Tag: Mattea Breed

SANFL Women’s Round 10 review: Eagles avoid spoon as Norwood heads into finals with big win

WOODVILLE-West Torrens Eagles have avoided the 2020 South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s wooden spoon after a last-round win against Sturt helped them leap into seventh on the table. Three of the top four sides all had wins heading into the post-season series, with South Adelaide accounting for its western rivals, while both North Adelaide and Norwood accumulated big victories.

WEST ADELAIDE 1.1 | 1.4 | 1.4 | 1.6 (12)
SOUTH ADELAIDE 2.3 | 2.4 | 4.4 | 4.5 (29)

GOALS:

West: R. Killian.
South: T. Charlton, C. Hammond, I. Tahau, G. Schirmer.

ADC BEST:

West: H. Maidment, A. Ballard, Z. Venning, S. Thompson, C. Biddell
South: J. Smith, N. Campbell, T. Meyer, L. Buchanan, S. Pratt

In what has become a typical South Adelaide performance, the reigning premiers played a consistent four-quarter effort to defeat third placed West Adelaide in what could be a finals clash at some point over the next few weeks. The Panthers capitalised with the breeze, slotting two goals in both the first and third quarters, and denying the Bloods a major when West Adelaide had the breeze. In what was a really strong defensive performance, South Adelaide kept its opponent to just six behinds after conceding what would be the only Bloods goal, in the opening minute of the match.

West Adelaide was quick out of the blocks to try and turn its poor form from last week around as Rachael Killian kicked the first major of the game after just 40 seconds. It came about after a couple of good touches from Stevie-Lee Thompson out of the middle and Abbie Ballard at half-forward. Unfortunately for the Bloods, that was where the first term dominance stopped.

South relentlessly attacked for the most part of the remainder of the term, adding a couple of goals in the opening term. After a couple of chances, including an Indy Tahau set shot, and a Hannah Munyard snap, it was Tahlia Meyer who set up an attacking play through an intercept mark on the wing that got things happening. The quick ball movement for the Panthers ended up in the hands of young gun Teah Charlton who easily converted from 30m out straight in front to put her team in front.

Four minutes later, Munyard was involved by marking uncontested inside 50, then waited for the running Cheyenne Hammond to cross her path to give her off the handball and she slotted the goal on the move. Down by nine points and the momentum with South, West began to attack more down the ground, with Zoe Venning and Keeley Kustermann pushing up and causing headaches for the opposition. Charlie Scutchings had a quick snap but it missed to the right.

The second term the Westies had a bit more of a breeze advantage and took complete control of the term, but neither side could really capitalise in front of goal. Kasia Culhane had the best opportunity 20m out straight in front off a free kick but she shanked it and the ball was knocked through for a behind in the square. By half-time the Panthers held onto a straight-kick lead, 2.4 to 1.4. Jaslynne Smith and Lauren Buchanan had been superb in defence, Nicole Campbell was busy through the midfield and Charlton always threatening. For the Westies, Abby Hardwick also had a chance to capitalise but was dragged down, while Helen Maidment and Chelsea Biddell were keeping a high line.

South won the game in the third term, taking its chances with the breeze, booting a couple of important goals to create separation and a three-goal lead at the last chance. As much as West tried, they could not have a meaningful deep chance, with the Panthers’ defence up to the task through Buchanan, Lucy Northcott and Samantha Pratt – who laid a terrific tackle on Thompson inside 50.

Instead it was youngster Tahau who launched a ripping bomb from 50m after a lookaway handball over the top from a teammate and her shot bounced home with some help from Charlton in the goalsquare. Five minutes later, Gypsy Schirmer created something out of nothing with a snap on the outside of the boot to break up what had a been a bit of an arm-wrestle. The term was highlighted by Montana McKinnon‘s return and starting to get into it with a couple of crucial intercept marks, whilst Thompson was desperately trying to create something for the losing side with her speed but could not quite finish it off.

The last term mirrored the second with neither team able to score despite the Bloods having the bulk of the forward half possession. Thompson won a free kick from 50m out and kicked towards a one-on-one in the square, but cleared the packed and went out. Brianna Wedding and Pratt racked up some important touches, while the likes of Smith and Buchanan continued to work hard.

Schirmer had a chance of her own for the Panthers but just fell short and while Maidment led a really strong defensive unit, it would be South’s work with the breeze that proved the difference, as West booted six straight behind since the goal in the opening minute, and South booted all four remaining majors for the match. Munyard, Campbell and Charlton were all superb in the front half, while the collective of the back six was equally impressive.

 

NORWOOD 4.0 | 6.4 | 9.8 | 9.9 (63)
GLENELG 0.0 | 0.0 | 0.1 | 1.1 (7)

GOALS:

Norwood: K. Fenton 3, M. Zander, N. Allen, J. Davies, L. Bigg, S. Armistead, M. Breed.
Glenelg: C. Gould.

ADC BEST:

Norwood: S. Armitstead, N. Allen, M. Zander, M. Breed, J. Macolino
Glenelg: D. Varnhagen, L. Armitage, M. Freeman, C. Gould, T. Kohn

Norwood has grabbed third spot on the SANFL Women’s ladder with a dominant 56-point win over Glenelg at Coopers Stadium. The Redlegs knew coming into the match they would face West Adelaide in a do-or-die semi-final, but finished off the way they wanted to with a commanding performance in front of home fans.

Norwood produced a dominant first half at Coopers Stadium where the Redlegs hardly gave Glenelg a chance. Piling on six goals to zero in the opening half and not allowing the Tigers to even register a score, the home team was in fine form. Kate Fenton booted two of those majors, with the zippy Matilda Zander also adding a goal in the opening term with a snap three minutes into the contest. Both Zander and Sophie Armitstead had big opening quarters in the match, while Mattea Breed and Leah Cutting were also controlling play around the ground.

For Glenelg, Lucy Armitage was trying hard, and Madisyn Freeman looking to create some run, but the Redlegs midfield took control against an onball division missing both Ebony Marinoff and Eloise Jones. Fenton kicked her couple of goals with one coming off a step and then another after some great team play, before Fenton got one in the dying moments for the last kick of the quarter to put her side four goals up at the first change.

The second term belonged to Norwood, controlling the play from the first whistle, and whilst Glenelg had some inside 50s, and even spent some time locked in there early in the term, the Bays could not get on the board. Tessa Kohn and Deni Varnhagen had some nice moments kicking forward, but the work of Zander, Armitstead and Najwa Allen – who by her standards had a quiet first term – had now popped up and was winning a truckload of the ball. It was Allen who broke the goal drought in the first half of the term with an important major, and then Cutting had a great tap down to Jade Davies a couple of minutes later for Norwood to capitalise again.

Sensing the game was slipping away, the Bays tried to steal back some of the momentum, but the defensive efforts of Armitstead and Shai Hiscock – who laid a great tackle in the back 50 – made it hard for the Tigers. Brooke Tonon, Sam Franson and Lauren Kenny had their moments in the term as well, with Tonon having a shot after the siren. Unfortunately for the teenager she was practically in the third row of the grandstand and with the siren blown, she had to keep her line and the banana kick cannoned into the behind post. At half-time, the scores read 6.4 (40) to 0.0 (0).

If the game was not done and dusted by the main break, then Norwood definitely put an exclamation mark on the performance in the third term, with three more goals, two of them coming in the last five minutes of the term. Glenelg started well with an early couple of chances but could only muster up one behind, whilst Norwood absorbed the pressure of the opening five minutes then dominated after that, and Glenelg was on the back foot.

There were a lot of rushed kicks out of the back 50 from the Tigers as they desperately held on, and eventually a quick kick off the line by the Bays was marked by Lindsay Bigg midway through the term and she delivered with her set shot just getting past Soriah Moon on the line. Bigg had a second chance minutes later with a set shot from 25m on a bit of an angle but it started left and never went back. By that point, the Redlegs had booted 1.4, but later goals to Armitstead – off a terrific low dart from Allen – and Breed – who ran into an open goal in the last few minutes – handed the home team a 61-point lead at the break. Cutting had the chance to extend that just before the siren, but her 45m distance fell short and was spoiled away on the siren.

The last term was a real dour affair, with Glenelg actually having the bulk of the play. But much like the opening three terms, the Bays could not capitalise on their chances, with the only major coming in the last two minutes when Caitlin Gould took a strong mark and converted the set shot for Glenelg’s last major of the season. The Bays went down by 56 points, and while they miss out on finals this year, at least finished by outscoring the Redlegs in the final term. Norwood had a number of chances going forward, but only kicked the one behind, not that it mattered in the 9.9 (63) to 1.1 (7) victory.

