slotted the major nine minutes into the term. It would be the only major of the game, and while Georgia Bevan was putting in 100 per cent trying to extract the ball forward, Glenelg was running in numbers and defending well. Elsie Dawes was on Double Blues talent who stood out, while Shae Daly was mopping up a lot in defence. The siren sounded with Marinoff to take a shot from 35m out slight angle but it fell just short and kept in, with the Bays up by eight at the first break.

Prowse’s athleticism against Caitlin Gould was impressive as she was won a free kick immediately to start the second term, but it would be Lauren Bungey who would take the first advantage when forward, after Jones kicked it to the top of the goalsquare and the key forward took a strong mark and goaled from 15m out just two minutes into the contest. Grace Duffy was moving well around the ground for a taller player, while Prenzler was pushing up trying to influence the contest for Sturt. There was a lot of scrappy kicks from both sides in a bid to win territory.

Just as the Tigers looked set to rue a few missed chances, Brooke Tonon and Sam Franson both put their name in the goalkickers books with majors in the second half of the term. Tonon got on the end of a pass following an intercept in the forward 50 and she capitalised, while Franson slotted one running into goal in the dying seconds and handed her side a 26-point lead at the main break.

The Sturt defence was trying everything to keep the ball out of danger, but Glenelg was relentless and this attack continued in the third term. Jones tried her hand at one of the marks of the year, not necessarily for height, but for degree of difficulty with a pack all around her. She kicked the all-important first goal of the third term and from there, Glenelg had the second half momentum to continue it.

Kohn was really impressive inside 50 and giving her teammates a scoring chance, as Freeman and Marinoff had a couple of opportunities. Eventually it was Marinoff who somehow picked the pocket of her opponent close to goal and put it on the boot just 10m out for another Glenelg major.

Bevan had Sturt’s best chance of a major in the last two minutes of the third term, but running into open goal but it unluckily hit the post on the way through for Sturt’s third behind of the game. By the three quarter time siren, Glenelg led by 38 points.

The fourth term was much of the same with Glenelg continually attacking and Sturt’s defence doing its best to try and quell their opponents. Marinoff was involved in a goal again and worked the ball down for Lauren Kenny to win a free kick straight in front and put it through for a 44-point lead in the opening three minutes. Danger signs of the game being a real blowout were there for the Double Blues, but to their credit, the likes of Alysha Healy and Daly were restricting the flow.

Glenelg was just more composed and the frustration was getting to Sturt’s defence when Larissa Schenscher gave away a 25m penalty following a free in a marking contest one-on-one to her opponent Kohn. The youngster moved into the goalsquare when she popped it home from the easiest of set shots, delivering a 51-point win for her side as the siren sounded about a minute later.

NORTH ADELAIDE 1.2 | 4.6 | 6.6 | 9.10 (64)
NORWOOD 1.0 | 1.0 | 2.1 | 3.1 (19)

GOALS:

North Adelaide: H. Ewings 2, B. Perry 2, K. Reynolds 2, K. Barltrop, L. Daniel, A. Woodland.
Norwood: I. Martin, A. Ferrall, A. Barisic.

ADC BEST:

North: H. Ewings, A. Hatchard, B. Perry, K. Pope, K. Barltrop
Norwood: N. Allen, M. Breed, B. Smith, M. Zander, R. Busch

North Adelaide has fired a warning shot to the rest of the competition with a 45-point demolition job of another contender in Norwood. The Roosters, led by Adelaide best and fairest winner, Anne Hatchard and young gun and speedster, Hannah Ewings, the Roosters started to click after a slow start to run away with an impressive victory that could have been even more had it not been for some missed opportunities.

The first term was a battle between two teams clearly in premiership contention. The undefeated Roosters through the work of Hatchard in the middle were creating all sorts of problems for Norwood, but were not capitalising as best as they could. Instead, it was an end-to-end goal for the Bloods against the momentum starting with Sophie Armitstead at half-back, and going through Monique Hollick, Alison Ferrall, Najwa Allen and eventually to Ana Barisic who kicked the goal with her second chance after playing on, missing, but winning a free kick and converting the set shot.

Ewings had a huge start to the game, with both her and Hatchard racking up the ball and using it well, while Ashleigh Woodland was busy on the outside. Cristie Castle had a chance with a snap going inside 50 but it just missed, and then Britt Perry uncharacteristically missed a set shot straight in front 20m out. In fact it took until some nice movement inside 50 from the Roosters from Kathryn Reynolds who hit up Perry. This time the GWS AFL Women’s Academy player did not miss and put it straight through for her team to hit the front.

The goal was enough to marginally separate the sides at half-time, with Mattea Breed starting to get going late in the term, matching up with Hatchard and then winning the clearance at the next centre bounce, while Ferrall’s shot after the siren from 40m just fell short and the Redlegs found themselves three points down at the first break. The biggest disappointment of the opening term was the shoulder injury to Hollick who had to be helped from the ground.

Breed’s finish to the opening term continued into the second, having an early chance kicking towards goal, but it unfortunately bounced back into the field of play. The talented Northern Territory teen ran down her opponent in the goalsquare, covering 40m to do so, but was pinged for infringing with the tackle. From that point on though, the quarter belonged to North Adelaide.

Hatchard was so red-hot in the opening term she switched the long sleeves for the short sleeves, but her impact did not change, getting the ball to Ewings who snapped around her body two and a half minutes mins in to the open goalsquare for it to bounce home for an important major and eight-point lead. A terrific intercept grab at half-back by Kristi Harvey, led to Ewings having another crack and kicked a second goal 90 seconds later in a real purple patch for the Roosters young gun. All of a sudden it was 14 points the difference, four minutes into the term.

Breed’s aerial abilities were just about the only highlight for Norwood in the second term, with the youngster taking a number of big grabs despite constant pressure around her. North Adelaide took full control of the contest, and a mix up between Redlegs defenders and a spill from a marking contest resulted in Kelly Barltrop kicking the easiest of soccer goals to hand her team a third major for the quarter. She had been quite a force throughout, continually providing a presence in the air and one of the top Roosters for the match. Realistically, when the siren ended at 18 points in the Roosters’ favour, it should have been more, as North had quite the dominance in the forward half, missing a number of chances.

Coming out of the break with renewed enthusiasm, the Redlegs hit the ground running with some great attacking. Breed laid a massive tackle in the opening minute to set the tone for the Redlends, and with Smith and Zander doing well clearing the ball from half-back and down the wing, it landed with Allen whose kick inside 50 might have been a little off, but landed in the space of Isabel Martin who ran in and kicked the easiest of goals. Much like the second term though, the momentum was going to swing the other way and fast.

Within the next few minute, North answered after Hatchard found Perry inside 50, then the long kick to a pack saw the ball drop, but Barltrop get her hands to a loose Daniel in the square who slammed it home from a metre out. While Norwood was matching it with the Roosters for the most part, the defensive work to shut down the run of the Redlegs was remarkable. In one instance, they clogged up the forward line forcing Roosters captain Ferrall to kick laterally and it resulted in a turnover, then running down the other end, the ball went into the space of Perry who marked and produced a perfect set shot from 35m out on a tight angle. The margin was five goals and the Roosters were firing.

Jade Halfpenny and Zander were having a big third term trying to get things moving, while Armitstead and Rhiannon Busch were working hard off half-back. The Redlegs had a chance to get within four goals at the final break through Ferrall after a free kick straight in front, but once again her kick drifted to the left and through for a behind. The teams headed into the break with Norwood up by 29 points.

