Tag: madison newman

2021 SANFL Women’s Round 7 preview: Forced changes see teams shuffle magnets

FIVE rounds remain in the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s competition, with the sides still without the majority of the State Academy members and AFL Women’s talent given the week’s 2021 AFL Women’s Under 19 Championships, and the fact that Adelaide is one win away from another elite level premiership.

NORWOOD vs. NORTH ADELAIDE
Friday, April 16 @ 6:15pm
Coopers Stadium

Norwood will of course be without its two State Academy representatives in Melbourne, with Alana Lishmund and Jade Halfpenny out of the side, along with Mattea Breed and Shai Hiscock, for another huge clash against North Adelaide. The Redlegs managed to topple the then-undefeated Roosters after a 15-game winning streak from the reigning premiers, and will be looking for much of the say once again, with another State Academy member in Jess Williams coming in, alongside ex-Rooster Gabrielle Gormlie. North Adelaide will be without Amelie Borg, Kate Case, Lauren Daniel, Jorja Eldridge and Julia Clark for State Representatives duties for South Australia, while Elaine Grigg ran out for the Medleys. The Roosters will be further understrength without Lauren Daniel (unavailable) and Cristie Castle (ankle) making it a total of seven forced changes. Coming into the side are a couple of AFL Women’s talents in Rhiannon Metcalfe and West Coast’s Katelyn Pope who returns from the elite level following the end of the Eagles’ season. Remy Grant is also set to make her debut coming from SMOSH West Lakes. Expect Norwood to be the favourites given the Roosters outs, though they still have a strong spine which includes Talia Radan, Kristi Harvey and Kelly Barltrop and cannot be underrated, though Leah Cutting and youngsters Sarah Branford and Tesharna Maher are exciting talents.

GLENELG vs. CENTRAL DISTRICT
Friday, April 16 @ 7:00pm
ACH Group Stadium

Central District will travel to face Glenelg in the other clash tonight, with the three forced changes due to State Academy representation in Laitiah Huynh, Lauren Breguet and Madison Lane. Into the team comes the experienced Nicole Mark, along with Ella Mickan, Aisha Thomas and Emma Keys. They will look to build on their massive win over North Adelaide prior to the weekend off, and will look to take advantage of a heavily understrength Glenelg outfit. The Bays will be missing Brooke Tonon and Tamsyn Morriss after their State Academy duties, but will also be without Piper Window, Emma Swanson, Kimberley Fry, Ellen Fauser and Molly Affolter in a raft of seven forced changes. Among those Bays named returning to the side are Anja Bancevic, Sarah Goodwin, Taylah Scapens and Sarah Wilton who have all made their way into the starting 18. The Bays will look to the consistency of Ellie Kellock, Jessica Bates and Sam Franson in order to overcome a strong Central outfit which includes a potent forward line of Katelyn Rosenzweig and Chantel Reynolds, as well as a consistent hard midfield of Shelby Smith, Lauren Smith and Caitlen Teague, and a defence that backs itself on transition. The Bulldogs will look to rack up another win here, in what will be an important game before AFL Women’s talents start filtering back into the league.

WWT EAGLES vs. SOUTH ADELAIDE
Saturday, April 17 @ 10:00am
Maughan Thiem Kia Oval

Both Woodville-West Torrens Eagles and South Adelaide will be missing some incredible talent in Round 7, as the sides make a combined 14 changes for the must-win clash for both sides. The Eagles will look to bounce back after the loss to Norwood last week following their three-game winning streak, whilst the Panthers will eye off getting their season back on track in the second half of the 2021 competition. The Eagles will host the game, but will be without AFL Women’s listed players in Jess Sedunary and Renee Forth, whilst young guns Charlotte Dolan and Jamie Parish, and the injured Kiley Green will all be unavailable. Coming into the side are three potential Eagles debutants in Samantha Hoogeveen-Hill, Cheryllee Waters and Nikita McRostie, alongside players such as Georgia Taylor and Mikayla Cavallaro. The Panthers have an exodus out of the team due to a mixture of reasons, as Hannah Muunyard, Lisa Whiteley and Montana McKinnon are all out for Crows duties, while Gypsy Schirmer, Tahlita Buethke and Lauren Clifton miss due to the State Academy, and Jess Kirk is among more outs. The Panthers have named 11 inclusions to an extended bench, with both Renee and Soriah Moon, Amy Gore and Emily Brockhurst among those ins. They still have a strong midfield in Czenya Cavouras, Nicole Campbell and youngster Sarah Wright, but will be up against it taking on an Eagles side whose youth has stepped up this year, such as Shineah Goody and Astrid Gooley.

STURT vs. WEST ADELAIDE
Saturday, April 17 @ 12:45pm
Unley Oval

West Adelaide have welcomed a massive inclusion for the remainder of the season in Richmond AFL Women’s player Sarah Dargan who has come straight in to make her SANFL Women’s debut. Her much needed experience – alongside some other debutants in Jess Chyer, Beth Sigley and Grace McNicol will be much welcomed by the Bloods who will be without a ton of top-end talent. AFLW-listed Ailish Considine, Madison Newman and Chelsea Biddell will miss the game, as well the State Academy members of Keeley Kustermann, Zoe Venning and Lauren Young, with Olivia Smith, Zoe Greer and Melanie Elsegood also forced changes for Round 7. For Sturt, the Double Blues they have the four straight forced chances with the quartet of State Academy members including co-captains Hannah Prenzler and Georgia Swan, as well as Alex Ballard and Zoe Prowse. Sarah Wallace will make her debut in the side, with Sarah Wallace coming straight into the forward line. She is joined by an extended bench that also includes Kiera Mueller, Aajiah Jericho and Casey Fraser, whilst the in-form midfield of Jess Good, Alisha Gepp, Jaimee Wittervan and Isobel Kuiper remains intact. They will provide stiff opposition for the Westies, who will look to the likes of Sharnie Whiting, Kasia Culhane and Louella McCarthy for experience, with Dargan having a huge role in the midfield.

Picture credit: Cory Sutton / SANFL

SANFL Women’s Round 6 wrap: Norwood extends lead at top as Bays and Double Blues play out another draw

IT was quite the day of action on Saturday at Adelaide Oval, with all four games of South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s competition taking place in a massive quadruple-header at the ground. The top of the table Norwood enjoyed a hard-fought win, there was a draw between Glenelg and Sturt, last year’s wooden spooners smashed the reigning premiers, and West Adelaide had a big win to bounce back from three consecutive losses.

GLENELG 1.4 | 2.7 | 3.9 | 5.9 (39)
STURT 2.0 | 4.1 | 4.2 | 6.3 (39)

GOALS:

Glenelg: M. Freeman 2, L. Armitage, L. Bungey, A. Bradley.
Sturt: A. Healy 2, A. Ballard, A. Brooks-Birve, C. Forby, I. Kuiper.

DC BEST:

Glenelg: E. Kellock, L. Armitage, J. Bates, M. Freeman, T. Kohn
Sturt: J. Good, K. Harris, J. Wittervan, I. Kuiper, H. Prenzler

After four quarters of action, Glenelg and Sturt could not be split, with the Bays and Double Blues playing out a 39-apiece draw to open the massive day of action at Adelaide Oval. The Bays were more inaccurate, having 14 scoring shots to nine, though manage to still come away with a point from the match, and it could have been even more if Alysha Healy had not kicked her second goal in the dying minutes of the match. Nonetheless the teams were evenly matched with a number of standouts, and the team stats reflected that, as the Double Blues – led by Jess Good dominated the hitouts (54-16) and won the clearances (27-22), but the Bays trumped the inside 50s count (32-25).