NORTH ADELAIDE 2.4 | 3.8 | 4.14 | 7.17 (59)
CENTRAL DISTRICT 0.0 | 0.0 | 0.0 | 1.0 (6)

GOALS:

North: A. Woodland 4, B. Perry 2, C. Taylor.
Central: R. Richardson.

ADC BEST:

North: A. Woodland, K. Harvey, B. Perry, H. Ewings, C. Taylor
Central: M. Lane, D. Sonneman, N. Biagi, L. Huynh, S. Murphy

In rounding out the 2020 season, North Adelaide finished the year with a 10-0 win-loss record thanks to a 53-point win over Central District. Despite the score, the Roosters were not afforded their usual freedom at times with the Bulldogs’ pressure right up there. North Adelaide also missed a lot of chances the Roosters would normally nail, and made it a closer game, but to restrict the top team to four goals in three quarters was regardless a great effort by Central.

With North Adelaide having already secured the minor premiership, the Roosters just had an unbeaten season on the line, whilst Central District was hoping to finish its year on a high after a promising second half to 2020. Whilst North always looked like winning, there were large patches where the Bulldogs matched it with the Roosters, giving Central positives heading into the 2021 season.

A couple of early behinds to North might have been ominous, but the Bulldogs defence, led by Nicola Biagi and Demi Sonneman held up well. Biagi had a couple of really good moments from intercept marks to shepherding her teammates, whilst Sonneman provided the drive off half-back. Kelly Barltrop was looking dangerous one-on-one inside 50, taking a couple of marks but instead giving off to a leading Charlotte Taylor in the 11th minute of the term for the Roosters to break what had been a real struggle in the opening 10 minutes.

They almost had another when Cristie Castle‘s bouncing ball headed towards goal to bounce over the head of the Central defender for Mollie McKendrick to snap at the top of the goalsquare. Unfortunately her snap skewed off the side of the boot for a behind, and then when in an almost identical situation moments later, put it through. Unfortunately for the red and white, the goal would not count as Central was awarded a free kick and ran it out of defence. North would put a second goal on the board however, as Ash Woodland marked 30m out straight in front after finding space and slotted the goal for a 16-point lead.

If one could not see the scoreboard, nor know anything about the competition prior to the match, you would assume these two sides were evenly matched. The Bulldogs were really taking it up to the Roosters, and had it not being for a clumsy late bump on Woodland, Central was poised to avoid conceding a goal to the minor premiers. Unfortunately the free was paid and with loose players forward of the ball, Britt Perry marked straight in front and with the last kick of the goal put through a breakthough major.

The goal was the first after four straight behinds for the Roosters, as Central’s Shelby Smith, Latiah Huynh and Sonneman had been ultra-impressive through the term. If they had not conceded the goal, it would have been the first time since March 14 that North had not kicked a goal in a quarter. But nonetheless, Central had held the usually high-powered scoring machine to just 3.8 in the first half, and whilst they had failed to score themselves, the Bulldogs had their own chances inside 50, but just could not finish off. Heading into half-time, Central would have been confident given their first half play.

The third term was one that could have blown the margin well out of proportion for the Roosters, but a remarkable six straight behinds from the minor premiers only marginally increased the difference between the sides. Yet again the Bulldogs could not score, but had done so well defensively to force misses from their usually-accurate opposition. It was not until an inside 50 and a favourable bounce for the Roosters saw Castle the beneficiary and Madison Lane the unlucky Central defender, as Castle handballed to Woodland to kick her second major of the contest with just two minutes remaining in the term.

The Roosters had a chance for back-to-back goals when Lauren Daniel took on Sonneman at half-forward and kicked to a one-on-one by Lane was up to the task and forced a stoppage. When the siren sounded moments later, North led 4.14 (38) to 0.0 (0) and realistically if the shots had been on target it could have been an ugly scoreline, but it was also credit to the Bulldogs’ defensive pressure to force mistakes.

The flood gates opened a bit more in the final term as the Roosters booted three final quarter goals as they finished the game with a remarkable 24 scoring shots to one. Perry slotted a her second goal four minutes into the quarter which was the quickest start for North in a term thus far. In a relieving effort, Renae Richardson was on the end of a nice end-to-end play from Central as Katelyn Rosenzweig hit up her teammate in the goalsquare and Richardson booted her third goal in two weeks to ensure the Bulldogs went out with a goal on the board.

Woodville-West Torrens came in and kicked a couple of goals to end the term, both on the run with one just strolling into goal, whilst another was a clever snap in the last few minutes. Whilst Woodland’s four-goal haul was superb, and Perry was terrific with her two majors and setting up numerous scoring opportunities, Kristi Harvey was one of the best on with her intercept ability, while Ewings and Daniel were others who stood out. for the Bulldogs, Lane was strong one-on-one, while Sonneman and Biagi were great in the back six, and Huynh and Allan consistent throughout. Zoe Perry was another Bulldogs player who laid a couple of big tackles and showed great signs in the final game of the year. In the end, North Adelaide saluted 7.17 (59) to 1.0 (6)

 

STURT 1.2 | 1.2 | 2.4 | 2.4 (16)
WWT EAGLES 0.3 | 1.8 | 1.8 | 3.13 (31)

GOALS: 

Sturt: H. Prenzler, J. Wittervan.
WWT: C. Forby 2, K. Lee.

ADC BEST:

Sturt: Z. Prowse, H. Prenzler, T. Hough, I. Kuiper, T. Prenzler
WWT: C. Forby, K. Lee, A. Falkenberg, C. Dolan, R. Forth

Woodville-West Torrens has avoided the 2020 SANFL Women’s wooden spoon after a last round victory against Sturt at Peter Motley Oval. It was the Eagles’ second win for both the season and in the club’s history after beating Glenelg back in Round 4 just prior to the break. By winning, the Eagles sentenced Central District to last place by percentage, and showed they are on the improve after a winless 2019 inaugural season.

The match was a scrappy affair and not alway accurate, as the Eagles booted 3.13 (31) to 2.4 (16), taking until the final term to really stamp the authority on the game with a couple of crucial majors in the last 10 minutes guaranteeing them the win. Sturt had led at both quarter time and three quarter time in a seesawing contest, and while the Double Blues managed to have greater accuracy, had far less time in their forward half – albeit from a third term dominance – and therefore were unable to come away with the win.

Sturt started the match in fine form with Hannah Prenzler booting the opening goal just 64 seconds into the match. It would be the only major for the first term as the teams combined for five straight behinds to head into quarter time, 1.2 (8) to 0.3 (3) in favour of the home side. Charlotte Dolan was providing good run early for the eagles, while Jovanka Zecevic, Amie Blanden and Anastasia Falkenberg were all getting their hands on the ball in the opening quarter. Sturt had more than its fair share of opportunities, with one shot hitting the post from a metre out, and then another shot – when Isobel Kuiper and Alex Ballard combined – falling short in the last couple of minutes. Co-captain Georgia Bevan had the last shot of the match but it was off-line for a behind to make it a five-point ball game.

Just two minutes into the second term and Chloe Forby – who had been solid to that point – took a flying shot from outside 50 and somehow there was no one in the goalsquare and it bounced home for a long-range beauty. It handed the Eagles the lead early in the quarter, and they dominated possession, scoring five consecutive behinds to end the first half. Realistically, the Eagles should have been in front by even more than that six behinds, as Forby, Bronwyn Davey and Kiana Lee all had chances to add more majors to the board.

The pressure from Sturt’s defence had to be commended though, with the likes of Taylor Prenzler and JoAnna Baltais settling things down deep in the back 50. Dolan and Forby were among the best Eagles, while Tesharna Maher provided great run off half-back and Zoe Prowse was dominating from the ruck to around the ground.

Unlike the opening half, Sturt took full control of the third term, keeping it in the forward half for the majority of the contest, and holding the Eagles scoreless in the term. It was enough for Jaimee Wittervan‘s goal – a mark and set shot 20m out – to be the turning point and put the Double Blues in front at the final change. Lee was trying hard on the last line, while Jamie Parish was impressing for the Eagles. Prenzler and Prowse continued their good form in the third term for the home team as Sturt as in the box seat, albeit with a narrow two-point lead.

Unfortunately for the home fans, the final term was a reverse of the third one as the Eagles took control from the opening bounce and after a couple of behinds – a rushed one and a set shot from Zecevic – the scores were all tied up. Renee Forth had been a consistent performer throughout the game and continued to apply pressure, as did Falkenberg who forced a miskick in the fifth minute and eventually a turnover. Hannah Prenzler and Tiah Hough were busy through the middle third, but the game finally had another goal when on the counter attack, a kick inside 50 had the Sturt defence outnumbered three to two. The ball hit the deck as two bodies fell, Forby picked up the ball and with the help of a Lee shepherd, booted through another.