Straight out of the break it was North Adelaide who ramped up the pressure and kept applying it throughout the contest. Reynolds twice showed positioning is everything, finding the space just 15m out from goal, marking and converting her set shots. The first came in the opening stanza when Charlotte Taylor found her with a quick kick out of the back, and then minutes later, it was Hatchard who did it and all of a sudden, the lead was blowing out. A third goal to the Roosters came late in the term off the boot off Woodland who had time to fumble and then kick off the spot from 40m and it just carried over the opponent on the goal line.

Realistically North Adelaide could, and should have won by more with so many chances in the final term, but missed a couple of opportunities through Barltrop, Hatchard and Brianna Arthur who had been really impressive in patches throughout the match. Norwood only had a rare chance in the final minute, and it was Ferrall who after missing a number of chances herself earlier in the match, dealt with the breeze perfectly from a tight angle 25m out to bend it around the post. The siren sounded moments later with North Adelaide heading home 45-point victors.

SANFL Women’s Round 6 Sunday wraps: West and North continue form with impressive wins

THERE is now a three-point gap (one and a half wins) between fourth and fifth in the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) competition. As North Adelaide, South Adelaide, West Adelaide and Norwood all claimed victories, it gave the four sides some breathing space inside the top four from Sturt, Woodville-West Torrens, Glenelg and Central District in the bottom four. This is part two of the two-article wrap with the two Sunday games.

WEST ADELAIDE 2.1 | 3.5 | 4.6 | 6.7 (43)
STURT 0.1 | 0.1 | 0.2 | 1.3 (9)

GOALS:

West: M. Elsegood 2, A. Ballard, A. Hardwick, C. Biddell, S. Thompson.
Sturt: A. Ballard.

ADC BEST:

West: R. Martin, M. Newman, K. Kustermann, C. Biddell, A. Ballard
Sturt: Z. Prowse, A. Brown, G. Bevan, L. Griffith, E. Dawes

West Adelaide reminded SANFL Women’s fans that they are a genuine title contender following a 34-point triumph over Sturt. The Bloods booted the first six goals of the game and 13 of the first 15 scoring shots, whilst holding the Double Blues goalless until the last few minutes of the game. In a surprise to no one, Rachelle Martin and Madison Newman were among the best once again, with another young gun in Keeley Kustermann also impressive, as was key forward Chelsea Biddell. For the Double Blues, it was a spirited effort but could not enough meaningful chances on goal despite the best work of Zoe Prowse who starred for four quarters through the ruck.

The first term saw some of the players who would go on to impress really make their mark. The ruck duel between Prowse and the stronger and taller, Kate Walsh was one that had its ebbs and flows within the contest. The match itself not so much with the Bloods always in control, but never entirely safe as the Double Blues continued to hang around for two and a half quarters. The intensity was very good early with Sturt earning the first inside 50 of the day through co-captain Georgia Bevan, but as would become the case, West Adelaide had the numbers to clear. Eventually captain Lauren Rodato would rush the ball through for the first score of the day to the Double Blues, their only score of the first half.

Up the other end, Kustermann provided a great highlight by hitting the ground ball at full speed amongst congestion at half-forward and kicking inside 50. A couple of failed attempts at quick kicks later, and Melanie Elsegood snapped around her body for the game’s first major. It had come after Biddell had marked a searing pass from Newman a few minutes early in the pocket but missed to the right.

Bevan and Rigter were burrowing in at the stoppages to try and get the all free, but were equally matched by Martin, Abbie Ballard and Stevie-Lee Thompson. When Sturt did get it forward, it was a sea of West Adelaide defenders camped back there with a high line that stopped the easy and deep inside 50. Led by Newman and Kustermann with their sublime kicking, the Westies continually repelled the ball out of danger. Sturt’s defensive pressure inside its back 50 was also strong with Prowse having a huge game already through the ruck.

The Double Blues perhaps had their best chance when Arabella Brown found fellow youngster Hannah Prenzler who got it to a third teenager in Alex Ballard. She tried the checkside shot from the boundary but it bounced out of bounds to the Double Blues dismay. Elsie Dawes was impressing as well for Sturt, but Martin combining with Walsh out of the ruck was causing all sorts of havoc. However it was Newman’s penetrating boot that was the difference as she ran through midfield and hit up Abby Hardwick inside 50. Hardwick gave the handball off to give herself time to balance, received it back, ran in to about 25m out and put the ball straight through the middle to hand her team a 12-point lead the first break.

West Adelaide continued attacking in the second term and the high line held by defenders at half-forward – risking all the space over the back if Sturt got there – was proving successful. As soon as Sturt defenders would throw it on the boot to clear it, the likes of Newman and co. were waiting to pump it straight back in. Both Ballards were having solid games for their respective sides, with Alex Ballard taking a big grab on the wing as one of the early highlights in the term.

A 25m penalty awarded in favour of West Adelaide for Sturt not returning the ball after a free kick could have been costly, but resulted in just one behind, though most of West Adelaide’s prime movers were up and about. Thompson was working hard in the midfield, Elsegood and Biddell were providing leads, and Martin was winning a truckload of contested ball and clearances. Elsegood actually had a chance to snap for goal after a brilliant end-to-end play, but her snap just missed and bounced the wrong side of the post.

As the time ticked past 10 minutes, neither side could score a major, and it took until the 14-minute mark for a series of soccer attempts to make it happen. After winning a free kick, Isobel Kuipers looked to put the ball outside defensive 50, but again West Adelaide were up to the task and kicked deep. The ball was spoiled and Biddell quickly got boot to ball in the goalsquare to roll towards the line, only for Abbie Ballard to come in to provide an extra push with her boot and claim the only goal of the third term. Gretel Ramsay almost kicked a second after the siren following a huge run-down tackle, but her shot fell short and the Westies headed into the main break 22 points up.

Rigter stepped up in the second half and for a bit went head-to-head with Thompson as the two fierce tacklers would not give an inch. Amy Brooks-Birve had the first set shot for goal 40m out for Sturt, but it drifted far right and out on the full. In the next passage of play down the field, Thompson had the almost-highlight of the game, taking a couple of bounces, evading a couple of opponents and drilling a sharp pass inside 50. Sturt defender, Jo-Anna Baltais read the pass though and threw herself in the ball’s trajectory like a slips catch to intercept and save a certain goal.

Another behind to Biddell followed after standing up in a tackle, as she was not quite able to find her range. But when she did, it was something special. Kustermann had a free kick on the wing and put a perfectly weighted pass into Biddell in a pack with the ball fortuitously falling into her lap. Having to take a shot from 50m out, she looked like passing, but then launched a massive kick that not only sailed through the big sticks, but cleared it fairly comfortably. It would hand her side a 29-point lead.

Lane Trenorden had a chance for Sturt not long after with the ball mostly being played between the arcs. Once the Double Blues got it inside 50, Trenorden sidestepped a would-be tackler on the run to take a shot but it drifted to the right for Sturt’s second score since the first of the game. Elsegood had a chance to increase the margin on a tight angle 20m out 11 minutes into the term, but she shanked it off to the right and out on the full. The teams both had chances inside 50s, but big tackles from Prenzler and Thompson up the West Adelaide attacking end were terrific, and the quarter ended with the Bloods up by 28.

West Adelaide put an exclamation mark on their performance in the first half of the final term, with Walsh and Martin combining at the stoppages time and time again as Prowse was not afforded the leap she had been given earlier in the game, and Walsh was using her larger frame to plant herself where she could contend with her young opponent and still win the tap. A quick kick forward went to Elsegood two and a half minutes into the term, with the key forward making no mistake from the set shot for her second of the contest.