Good recorded a season competition-high 46 hitouts for the Double Blues, getting better and better as the weeks go on, also picking up 10 touches, five tackles, three clearances and five inside 50s in the process. She was far from the only standout though, with Kate Harris having a game-high seven clearances to go with 16 touches and six tackles, whilst Jaimee Wittervan (19 disposals, four clearances, four inside 50s and seven tackles) and Isobel Kuiper (14 disposals, four clearances, four tackles and four rebound 50s) were strong in midfield. Hannah Prenzler returned from captaining her state to pick up a game-high seven rebound 50s with 11 disposals and three marks, while Alisha Gepp was busy once again with 14 touches, five tackles and three clearances.

Glenelg’s Ellie Kellock did all she could in a losing effort, racking up 21 disposals, three marks, seven tackles, six clearances and five inside 50s, working hard alongside the likes of Lucy Armitage, Jessica Bates and Tessa Kohn. The trio combined for 12 clearances and 25 tackles themselves, providing a staunch defence to the opposition. Madisyn Freeman slotted two goals up the other end, also amassing 13 disposals, two marks and six tackles in the process.

 

CENTRAL DISTRICT 3.1 | 4.1 | 6.3 | 9.3 (57)
NORTH ADELAIDE 0.0 | 2.0 | 2.0 | 2.1 (13)

GOALS:

Central: K. Rosenzweig 2, C. Reynolds 2, P. Allan, L. Breguet, A. James.
North: B. Arthur, J. Tabb.

DC BEST:

Central: K. Rosenzweig, P. Allan, L. Breguet, A. Butler, C Wendland.
North: L. Daniel. K. Harvey, E. Greet, K. Reynolds, J. Tabb

Central District reaffirmed itself as a genuine contender after putting reigning premiers North Adelaide to the sword in an outstanding performance. The Bulldogs beat the Roosters at their own game, absorbing the pressure early, and piling on the goals in the second half to run away with the contest by 44 points. Rarely does a reigning wooden spooner account for a reigning premier by more than seven goals, but the Bulldogs did just that, kicking five consecutive goals after leading by 13 points at half-time to continue their high-scoring escapades this season. Katelyn Rosenzweig was again the chief architect with 2.1, equalling the entire opposition team, whilst Chantel Reynolds also kicked a couple of majors. The Bulldogs shared the ball around but win the disposal count by 26 (193-167), marks by 17 (59-42) and led all the hitouts, clearances, inside 50s, rebound 50s ad tackles in an all-round promising performance.

Rosenzweig was strong with three contested marks out of her five or the game, as well as 10 disposals, three hitouts and two rebound 50s with her two goals. Reynolds was efficient with two goals from three kicks and five touches, whilst there were others who stepped up for their best games of the season. Paige Allan had a day out with 12 disposals, four marks and a goal, while Taryn Wills (13 disposals, five marks), Caitlin Wendland (12 disposals, five marks and a goal) and Alicia Butler (11 disposals, three marks – two contested – three clearances and three inside 50s) were also busy.

Erica Greet had the most touches on the ground, with the Rooster picking up 18 disposals, two marks, two tackles and three inside 50s in the loss. Kristi Harvey was strong throughout once again with 15 touches, five marks and three rebound 50s, teaming up with youngster Amelie Borg (eight disposals, three marks, three tackles and three rebound 50s) in defence. Lauren Daniel (14 disposals, six marks, three clearances and two inside 50s), Kathryn Reynolds (10 disposals, five marks, three tackles and three inside 50s) and Jaimi Tabb (10 disposals, six tackles, two clearances and a goal) were others who worked hard throughout the game.

 

WWT EAGLES 0.1 | 1.2 | 2.3 | 3.4 (22)
NORWOOD 1.5 | 2.5 | 2.6 | 4.8 (32)

GOALS:

Eagles: K. Lee, J. Tabb, J. Zecevic.
Norwood: E. Drake 2, R. Zerella, M. Breed.

DC BEST:

Eagles: N. Collie, R. Forth, K. Lee, A. Falkenberg, S. Goody
Norwood: S. Armitstead, J. Halfpenny, L. Cutting, E. Drake, S. Syme

Norwood has won its fifth consecutive game with a 10-point triumph over the in-form Woodville-West Torrens Eagles. The Redlegs peppered the goals early and did not make as much of their chances as they could have, with the Eagles cutting the deficit to just three points at the final break. Two goals early in the fourth term cemented the Bloods’ control, and whilst the Eagles kicked a consolation major in the last minute, it would not be enough, going down 4.8 (32) to 3.4 (22). Norwood dominated possession (210-167), and easily won the hitouts (34-10), clearances (28-19) and inside 50s (35-15), which was a credit to the Eagles’ defence to not suffer a larger defeat, but they racked up the 29 rebound 50s to 12 to show a staunch resistance to the Redlegs’ attack.

Sophie Armitstead led the way with 17 disposals, five clearances and four inside 50s, as youngster Jade Halfpenny again stepped up in the midfield with a fantastic 15 touches, four marks, three clearances and seven inside 50s. Isabel Martin (14 disposals, three inside 50s), Sachi Syme (13 disposals, four tackles, five clearances and three inside 50s) and Leah Cutting (12 disposals, four marks, 33 hitouts, four tackles, two clearances and four inside 50s) were others in the midfield who impressed, as Elizabeth Drake slotted two goals from 13 touches and five marks up forward.

The defensive work of Nicole Collie (20 disposals, six marks – two contested – three tackles and five rebound 50s) and Renee Forth (17 disposals five marks, three tackles and five rebound 50s) helped keep the Eagles in the contest, while Shineah Goody (14 disposals, two clearance sand two tackles) and Anastasia Falkenberg (13 disposals, three marks, five tackles and three rebound 50s) were good once again. Kiana Lee slotted the last goal of the game for her side yet again, and finished with 12 disposals, six marks – three contested – three tackles and 1.1.

 

WEST ADELAIDE 2.3 | 2.6 | 4.11 | 7.11 (53)
SOUTH ADELAIDE 1.0 | 1.1 | 1.2 | 2.4 (16)

GOALS:

West: C. Biddell 2, M. Elsegood 2, K. Culhane, S. Whjiting, L. Young.
South: J. Kirk, L. Whiteley.

DC BEST:

West: C. Biddell, L. Young, L. McCarthy, A. Considine, K. Kustermann
South: B. Wedding, M. McKinnon, L. Whiteley, J. Griffen, J. Kirk

West Adelaide bounced back from three consecutive losses to produce a sterling 37-point win over South Adelaide in the last game at Adelaide Oval. The Bloods booted five goals to one after half-time following a tight first half, to begin to capitalise on their scoring opportunities, of which they had 18 scoring shots to six during the comprehensive 7.11 (53) to 2.4 (16) victory. With their AFL Women’s stars and State Academy members back in the side and leading the way again, the Westies had too much firepower for the Panthers during the big win. The key differences in the stats were the hitouts heavily in South’s favour (27-7), though West just sharked them with a domination in the clearances (23-9) and inside 50s (29-23).

Keeley Kustermann relished the open space of Adelaide Oval with a team-high 17 disposals, as fellow young guns Lauren Young (15 disposals, two marks, five tackles, three clearances, three inside 50s and a goal) and Zoe Venning (11 disposals, two marks, five tackles and two clearances) also had good days upon return. Chelsea Biddell was huge with 2.2 from 15 touches, eight marks and five inside 50s, while fellow Adelaide Crows talents, Madison Newman (16 disposals, three marks and five tackles) and Ailish Considine (12 disposals, five marks, four inside 50s and three rebound 50s) were also impressive. Louella McCarthy continued her strong form with 17 touches, four tackles, four clearances and three inside 50s in the victory.

Brianna Wedding‘s work in defence this year remained strong with four marks – two contested – six rebound 50s and 20 disposals the end result for the tall. Supporting her throughout the match were Jaimi Griffen (17 disposals, five marks, two tackles and two rebound 50s), Lisa Whiteley (15 disposals, five marks, four tackles and two inside 50s) and Czenya Cavouras (12 disposals, five tackles, two clearance and three inside 50s) impressive through the midfield. Montana McKinnon dominated in the ruck yet again with 11 touches, four marks – three contested – 23 hitouts and six inside 50s, while Jess Kirk slotted 1.1 from eight disposals, three marks – two contested – and four tackles.