Sealing the match four minutes later, Forby was again involved with an intercept handball and kicked deep to the goalsquare where this time the number 18 returned the favour for Lee with a good kick and last year’s club leading goalkicker did not let her down from 15m out. The two-goal term and holding the Double Blues scoreless in the quarter saw the Eagles get up, 3.13 (31) to 2.4 (16).

SANFL Women’s weekend preview: Round 10 – Four teams bid 2020 farewell as final round takes place

FINALS are set in stone for the 2020 South Australian National Football League (SANFL) competition, and for Glenelg, Sturt, Central District and Woodville-West Torrens, it is the end of the road with the season completed by Saturday evening. For the four other sides, their seasons are very much alive with both finals opponents set in stone, as North Adelaide should host South Adelaide next weekend, whilst depending on results this weekend, West Adelaide and Norwood will jostle for home ground honours in their respective clashes.

WEST ADELAIDE vs. SOUTH ADELAIDE
Saturday, August 1, 9.30am
Hisense Stadium

In the game of the round, two sides that could well face off at some point during the finals series go at it in Round 10 for a blockbuster clash. Both sides welcome back some big guns for their teams, as Abbie Ballard returns for West Adelaide, while Montana McKinnon has been named for her first Panthers game since returning from injury after the long break. South has also take the chance to blood Willunga debutant Kristen Rothwell, who joins a ridiculous amount of talent coming in. Not only is McKinnon a boost to the reigning premiers, but vital midfielder Czenya Cavouras, and reliable young defender Samantha Pratt return from one-week injury issues, while Lucy Northcott is also back in the team after missing for work purposes. Among the outs are Madison Bennett and Brooklyn Kraft with the former being managed ahead of the finals series.

This clash will be a perfect tune up for the sides ahead of finals, and South Adelaide are humming quite nicely at the moment, getting the job done without being dominant, but just controlling play and doing enough to keep the opposition at arms-length. West Adelaide had looked super impressive up until a bit of a stumble last weekend, when they realistically kicked themselves out of the game and did not have their usual time and space that makes the Bloods so damaging. The game will be potentially won and lost in the midfield with Ballard, Rachelle Martin and Zoe Venning going head-to-head with Cavouras, Nicole Campbell and Tahlia Meyer, whilst Hannah Munyard proved to be an inspiration down forward last week. Still missing Jess Kirk, the Panthers will need to combat the strength of the West Adelaide forward line which includes Chelsea Biddell, Stevie-Lee Thompson and Kasia Culhane. Madison Newman and Keeley Kustermann off half-back will provide some good speed and skill, whilst Pratt and Lisa Whiteley will do the same up the other end.

South Adelaide is the more reliable choice in this match, as you know what the Panthers will produce. West Adelaide could certainly win this clash if the Bloods can play at their best, but cannot afford to play at the same level as last week or the Panthers will be too strong and make the most of their opportunities.

STURT vs. WWT EAGLES
Saturday, August 1, 11.30am
Peter Motley Oval

Neither of these sides can push for finals, but the Eagles have a chance to get off the bottom of the table with a win against the Double Blues, whilst Sturt can move up to fifth on the table with victory. Alex Ballard is one of three inclusions for the double Blues, whilst the Eagles have taken the opportunity to blood a debutant in their final game, with SMOSH West Lakes’ Alysha Fitzgerald coming in and slotting into the back pocket while the absence of Stephane Walker who is out with concussion will be missed.

As the two lowest scoring sides, this could be a real arm-wrestle, but also a territory game. Both sides enjoy the defensive aspects with heavy pressure and lots of strong tackles. Zoe Prowse is in ripping form and likely to have another field day through the ruck, whilst the midfield battle between the likes of Georgia Bevan, Maya Rigter and Isobel Kuiper against Renee Forth, Anastasia Falkenberg and Jovanka Zecevic will be a fascinating one. Kiana Lee has been named at full-forward, and no doubt the Sturt defence led by Larissa Schenscher and JoAnna Baltais will make life difficult for here. Tesharna Maher and Charlotte Dolan provide some good speed for the Eagles, whilst the Double Blues have an abundance of youth, which includes the likes of Ballard, Georgia Swan and Hannah Prenzler who can all play in multiple positions.

This game is arguably the hardest to tip because both have had big losses to North Adelaide in recent weeks, but Sturt drew with Norwood the week before, so should start favourites. The Eagles are better than a one-win season side, but will need to show it here to double their wins tally in 2020.

 

NORWOOD vs. GLENELG
Saturday, August 1, 11.30am
Coopers Stadium

In what will likely be the second best game of the round, Norwood hosts Glenelg for a chance at grabbing third spot and returning to Coopers Stadium a week later against the Bloods. With South Adelaide every chance to take the points against West Adelaide, the Redlegs can pounce and grab third and all they need is a win. For Glenelg, the Bays might have missed out on the chance to play for a finals spot this round, but knocking off Norwood in the last round would be satisfying. Norwood has lost a bit of talent up forward with captain Alison Ferrall and Alana Lischmund both out of the side, meaning the Redlegs will need to shuffle the magnets around. Chloe Karamoshos and Cassandra Tsoumbris have been named in the starting side with an extended bench ahead of the clash, whilst the Bays have also named an extended bench, but will still be without Ebony Marinoff and Eloise Jones to close out the season.

Without two of their clever forwards in Ferrall and Lischmund, Norwood will have to think outside the box, and potentially get the midfield group to hit the scoreboard, as Jess Macolino and Matilda Zander can do from time to time. Mattea Breed is a strong contested mark and will likely spend time down there, whilst Najwa Allen can also play deep if required. Another option is throwing either Bella Smith or Leah Cutting into attack to provide some height and strength in the air, while Tessa Hankinson provided some liveliness inside 50 last week. The Glenelg defence does well with its rotations as Deni Varnhagen, Ellie Kellock and Lucy Armitage can all rotate through their from the middle, while Caitlin Gould can play either end, but is more damaging up forward after spending time in the ruck. Tessa Kohn was terrific last week, whilst the young brigade in Sam Franson, Madisyn Freeman and Brooke Tonon were also impressive and provide some exciting moments.

Both teams are missing some quality players, but there is more on the line for Norwood so it makes sense to lean the way of the Redlegs, though Gould is a player who can turn a match. Without their couple of other game-breakers in Jones and Marinoff it will make life a little tougher.

 

NORTH ADELAIDE vs. CENTRAL DISTRICT
Saturday, August 1, 1.15pm
Coopers Stadium

There is no denying this is a huge challenge for Central District. The Bulldogs are a really improved side this season, with the losses a lot more competitive and their best ultra-impressive. Last round they were super, and if they had finished off in front of goal, they would have really pushed the Panthers. In saying that, this North Adelaide side is quite simply a machine at the moment. They have not conceded a goal in eight quarters, and quite frankly destroyed both Sturt and Woodville-West Torrens. Central District has proven it has more capability to score than both those sides, but they have to get on top in the midfield. They have brought in Nicola Biagi and Nikki Cullen with Ella Mickan and Caitlen Teague out of he side, while the Roosters will be without their star in Anne Hatchard for the final game of the regular season. Never mind that too much because they bring in a former competition leading goalkicker in Kelly Barltrop, as well as their in-from first season ruck, Bek Rasheed to provide greater strength through the middle.

There are many reasons why North can win this game, but the greater analysis is what can Central do to try and cause the biggest upset of the season? The Bulldogs must win the midfield battle and be unpredictable going forward. Shelby Smith, Alicia Butler and Sarah Allan have a great mix of different attributes through the middle from their toughness, speed and penetrating kick that can hurt opposition onball groups in many ways. Without Hatchard in the middle, it takes away the player you know is going to rack up 30-40 touches which is already a plus. But the speed of Hannah Ewings, the class of Ash Woodland and the tenacity of Leah Tynan, before you even get to the wingers in Katelyn Pope and Erica Greet who can both roll forward, the Roosters have depth like no other side. The forward line is so damaging you can try and stop one player and another will pop up. No one has been able to stop the Roosters all season. But while offensively North is a super side, the Roosters also have an unbelievable defence. Amber Ward and Kristi Harvey are rocks back there, which will be why Central has to be smart using the ball forward. Talia Radan and Lauren Gauci add some extra strength to the defensive back six, which is why any opposition to North Adelaide has to be efficient.

North Adelaide is just too big, too strong and too good, but despite this being a top against second bottom clash, this actually could be exciting. Central District is not afraid to throw caution to the wind and go all-out, and realistically, that is what you have to do against the Roosters. Given the Roosters have nothing to lose other than a perfect regular season, the Bulldogs could really pounce. In saying that, North has not even come close to looking vulnerable in the past few weeks and should win comfortably. However you can guarantee the game will be close than the past couple of weeks because this Bulldogs side is one to watch next season.