Emma Smith and Alex Ballard were looking good kicking inside 50 up opposite ends, but both balls were intercepted. Brown continued to provide a target and run hard i the forward half of the ground and be a link in the chain for the Double Blues. Baltais was ginger after a contest and had to be helped up, and in the mean time the ball went forward to Elsegood. Sensing she was at too sharp of an angle – right next to the behind post – she kicked inboard to Biddell who was further out but a slightly better angle. Unfortunately she missed again, this time to the right.

Lucy Griffith had a nice passage of play in the middle to find Alysha Healy – who had been strong defensively with timely spoils and intercept possessions in the match – but again the kick to the forward 50 was picked off by the West Adelaide defence. This time it was Newman who fired long and the Bloods were over the back and away. Zoe Greer got involved at half-forward and kicked the ball towards goal. It was all the experienced goalsneak Thompson needed as she read the play well, got goalside and booted it home for the easiest of goals an a game-high 41-point lead with seven minutes remaining.

It would be the last score of the day for West Adelaide, and the last few minutes of the match belonged to Sturt. They finally got some meaningly chances deep, though not easily. Georgia Swan was involved twice in a passage of play for the Double Blues, getting it deep, only for a clearing kick to come back. Ironically the quick kick was greeted by the Sturt high defence, and Prenzler marked to pass to Bevan inside 50 who tried honouring a lead closer. Nothing came of that chance, but the ball was now locked in Sturt’s forward 50, and eventually after a couple of chances, Sturt earned a free kick with Alex Ballard the recipient. The top-age talent kicked the visiting side’s only goal of the game in the last few minutes from 15m out with no problems whatsoever.

Tiah Hough got involved on debut with a couple of nice touches late in the match and earning a free kick. She sent the ball forward and the Double Blues finished the match with a couple of attempts through Bevan, Brown, Rigter and Prowse, but the latter was the only one that carried near the distance with less pressure and the West Adelaide defence rushed it across the line to end the game and win by 34 points.

GLENELG 0.0 | 1.0 | 3.1 | 4.1 (25)
NORTH ADELAIDE 1.3 | 3.4 | 5.5 | 6.7 (43)

GOALS:

Glenelg: E. Jones 2, L. Kenny, M. Affolter.
North: A. Hatchard 2, K. Barltrop, T. Gordon, C. Taylor, C. Castle.

ADC BEST:

Glenelg: E. Jones, L. Fisher, S. Franson, E. Kellock, M. Freeman
North: A. Hatchard, K. Harvey, A. Ward, K. Pope, H. Ewings

North Adelaide’s ability to score against momentum eventually weathered down a gallant Glenelg side during an 18-point win to remain undefeated in the SANFL Women’s competition. The Roosters had the run for most of the term, but two goals in a minute from Eloise Jones during a fierce third term resulted in the Tigers drawing within a couple of points. With only three inside 50s for the term, the Roosters booted 2.1 late to all but secure the victory in an impressive performance.

The most watched battle of the game would be Ebony Marinoff up against Adelaide Crows teammate, Anne Hatchard in the midfield. It did not disappoint with the pair lining up on one another and it was Hatchard winning the first duel with her kick going forward and the next stoppage saw Kelly Barltrop mark on the lead just 40 seconds into the game. The Roosters leading goalkicker from last year had no troubles putting that through to hand her team the early lead.

Lauren Daniel released Hannah Ewings with the handball out of the pack at half-forward not long after, but the flying shot from the teenager went to the right and out on the full. Moments later a free kick was plucked out to Cristie Castle on the other side of the forward 50 in the fluorescent boots, but her shot from 30m out at a 45-degree angle drifted way right for a behind. North’s forward pressure was good in the opening few minutes, forcing kicks to be perfect, and when they were to the Roosters rebounded.

Good positioning by Sam Franson at half-back led to the Tigers entering their forward half for the first time, but could not get it into the 50 as the Tigers rebounded. Glenelg was trying to scrum it forward and finally got inside 50 with a short kick by Julia Clark was well positioned under pressure to mark. The kicking by North was spot on as Amber Ward and Clark were mopping up at the back. Ward was a rock at half-back taking a big intercept mark and kick forward.

Most of the midpoint of the term was played between the arcs as the Tigers pressed, but the Roosters always had a number at the back to either tackle or mop up. Ellie Kellock had a great chance for the Tigers when a quick kick from a Roosters defender under pressure landed in her lap, but her subsequent kick quick was spoiled before it could reach its intended target. Glenelg had stopped the early scoring with the last half of the term in their quarter, but had not been able to score themselves.

A highlight of the term was when Roosters’ full-back Kristi Harvey flew high for a big grab to intercept but could not quite bring it down. Ewings got run down at half-back but was good enough to quickly get her hands down. Despite North Adelaide running it down, Kellock had a couple of great plays, first to intercept a mark, but when her teammate was run down after a handball, she chased the Rooster running into goal forcing her opposition’s kick to fall short and Marinoff mopped up on the last line.

Lauren Daniel had a run with the give-and-go in the last couple of minutes but again was intercepted by the Tigers at half-back. Then Katelyn Pope found Leah Tynan in the middle with the ball down to Hatchard who drilled the ball in but was brilliantly read by Lauren Fisher to be in front of Barltrop and take a strong intercept mark. Moments later with less than a couple of minutes left, a terrific releasing handball from Pope to Daniel got the ball forward for another chance, but it ended in just one behind with the siren going not long after.

The second term saw the Roosters extend their lead on the game by booting a couple of goals, with only four minutes needed until Castle slotted her first. The opportunistic forward got goal side and ran onto the ball to kick truly on the run and hand her side a 15-0 lead. Ewings provided an almost play-of-the-day by getting free out the back as an end-to-end play developed and the teenager marked and kept running towards goal, only to pull her kick to the right and narrowly miss after taking a few bounces.

Up either end, the defences were playing well with Fisher impressive on Barltrop since that first 40 seconds, and Kendall Howell doing well rebounding off half-back for the Roosters. The forward pressure of Glenelg finally had some success 11 minutes into the term. Molly Affolter laid a strong tackle on Harvey to earn a free kick and just popped it through from 20m out for what would be the Tigers’ only score of the first half. They had got it back to 10 points, but a North response was coming.

Late in the term a huge free kick was picked out to Charlotte Taylor just 15m out straight in front. She duly delivered and the Roosters went up by 16 again with a couple of minutes remaining. It would be the last score of the term as the Roosters headed into the main break with a 3.4 to 1.0. Hatchard, Harvey, Howell, Ewings and Daniel were among the most prominent for the Roosters in the first half, while Kellock, Franson and Fisher had been impressive for the Tigers.

North Adelaide started the third attacking, but could not get the extra handball clear inside 50 before being closed down, forcing a turnover and Glenelg to repel up the ground. Getting it forward themselves, the Tigers looked good running it down the ground, but Harvey was there to stop it again. Then up stepped Jones.

The Crows forward was yet to have a huge impact, but a big tackle inside 50 was rewarded with holding the ball and she had no troubles from 35m out straight in front putting it through for the first of the term. Moments later, she did it again, with the ball rushed down inside 50 and Jones snapping around her body for two goals in a minute and the margin was cut down to four points in the blink of an eye.

Suddenly the Roosters were under pressure and everything was working for the Tigers. They were fiercely attacking and the Roosters were second guessing themselves inside 50. Jones had a remarkable third shot on goal but it just fell short. Hatchard tried to run it out but even she could not clear a Glenelg wall at half-back. Jones pulled out the party tricks by selling the dummy close to goal, but slipped and was forced to give off the handball.