 

Picture credit: Scott Starkey

2021 SANFL Women’s Round 4 preview: Crucial ladder-defining games for mid-table teams

ROUND 4 of the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s season kicks off tonight with two games across the weekend featuring teams on one win from three games, while Norwood have the chance to knock top of the table North Adelaide off its unbeaten perch.

WOODVILLE-WEST TORRENS vs. CENTRAL DISTRICT
Friday, March 19 @ 6.30pm
Hisense Stadium

In the first rematch of the season, Woodville-West Torrens Eagles take on Central District under lights at Hisense Stadium tonight. The Eagles are coming in off their first win of the season following their hard-fought slog in the wet against Glenelg, whilst Central District has not won since the Round 1 victory over the Eagles, but were in control for most of the game in their last two narrow losses to Sturt and South Adelaide which were both under a kick. The Bulldogs have been terrific starters this season and will look to do so again when they take on the Eagles, whilst their opponents will be aware that if they can be close enough at half-time they can finish strongly like they did against the Bays last week.

The Eagles do have a couple of forced outs with youngster Brooklyn Kraft missing due to a knee injury, and Renee Forth called up to Adelaide’s AFL Women’s program. They have regained some AFL Women’s experience however, with Jess Sedunary among a host of inclusions on an extended bench. Central has just the one confirmed out with Alicia Butler out, though key midfield Lauren Smith returns alongside a number of inclusions for the Dogs as they hope to go 2-0 against the Eagles this season.

To do so Central will need to put scores on the board throughout the four quarters, and key forward Katelyn Rosenzweig has been named which is fantastic to see after an injury late in the loss to South Adelaide last week. Chantel Reynolds and Laitiah Huynh have found ways to apply scoreboard pressure this season, while Shelby Smith was sensational last week in the middle. She is well supported by Lauren Smith and Caitlen Teague who form a really strong onball group, whilst the defensive trio of Madison Lane, Gemma Doughty and Demi Sonneman provide great run out of the back 50.

The Eagles have to shuffle the magnets around with the loss of Kraft, as Amie Blanden – who took over ruck duties last week – will start there again, as Under 16s talent Shineah Goody will team up with reigning best and fairest winner Jovanka Zecevic at the stoppages. Anastasia Falkenberg and Natasha Holmes have put together some consistent performances this season, while South Australian State Academy members, Charlotte Dolan and Jamie Parish will provide some run for the Eagles. Kiana Lee has been named at centre half-back but as she showed last week, can go forward and kick a crucial goal.

Central District would be favoured to back up their Round 1 win over the Eagles, it will just be a case of making the most of their forward 50 entries, whilst for the Eagles, it is about winning the midfield battle.

WEST ADELAIDE vs. GLENELG
Friday, March 19 @ 8.15pm
Hisense Stadium

In the second match at Hisense Arena, the real home team in West Adelaide will host Glenelg in an important game for both sides. The Bloods will welcome back some of their AFL Women’s talent they lost from last week’s game when they went down to North Adelaide. The Bays will also bring some big names back into the side as they look to arrest a two-game losing streak they have suffered at the hands of North Adelaide and Woodville-West Torrens the last two rounds. West have the firepower up forward, but the Tigers have also been capable of kicking a big score when not slugging it out in the wet.

West Adelaide will welcome back Madison Newman and Chelsea Biddell to the fold with their AFL Women’s experience crucial, though Louella McCarthy is another key player to be named amongst the ins having kicked two late goals in the win a fortnight ago. The Bays will see a ton of players return with at last five players out of the Round 3 team, including Ellen Fauser, whilst the likes of AFL Women’s Dayna Cox, and goal-scoring threat Sam Franson are back in for the big game. Grace Duffy is another inclusion for the Bays who has proven to provide some high and work in the forward half.

With the West forward line looking bulked up again, it will the likes of Biddell and Newman who have the capacity of putting scores on the board, while Zoe Venning has rotated well between half-forward and onball this season. Lauren Young has been a revelation in her debut season at just 15-years-old, and the likes of Bec Owen and Zoe Greer will rove to Kate Walsh who could take advantage in the ruck. State Academy member Tamsyn Morriss has been thrown in the midfield for this game alongside 15-year-old Piper Window who has made a promising start to her SANFL Women’s career. Ellie Kellock provides that experience in the middle, while Madisyn Freeman and Brooke Tonon are named on the wings to provide some extra run forward.

West Adelaide will be favourites here with plenty of quality coming back, but the Bays have their own talent returning, which makes this a great contest at night.

NORWOOD vs. NORTH ADELAIDE
Saturday, March 20 @ 11.00am
Cooper Stadium

Kicking off Saturday’s action, Norwood will have the next crack at trying to end the unbeaten North Adelaide’s run which went to three games last week, but realistically the Roosters have not lost since the 2019 SANFL Women’s Grand Final. The Redlegs have won the past two games and are building some good form, though they did have a scare against Sturt in Round 3, so will want to pick it up here and put in a good performance. The Roosters controlled most of the player after an early goal to the Bloods last week, and will be without a couple of stars so will eye off others stepping up in their place.

Isabel Martin will miss the Redlegs’ Round 4 clash after injuring her ankle, joining State Academy member Sarah Branford, and defender Kate Fenton among the outs for the clash. Norwood does regain the services of Alana Lishmund who returns from suspension. The Roosters on the other hand have suffered some big outs with young gun Hannah Ewings out with the ankle injury she sustained in the second quarter of North Adelaide’s Round 3 win over West Adelaide, while key forward Kelly Barltrop will be unavailable for the clash.

The Redlegs will need to capitalise on the midfield and get the ball forward to allow the likes of athletic talls Mattea Breed and Jade Halfpenny to get plenty of looks inside 50. Lana Schwerdt won the Ellen Maple Medal in the win against Sturt last week and will be keen to back up that performance here, whilst the experience of Jess Macolino, Sophie Armitstead and Elisha Gallagher will help add some composure around the ground. The Redlegs were lucky not to concede a late goal last week, and will be wary of what the Roosters can do.

North Adelaide has a near-impenetrable defence with key posts, Kristi Harvey and Talia Radan providing the strength and smarts to not allow any easy goals. Alana Baker comes into the side and slots straight onto half-back with the running Kate Case, while Case’s State Academy teammate Julia Clark has been thrown in the midfield alongside the in-form Leah Tynan and Cristie Castle. Jaimi Tabb has been named at full-forward to provide some strength down there, whilst Brianna Arthur and Kathryn Reynolds are also among the dangerous forwards inside 50.

North Adelaide should be good enough to go to 4-0, but with the talent out, Norwood has a huge opportunity to cause an upset in this game, particularly in front of home fans.

SOUTH ADELAIDE vs. STURT
Saturday, March 20 @ 5.30pm
Flinders University Stadium

‘The final game of the round is an evening game between South Adelaide and Sturt down at Flinders University Stadium. The Panthers finally got on the board last week – albeit just – with a narrow win over Central District. The game against Sturt could be another thriller, with the Double Blues also having plenty of young, developing players running around and are 1-2, though could easily have been 2-1 with a couple of missed opportunities last in the game against the Panthers last week. The winner of this game moves to 2-2 and remains in touch with the top couple of teams.

The Panthers will welcome into the side Amy Gore and Katie Whish – the latter in line for a debut – amongst others including Sheena Peters, Alannah Rochow and Georgia Pennifold, whilst Madison Bennett, Tess Brockhurst and Amy Huxtable are out. The Double Blues have lost youngster Tiah Hough to a hand injury, whilst Allani Dawes, Molly Fletcher and Jessica Good have been named in an extended team, with Good another potential debutant in the game.