SANFL Women’s Team of the Week: Round 9 – Roosters and Panthers dominate side

WITH a couple of wins to secure the top two spots in the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s, North Adelaide and South Adelaide combined for nine players in our Team of the Week for Round 9. Fellow weekend winners, West Adelaide and Glenelg both recorded three players, as did impressive losing sides, Norwood and Central District. Woodville West Torrens Eagles (two players) and Sturt (one) rounded out our 24-player squad.

The now-official minor premiers, North Adelaide had five players in the Team of the Week, matching their Round 8 effort last week. From the players making the team in both weeks, midfielders Anne Hatchard and Katelyn Pope both hit the scoreboard with a couple of majors, while Hannah Ewings kicked one and also made the side. The two inclusions for the Roosters were another forward in Britt Perry, and Ash Woodland who also joined in North Adelaide’s massive 82-point win over Sturt. The sole Double Blues player making the side yet again was ruck Zoe Prowse who dominated around the ground in a losing effort.

South Adelaide recorded the four players in the Team of the Week, covering all thirds of the ground. In defence, Lisa Whiteley slotted in to half-back, with young gun Teah Charlton on the wing, and Western Bulldogs’ AFL Women’s representative Hannah Munyard making the pocket after some impressive work inside 50 and earning the captain nod this week as the player who made the biggest difference. Gypsy Schirmer is the fourth Panther in the team, making the bench for the first time. Their opponents on the day were Central District which held up fairly well despite the final margin. Sarah Allan makes the team once again at centre half-back, with Demi Sonneman joining her in the back six, and midfielder Shelby Smith starring in midfield.

Cailtin Gould earned the vice-captaincy this week after an enormous week up forward with three goals and looking dangerous rotating between the ruck and full-forward. She joins fellow tall Eloise Jones inside 50 in our team, with Sam Franson also making the side on the bench. The fourth winner for the weekend was Norwood, as a strong midfield effort from Jess Macolino and Najwa Allen saw the pair make the team once again, while Mattea Breed continued her form with another impressive performance.

West Adelaide had a narrow loss against the Redlegs but still had a number of impressive performers including key defenders, Lauren Rodato and Niamh Davis. The pair will rotate off that last line, while Stevie-Lee Thompson was almost a match winner for the Bloods throughout the four quarters. Rounding out the 24-player team is a couple of Eagles in defender Tesharna Maher and utility Renee Forth both in the team.

Three young talents are named as hypothetical emergencies in this team, with Norwood’s Matilda Zander, South Adelaide’s Madison Bennett and Eagles’ Charlotte Dolan making the extended side.

DRAFT CENTRAL SANFL WOMEN’S TEAM OF THE WEEK: ROUND 9

B: Demi Sonneman (CD) – Lauren Rodato (WA) – Tesharna Maher (WWT)
HB: Renee Forth (WWT) – Sarah Allan (CD) – Lisa Whiteley (SA)
C: Katelyn Pope (WA) – Shelby Smith (CD) – Teah Charlton (SA)
HF: Stevie-Lee Thompson (WA) – Eloise Jones (GL) – Anne Hatchard (NA)
F: Britt Perry (NA) – Caitlin Gould (GL) (vc) – Hannah Munyard (SA) (c)
R: Zoe Prowse (ST) – Jess Macolino (NW) – Najwa Allen (NW)
INT: Mattea Breed (NW) – Ash Woodland (NA) – Sam Franson (GL) – Gypsy Schirmer (SA) – Niamh Davis (WA) – Hannah Ewings (NA)
EMG: Matilda Zander (NW) – Madison Bennett (SA) – Charlotte Dolan (WWT)

SANFL Women’s weekly wrap: Round 9 – Finals locked up as Norwood wins crucial match

THE South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s Finals Series has been determined a couple of weeks out from it commencing following the completion of Round 9. Norwood locked up the final spot in the top four by defeating West Adelaide, ensuring those teams face off in the elimination final in a couple of weeks, while North Adelaide and South Adelaide are bound for the qualifying final.

CENTRAL DISTRICT 0.1 | 2.2 | 2.4 | 2.8 (20)
SOUTH ADELAIDE 3.2 | 4.3 | 6.5 | 9.5 (59)

GOALS:

Central: R. Richardson 2.
South: H. Munyard 2, S. Peters, M. Bennett, C. Ross, T. Meyer, I. Tahau, G. Schirmer, N. Campbell.

ADC BEST: 

Central: S. Smith, S. Allan, D. Sonneman, L. Breguet, A. Butler
South: H. Munyard, G. Schirmer, L. Whiteley, T. Charlton, M. Bennett

The reigning premiers were more polished and efficient, but ignoring the final margin, this match was an entertaining battle from start to finish. South Adelaide got the chocolates by 39 points, but if Central District had just finished off the terrific work up the ground by capitalising on more chances in front of goal, this would have been a much tighter contest.

In what would be a sign of things to come for the match, Central District controlled the midfield in the opening half, yet it was the Panthers who would burst out of the blocks kicking the opening four goals of the match. Sienna Peters was the first one on the board after Gypsy Schirmer showed great burst to win the ball at speed and pump it forward for Peters to read it well off the bounce, turn and goal in the opening few minutes. The defence led by Lisa Whiteley and Lauren Buchanan was on song, and despite the inside 50s coming frequent in the opening half, they stood up, limiting the Bulldogs to just one behind in the opening term.

Hannah Munyard provided an early highlight in what would be a game to remember from the teenager, spinning out of an opponents’ grasp to take a few bounces and handball over the top to Madison Bennett in the square to pop through a second major. Both Munyard and Bennett would have chances not long after but missed, though Caitlin Ross would make the most of an errant handball out of a pack to snap around her body for a goal.

When the switched on Munyard pounced on a loose ball close to the boundary line everyone else thought was going out, the Western Bulldogs AFL Women’s player sped off, caught the defence napping and snapped it around the goal post to hand her side a four-goal lead. As frustrating as it would have been for the Central box to see the midfield controlling play but not getting scoreboard reward, they were soon able to celebrate following a neat passage of play out of the middle got to Katelyn Rosenzweig who bombed it long for birthday girl Renai Richardson to run onto and put through from point blank range.

Five minutes later Richardson made it a double after Smith handballed out of a pack at half-forward to set up a scoring chain to Richardson who marked one-on-one and converted her second major. A lot of Central’s young players were starting to have an impact, and the likes of Zoe Perry and Madison Lane were having some good moments. Now back within a manageable margin, Central was getting reward for effort. South tried to hit back late in the term, with Tahlia Meyer winning some important touches at half-forward, with a late chance to Schirmer missing leaving the half-time margin at 13 points.

The third term was where South weathered the Central storm and just pulled away for some breathing space at the final break, as the shared load in front of goal for the Panthers continued. Indy Tahau almost snapped a perfect goal out of nothing thanks to fellow AFL Women’s Academy player Teah Charlton‘s smart thinking to not take possession and punch it to Tahau 30m out from goal, but the ball was deemed touched off the boot. Instead the pair would team up again soon, this time with Charlton giving it off to Meyer who got it in the Tahau direction to snap to the square and bounce home with no interruptions. The goal came moments after Meyer had done a similar thing in play with a quick boot to ball scenario.

Allan and Smith were working hard teaming up in midfield, and it seemed a set play for a Bulldogs player to handball to the running Allan to kick deep, while Rosenzweig was marking most things that came her way. Unfortunately her usually reliable accuracy did not match her hands as she kicked multiple behinds in the match and South went 25 points up at the final break.

The floodgates opened early in the final term as South piled on three goals in eight minutes, with Schirmer, Campbell and then Munyard’s second all helping the Panthers build some good percentage coming out of the game. Indeed Munyard was superb for the Panthers in a standout best on ground performance, while the likes of Schirmer, Tahau, Whiteley and Buchanan were all strong. Central’s Smith and Allan stood out, and Rosenzweig could have had a handful had she kicked straight, though the defence of Sonneman, and cameos from Lane and Latiah Huynh around the ground were good. The Bulldogs had a number of chances in the final term but could not put it through, as South enjoyed a 39-point win.

NORWOOD 2.1 | 2.4 | 2.7 | 4.9 (33)
WEST ADELAIDE 1.1 | 2.2 | 2.3 | 3.4 (22)

GOALS:

Norwood: T. Hankinson 2, A. Lischmund, M. Zander.
West: S. Lee-Thompson, R. Killian, C. Biddell.