As much as Glenelg – mainly Jones who had another kick inside 50 – were attacking, the Roosters defence led by the likes of Ward and Harvey were holding firm. Bek Rasheed took a really strong intercept mark in defence and got it back outside 50, but again the Roosters were under all sorts of pressure as the Tigers won it back and went forward again. The first 10 minutes had been Glenelg purely attacking. Then Ward ran it out of defence and it led to a chain of possessions and an open forward line. The Glenelg defender dropped what should have been a straight forward mark uncontested for the ball to slip over the back and Tayla Gordon pounced with a soccer goal against the flow to given her team some breathing space.

The Roosters second inside 50 almost led to a second goal straight up with Castle just needing a good bounce, but this time it held up and she was mopped by Tigers. Moments later though, Hatchard would get on the end of it with a beautiful left foot snap, and for all of Glenelg’s dominance – where the Tigers had owned forward half possession – the Roosters were back out to a 15-point lead with a minute to play. It could have been even worse with Hatchard winning a free kick 40m out and her kick after the siren looking true but was touched on the line. Still, the 16-point lead had all but evaporated Glenelg’s third term dominance.

The Roosters had an early chance in the fourth through Hatchard who snapped again but it bounced through for a behind in the opening minute. The Roosters were peppering the goals early with a couple of behinds and the sting seemed to be a bit more out of the game given North’s flurry of late goals from few opportunities in the third term.

Glenelg forced the ball forward and laid a series of big tackles at the six-minute mark of the term to lock it in their forward 50. The Roosters defensive core were so keen on spoiling they even spoiled themselves in one marking contest, but the reliability of Harvey was steadfast as she took another strong mark and cleared the ball free.

Marinoff was picking up with some strong efforts in midfield and then a nice shepherd to allow her teammate a chance to kick forward into the waiting arms of Lauren Kenny to pop through a bit of a wobbly, but successful chance nonetheless. Glenelg was back with 17 points with eight minutes remaining, but it would end up being the Tigers’ last score. In fact, North Adelaide would only score one more behind for the game too.

The game would not be without highlights in the final half of the last term as Jones took a strong grab on the wing amongst a pack of players. Erin Sundstrom was another reliable Roosters player on the day in what was a real team effort for the Roosters. It was hard to pick the bests outside of Harvey, Hatchard and Ward, while for Glenelg, Jones almost had a match-winning quarter in the third, as her side also had an even amount of contributors throughout the contest, including the likes of Madisyn Freeman and Kohn who had some nice moments.

SANFL Women’s Round 4 review: Eagles take home maiden win as Roosters claim outright top

IT has been a long time coming, but it was finally celebration time for Woodville-West Torrens Eagles who celebrated their first win in the club’s history, 14 games into its inauguration. So many times the Eagles have come close, but they got the job done with an impressive second half to down Glenelg by 25 points. In other results, North Adelaide went outright top with a four-point win over South Adelaide, Sturt made it back-to-back wins with victory over Central District, and West Adelaide and Norwood played out the season’s first draw.

WWT EAGLES 1.1 | 2.2 | 4.2 | 7.3 (45)
GLENELG 2.0 | 3.2 | 3.2 | 3.2 (20)

GOALS:

WWT: N. Collie 3, K. Lee 3, S. Walker.
Glenelg: M. Althouse, L. Kenny, M. Speechley.

HIGH DISPOSALS:

WWT: R. Metcalfe 15
Glenelg: T. Kohn 18

After so many close games and near misses, there was finally cause for celebration at Woodville-West Torrens after the Eagles produced a second half to remember and run out 25-point winners over Glenelg on Friday night. The Eagles trailed by as much as 13 points five minutes into the second term, but then took total control of the match to boot the final 6.2 of the game and enjoy a comfortable maiden victory in the SANFL Women’s.

The Tigers were missing a number of starters from the game due to Adelaide Crows’ selection and injury or unavailability, but still looked good early in the match, booting two first quarter goals – Molly Althouse and Lauren Kenny – to counter the Kiana Lee major early in the term. When Melinda Speechley converted the Tigers’ third just 39 seconds into the second term and a behind to Althouse shortly followed, the visitors were up by 13 points. Little did they know that a wave of Eagles goals would follow. Rhiannon Metcalfe added a behind in the sixth minute – the first Eagles’ score since Lee’s major seven minutes into the first term – and then Lee had her second not long after to cut the half-time deficit to just six points. Two minutes into the second half and Stephanie Walker had levelled the scores and 10 minutes later, Lee’s third snag had the winless side a goal up at the break. Still only narrowly ahead, the fans were still nervous. Enter Nicole Collie who took the game by the scruff of the neck and booted three consecutive goals every five minutes in the last quarter to help her side to a 7.3 (45) to 3.2 (20) win.

Not known as a high possession side, the Eagles had 30 less touches and seven less marks, but their reputation as the number one tackling side continued with another remarkable effort of 92 tackles to 74. Woodville-West Torrens also dominated the hitouts 43-28, though the Tigers made more opportunities with clearances (30-24) and had an extra inside 50 (21-20). It was once again the Eagles’ defence that held up in the tough times, recording 16 rebounds to 14, but more importantly, finding a way to score from limited opportunities in what was really a battle between the arcs.

Metcalfe had a team-high 15 disposals, 26 hitouts, four clearances and four inside 50s in the win, a huge reason for her side’s ruck work dominance. Up forward, it was Lee (12 disposals, five marks – one contested, three tackles, two inside 50s and three goals) that did the damage early, while Collie made the most of just five disposals to take four marks – one contested – and boot three majors. Also among the best were Chloe Forby (11 disposals, seven tackles, five clearances and five inside 50s) and Walker (11 disposals, three tackles). For the Tigers, Tessa Kohn continued her brilliant form with 18 disposals, seven clearances, five tackles, three inside 50s, two marks and two rebounds in the loss, teaming well with Lucy Armitage (13 disposals, seven clearances, and 10 tackles) through midfield. Tasja Batzavalis made a welcome return with three inside 50s to go with 12 touches, four marks – two contested – and three tackles, while Tess Morcom tried hard in defence with a team-high three rebounds to go with nine touches and five tackles. Soriah Moon had great experience against Metcalfe, still managing 17 hitouts as well as five clearances to accompany seven disposals.

CENTRAL DISTRICT 0.0 | 1.2 | 1.2 | 2.3 (15)
STURT 2.1 | 3.1 | 4.2 | 4.2 (26)

GOALS:

Central: K. Rosenzweig 2.
Sturt: G. Bevan, L, Firth, Z. Prowse, G. Swan.

HIGH DISPOSALS:

Central: S. Smith 15
Sturt: Z. Prowse 23

Sturt has won back-to-back matches to move into fourth spot on the SANFL Women’s ladder, downing Central District by 11 points. The result handed the Bulldogs their third consecutive loss, and with the Eagles’ win, fell back to last spot on the table. The Double Blues booted three first half goals to lead throughout the contest, and despite Central drying up the scoring in the second half, could not make up the difference as they fell short of a second victory this season, losing 4.2 (26) to 2.3 (15).