Good could well have a baptism of fire, with the tall named in the ruck to face AFL Women’s ruck Montana McKinnon. The South Adelaide ruck has been in terrific form this season, and with the experience of Czenya Cavouras and Nicole Campbell in there, the Panthers have the advantage. However the fact Zoe Prowse is just rolling around as a midfielder means the Double Blues have that Plan B ready to go, with the best two young rucks in South Australia likely to cross paths on multiple occasions. Sturt duo Alisha Gepp and Isobel Kuiper are younger than their opponents, but will certainly attack the contest hard, whilst Tahlita Buethke and Sarah Wright are other State Academy members hoping to impress through the midfield.

In defence for the Double Blues, Alex Ballard, Hannah Prenzler and Lauren Clifton are a trio of State Academy members who provide skill and drive out of the back 50, going up against the likes of Gypsy Schirmer, Jess Kirk and Sophia Flanagan-Sjoberg who have all been in great form themselves. Jorja Hooper has acquitted herself successfully in her debut season as a key forward, with the Under 16s talent showing her strength in the air and around goal, while Jaslynne Smith and Georgia Swan are among the other young talents running around for their respective teams in the match.

This game could go either way, with South likely to be favourite given their extra experience, but the Sturt defence has done well yet again to start the season, which makes it a fascinating contest.

 

Picture credit: SANFL / Cory Sutton

SANFL Women’s Round 3 wrap: Roosters rise up as remaining sides grab points

NORTH Adelaide is outright top of the table in the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s competition after defeating West Adelaide, whilst Woodville-West Torrens Eagles and South Adelaide grabbed wins, meaning five teams are on one victory, with Norwood joining West on the two wins from three games.

CENTRAL DISTRICT 1.2 | 2.5 | 3.7 | 4.8 (32)
SOUTH ADELAIDE 0.3 | 0.5 | 3.6 | 5.7 (37)

GOALS:

Central: C. Reynolds, K. Rosenzweig, D. Sonneman, C. Teague.
South: J. Kirk 2, J. Hooper, E. Haylock.

DC BEST:

Central: C. Teague, M. Lane, S. Smith, C. Richards, K. Rosenzweig
South: J. Kirk, J. Hooper, S. Flanagan-Sjoberg, G. Schirmer, J. Smith

South Adelaide has overcome a goalless first half to run over the top of a plucky Central District in a classic contest to open Round 3 of SANFL Women’s action. For the second consecutive week, the Bulldogs kept a side to one goal or less in the first half, then led at the final break but were overrun in the final term. An injury to Katelyn Rosenzweig late in the game hurt the Bulldogs as the key forward had been a strong target and kicked a great goal in the third term.

Chantel Reynolds and Caitlen Teague started off with majors in the first half, as both sides booted five behinds heading into the main break in what had been primarily a battle between the arcs. Forward targets Jess Kirk and youngster Jorja Hooper kicked majors in the opening two and a half minutes of the third term to get the game back in South’s possessions before Rosenzweig kicked truly midway through the term. Back-to-back goals either side of the break to Elyse Haylock and Kirk, following by a towering mark and goal from Hooper, and the game looked out of reach for the Bulldogs. To Central’s credit Demi Sonneman converted in the extra time added by Rosenzweig’s injury, but the Dogs would fall short by five points.

Kirk (seven disposals, four marks – three contested – two tackles and 2.3) and Hooper (nine disposals, four marks – two contested – two inside 50s and 2.1) were the key targets up forward for the Panthers, while Montana McKinnon (15 hitouts) and Soriah Moon (14) controlled the ruck stoppages. Nicole Campbell (nine disposals, four clearances) and Tahlita Buethke (15 disposals, three clearances) were the couple of stand up around the stoppages, as Sophia Flanagan-Sjoberg (17 disposals, three tackles and two inside 50s), Gypsy Schirmer (16 disposals, three marks and four inside 50s) and Jaslynne Smith (13 disposals, two marks, two tackles and six rebounds) were also solid.

For the Bulldogs, Madison Lane led all-comers with 18 touches, six marks, four rebounds and two tackles, while Teague was superb once again with 17 disposals, three tackles, four clearances, eight inside 50s, two rebounds and a goal. Captain Shelby Smith (17 disposals, eight tackles, five clearances and four inside 50s) was busy once again, as was Reynolds (16 disposals, six marks, four inside 50s and 1.3).

The Bulldogs take on Woodville-West Torrens Eagles at Hisense Stadium on Friday night, while the Panthers host Sturt at Flinders University Stadium on Saturday evening in two battles between 1-2 sides.

 

NORWOOD 1.1 | 1.1 | 3.1 | 3.2 (20)
STURT 0.1 | 1.1 | 2.3 | 2.6 (18)

GOALS:

Norwood: M. Breed, E. Drake, E. Gallagher.
Sturt: A. Brooks-Birve, C. Forby.

DC BEST:

Norwood: M. Johnston, J. Macolino, L. Cutting. L. Schwerdt, A. Ferrall
Sturt: A. Gepp Z. Prowse, I. Kuiper, E. Dawes, A. Ballard

Norwood has outlasted Sturt in a tense, low-scoring epic battle of strong defences, getting up by just two points, 3.2 (20) to 2.6 (18) at Coopers Stadium on Friday night. The Redlegs moved to 2-1 in the season and moved two points ahead of the mid-table logjam, with both sides only booting one goal apiece in the first half, and a combined five goals for the entire match. Despite the low scores, the contest had plenty of end-to-end action and edge-of-your-seat contests, with Lana Schwerdt awarded the prestigious Ellen Maple Medal for her efforts in the match.

Elisha Gallagher was first off the board breaking a 10-minute scoring drought with a major, while Sturt broke its drought with a Chloe Forby major just 90 seconds into the second term. Just over a quarter later, Amy Brooks-Birve snagged a second major for the Double Blues to hit the front, and by the seven-minute mark of the third term, led by as much as eight points. Back-to-back majors to Mattea Breed and Elizabeth Drake midway and late in the third term for the Redlegs swung the momentum back in the home team’s favour. The final term was largely played in Sturt’s half, booting three behinds to one, and then having a couple of shots in the final minute, including a set shot to Taylor Prenzler 30m out straight in front, but it just drifted off the boot and was marked on the line.

Morgan Johnston was superb out of the back half, picking up 16 disposals, taking seven marks and having six rebounds and three tackles, whilst through the middle of the ground, Jess Macolino (16 disposals, six tackles and two clearances), Sophie Armitstead (14 disposals, two marks, five tackles and three clearances) and Elisha Gallagher (14 disposals, five tackles and three clearances) were busy, the latter also stepping up inside 50. Leah Cutting had 13 disposals, 18 hitouts, five clearances and laid four tackles against Zoe Prowse in an entertaining ruck battle all night. Alison Ferrall (13 disposals, six tackles and five rebounds) and Jade Halfpenny (13 disposals, two marks, three tackles, two clearances and two inside 50s) also had some highlights in the match.

For the Double Blues, Sturt showed off her usual athleticism with 13 touches, two marks, 19 hitouts, four tackles, five clearances and three inside 50s, while Alisha Gepp (20 disposals, three clearances and four tackles) led the match for disposals, Elise Dawes (12 disposals, three tackles, three clearances and six inside 50s), Isobel Kuiper (12 disposals, four marks, five tackles, five clearances and five inside 50s) and Tiah Hough (nine disposals, four clearances and two tackles) all busy at the stoppages.

Norwood host top of the table North Adelaide next Saturday at Coopers Stadium, while the Double Blues head to Flinders University Stadium later in the day to face the Panthers.

 

WWT EAGLES 0.1 | 1.1 | 1.1 | 2.3 (15)
GLENELG 0.3 | 1.4 | 1.6 | 1.6 (12)

GOALS:

Eagles: K. Lee, C. Whittington-Charity.
Glenelg: E. Kellock.