ADC BEST:

Norwood: J. Macolino, N. Allen, M. Zander, M. Breed, T. Hankinson
West: S. Thompson, L. Rodato, N. Davis, R. Martin, M. Newman

Norwood became the last piece in the SANFL Women’s finals series puzzle after toppling West Adelaide in a four-quarter armwrestle. The third placed Bloods were not out of the race for second heading into the game, though had secured a finals spot last week, but now will certainly play Norwood in the elimination final after the Redlegs won 4.9 (33) to 3.4 (22). It also ended any chance Glenelg had of playing finals, with the Bays playing later in the day and facing Norwood in the final round in what could have been a virtual elimination final. Instead, Norwood gained a vital advantage ahead of the two teams facing off again in a fortnight.

It is fair to say the game was not one for the highlight reel, though it was not without tension and drama as neither side would give an inch. With a total of four goals kicked in three quarters, it became more about capitalising one chances when presented with them. The first term masked what would be a low-scoring match when Redlegs captain Alison Ferrall got it to Najwa Allen in the pocket who centred it to Tessa Hankinson. She marked in the goalsquare and truly delivered from point-blank range to give her side the lead early in the game. Rachelle Martin had started strong for the Westies, while Mattea Breed was getting busy in the midfield for the Redlegs.

After not much in the way of goals for the first half of the term, it took some terrific work from half-back and a team effort for West Adelaide to rush it down and Chelsea Biddell mark at half-forward. She spotted Stevie-Lee Thompson one-on-one alone inside 50 and put it to her advantage running back with the 2019 AFL Women’s leading goalkicker making good on her chance to put it home with five and a half minutes to spare in the term. With the game neck-and-neck, a costly high tackle on Alana Lischmund 30m out from goal in the last minute proved the difference between the sides with the Redlegs forward converting and handing her team a six-point lead at the first break.

The second term was a bizarre one, and a quarter that looked to be goalless right up until the last 10 seconds of the game when Madison Newman – who had been a little errant with her usual elite kicks – found Thompson at half-forward who got it deep to Rachael Killian to run onto and put it through moments before the half-time siren to draw within two points. Whilst the scoring had been rare, there were some huge individual efforts in the quarter, with Norwood’s Jess Macolino and Breed among the top performers, while Matilda Zander and Jade Halfpenny had some nice moments with their hands in close. Lauren Rodato and Niamh Davis were rocks in the back half for the Westies however, and Thompson and Chelsea Biddell were providing the presence through the middle third of the ground.

Opening the third term, West Adelaide started a player short with Abby Hardwick running on after the Bloods realised, and caused a moment of confusion with the umpires. Once the game got going, the defences came to the fore, as neither team could capitalise. Both teams had chances, but in the end it was Norwood that extended its lead with three behinds to one. Keeley Kustermann was solid off half-back with Newman getting better and better, while ruck Kate Walsh had a big term for the Westies. Breed continued her good form in the game as Macolino went from strength to strength, and Allen and Zander continued to press hard through the middle. A contested mark by Biddell on the wing, and a couple of quick kicks on goal by Zander missed, but Norwood was looking the more damaging of the sides.

With finals on the line for Norwood, and potentially a top two spot in the works for West Adelaide, the last quarter meant a lot to both sides. Straight away Norwood took control with Allen winning the ball on the wing, taking three bounces and slicing up the defence to centre the ball into Zander 25m out on a slight angle. She tugged it to the left, which was fortuitously marked by Halfpenny close to the behind post. The youngster decided to give Zander a second shot on goal instead of trying to snap with the number one Redleg marking in space yet again. Her behind to the left marked Norwood’s seventh straight miss which could have proved costly.

West Adelaide’s defence was holding up well, but the Redlegs kept forcing it forward. Zander continued to get busier and put it to Lischmund’s advantage but her soccer off the ground hit the behind post. Moments later though, Zander managed to snap from congestion and it bounced through to give her side a crucial 11-point lead just over five minutes played. The celebrations did not last long though, because the deficit sparked the Westies into action. The next centre clearance worked its way to Thompson at half-forward who hit-up Biddell. Her subsequent free kick saw her nail a set shot goal and put the deficit back to five points. Not long after, Ferrall had a chance up the other end to extend the lead but missed.

Through the middle of the ground both Zander and Martin were applying fierce pressure, as Martin laid a couple of massive tackles to stop opponents in their tracks. In what was the most bizarre moment of the game that proved fatal to the Bloods’ chances, Hankinson won a free kick for Norwood near the behind post with four minutes left on the clock. Her set shot should have been tucked up against the line, but instead her opponent ran to stand on the line with teammates and a surprise Hankinson played on with no pressure and easily put it through from 10m out to all but seal the game. Biddell had another late chance with two minutes left on the clock but was rushed through on the line and the siren sounded not long after for the Redlegs to finally celebrate and enjoy another finals appearance with a week to spare in the regular season.

 

NORTH ADELAIDE 6.1 | 8.4 | 10.9 | 14.4 (88)
STURT 0.0 | 0.2 | 0.5 | 0.6 (6)

GOALS:

North: C. Taylor 2, K. Pope 2, E. Greet 2, A. Hatchard 2, A. Woodland 2, C. Castle, B. Perry, H. Ewings, B. Perry.
Sturt: Nil.

ADC BEST:

North: K. Pope, B. Perry, A. Woodland, A. Hatchard, H. Ewings
Sturt: Z. Prowse, G. Bevan, K. Harris, A. Jericho, T. Hough

North Adelaide has made it eight consecutive quarters without conceding a goal after a flexing 82-point thumping over Sturt to secure what was already all but secured – the minor premiership. A six-goal first term set up the huge 14.4 (88) to 0.6 (6) victory at Prospect Oval, with the game perhaps best summarised by the final goal of the match by Erica Greet. Facing a one against two battle at the top of the goalsquare in the final minute of the game, many would have forgiven the Roosters player for not going 100 per cent. But she attacked the ball carrier and not only nullified the contest, but wrestled the ball back and then dribbled it home for a major between her two opponents.

That goal was the last of 14 majors piled on by the Roosters in what was a one-sided contest from midway through the first term. Sturt had its moments, particularly in the second term when it managed to stabilise the damage, but ultimately efficiency inside defensive 50, and the slick skills of the Roosters on the counter attack was too much for the Double Blues. North Adelaide had four multiple goalkickers on the day with Greet’s second major seeing her join speedster Katelyn Pope, Adelaide best and fairest winner Anne Hatchard, and strong forward Charlotte Taylor on a couple of goals.

Britt Perry was first on the board for the Roosters two minutes in off the back of a terrific Pope play using her speed for a one-two handball chain and then getting it forward for Brianna Arthur to try and shoot. While it was smothered, Perry mopped up and kicked a nice goal. Cristie Castle and Perry were involved in a lot of scoring early, as Taylor and then Pope got their names in the goalkickers books. Despite the work of Hannah Prenzler pushing into defence, the ruck dominance of Zoe Prowse and the work horse effort of co-captain Georgia Bevan, the Double Blues could not stop the run of the Roosters. Three late goals in the term really hurt the Double Blues as Greet, Hatchard and then with one second left on the clock, Castle all kicking goals for a 37-point quarter time lead.

The game was effectively done by then, but Sturt would not give up. Though red time goals would prove a factor in the second term, with the Double Blues managing to score a couple of behinds, albeit through rushed behinds, but at least they were keeping the ball inside 50. After not conceding a goal for the first 14 minutes, Sturt watched two late majors sail home as Ewings nailed a nice set shot from 30m, then Woodland did well to beat her opponent near the boundary and get goal side to slam it home with a minute to play and open up a 50-point half-time margin.

Too many mis-kicks early in the third term by the Double Blues were preventing them from getting too far up the ground, but North Adelaide was missing most of the gifts for the last touch out of bounds rule. Five minutes into the quarter, Pope benefited off a loose ball to run onto it, burn off an opponent and finally put one through. A minute later, Taylor took a strong one-on-one mark close to goal off a deep Ewings kick and added a ninth goal to the team’s tally. Sturt had some chances with Ally Ladas‘ shot just missing, and then another attempt from the boundary also going the wrong side of the big sticks. The Double Blues had their moments, but the Roosters were too strong with Woodland and Castle getting involved, and heading into three quarter time with a 64-point advantage.

Whilst the final term could have been playing out time, Pope ensured that would not be the case with another huge run from half-back, taking a bounce, handballing off and receiving it back, then delivering it beautifully to Woodland on the lead to convert an early goal in the third minute. Prowse, Bevan and Kate Harris continued to work hard for Sturt, but the red jumpers around the contest outnumbered them and were dominating possession. Aajiah Jericho had a good last term with a crunching tackle to win a free kick and a few good marks, while Georgia Swan got into the game. Tiah Hough was another who had shown signs throughout the game, but the Roosters had winners all over the park.