Sturt had the perfect start to the match with Louise Firth converting a major for the visitors just 44 seconds into the match, and then Georgia Swan made it two midway through the quarter to help her side to a 13-point lead at the break, keeping the opposition scoreless to quarter time. Georgia Madigan got the Bulldogs on the board in the opening 30 seconds of the second term, albeit with a behind, before Georgia Bevan converted a third major for the Double Blues in the seventh minute for Sturt to stretch the lead out to a straight three goals. Katelyn Rosenzweig continued her good work in front of goal to use her strength and goal sense to kick one as the term was winding down, and by the main break, Central District trailed by 11 points. The scoring dried up in the second half, but Zoe Prowse made it count in the dying moments of the third quarter with her first of the contest, as the teenager was best on ground in the win. Rosenzweig continued to press hard and booted her second major midway through the final term, but ultimately her efforts would not be enough as the home team fell short.

Central had a different approach to its last couple of weeks, winning the disposal count for the first time this season, whilst also laying 29 more tackles than their opponents. Sturt led the marks (31-20) and dominated the hitouts (32-11) helping its strong midfield to get on top in the clearances (29-23). Central managed to keep the ball out of its defensive 50 a fair bit by winning the inside 50s, 23-16, but the Double Blues’ defence was up to the task with 20 rebounds to 11 in the match.

Prowse was the standout player on the ground for the Double Blues with 23 disposals, four marks, 20 hitouts, 10 clearances, two inside 50s and two rebounds making her presence felt. Bevan was also prominent in the midfield group, recording 14 disposals, two marks, three tackles, four clearances and two rebounds, while co-captain Maya Rigter had the nine touches, five tackles and four clearances. Elsie Dawes (eight disposals, four tackles, four clearances and two inside 50s), Jo-Anna Baltais (10 touches, eight tackles and two rebounds) and Isobel Kuiper (10 disposals, eight tackles and two rebounds) were also among the best for the winners.

For the Bulldogs, Shelby Smith amassed a team-high 15 disposals, as well as 10 tackles, three clearances and four inside 50s, while Lauren Breguet was strong through the middle with 12 disposals, seven tackles and four clearances. Up forward Rosenzweig was hard to contain, booting 2.1 from 10 disposals, four marks (three contested), four tackles and two inside 50s, while Alicia Butler (14 disposals, six tackles) and Laitiah Huynh (14 disposals, four tackles) also showed fierce defensive pressure in the loss.

WEST ADELAIDE 0.2 | 2.3 | 3.5 | 3.5 (23)
NORWOOD 0.0 | 1.2 | 1.2 | 3.5 (23)

GOALS:

West: M. Elsegood 2, K. Culhane.
Norwood: M. Breed, A. Gould, S. Hiscock.

HIGH DISPOSALS:

West: R. Martin 20, M. Newman 18, R. Killian 17, K. Culhane 15
Norwood: M. Zander 22, M. Breed 17, L. Cutting 15

West Adelaide has maintained third sport on the SANFL Women’s table, while Norwood keeps its premiership hopes alive after the pair drew in an exciting Saturday evening contest. In a low-scoring affair, the Bloods looked to have the Redlegs covered at the final break, but a 2.3 to 0.0 final quarter resulted in the visitors drawing level by the final siren.

Neither team could register a goal in the opening term, with West Adelaide scoring a couple of behinds through Melanie Elsegood and Helen Maidment. Norwood then had its chances go begging on the other side of quarter time with back-to-back behinds, before the Bloods made the most of their chances midway through the term. Kasia Culhane had an impact coming back into the team with a good goal, followed by Elsegood making good on a chance five minutes later. Mattea Breed missed a chance early in the term but then saluted near half-time to bring the deficit back to seven points. Elsegood added more pressure to the Redlegs in the third term with an early goal with a couple of behinds either side of the major at opposite ends of the quarter going begging. The main positive for the Bloods was the fact Norwood had not scored since Breed’s late goal in the second term. That would change in the final term as Norwood charged home from a 15-point deficit, as Ashlee Gould and Shai Hiscock converted chances with the latter’s coming with just a few minutes on the clock to level the scores and moments after a flying snap from Breed that bent a little too much. Despite both team’s efforts in the final few minutes – West Adelaide doing the bulk of the attacking – neither could find a winning score and the match fittingly finished as a draw.

Statistically the sides were evenly matched across the board with the Bloods having just six more disposals and two more marks, though Norwood controlled the centre square with 10 more hitouts (22-12) and three more clearances (17-14), while West Adelaide had a lot more chances inside 50 (30-20). The Redlegs defence stepped up however, rebounding 27 times to the Bloods’ 16, while West Adelaide’s tackling pressure was a feature of its game with 65 tackles to 51.

Rachelle Martin was arguably best on ground with 20 disposals, three marks, nine tackles and five clearances, working as the dominant clearance midfielder on the Westies’ side. Madison Newman returned to the team and almost pinpointed a crucial pass inside 50 late, finishing with 18 disposals, four marks (one contested), four inside 50s and four rebounds, while Culhane’s inclusion yielded 15 touches, five marks – two contested – five tackles, five inside 50s and a goal. Abbie Ballard (14 touches, six tackles, two clearances), Kate Walsh (13 disposals, two marks, 12 hitouts, three clearances, two inside 50s and two tackles) and Keeley Kustermann (12 disposals, three rebounds) were solid too.

Matilda Zander was a natural ball-winner once again, amassing 22 touches, three marks – one contested – seven tackles, two clearances and three inside 50s, while Breed was arguably the top player on the Redlegs’ team with 17 disposals, four marks – three contested – four tackles, five clearances, two inside 50s and three rebounds, as well as 1.2. Leah Cutting took control in the ruck and had 15 disposals, four marks, 21 hitouts, six tackles, two clearances and four inside 50s, while Michele Reid (13 disposals, five rebounds) and Rebekka McMahon (eight disposals, five rebounds) held up in defence. Jade Halfpenny was equally strong in the air with three contested marks from her five total, also picking up 13 disposals, three tackles, two clearances and three inside 50s.

SOUTH ADELAIDE 3.1 | 3.1 | 3.2 | 3.3 (21)
NORTH ADELAIDE 0.0 | 3.0 | 3.0 | 4.1 (25)

GOALS:

South: J. Kirk 2, N. Campbell.
North: K. Barltrop 2, C. Castle, H. Ewings.

HIGH DISPOSALS:

South: C. Barry 23, N. Campbell 22, C. Cavouras 21, I. Tahau 16
North: L. Daniel 18, L. Gauci 18, K. Pope 17, K. Harvey 15

North Adelaide has remained as the sole undefeated side in the SANFL Women’s competition after a late goal to Kelly Barltrop sealed a four-point win over reigning premiers, South Adelaide. In a grand final rematch, last year’s leading goalkicker might have been the hero, but after a slow start and conceding the first three goals of the match, the Roosters kept the Panthers to just two behinds for the rest of the contest as they booted 4.1 themselves during the 4.1 (25) to 3.3 (21) victory.

Early on it was seemingly like it could be a one-sided contest as Nicole Campbell booted a goal midway through the term, and by quarter time, consistent goalkicker and last week’s dominant scorer, Jess Kirk had 2.1 to her name with goals in the ninth and 14th minutes of the quarter. Without a score on the board and trailing by 19 points at the break, North Adelaide fans wanted a response from their faithful – watching from home of course – and it was Cristie Castle who gave it to them with an early goal to break the deadlock. Barltrop soon chipped in with her first goal since Round 1, while Rising Star talent, Hannah Ewings joined the party for the Roosters to be back within a point by the main break having kicked three goals in six minutes. Neither team could elicit a major in the third term, with young gun, Teah Charlton missing a chance at the sixth minute mark of the third quarter, and the next score came a good 20 minutes later when Ashleigh Woodland also added a behind to her name. When Courtney Barry scored a behind for the Panthers at the 14-minute mark of the final term, they held a two-point lead meaning the Roosters would need a major to win. In a remarkable play for a side that had not scored a goal since midway through the second term, the team went end-to-end and while each of the players managed to hit targets, it was Katelyn Pope‘s daring move to take on an opponent, get the extra five metres and deliver the ball quickly enough into Barltrop to not have a third player come over and spoil. Last year’s leading goalkicker turned around and kicked towards goal seemingly between having a shot and passing to a one-on-one and whilst a hand flew up and Panthers defenders appealed for a touched ball, the goal was given the all-clear and the Roosters held on for a remarkable win.