DC BEST:

Eagles: S. Goody, S. Walker, J. Zecevic, A. Blanden, A. Falkenberg
Glenelg: J. Bates, E. Kellock, B. Tonon, M. Affolter, L. Bungey

In a low-scoring battle that featured just three goals, Woodville-West Torrens Eagles did enough to get the job done and secure the win over Glenelg. The Eagles trailed by two points at quarter time, three points half-time and five points at the final break, but kept the Bays scoreless in the final term, booting 1.2 – which was more than their score for the entire first three quarters – to win 2.3 (15) to 1.6 (12). The victory meant the Eagles moved to 1-2 for the season and completed the set which has seen every team grab a win this season from just three rounds.

The first term was an arm-wrestle which would be indicative for the rest of the contest. Four behinds were scored, three of which went the way of the Tigers. The second term was a complete reversal as Chloe Whitington-Charity and Ellie Kellock cancelled each other out with majors in the opening four minutes of the term. Whilst it might have looked like the game was going to open up on the scoreboard, the next goal did not come for another 40 minutes and by that stage, it was Kiana Lee – who had missed a shot just prior – slotting home what would be the winning goal in the tight encounter.

Young gun Shineah Goody gets better by the week and was best on ground for her 16 disposals, two marks, 11 tackles, four clearances, nine inside 50s and two rebounds. Stephanie Walker (12 disposals, eight tackles and four inside 50s), Anastasia Falkenberg (14 disposals, seven tackles, two inside 50s and two rebounds), Amie Blanden (12 disposals, six tackles and 12 hitouts) and Jovanka Zecevic (12 disposals, eight tackles, three clearances and three rebounds) were also impressive for the Eagles.

For the Bays, Jessica Bates continued her great form with 15 disposals, two marks, 12 tackles, two clearances and three rebounds, teaming up well with Brooke Tonon (14 disposals, three tackles, two clearances, two inside 50s and three rebounds) and Kellock (13 disposals, two marks, three tackles, two inside 50s, two rebounds and one goal). Lauren Bungey (11 disposals, three tackles and four inside 50s) and Tamsyn Morriss (11 disposals, five tackles and three rebounds) were also lively in the loss.

Next week the Eagles face Central District in a rematch of the first round encounter between the sides, while Glenelg take on West Adelaide, both at Hisense Stadium on Friday night.

 

WEST ADELAIDE 1.1 | 1.1 | 1.2 | 1.3 (9)
NORTH ADELAIDE 0.0 | 2.2 | 2.3 | 4.4 (28)

GOALS:

West: G. Ramsey.
North: J. Tabb, T. Thorn, H. Ewings, T. Gordon.

DC BEST:

West: S. Whiting, B. Owen, L. Young, Z. Venning, Z. Greer
North: L. Tynan, K. Harvey, C. Castle, O. Gallio, P. Waterford

In the final game of the round, North Adelaide stood tall in the battle of the undefeated sides, overcoming a scoreless first term to boot the last four goals of the match, and win by 19 points over West Adelaide. The Bloods were missing a number of key players for the encounter such as Madison Newman, Chelsea Biddell and Melanie Elsegood, leaving them a touch short and down on experience up forward. Nonetheless, the Roosters capitalised with 4.4 to 0.2 after quarter time to run out 4.4 (28) to 1.3 (9) winners.

Despite missing their two tall targets inside 50, the Bloods were first on the board less than three minutes into the match, with Gretel Ramsey slotting a goal after a miss from Nicole Hooper to go seven points up. Neither team could score for the remainder of the quarter, leaving the Bloods in control at 1.1 to 0.0. Quick out of the blocks in the second term, the Roosters roared to life in the opening minutes, as Hannah Ewings and Tayla Gordon booted majors, and the reigning premiers headed into the main break with a seven-point lead themselves. After another goalless third term for both sides, the Roosters had another fierce start to the final quarter, booting another two goals inside the first six minutes with Jaimi Tabb and Tayla Thorn driving home the message and grabbing the four points along the way for a memorable win.

Leah Tynan topped the disposal winners for the Roosters, picking up 16 touches, as well as three marks, five tackles, four clearances and four inside 50s. Poppy Waterford (14 disposals, three marks and four rebounds) and Olivia Gallio (13 disposals, five tackles and three rebounds) backed up Kristi Harvey (11 disposals, six rebounds) in defence, while Tabb (13 disposals, three marks, four tackles, two clearances and a goal) and Cristie Castle (13 disposals, three tackles, two hitouts, two clearances and four inside 50s) were also busy.

For the Bloods, Sharnie Whiting was instrumental once again with 21 disposals, four marks, two tackles, three clearances, two inside 50s and four rebounds, while Lauren Young (19 disposals, four marks, four tackles, two clearances, three inside 50s and three rebounds) was also outstanding. Bec Owen (17 disposals, four marks, six tackles, three clearances and four inside 50s) stood up, while Zoe Venning (17 disposals, two tackles, two clearances and two inside 50s) and Kate Walsh (seven disposals, 19 hitouts, four clearances and two inside 50s) were others who impressed.

North Adelaide will face off against Norwood at Coopers Stadium on Saturday, while West Adelaide host Glenelg at Hisense Stadium on Friday night.

 

Picture credit: SANFL – John Emery

2021 SANFL Women’s Round 3 preview: Undefeated sides to clash as others search for first win

WEST Adelaide and North Adelaide will battle for the right to the top of the ladder after three South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s rounds when they play on Sunday, while the likes of South Adelaide and Woodville-West Torrens are searching for their first win of the season.

CENTRAL DISTRICT vs. SOUTH ADELAIDE
Friday, March 12 @ 6.30pm
Coopers Stadium

Opening the round is a massive crunch game this early in the season between two sides that have the capacity to push for a finals spot. Central District sit at an even 1-1 from its two games thus far, picking up a big win over Woodville-West Torrens, then let the match against Sturt slip away in the final term. They were a quarter away from heading into this game undefeated, but the Panthers are now in a similar boat with an 0-2 start, albeit coming up against two likely finalists this year in North Adelaide and Norwood. Team selection has hurt the Bulldogs with Lauren Breguet and Lauren Smith both out due to concussion, but some of the ins add serious quality to the team, with Amber James, Gemma Doughty and Alicia Butler among those named back in the side and have he potential to put in strong performances. The Panthers have welcomed back Czenya Cavouras to the mix who was sorely missed in Round 2, and along with Alannah Rochow, the Panthers have an extended bench and only the two confirmed outs with Georgia Pennifold and Tiffany Copley both out of the side.

The Bulldogs took it up to the Panthers last season but could not capitalise on a plethora of inside 50s, and now with extra experience through that midfield, the likes of Butler, Caitlen Teague and Shelby Smith have the opportunity to match up against Cavouras, Nicole Campbell and Tahlita Buethke. Montana McKinnon has been in scintillating form at state level and will be difficult to contain, though with a solid backline that has restricted its opposition this year, the Bulldogs will back themselves in. Shannon Murphy, Doughty and Demi Sonneman make up a reliable half-back line, whilst youngsters at either end in Laitiah Huynh and Madison Lane add some extra tenacity in there. Speaking of youngsters, Gypsy Schirmer has been in terrific form to start the year, with Sarah Wright getting better by the week, and Lauren Clifton teaming up well with Jaslynne Smith in defence. Madison Bennett made a great return to the Panthers side in Round 2, and she just locks onto opposition players with her pressure and burst speed.

This is genuinely a 50/50 game. History says South Adelaide, but potential suggest Central District could cause a boilover, though the Panthers will be keen not to drop to 0-3 in a short season.

 

NORWOOD vs. STURT
Friday, March 12 @ 8.15pm
Coopers Stadium

Two sides that reversed Round 1 losses into Round 2 wins, Norwood hosts Sturt in a game that promises to provide plenty of great matchups. The Redlegs took down South Adelaide last week after a lost to West Adelaide the week before, while Sturt came good in the final term to run over the top of Central District after a forgettable Round 1 loss to Glenelg. A couple of youngsters will be out of the Redlegs side, with Alana Lishmund missing due to suspension, while Tesharna Maher is out with an ankle injury. In comes Jiarna Zerella and Charlotte Nenke, both named on the bench for the clash. Sturt have made minimal changes with only a couple of inclusions to the side as Georgia Hamilton and Allani Dawes join an extended Double Blues bench.