The penultimate goal came from Hatchard who receiving a pass in from another last touch free, wheeled around and put through her second, in what had been another professional performance from here. The eventual 82-point margin showed just what North is capable of and look very good to go one better than last year. Crucially, the Roosters were able to throw around the magnets after quarter time with Kristi Harvey thrown forward and Hatchard even playing in a pocket for stints. There were plenty of players in the bests for the Roosters who head into the final round against Central District as they bid to go undefeated in season 2020.

 

GLENELG 2.1 | 3.2 | 7.4 | 8.5 (53)
WWT EAGLES 1.0 | 1.1 | 1.1 | 1.2 (8)

GOALS: 

Glenelg: C. Gould 3, E. Jones 2, S. Franson 2, M. Affolter.
WWT: G. Smallacombe.

ADC BEST: 

Glenelg: S. Franson, C. Gould, E. Jones, T. Kohn, L. Armitage
WWT: T. Maher, R. Forth, C. Dolan, C. Forby, N. Holmes

Despite being ruled out of a 2020 SANFL Women’s finals appearance only hours earlier, it did not stop Glenelg coming through with an impressive 45-point victory over Woodville-West Torrens Eagles in an evening game. With the second half played under lights, it was a four-goal third term by the Bays that really separated the home team from the last placed side on the day. In the end, despite some confusion with the score, Glenelg got up 8.5 (53) to Eagles’ 1.2 (8).

Caitlin Gould finished with three majors, while Eloise Jones and Sam Franson both booted two as the trio were clearly among the best on the ground for the winners. The Eagles tried to create some run through youngsters, Tesharna Maher and Charlotte Dolan, but after a promising start – where Grace Smallacombe booted the first goal five minutes into the game – it was all Glenelg, piling on eight unanswered goals for the remainder of the match, whilst restricting the Eagles to just two behinds.

The Eagles enjoyed the lead only briefly in the first term, with Franson creating something out of nothing courtesy of a strong contest by Gould putting the Bays back in front. Five minutes later they made it too when pressure through midfield from Ellie Kellock allowed quick ball movements inside 50 and a towering Molly Affolter mark close to goal. She capitalised, and the Bays were up by seven at the first break with the likes of Tessa Kohn and Lucy Armitage also busy.

Jovanka Zecevic tried to set the tone for the Eagles from the opening bounce with a big tackle and first inside 50, as Woodville-West Torrens continued to attack early in the second term. Despite the likes of Chloe Forby and Natasha Holmes doing well, and Maher continually breaking the lines, it was the composure of Madisyn Freeman and the likes of Brooke Tonon getting involved in midfield to aid the AFL Women’s talents for the home side. Midway through the term, a great kick from Franson found Jones on the lead just 15m out with a strong contested grab which she converted, while up the other end, Bronwyn Davey had a chance after a terrific tackle, but her shot missed to the right for the Eagles to trail by 13 points at half-time.

The third term belonged to the Bays as they booted four goals throughout the term, including a couple later in the quarter to Gould who stretched the margin out to an unassailable 39-point advantage by the final break. Franson again created something out of nothing with a kick off the ground two minutes into the quarter, before a touch of magic from Jones under pressure on a tight angle swung home. Gould proved a real handful for the defence, taking a couple of strong marks and converting her opportunities, while the likes of Kellock and Deni Varnhagen were being effective around the ground.

There was not too much to celebrate in the third term for the Eagles, but Dolan was proving productive through the back half of the ground, as Kiana Lee was again consistent on the last line, but struggled to get it past the half-back wall of the Tigers. Woodville-West Torrens would have a couple of early chances in the opening few minutes, but could only put through a behind, as the likes of Chloe Forby and Anastasia Falkenberg were trying to keep the ball moving. Forth tried hard all day for the visitors, but the Tigers were just too strong, as they showed in an end-to-end play for Gould to slot home her third major midway through the quarter. Holmes had a chance in the last couple of minutes to put through another for the Eagles, but it agonisingly fell short and stayed in play, as Glenelg enjoyed a comfortable win.

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

SANFL Women’s preview: Round 8 – Triple header on Super Sunday

A TOP against bottom clash on Saturday is followed by a Super Sunday with three back-to-back games at ACH Group Stadium as Round 8 of the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) takes place.

NORTH ADELAIDE vs. WOODVILLE-WEST TORRENS
Saturday, July 18, 3.50pm
Prospect Oval

A couple of crucial injuries to both North Adelaide and Woodville-West Torrens have forced changes at the selection table as AFL Women’s players, Talia Radan (North) and Jess Sedunary (Eagles) are out of the clash. The Roosters regain important defender Lauren Gauci as both teams go with extended benches for the standalone women’s clash at Prospect Oval. It will take a monumental effort from the Eagles to topple the Roosters who have shone this season and are the clear team to beat in season 2020. They are by far the highest scoring team in the competition, with a ridiculous average of 52 points a game, whilst only conceding a competition low 17.3 points per game. The Eagles are the best defensive side outside the clear three standout teams, and have been capable of generating scores at times, though coming up the benchmark in the competition, it will be tough.

Anne Hatchard leads a Roosters midfield that has plenty of depth with the X-factor of Hannah Ewings, the speed of Katelyn Pope and the smarts of Lauren Daniel working through there. A couple of defensive rocks in Amber Ward and Kristi Harvey make it difficult to win one-on-ones in the Roosters back 50, while there are no shortage of goalkickers up front with Kelly Barltrop the main target, and the likes of Britt Perry and Katelyn Reynolds (both two goals last week), and Cristie Castle able to generate scores. The Eagles have some young talent through the list, with Tesharna Maher one who can catch the eye with her line-breaking ability, while Charlotte Dolan has strung together some good form of late. Amie Blanden has been a consistent forward, while Jovanka Zecevic has covered so much ground in 2020. It is fair to say the Roosters will be red-hot favourites in this clash, but stranger things have happened in footy.

 

STURT vs. NORWOOD
Sunday, July 19, 10.10am
ACH Group Stadium

A massive Super Sunday at ACH Group Stadium begins just after 10am when the Double Blues take on the Redlegs in a must-win clash for both sides. If the top four sides win again this round, then the finals will be done and dusted with a five-point gap between fourth and fifth, and in particular lock in year another finals series for Norwood. The inaugural premiers and then unlucky the past two years at the pointy end of the season, the Redlegs have undergone a fair bit of change in 2020, but a number of young guns have emerged and really stepped up at senior level. They have won three, lost three and drawn o in that time, but the issue is they are sixth for scores conceded, with only Central District and Sturt conceding more this season. The Double Blues unfortunately have the least points more and most points against this season. If they can cause an upset here, then final are far from done and dusted, though with North next week it makes it tough.

Norwood’s key talls who can play up either end in young guns, Mattea Breed and Bella Smith control the airways clunking some strong contested marks and providing that extra strength and smarts when reading the ball in flight. They lost Monique Hollick early last week to injury so were one down for the most of the contest against the top placed Roosters. The Redlegs were competitive and take confidence out of that game, they just faded away in the second half. Leah Cutting‘s battle with Zoe Prowse will be massive as the best ruck in the competition goes up against the best young ruck in the competition. Cutting has great body positioning and smarts, while Prowse has the athleticism that can worry opponents.

The midfield battle is just as intense, as Norwood have Najwa Allen, Matilda Zander and Jess Macolino of whom the latter is in some ripping form of late, while Isabel Martin can also pop up and have an impact in the forward half. Sturt looks to its co-captains in Georgia Bevan and Maya Rigter, with Isobel Kuiper also a mainstay in there. The youth of the Double Blues is superb and they are trying everything to manufacture scores including throwing Hannah Prenzler and Alex Ballard forward to join Georgia Swan down there, while Elsie Dawes has been impressive of late in the back half. Sturt must win this clash, but to do so, they must find a way to score, and the average of 15 points per game the Double Blues score will likely not cut it, so Norwood head in as strong favourites.

CENTRAL DISTRICT vs. WEST ADELAIDE
Sunday, July 19, 11.55am
ACH Group Stadium

The middle game at ACH Group Stadium is a third against sixth where it is effectively the last chance for Central District – like the other bottom four sides – to roll the dice and try and secure a finals spot. West Adelaide have that finals spot – barring a complete capitulation, losing all three games and one of the other sides winning all three – but they would still like to put an exclamation mark on their season with a win here. If they win, finals are assured as they will sit at least game and a half – and likely two games and a half – ahead of the bottom five. The Bloods are still in contention of a top two spot if Glenelg can upset South Adelaide and they face the Panthers in the final round of the season. For the Bulldogs, they need a win and need Norwood to lose, but even if the Redlegs do not, finals are not completely out of reach. But it makes life tough as Central would need to find a way to defeat the top two sides – North and South – in the final two weeks, while hoping Norwood lose both its games. Central has a rough fixture to finish the year, and it will be a great test to see where it sits as it comes to the end of its second season.