Both these teams love to use the ball and they clocked over 200 disposals each, though the Roosters had 40 marks to 26, while the Panthers still applied plenty of tackling pressure (78-64). South Adelaide won the clearances (28-21) and dominated the inside 50s (31-16) despite losing the hitouts (29-25). Credit must be given to North Adelaide’s defence that held up well with 26 rebounds to 13, surviving the wave of Panther attacks.

The Roosters shared the ball around with Lauren Gauci clocking up the most touches with 19, as well as four tackles and three rebounds, as Lauren Daniel (18 disposals, four marks, three tackles, three clearances and three rebounds) and Pope (17 disposals, four tackles, three clearances, three inside 50s and four rebounds) both got back to help the back six. Kristi Harvey was unstoppable at full-back, a complete brick wall with 15 disposals, eight marks – two contested – six tackles and eight clearances, while Bek Rasheed stood tall in the ruck with 21 hitouts from 11 touches and five tackles. Woodland was not as dominant as past weeks, but still managed 14 disposals, eight tackles and three clearances, while Castle booted a goal from 13 disposals, three marks, three tackles, two clearances and two inside 50s.

South Adelaide had a number of prominent ball winners as Barry led the midfield with 23 disposals, two marks, five tackles, eight clearances and three inside 50s, alongside Czenya Cavouras (21 disposals, 12 tackles, seven clearances and five inside 50s). Campbell was also a prominent ball winner in there with 23 disposals, two marks, nine tackles, three clearances and five inside 50s, as Indy Tahau laid double-figure tackles too with 10, to go with 17 hitouts, 16 disposals and two inside 50s. Jaslynne Smith was the standout defender for the Panthers, having a remarkable eight of her team’s 13 rebounds as well as 11 touches and five marks. Kirk again made the most of her chances with 2.1 from just four disposals, but she laid five tackles too.

SANFL Women’s preview: Round 3 – Top of the table clash headlines triple header

A TOP of the table clash between North Adelaide and West Adelaide headlines the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s Round 3 this weekend as part of a triple header at Flinders University Stadium. Fellow undefeated side South Adelaide will face Norwood in the final game of the day, with Woodville-West Torrens and Sturt both searching for their first win in the middle game. To open the round, Central District will hope to add another loss to Glenelg’s season, with the Bulldogs also looking to take advantage of the top two sides going at it.

CENTRAL DISTRICT vs. GLENELG
Saturday, February 29, 11.30am
X Convenience Oval

Opening up the third round of action is fifth placed Central District taking on seventh placed Glenelg in what is a crucial game for both clubs. The Bulldogs showed in the opening round against Norwood that they have improved on their inaugural season last year, and while they were taken to town by a rampaging North Adelaide side, will have learnt plenty from that disappointing loss. Heading into this clash, the home side should start as favourites against a Glenelg side yet to make its mark in 2020. For teams battling for a finals spot, this is considered a must-win contest, and one that both clubs no doubt would have marked as a crucial game when the fixture came out. Central will likely jump into the top four with a victory despite the 54-point defeat last week, with the Redlegs who sit fourth, taking on third placed South Adelaide. For Glenelg, a third loss and the season is very quickly slipping away. Last year’s grand finalists North Adelaide had a slow start to 2019, so it is not all lost, but the Tigers need to start picking up the pace and it is worth cutting them some slack as they have played the two most in-form teams in the competition thus far.

Statistically, Glenelg is not all that bad despite the two losses, sitting second overall for hitouts differential (+24), which is area they can exploit the Bulldogs in (-25) who are ranked seventh in the category differential for this season. The Tigers are also third overall for tackles differential with +20, just behind Central (+21). The Bulldogs also have a more predominant kicking style to Glenelg’s mixed style, though the Tigers also have the lowest disposal count of any side this season (339), though the Bulldogs have the lowest differential (-111), which is understandable after last week.

The Bulldogs have lost both Danielle Stewart and Jayme-Lee Sonneman for this clash, while bringing in six players to an extended bench, including Alicia Butler who looks to slot straight into half-back having been recalled for her second game of the season, alongside 19-year-old Keely Cannizzaro. The Bulldogs’ strength this season has been their defence, with the likes of Kimberley Fry (9.5 disposals, 3.5 rebounds) and Demi Sonneman (12.5 disposals, 4.5 rebounds) holding up firmly back there. In her first season at the club, Shelby Smith has been a welcome addition with 15 disposals, 3.5 marks, 3.5 tackles, 3.5 clearances and two rebounds per game, working hard through the middle and getting back to support the defenders. Up forward, equal-leading goalkicker Katelyn Rosenzweig (five goals) showed in Round 1 which she is capable of, and while she only managed the one goal last week, is always a headache for opposition defenders. The only concern will be the fact that Rosenzweig has booted five of the club’s six goals this season, so finding more avenues to goal is key.

Looking at the Tigers, they had plenty of scoring options in Round 1, but wasted them with a 2.10 scoreline against the ladder leaders. They then were completely restricted with just 1.2 in Round 2 against the Bloods, so have technically only booted the three goals this season. Glenelg has brought in a couple of players for their debuts in Lauren Kenny and Brooke Tonon with the latter representing South Australia at Under 16s level last season and is highly touted. The only forced change is the loss of Tasja Batzavalis due to concussion, while bringing in three others, including Tess Morcom back into the middle and Jessica Searle straight to full-back. Sam Franson is the X-factor up forward, with the 20-year-old averaging 10 disposals and laying a massive 6.5 tackles per game, while in defence, Madisyn Freeman has averaging 10.5 disposals, 2.5 tackles and 3.0 clearances.

In order to win this clash, Glenelg must make the most of its chances, while Central Districts must win the midfield battle and restrict Glenelg’s chances of scoring, while getting it forward as often as possible. This should be a thrilling contest with everything on the line.

MATCH OF THE ROUND:

NORTH ADELAIDE vs. WEST ADELAIDE
Saturday, February 29, 3.45pm
Flinders University Stadium

The first match of a bumper triple header at Flinders University Stadium tomorrow pits first and second against each other in what should be the match of the round. With third placed South Adelaide onlooking ahead of its own clash, the loser knows it will likely drop to third, though it is not the end of the world given these two have established themselves as genuine contenders, albeit early in the season. North Adelaide was somewhat fortunate in the opening round to get over the line by four goals against a wayward Glenelg, making the most of its chances with 7.4 to 2.10, before ironing out any cobwebs in the second round with a nine-goal smashing of Central District. West Adelaide looked more convincing in its opening game with a 21-point victory over Sturt, before handing out a 40-point beating of the Tigers in Round 2. Realistically it should have been even more with the Bloods booting 6.12, which is something they simply cannot afford to do here. The winner places themselves in a really good position almost a third of the way through the season in what is ultimately a short season. Both these line-ups have star players and this is anticipated to be an absolute beauty.