The Redlegs have plenty of firepower up forward, with Jade Halfpenny standing out in attack, while Mattea Breed roamed just about everywhere and even chopped out in the ruck. Speaking of the ruck, Leah Cutting will bring plenty of experience, but will need to try and contain the athleticism and talent of Zoe Prowse who never misses a beat. The draft-eligible AFL Women’s Academy member will make life difficult for not only Cutting, but the opposition midfield as well with her second efforts. Jess Macolino and Sophie Armitstead have nous to extract the ball, with Shai Hiscock and teenager Sarah Branford also named in there. Sharing the load up forward, Isabel Martin can roam up to a wing, while Kate Fenton, Alison Ferrall and Elizabeth Drake are capable of multiple goals. For the Double Blues, their defence is one of the best in the competition, led by Maya Rigter in her new defensive role, and teenage duo, Alex Ballard and Hannah Prenzler. Through midfield, the Double Blues have the youngest onball division in the competition, with 19-year-old Isobel Kuiper the oldest of the quartet featuring Prowse, Alisha Gepp and Tiah Hough who have all stood up against more experienced opposition.

Norwood are favourites to win back-to-back matches, but Sturt just grind out games and then stand up at critical moments, so the Redlegs will need to be at their best to get the job done.

 

WWT EAGLES vs. GLENELG
Saturday, March 13 @ 10.40am
Hisense Stadium

Kicking off the Saturday double-header at Hisense Stadium, the Woodville-West Torrens Eagles are searching for their first win against a Glenelg side coming off a narrow loss to reigning premiers, North Adelaide. The Eagles have lost to Central District and West Adelaide in the opening two rounds, while Glenelg triumphed over Sturt before going down to the Roosters by five points last weekend. The Bays will be without key player Sam Franson for the clash, while Anja Bancevic is also out, as Ellen Fauser and Lauren Bungey return to the team. Fauser has been named straight at full-forward with Bungey at half-back, adding some fresh faces to either end. The Eagles on the other hand have brought in five players and lost three, with Kiana Lee returning to the side to sure up defence. Jess Sedunary is a massive inclusion with the AFL Women’s talent coming back for her first game since her broken leg last year.

The Eagles have a number of young talents who provide great run and carry, with Charlotte Dolan and Jamie Parish named on respective wins, and Shineah Goody at half-back. The experience of Jovanka Zecevic and Renee Forth in midfield will look to take control, though youngster Piper Window has held her own in the competition, and Ellie Kellock is a reliable inside midfielder. Brooke Tonon and Madisyn Freeman will provide the Bays with run of their own, while Tessa Kohn and Tamsyn Morriss are still young and provide some hardness around the ground. Jessica Bates is in some great form for the visitors, while Amie Blanden is a consistent source of scoring chances inside 50, and Anastasia Falkenberg capable of roaming up the ground when required.

Glenelg have the extra experience, though the Eagles’ inclusions are mighty handy so will make it a tough contest.

 

WEST ADELAIDE vs. NORTH ADELAIDE
Saturday, March 13 @ 12.25pm
Hisense Stadium

The SANFL Women’s fixture has saved the best until last this week, with a top-of-the-table clash between two undefeated sides in West Adelaide and North Adelaide. The preliminary finalists from last year have defeated Norwood and Woodville-West Torrens in the opening two rounds of the season, whilst reigning premiers North Adelaide defeated South Adelaide and Glenelg to also enter this contest at 2-0. Unfortunately for the Bloods, they have lost some serious experience with Chelsea Biddell bouncing straight back up to Adelaide’s AFL Women’s side, Madison Newman injured and Melanie Elsegood and Louella McCarthy also out. The quartet booted five of the Westies seven goals last week, so coach Mark Moody will need to shuffle the magnets. Into the side come the likes of Samantha Ramm, and Nicole Hooper to take over the key position roles of Biddell and Elsegood, while six other players have been added to an extended bench. For North, they have added two players to the side with Chloe Short in line to make her debut, and Olivia Gallio named in the team for the first time since the 2020 SANFL Women’s Grand Final.

The Bloods defence has been steady this season with the inclusion of Sharnie Whiting at centre half-back, she has provide the strong intercept marking ability, with 15-year-old young gun Lauren Young also providing support by dropping back there and earning a Breakthrough Player of the Week nomination in Round 1. West Adelaide have an abundance of youth, and it showed when hard nut Zoe Venning attacked the contest last week and came away with her nomination for Round 2 after a dazzling 25-disposal performance. With Keeley Kustermann another one with high-end potential, West Adelaide have no shortage of talent running around. The Roosters have a Rising Star of their own in Hannah Ewings who won the Breakthrough Player Award in 2020 after also earning a nomination in debut. She teams up well in midfield with another young talent in Jaimi Tabb, as well as the experience of Leah Tynan and Lauren Daniel. The Roosters are able to roll players in different positions around the field, with Brianna Arthur able to play forward or midfield, Kate Case in defence or midfield, and Julia Clark pushing further up the ground from her traditional deep defence role. Zoe Greer and Venning will be looking for feeds from Kate Walsh in midfield, and hoping to create some scoring opportunities up front. It will be difficult with the two rocks in defence in Kristi Harvey and Talia Radan who have proven near impenetrable at times.

The reigning premiers look stronger on paper with the two AFL Women’s talents and experienced players out for the Bloods, so it will be up to the youth of West Adelaide to step up and match it with the Roosters who have so much versatility there are plenty of backup plans if the magnets need to be shuffled on gameday.

Picture credit: On The Ball Media

SANFL Women’s Round 2 wrap: Roosters and Bloods remain undefeated

NORTH Adelaide and West Adelaide are the only undefeated teams after the first two rounds of South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s action, while Norwood and Sturt grabbed wins to leave South Adelaide and Woodville-West Torrens Eagles as the winless sides in 2021.

SOUTH ADELAIDE 0.0 | 1.2 | 3.5 | 3.5 (23)
NORWOOD 1.1 | 5.2 | 6.2 | 7.2 (44)

GOALS:

South: J. Kirk, G. Schirmer, T. Page.
Norwood: E. Drake 2, J. Halfpenny 2, M. Breed, K. Fenton, L. Schwerdt.

BEST:

South: N. Campbell, M. McKinnon, G. Schirmer, E. Brockhurst, L. Clifton
Norwood: J. Macolino, S. Armitstead,  E. Gallagher, M. Breed, L. Cutting

Norwood has bounced back from its Round 1 loss to West Adelaide with an impressive 21-point victory over South Adelaide. The Panthers were missing key onballer Czenya Cavouras for the clash, and stuck with the Redlegs early, but a four goals to one second term blew the margin out, with both teams scoring two majors in the second half during the 7.2 (44) to 3.5 (23) result.

Booting six of the first seven goals – including two to both Elizabeth Drake and Jade Halfpenny and 1.2 to Mattea Breed – the Redlegs made the most of their chances to lead by a game-high 30 points early in the third quarter. Back-to-back goals to Jess Kirk and Gypsy Schirmer gave the Panthers some hope, but three consecutive behinds – to those goalkickers and Lauren Clifton – hurt the home side, as Kate Fenton‘s final quarter major was the only score of the quarter during the win.

Norwood had 14 more disposals, 10 more marks and 10 more inside 50s, with South narrowly winning the hitouts and clearances. Norwood’s key dominance was in the inside-50 count with 32 to 20 being the ultimate difference, though the visitors only finished with one more scoring shot – nine to eight – but were far more accurate.