The Bulldogs have only had to make the one chance with Gemma Doughty returning and replacing Chantel Reynolds who was impressive last week. Doughty will give the Bulldogs some great run off half-back, with their defence holding up well this season. Demi Sonneman is the rock at full-back, and Nicola Biagi has provided extra support there since returning. Last week was about their scoring power, as they piled on a team-high record score of 44, and will need to muster something similar again. Katelyn Rosenzweig is the player that makes things happen in the forward half, booting three goals and providing a presence to set up opportunities for her teammates. However the likes of Latiah Huynh, Shannon Murphy and Amber James up there have been able to hit the scoreboard in the last couple of weeks and just provide that support that was lacking prior to the break. Shelby Smith will have a massive role along withe Lauren Smith and Alicia Butler in trying to quell West Adelaide’s midfield.

The Bloods have Rachelle Martin, Abbie Ballard and Zoe Greer in there who are just sensational, while Kate Walsh has great strength in the ruck and her battle with Sarah Allan will be huge. The Westies’ half-back line of captain Lauren Rodato, and elite kicks Madison Newman and Keeley Kustermann is A-grade, and their forward line is the best in the competition. Stevie-Lee Thompson, Chelsea Biddell and Kasia Culhane to name a few are so damaging, but it will be up to the Bulldogs’ defence to try and quell them. The Bulldogs will be helped by the absence of Melanie Elsegood who is out injured in this game, though there are plenty of targets inside that forward 50. West Adelaide is a real roughie for the flag so the Bloods have earned favouritism, but Central is an impressive outfit that keeps getting better each week and are not afraid to take the game on.

 

GLENELG vs. SOUTH ADELAIDE
Sunday, July 19, 1.40pm
ACH Group Stadium

In a rematch from a few weeks earlier, the Tigers try and have another crack at reigning back-to-back premiers, South Adelaide in the final game of the round on Sunday. They have brought back a number of players including ruck talent, Soriah Moon, while the Panthers have a couple of handy ins among four with Elyse Haylock and Brooklyn Kraft both returning as well. In the first round back post-lockdown, Glenelg pushed South all the way for three quarters until three goals to zero in the last term handed the Panthers a 15-point lead. It was at the very ACH Group Stadium where the Tigers almost caused an early upset in what was one of the games of the season. Now to have a hope of making finals, they must win here and indeed their final two games against Eagles and Norwood to make finals. In many ways, this is almost like a virtual elimination final for the Bays, because if they win, they go fourth favourites overall, with Norwood having to play West Adelaide next week. It means the Tigers could overtake them heading into the team’s final round clash, but a loss here and a likely win to Norwood means the Tigers’ finals dreams are dashed. South are into finals, and are hoping North can slip up at some point, but will enjoy heading into the post-season series as underdogs. Though they would not want to get too complacent and drop a couple of games in the run home and potentially slip to third, missing out on that double chance.

Much like the first time these teams played, the midfield battle will be fascinating. They both have star power in there, with Ebony Marinoff leading the charge for Glenelg alongside another AFL Women’s talent in Deni Varnhagen, while Tessa Kohn has been named back on a wing after playing forward the last few weeks. South has that dominant combination of Nikki Gore, Czenya Cavouras and Hannah Munyard through there, as well as Nicole Campbell who can have a real influence. Throw in the young guns of Teah Charlton popping up for crucial goals, and Indy Tahau working hard through the ruck, and they have the youth to match the experience.

Glenelg has some talented young players scattered around the ground as well with Madisyn Freeman and Brooke Tonon both exciting players, while the likes of Eloise Jones and Caitlin Gould straight the Bays up and capable of playing up either end and providing height. South’s defence is a real team defence and they work together well, with Samantha Pratt and Lauren Buchanan always working it well out of the back 50. Glenelg has the capability of putting up a big total – as do South – but the Panthers are often more defence-first and make life difficult for the opposition. The Panthers won the first time and they just seem to do that – grinding out wins even when there have been patches that go against them – so expect them to be the favourites, but when a team is backs-against-the-wall like Glenelg, anything can happen and they made it happen last year by scraping into finals with a massive final few rounds to the year.

SANFL Women’s Team of the Week: Round 7

SOUTH Australia National Football League (SANFL) Women’s Round 7 played out over the weekend and the top three teams have again provided plenty of players in our Team of the Week. North Adelaide, South Adelaide and West Adelaide all had four players in the team for Round 7, while Glenelg, Central District and Norwood had the three. The remaining three players were from Woodville-West Torrens (two) and Sturt (one).

North Adelaide’s quartet in their huge win over Norwood starts in the midfield where Crows ball winner Anne Hatchard makes it for a third consecutive week, joined in the middle by young teammate, Hannah Ewings. The middle-ager had one of her most impressive performances to date over the weekend and earned the nod for vice-captaincy this week. Also in the side are Britt Perry and Kelly Barltrop who both slot onto the bench on account for the fact the forward six was so strong this week.

Reigning premiers South Adelaide had a mix across the field, led by young gun Teah Charlton who earned the nod as captain thanks to being the top performing player across the round. She is joined in the side by defender Lisa Whiteley, midfielder Czenya Cavouras, and fellow AFL Women’s National Academy member and ruck, Indy Tahau.

West Adelaide still had four players make the final 24 this week despite the loss, with regular defenders Keeley Kustermann and Madison Newman slotting in at half-back once again. Up forward, Stevie-Lee Thompson makes it in after narrowly missing the last couple of weeks, while Rachelle Martin has become a regular in our Team of the Week through the midfield.

The other big winner of the weekend was Glenelg, with the Tigers having the three players making the final squad. It was incredibly difficult to pick the successful Bays because the team effort was so even across the board. In the end, Eloise Jones made the side again up forward alongside another young talent in Tessa Kohn, while Sam Franson made the interchange for her efforts.

Central’s District’s first win since Round 1 also yielded three players in the Team of the Week this round, with Sarah Allan once again making it. Though she played through the ruck, there was a greater need for key defenders in the side so she will slot back at centre half-back in this scenario. Up the other end of the ground, Katelyn Rosenzweig made it for another week after three goals and great defensive pressure, while Shelby Smith did well across four quarters to make the side. Both Chantel Reynolds and Caitlen Teague were close to making the side this week.

The last side that had three players in for the round was Norwood, with a trio of talents who really stood tall in defeat. Up either end is Bella Smith and Mattea Breed, with the former Central Allies’ AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships representatives making the side at full-back and centre half-forward. While Smith played more off half-back and Breed through the middle, both are capable of holding down those roles and find a place in the team there. The final representative was Najwa Allen who made her way onto a wing after a standout game against the odds.

The final three players in the team to round out the squad were Woodville-West Torrens’ Tesharna Maher in the back pocket, Sturt’s Zoe Prowse in the ruck, and Maher’s teammate Kiana Lee on the bench. A couple of Sturt talents in Elsie Dawes and Georgia Bevan also came close to making it and were named among the emergencies.

DRAFT CENTRAL SANFL WOMEN’S ROUND 7 TEAM OF THE WEEK:

B: Lisa Whiteley (SA) – Bella Smith (NW) – Tesharna Maher (WWT)
HB: Keeley Kustermann (WA) – Sarah Allan (CD) – Madison Newman (WA)
C: Hannah Ewings (NA) (vc) – Czenya Cavouras (SA) – Najwa Allen (NW)
HF: Stevie-Lee Thompson (WA) – Mattea Breed (NW) – Teah Charlton (SA) (c)
F: Eloise Jones (GL) – Katelyn Rosenzweig (CD) – Tessa Kohn (GL)
R: Zoe Prowse (ST) – Anne Hatchard (NA) – Rachelle Martin (WA)
INT: Kiana Lee (WWT) – Britt Perry (NA) – Kelly Barltrop (NA) – Sam Franson (GL) – Shelby Smith (CD) – Indy Tahau (SA) 

EMG: Elsie Dawes (ST) – Chantel Reynolds (CD) – Georgia Bevan (ST)

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 7 preview: Contenders to lock horns in Super Saturday

ROUND 7 of the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s competition is almost like a finals series, with 1st against 4th, 2nd against 3rd, and then the bottom four teams facing off in a round that is sure to determine a lot of things in the run home to the finals series. All four games are being played tomorrow in a Super Saturday.