Statistically speaking, these sides are ranked top two for disposals, and second and third respectively for disposal differential, as the Roosters have a massive +76 in the category. They love playing a possession style of game, and both are more than comfortable using a handball-style or kick-first mentality. The Roosters are also ranked third in inside 50s differentials with +16, while West Adelaide is marginally ahead with +20. Despite winning both its games comfortably, the Roosters back six deserves credit with only a -2 differential, which ranks them fifth overall. The Bloods on the other hand have just 22 rebounds for the season – the lowest of any side, with the second worst differential. In saying that, they do not allow it to get in there, with a dominant clearance game that has them miles ahead of the competition with a +28 differential in clearances, despite a surprising -29 in hitouts. In other words, the Bloods have been sharking their opposition ruck taps, and doing it so effectively. The midfield is where they can take advantage, whereas the Roosters are happy to build up from the back six and with so many scoring options inside 50, they can cause some damage to a West Adelaide defence that is yet to have a serious threat placed on it.

North Adelaide has made three three changes to its side for Round 3, welcoming in Erica Greet, Mollie McKendrick and Katelyn Pope, with Greet playing her first game of the season, basketballer McKendrick her first with the club, and Pope recalled after playing in Round 1 against Glenelg. Having already mentioned how strong the North Adelaide defence is, the Roosters will be prepared for West Adelaide to win its fair share of inside 50s off a high volume of clearances. Kristi Harvey (9.5 disposals, 2.0 marks and 4.5 rebounds) and Amber Ward (12.5 disposals, 3.0 marks, 3.5 tackles and 2.0 rebounds) have been superb as key defensive posts in the back 50, while Lauren Gauci had an outstanding game in the Roosters win over Central, picking up 21 disposals, six marks (two contested), two clearances and three rebounds in just her second career game at the level. Up forward, Kelly Barltrop is yet to really stamp her authority on the competition after her leading goalkicker award last year, but it is a positive that the Roosters have had plenty of contributors, with Ashleigh Woodland (four goals) and Kathryn Reynolds (three) both having strong starts to the year. Woodland in particular is a damaging player, averaging 14 disposals at 79 per cent efficiency, while booting 4.2 from 19 touches and five marks last week in an outstanding performance. Cristie Castle could well be leading the Roosters’ best and fairest at this stage, with the 29-year-old averaging 19 disposals, 5.5 marks, 2.5 clearances, 2.5 inside 50s, 2.0 tackles and 1.0 goals per game. It will be up to the likes of Leah Tynan (12.5 disposals, 3.0 clearances) and Lauren Daniel (18.5 disposals, 4.0 clearances) to try and quell the influence of the West Adelaide midfielders.

West Adelaide has brought in three players to an extended bench, losing Kasia Culhane to injury, which will be a blow after the forward booted three goals in the first two rounds and looked a lively forward inside 50. Into the side comes Lauren Rodato, Nicole Hooper and Rachael Killian, with Rodato recalled after playing Round 1, and Hooper and Killian playing their first matches since 2018 – if selected. Rodato has been named at centre half-back to support the work of Keeley Kustermann (14.5 disposals at 90 per cent efficiency) who has been reliable as ever in the back 50, despite the Bloods having the lowest amount of rebounds. The reason for that is the work of Rachelle Martin, Abbie Ballard and Zoe Venning who have formed a remarkable midfield trio. Martin has averaged 18 disposals, 5.0 clearances, 7.5 tackles and 3.0 inside 50s per game and while her disposal efficiency could improve (53 per cent), most of her work is done at the coalface which allows her teammates to run the ball forward. She was one of a number of players who really could have had a day out last week, booting three behinds to go with 21 touches, five clearances and four inside 50s. Ballard is leading all-comers when it comes to disposals, averaging 21 per game thanks to her 27 touches in Round 1. Like Martin, she is a contested ball winner who can spread to the outside, averaging 3.5 marks, 2.5 tackles, 5.5 clearances and 3.0 inside 50s per game. Venning – who is remarkably only 16-years-old but in her second season at West Adelaide is slightly below the others on volume, but has the highest disposal efficiency from her 15 touches, 3.5 marks, 3.0 tackles, 2.5 clearances and 2.0 inside 50s. Importantly, she also hits the scoreboard, averaging a goal a game thus far this season. Speaking of hitting the scoreboard, Melanie Elsegood is the equal leading goalkicker with five goals from her two marches, making the most of her 7.5-disposal, 2.5-mark averages.

There is a reason this is match of the round. You have the best clearance side up against the dominant scoring team which means both sides are going to be tested in ways they are yet to be tested. If the Bloods can continue to dominate the clearances, then their high volume of inside 50s will undoubtedly lead to a high score, though if North Adelaide can get on top, then they will cause all sorts of problems for the West Adelaide defence, which will have its first big test of the season in this game.

WOODVILLE-WEST TORRENS vs. STURT
Saturday, February 29, 5.30pm
Flinders University Stadium

After a blockbuster top of the table clash, two sides looking to get on the board in season 2020 go at it from 5.30pm. Woodville-West Torrens is yet to win in the SANFL Women’s since joining the competition 12 months ago. The Eagles have come close on a number of occasions, including last week where they led by as much as 19 points against Norwood before suffering a one-point defeat due to a goal in the last minute to help the Redlegs get over the line. In Round 1, they also led South Adelaide for portions of the game, only to fall short by less than a kick, and if form is any indicator to go by, then this should be the time they break the drought. Sturt sits on the bottom of the table having booted just three goals for the season, going down to West Adelaide by 21 points in Round 1, before being handed a 34-point defeat at the hands of the Panthers last week. That could have been a lot worse given South Adelaide booted 5.13 for the game, but in short, Sturt will need to lift for this contest. Similar to the opening game of this round, both these sides would have identified at the start of the season for this game to be a must-win against an opponent it is capable of beating. The winner of this match gets back on track in season 2020, while the loser will be at least two games outside the top four and having to play catch-up which is not ideal in such a short season.

Statistically the Eagles are better off, and are far and away the standout tackling team of the competition. They have laid a whopping 166 tackles this season, with 79 and 87 respectively each round to be the number one side both weeks. Their defensive pressure is not in question, though their handball game can sometimes get them unstuck. They have the lowest kick-to-handball ratio at just 1.42, which compared to the top team in that category (Central) which has 3.3, it shows the Eagles look to move the ball quickly by hand. Depending on the execution this can be a huge advantage, but also hurt going the other way, with the Eagles also only taking the 37 marks – the lowest of any side this season – while Sturt is third overall with 90, and has the second highest differential of +40. It is clear that this game will be a battle between two different styles, with Sturt looking to get to the outside and work their way inside 50 with calculated movement, while the Eagles will use a handball-style game to get it going in quick transition. Sturt’s big deficiency is giving its forwards best chance to score with a competition-low clearance count (31) and inside 50s count (23) with the lowest differential in both stats following a -25 and -33 respectively. This is an area they will no doubt focus on for this game, while the Double Blues defence to their credit has held up with a competition-high differential of +24 in rebounds.