In terms of individual performers, the ruck battle was fascinating with Montana McKinnon (19 disposals, six marks – three contested – 15 hitouts, six clearances, three inside 50s and three rebounds) stating her case for an Adelaide Crows recall up against Leah Cutting (12 disposals, three marks, five tackles, 16 hitouts, two clearances and two inside 50s). Jess Macolino was the top ball-winner for the winners, picking up 17 disposals and five clearances, while Emma Clark (15 disposals, two marks and three inside 50s) and Sophie Armitstead (13 disposals, six tackles and three rebounds) were also lively.

Up forward, Breed (13 disposals, three tackles and a goal), Drake (13 disposals, three marks and two goals) and Halfpenny (eight disposals, two marks and two goals) were all lively in the win. For South, Schirmer had another impressive night out with 15 touches, three tackles, two rebounds and a goal, while Nicole Campbell (18 disposals, four marks – one contested – six tackles, four clearances and five inside 50s) was also productive. Youngsters Sarah Wright (16 disposals, three rebounds), Tahlita Buethke (14 disposals, two marks and two tackles) and Clifton (12 disposals, three marks and three inside 50s) all stood up.

South Adelaide take on Central District in the first game of a double-header at Coopers Stadium next Friday night, before Norwood host Sturt in the second game.

 

CENTRAL DISTRICT 1.2 | 2.3 | 2.5 | 2.5 (17)
STURT 0.0 | 1.1 | 1.1 | 3.1 (19)

GOALS:

Central: K. Rosenzweig, L. Huynh.
Sturt: A. Brooks-Birve, C. Forby, A. Healy.

BEST:

Central: C. Teague, S. Smith, K. Rosenzweig, L. Huynh, D. Sonneman
Sturt: Z. Prowse, I. Kuiper, H. Prenzler, A. Gepp, T. Hough

Sturt has stepped up in the final term to run over the top of Central District in a low-scoring tussle to secure its first win of the season. After not scoring in the first term, and then trailing by as much as 10 points at the final break, Sturt booted the only two goals of the last quarter to win by two points, 3.1 (19) to 2.5 (17).

Central District fired up early, piling on 2.2 by the first minute of the second term, with Sturt yet to score. Despite a drought-breaking goal by Amy Brooks-Birve to reduce the deficit, three consecutive behinds over the second and third term saw the Dogs get out to a double-digit lead. Needing a response in the final term, ex-Eagle Chloe Forby got on the board in the opening 90 seconds with a goal, then midway through the term, Alysha Healy kicked what would be the winning goal, handing the Double Blues a two-pint win.

Central District finished with more disposals (171-163), clearances (22-20) and inside 50s (25-19), but unsurprisingly, Sturt dominated the hitouts (41-14) and rebounds (23-16) with Zoe Prowse and the Double Blues’ defence standing up under pressure. Prowse returned to her more permanent ruck role, racking up 32 hitouts to go with 13 disposals and three inside 50s, while Hannah Prenzler (13 disposals, five marks and five rebounds), Kiera Mueller (12 disposals, four tackles and three rebounds) and Alex Ballard (10 disposals, four marks and three rebounds) standing up well in the back 50.

Isobel Kuiper (17 disposals, five marks, eight tackles and three clearances) worked well with fellow youngsters Tiah Hough (11 disposals, three marks, six tackles and four clearances) and Alisha Gepp (16 disposals, four tackles and five clearances) on the inside. Caitlen Teague was a standout for the Bulldogs in the loss, picking up 13 disposals and laying 10 tackles, as well as four inside 50s and two clearances, while Shelby Smith (14 disposals, 11 tackles and five clearances) worked hard throughout. Up front, Katelyn Rosenzweig kicked 1.3 from 10 disposals, five marks (three contested) and three inside 50s, while Laitiah Huynh had 11 disposals, six tackles and a goal. In defence, Shannon Murphy was a rock with 12 disposals, four marks, four tackles and a game-high seven rebounds.

In Round 3, Sturt will take on Norwood at Coopers Stadium in the second game following Central District’s clash with South Adelaide in a Friday night double-header.

 

GLENELG 0.2 | 0.4 | 1.4 | 2.7 (19)
NORTH ADELAIDE 1.4 | 2.4 | 2.6 | 3.6 (24)

GOALS:

Glenelg: L. Armitage, J. Bates.
North: H. Ewings K. Barltrop, T. Gordon.

BEST:

Glenelg: B. Tonon, J. Bates, T. Morriss, P. Window, L. Armitage
North: E. Greet, K. Harvey J. Tabb, H. Ewings, K. Case

North Adelaide moved to 2-0 in the Roosters’ premiership defence season, defeating Glenelg in a battle of the Round 1 winners. The Roosters won by five points, 3.6 (24) to 2.7 (19), holding off a determined Bays outfit in the second half after kicking the only first half goals. The first major did not come until Tayla Gordon‘s goal in the final two minutes of the first term after six consecutive behinds between the teams. Kelly Barltrop kicked a second goal for the Roosters midway through the second term to give her side breathing space, before Jessica Bates hit back with an important one in the third quarter.

Following back-to-back behinds, Hannah Ewings kicked a vital goal early in the fourth term, and whilst Glenelg had four scoring shots in the last quarter, kicking 1.3, Lucy Armitage‘s major in the final few minutes cutting the final deficit to five points was not enough. Despite the loss, Glenelg topped the disposal count (227-212), and dominated the marks (54-36), but the Roosters pressure of 70 tackles to 44, and holding firm around the ground was crucial.

Erica Greet found plenty of the ball for the Roosters, racking up 19 touches to go with six marks – one contested – six tackles, two inside 50s and three rebounds, while Kate Case provided great run and strength in the air with 15 touches, five marks – two contested – and two tackles. The defensive pillars in Talia Radan (15 disposals, five rebounds) and Kristi Harvey (14 disposals, seven rebounds) stood up again, whilst Ewings (14 disposals, three marks, five tackles and a goal) and Jaimi Tabb (13 disposals, 12 tackles) were fierce.

A host of youngsters stepped up for the Tigers, with Brooke Tonon (20 disposals, six marks) leading the way, while Piper Window (17 disposals, four marks and four inside 50s), Tamsyn Morriss (16 disposals, six marks) and Madisyn Freeman (13 disposals, three inside 50s) also impressed. Bates had another good outing with 17 disposals, three marks, five tackles and three rebounds, while Armitage finished with 13 disposals, four tackles and a goal.

North Adelaide face off against fellow undefeated side West Adelaide at Hisense Stadium in the second of a double-header clash at the venue on Saturday, following Glenelg’s meeting with Woodville-West Torrens Eagles.

 

WEST ADELAIDE 1.4 | 5.4 | 5.8 | 7.9 (51)
WWT EAGLES 1.0 | 2.0 | 3.1 | 4.1 (25)

GOALS:

West: K, McCarthy 2, M Elsegood, C. Biddell, M. Newman, Z. Venning.
Eagles: S. Goody, A. Blanden, N. Collie, A. Gooley.

BEST:

West: Z. Venning, L. Young, C. Biddell, L. McCarthy, B. Owen
Eagles: R. Forth, S. Walker, A. Blanden, Z. Anthony, S. Goody

A four goals to one second term has seen West Adelaide set up a strong 26-point win over Woodville-West Torrens to remain undefeated and set up a top of the table clash with reigning premiers in Round 3. The Bloods were inaccurate in the first term, then slotted 4.0 to 1.0 in the second term to storm to a 22-point half-time lead. The Eagles cut the deficit and threatened to steal the game from the inaccurate Bloods at one stage before West straightened up to win, 7.9 (51) to 4.1 (25).

Zoe Venning had an outstanding game and was best afield, also kicking the opening goal of the game 97 seconds into the match. Despite fiercely attacking for the first quarter, the Bloods kicked four consecutive behinds, and then Eagles’ Astrid Gooley made them pay with a late major cutting the deficit to just four points. Four of the next five goals all went the way of the home team, with AFL Women’s talents Chelsea Biddell and Madison Newman, and Melanie Elsegood and Ashlea James all converting goals either side of Eagles’ Amie Blanden.

At half-time the Westies lead by 22 points, but four consecutive behinds to the Bloods throughout the third term, and then goals either side of the final break to Nicole Collie and Shineah Goody, brought the deficit back to 13 points with the visitors in with a chance. That chance was snuffed out late in the game with Louella McCarthy kicking back-to-back goals in the final five minutes of the match to seal the 26-point victory.

West Adelaide dominated possession (215-158) and still won the tackle count (60-56), whilst being ahead in the hitouts (29-14), clearances (24-20) and inside 50s (30-24). Venning’s best afield performance included 25 disposals, two marks, five tackles, four inside 50s, two rebounds and one goal, while Round 1 Breakthrough Player, Lauren Young picked up 18 disposals, three marks, six tackles, two hitouts and four clearances in the win. Sharnie Whiting (16 disposals, four marks and four rebounds) was rock solid again in defence, while Biddell (16 disposals, five marks – three contested – 11 hitouts, five inside 50s and a goal), Bec Owen (17 disposals, four tackles, four clearances and three inside 50s) and McCarthy (12 disposals, six tackles, six clearances and two goals) were also among the best.

Renee Forth was a standout in the loss for the Eagles, picking up a team-high 22 disposals, as well as seven marks, four tackles, three clearances, five rebounds and two inside 50s. Blanden had 14 disposals, eight hitouts, five inside 50s and a goal, while Stephanie Walker (12 disposals, five marks, four tackles, five clearances and two rebounds) and Goody (11 disposals, three tackles, two clearances, four rebounds and goal) were both prolific across the board.

West Adelaide hosts North Adelaide in the final game of the round on Saturday afternoon, the second game of a double-header at Hisense Stadium, while the Eagles take on Glenelg in the earlier game.

Picture: Cory Sutton / SANFL

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

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

Westies youth ready to soar after promising 2020

WEST Adelaide is gearing up for a bumper 2021 South Australian National Football League Women’s (SANFLW) season, boasting an abundance of talented young prospects, and a side that showed it could match it with the best teams in the competition. Taking down experienced finals campaigner Norwood in the elimination final before bowing out at the hands of reigning back-to-back premier South Adelaide in the preliminary final, there was plenty to like about the Bloods’ season.

Ball magnet Rachelle Martin shared the SANFLW League Best and Fairest Award with North Adelaide’s Anne Hatchard, showing she was just too good to be at state league level. The Adelaide Crows agreed, and drafted Martin onto their senior list after being a train-on player and getting a game when injuries struck the Crows 12 months ago. It means Martin’s availability for West Adelaide will be dependent on AFL Women’s selection, but she, like her sister Hannah Button, are natural footballers with high work rates.

The Bloods will also be without the likes of Madison Newman and Chelsea Biddell when the Crows are playing, with the two continuing to impress at the elite level. Newman formed a deadly combination with bottom-ager and 2022 draft prospect Keeley Kustermann off half-back, with the pair both making the SANFL Women’s Team of the Year there. Kustermann was able to gain plenty of experience against senior bodies in 2020, and she will be one to watch not only in the SANFL Women’s competition, but at the AFL Women’s Under-19 Championships in April. Her balance, composure and skill by foot is impressive, and expect her to play an important role for West Adelaide.

Kustermann is not the only young talent on West Adelaide’s list, with Zoe Venning one of the highly touted draft-eligible players on the list. A hard nut who shows great courage around the ball, Venning can play as a lead-up forward, a high-forward or predominantly as an inside midfielder where she can crack in, win the ball and exit the stoppage with fair athleticism to match her contested ball-winning abilities. Speaking to Draft Central in the pre-season, Venning said she was hoping to improve her skills to take her game to the next level.

Unfortunately some of West’s talented teenagers have also been sidelined during the pre-season, with Abby Hardwick (quad) and Abbie Ballard (ankle) both looking at time out of football. Hardwick is eyeing off a return sooner rather than later being a strain, while Ballard will miss a large chunk of the season – unfortunately including the championships – but will no doubt be a vital inclusion later in the season. Other members in the South Australian State Academy squad are Tamika May – a developing football talent – and Scarlett Griffiths – an athletic marking forward – who are also looking to impress in 2021.

Fast forward to a couple of years down the track and 15-year-old Lauren Young is a player whose name will no doubt keep popping up, with the teenager set to play a big role in her debut season this year as a versatile key position option. Speaking of key position options, Carlton’s Sharni Whiting has crossed to the SANFLW to be a contested marking replacement for retired duo Lauren Rodato and Helen Maidment. Whiting has great experience and will be one of the more notable key position players in the competition.

Louella McCarthy has also crossed from the Southern Saints, with former Woodville-West Torrens Eagles young gun Teagan Usher a perfect replacement for Newman whilst she is out with AFL Women’s commitments. Norwood duo, Taylor Glover and Chloe Meyers, South Adelaide’s Natalie Gibbs and Sturt’s Paxton Davis-Mattner are among the other inclusions to the Bloods side with state league experience.

West Adelaide kicks off its 2021 SANFL Women’s season tomorrow night at Coopers Stadium against Norwood from 7.45pm. The Bloods are an exciting team with plenty of youth, so expect there to be eye-catching moments galore.

Picture credit: SANFL

All-rounder Venning looks to sharpen skills in draft year

TALENTED West Adelaide teenager Zoe Venning is looking to build on her previous seasons at South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s level in 2021. The now draft-eligible mid/forward has come a long way in a short space of time, and is eyeing off being drafted at the end of the year.

I started footy not long ago so haven’t been playing too long, maybe four years, five years,” Venning said. “I started at Westies, I’ve been there for three years now, so this is my third season.”

Speaking to Draft Central at the South Australian Preseason Testing Day yesterday, Venning said she felt she had improved across the board in all the testing results. While many athletes record well in certain tests, Venning said she was fairly solid across the board without too many outlying results one way or another.

I felt I went alright, much better than last year,” Venning said of her 2021 performance. “I was not very good last year, so there will hopefully be an improvement. “I’m not strong at one aspect I find myself at, I’m okay at all of them, I don’t have a weakness but I don’t have a strength in any of them, so I kind of see that as a positive as well.”

On the field, Venning is known for her fierce attack on the ball, something she prides herself on. She is not afraid to crack in and win the contested ball, but also knows when to time her runs to enter a contest or drop back.

“A massive strength of mine is my hard ball gets, so I’m not afraid,” Venning said. “And my ability to read the play, so I tend to get a lot of ball because I work out to play a kick behind and in the stoppage, so I’ll always have an extra second to get to the ball.”

Having seen a number of her teammates in past years get drafted into the AFL Women’s, Venning said she hoped to follow in their footsteps. In particular, Rachelle Martin is a fellow hardnut that Venning has looked up to and aspired to be like when it came to training standards and her attack on the contest.

“She (Martin) tried so hard at training, she’s always hard at the all and she’s someone I look up to as a football player,” Venning said. “She hasn’t got a game this season (so far for Adelaide) but she got one last season.”

Having spent time around the likes of Martin and other Adelaide AFL Women’s listed players such as Madison Newman and Chelsea Biddell, Venning said the experience only helps her strive to become the best possible player she could be.

“Definitely and I just like them being in my team because they’re such a role model, it makes you push yourself and go ‘I want to be like that’, that’s the goal,” she said.

Now with the season fast approaching ,Venning has her mind set on both short and long-term goals for herself and the Westies.

“My goal for the year is to get drafted and have a good season with my team, hopefully play finals,” Venning said. “Then something if I could improve across, my left, right handball, left right kick, just the action of both hands, making sure my skill execution is on point by the end of the year.”

West Adelaide kicks off its 2021 campaign at Coopers Stadium against Norwood, the side it knocked out of the finals series last year, the second of a double-header at the venue with a grand final rematch opening proceedings from 6pm local time.

Picture credit: Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images