Woodville-West Torrens have made three confirmed changes, with the loss of Adele Gibson due to a knee injury disappointing, and former West Adelaide captain Alison Evans brought in up forward to replace her in the front half having played in the narrow Round 1 loss. They have also brought in the exciting Jaida Tabb, the 15-year-old younger sister of Eagles and AFL Womens’ player Jaimi (13.5 disposals, 7.5 tackles, 3.5 inside 50s and 2.0 rebounds), with the latter named at full-forward to try and mix up the forward half. She will team up with fellow South Australian representative at last year’s AFL Women’s Under-18 Championships, with Kiana Lee leading the way in terms of scoring for the Eagles, booting three first half goals last week after surprisingly going goalless in round 1. When up and about, Lee knows how to fly for her marks, taking a massive six contested grabs from seven marks this season. While the Eagles have the scoring options, their defenders deserve credit as well, with Jovanka Zecevic (10 disposals, 5.0 tackles) and teenagers, Tesharna Maher (11 disposals at 77 per cent efficiency, and five rebounds) and Jamie Parish (six disposals, three marks) all holding up the back six. Former Adelaide AFL Women’s ruck, Rhiannon Metcalfe played her first game last week and will be better for the run, building into the game and could try and quell the influence of Sturt’s top three ruck ranked division.

The Double Blues have tried to keep as much stability as possible and not panic despite back-to-back losses, as Hannah Dreckow is the sole out for the last placed side, bringing in 18-year-old debutant Arabella Brown, as well as Cherie Bamford and Alysha Healy. Sturt has some serious top-end talent, but it is just about bringing through the next tier of players and continuing the development of the young players running around in the Double Blue. Co-captains, Georgia Bevan (19 disposals, 2.5 marks, 8.0 tackles, 2.0 clearances, 2.0 inside 50s and 3.0 rebounds) and Maya Rigter (15 disposals, 4.5 marks, 9.0 tackles, 2.5 clearances and 2.0 rebounds) running at 82 and 87 per cent efficiency respectively have been the top two players for Sturt, while Hannah Prenzler (13.5 disposals, 6.5 marks, 3.0 tackles and 3.0 rebounds) has been one of the top defenders in a side that has tried to hold up against some fierce attacking movement of top three sides. Sturt just has to find a way to score more, with the defensive set up and midfield duo a tick, and some young talent coming through. Zoe Prowse and Isobel Kuiper are a couple of teenagers who are the next young stars for Sturt, with the 16-year-old Prowse already entrenched as a ruck who can rest forward, while 17-year-old Kuiper has been playing through the middle and averaging five tackles per game to go with her 10 touches.

This game should be a close one with Woodville-West Torrens showing greater signs so far this season, but Sturt have some of the top players who could lift the Double Blues over the line. If the Eagles can get it forward and work it well down the ground with their ball movement to unsettle the Sturt defence it will help, while the Double Blues will look to get it long and try and force the attacking defenders of the Eagles to double think their decisions out of the back 50.

SOUTH ADELAIDE vs. NORWOOD
Saturday, February 29, 7.15pm
Flinders University Stadium

The final game of the round pits two SANFL Women’s heavyweights against each other with inaugural premiers, Norwood going up against recent back-to-back premiers, South Adelaide. The Panthers had the Redlegs’ measure last season, going on to win the flag from second as Norwood tumbled out in straight sets, but both these sides have changed a fair amount since last season. Based on the opening first two rounds, the Panthers have made do by winning both their games, while Norwood has struggled to adapt with a completely new midfield group. To the Redlegs credit though, they came back from 19 points down to win against Woodville-West Torrens last week, largely thanks to three goals from Jo Hill. They cannot afford to drop that far behind against South Adelaide however, though the Panthers too had to come from behind to beat the Eagles back in Round 1, before a much more comfortable win over Sturt last week.

Looking at the stats, South Adelaide is a possession-style team ranked first in both disposal (+97) and kicking (+47) differentials for season 2020 thus far. They also have the most inside 50s of any side (63) and highest differential in that stat (+28). Ranked second overall for handball differential (+50), by sheer weight of numbers they have the most handballs of any side as well, which shows they can use the ball down the field in multiple ways. The Panthers’ defence has the lowest rebound differential of any side (-19), but that comes as no surprise seeing as how often the ball has spent time up the other end of the field. In Round 1, South Adelaide had just nine rebounds against Woodville-West Torrens, but the Eagles were unable to capitalise in that game. What makes Norwood good is the Redlegs’ outside game, with the highest marking differential of any side (+47), well ahead of South Adelaide’s (+5). They also lead the way in hitouts with 30 per game (+29 differential) thanks to the work of Leah Cutting. Defensively, Norwood has been out-pressured by its opposition, with the second lowest tackle count, but more damning is the lowest tackle differential of -52. South Adelaide is the second worst with -20, but only had four less than Sturt last week, whereas in Round 1, Norwood was -17 against Central District. Both sides were well out-tackled by the number one tackling side in the Eagles.

The Panthers have been forced to make at least two changes, with Annabel Gordon and Callie Wilson (both ankle injuries) out of the game among four confirmed outs. Into the side comes six players to an extended bench, with Chloe Jacobs named to make her debut for South Adelaide. The biggest inclusion is Madison Bennett who slots straight into a front six that is already incredibly potent after the 20-year-old was recalled for Round 3. With Cutting’s dominance in the ruck, it will be a great test for young gun, Montana McKinnon to step up again and continue her wonderful form this season with the 18-year-old averaging 16.5 disposals, 4.5 marks, 3.5 clearances, 6.0 inside 50s and 2.5 tackles per game. Accumulating the ball like a midfielder, McKinnon can also go forward and provide a tall target, with top draft prospect Teah Charlton (19 disposals at 87 per cent efficiency, 5.5 tackles, 4.0 clearances and 4.0 inside 50s) also in the forward half and capable of the incredible. In the midfield, Czenya Cavouras (17.5 disposals, 6.5 tackles and 4.5 clearances) and Tahlia Meyer (15 disposals, 2.5 tackles and 2.5 inside 50s) are natural ball winners, with Indy Tahau (15 disposals, 4.5 clearances, 3.0 tackles, 2.5 inside 50s and 2.0 marks) and Elyse Haylock (18 disposals, five tackles) – who played her first game of the season last week – forming a really dangerous onball combination.

Norwood has made four chances to its winning side last week, still trying to find the right mix to build on its performance. Despite having plenty of improvement left in them, the Redlegs have been able to stabilise their season thus far with a 1-1 record. Thrown up either end, Michele Reid has been named in the forward pocket for the match, while Ella Murison comes into the back pocket. Both players are versatile, with the 38-year-old Reid playing a defensive role in the first round, and has been called up for a different spot in Round 3, while Murison was the opposite with a couple of inside 50s against the Bulldogs in Round 1, but now named deep in defence. Cutting has been a huge influence in the midfield with a competition-high 20.5 hitouts to go with 10 disposals, 3.5 marks and 6.0 tackles per game.  She has been working well with the likes of Bella Smith (10 disposals, 4.5 marks, 2.5 tackles, 4.5 inside 50s) and Matilda Zander (17.5 disposals, 4.0 marks, 3.0 tackles, 2.5 inside 50s, 2.5 rebounds and 2.0 clearances) through midfield, while Mattea Breed (17.5 disposals, 2.0 marks, 4.0 tackles, 5.0 inside 50s and 3.5 clearances) really shone in Round 2, and has been roaming up the ground at half-forward clunking some strong marks and leading the way. Sophie Armitstead (14 disposals, 3.5 clearances and 3.0 tackles) is another player who has enjoyed a solid season thus far, and it is expected once Norwood can adjust to its new line-up in season 2020, it will be a threat to any side.

South Adelaide deserve to be favourites in this clash, but Norwood has steadily improved. While the Panthers are more of a running possession side than a tackling one, they would see that defensive pressure has unsettled the Redlegs at times, though Norwood has been a dominant team in the ruck duels and also capable of kicking goals quickly. Neither side can afford to switch off during this game if they are to be triumphant.