WEST ADELAIDE VS. SOUTH ADELAIDE
Saturday, July 11, 11.00am
Hisense Stadium

The opening game of the round is set to be the best of the lot with a battle of second up against third and two genuine title contenders going at it. The team with the most firepower up forward (West Adelaide) going up against the team that has the most balanced group of the past couple of seasons (South Adelaide) makes for essential viewing. The back-to-back reigning premiers will be hard to beat, but at home the Westies will push the Panthers all the way.

Key questions:

Which midfield will win the battle?

The answer to this question may well determine the match. Both midfields are loaded with talent, as the likes of Rachelle Martin, Abbie Ballard and Zoe Greer go up against Nicole Campbell, Hannah Munyard and a returning Czenya Cavouras.

Will West Adelaide’s high pressing defence work against South?

The Bloods have a highly effective system where the defenders hold a high line, constantly pushing teams back so when a quick kick comes out of the forward 50, there is a defender there ready to mark and send it back in. Madison Newman is particularly strong in this area, and with Newman and Keeley Kustermann both superb kicks off half-back, they are players that are so damaging for the game.

How will South Adelaide handle the toughest forward line?

South is renowned for its sturdy defence that meets every challenge thrown at it. This week it will be the biggest of the lot, with damaging talls in Melanie Elsegood and Chelsea Biddell, and the always dangerous Stevie-Lee Thompson. If the likes of Lauren Buchanan who returns back into the side this week, Jaslynne Smith and Samantha Pratt can contain them, then this will be a tight tussle.

Prediction: Too tight to call. South deserve favouritism and it is hard to tip against them. Every time you do, they find a way to win. But there is something about West Adelaide at the moment that screams they are ready to take the next step, so do not be surprised if the Westies get up in this one.

 

STURT VS. GLENELG
Saturday, July 11, 11.30am
Maughan Thiem Kia Oval

In a battle of the sides that realistically could fight for a finals spot but are just not quite close enough, the youth of Sturt take on the experience of Glenelg. The Bays have been unlucky since loading up on AFL Women’s talent, pushing both North Adelaide and South Adelaide in the past fortnight. It is expected they will be keen to start strongly against a Sturt side that has plenty of bright future stars, and a strong defence, but have struggled to score.

Key questions:

Can Sturt kick a winning score?

No doubt Sturt’s defence is unbelievable. The likes of Hannah Prenzler, Jo-Anna Baltais and Alysha Healy all offer a different defensive aspect. This week Prenzler has been named at half-forward which could be the key to answering the question. Everyone knows Glenelg has the ability to kick a big score, but it will likely need to be a tight, low-scoring contest for Sturt to do the same.

Who will win the midfield battle?

Both these sides have very capable midfields with Sturt’s containing co-captain’s Maya Rigter and Georgia Bevan, as well as Isobel Kuipers, whilst the Tigers are led by Ebony Marinoff and Eloise Jones, and Ellie Kellock has been in some terrific form of late.

How much will AFLW experience count?

The Bays’ AFLW experience will be important up against an inexperienced side. Sturt will never stop throwing everything at its opposition, but Glenelg has enough firepower that it will continue to attack. Glenelg has had patches where the top two teams got on top and kicked multiple goals, so the Tigers will keen to not let that happen here.

Prediction: Glenelg’s experience should see them home here, but Sturt will make life difficult for them so expect a low-scoring battle.

WOODVILLE-WEST TORRENS VS. CENTRAL DISTRICT
Saturday, July 11, 1.15pm
Maughan Thiem Kia Oval

Both Woodville-West Torrens and Central District have shown they are much more competitive in year two compared to their inaugural year last year, which is great for the competition as a while. Central grabbed an early win in Round 1, whilst the Eagles snaffled one back in Round 4 just before the season was suspended. This match could be an interesting one because one team is more than capable of moving the ball well, it is just about finding the right targets going forward, whilst the other is a fierce defensive side that wears down its opposition.

Key questions:

Where can Central take the advantage?

The Bulldogs’ spine is stronger with genuine talls at either end in the form of Sarah Allan and Katelyn Rosenzweig, with the former spending the majority of her time through the ruck last week too. Central is a side that opposition teams have to play well against to beat, because the Bulldogs are not going to just let you win. The Bulldogs have found a way to share the scoring load since the break, so now have multiple threats up there, such as Shannon Murphy who kicked two majors.

Where can Eagles take the advantage?

Woodville-West Torrens’ tackling is the best in the business. They make sure the opposition is feeling it throughout games and earn every touch. If their tackles stick, it will go a long way to winning because they can shut down the Bulldogs running game. Central’s style looks good when it moves, but it is often that last kick inside 50 that can sometimes miss and the Bulldogs will know the Eagles will bring the heat. Jess Sedunary has been a massive inclusion fo the Eagles, and Jovanka Zecevic and Amie Blanden – funnily enough the Eagles’ half-forward line this week – have been amongst their most consistent players.

What are some of the key match ups?

A potential young guns match up that could be huge to see if they ended up going head-to-head would be Latiah Huynh (Central) up against Charlotte Dolan (Eagles). Both are not afraid to move the ball, both are courageous and both are fierce at the contest when needing to be. Along with that, a vital match up at opposite ends would be Demi Sonneman up against Kiana Lee, and Ashlee Reid potentially trying to quell Katelyn Rosenzweig. There are no shortage of big one-on-ones here.

Prediction: Another one too close to call. Really like the way both sides have taken it up to the opposition the last few weeks, but Central in particular with the style were great against South and it might hold up here for the Bulldogs’ second win.

 

NORTH ADELAIDE VS. NORWOOD
Saturday, July 11, 1.40pm
Prospect Oval

A massive clash that will have huge ramifications on the run to the finals is up next with the other top four head-to-head between North Adelaide and Norwood. The Roosters are yet to lose this season, keen to avenge their grand final loss in 2019, while the minor premiers from last season have had to undergo some rebuilding with a lot of players being drafted – including their coach – into the AFL Women’s. A number of them have returned and Norwood have been able to string a couple of wins together since the break, but this is a huge test here. If they win, they draw level with West Adelaide, while North run the risk of South catching them at the top. It also means there would be up to a five-point gap between the top four and bottom four, all but guaranteeing the finals teams.

Key questions:

Does North Adelaide have an Achilles heel?

With six wins on the trot and answering every challenge thrown at them, it is hard to point out a weakness in the side. The defence is sturdy and reliable, the midfield is elite, the forward line has a nice mix of talls and smalls, and the depth is very impressive. However like any side, the key is winning the ball out of the midfield, because if they do not do that, it is hard to pile on the high scores that they do. It is imperative that Norwood win the midfield battle if they are to go on their way to claim victory. North Adelaide have not lost for a reason.

How much will the ruck battle play a role?

Leah Cutting is clearly one of, if not the standout ruck in the competition from a state league perspective, whilst Bek Rasheed has come in this season but shown some promising signs for the Redlegs. Most will expect Cutting to win that battle – and she will need to in order to give her midfielders a chance – but if Rasheed can nullify or get on top, then North is already a step ahead. Given North’s midfield of Anne Hatchard, Leah Tynan and Ashleigh Woodland with Katelyn Pope providing the dash off the wing, it will be a difficult one to stop.

How does Norwood kick a winning score against North?

The Roosters lowest score this year is 4.1 (25) and Glenelg’s identical score last week was the highest score against the Roosters. South pushed them all the way in Round 4, and the Redlegs are the only team yet to face them. Norwood on the other hand have score more than four goals once – in the win against Central in Round 5 – so you have to think they will need to do it again to win here. They have the potential through the likes of Alison Ferrall and Mattea Breed who both booted three goals in that aforementioned victory, whilst the midfield of Najwa Allen, Monique Hollick and Jess Macolino can all get forward and contribute. Norwood often has a rolling forward line with a lot of midfielders rotating through there which can also be a huge help. Unfortunately for the Redlegs, North’s defence is the best in the competition with Kristi Harvey and Amber Ward superb rebounders, and now Talia Radan back there too.

Prediction: It is just too hard to look past North. Norwood will give it a real shake and have the talent to do it, but the Roosters just keep getting it done each and every week and it is hard to see them getting beaten.

SANFL Women’s Round 6 Saturday wraps: Norwood and South hold off opponents in entertaining contests

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 one of the two-article wrap with the two Saturday games.

NORWOOD 1.0 | 3.4 | 4.6 | 4.10 (34)
WWT EAGLES 0.1 | 2.2 | 4.3 | 4.3 (27)

GOALS:

Norwood: K. Fenton, A. Lischmund, J. Macolino, Zander.
WWT: J. Sedunary 2, A. Blanden, K. Lee.

ADC BEST:

Norwood: J. Macolino, B. Smith, N. Allen, M. Zander, S. Armitstead
WWT: J. Sedunary, C. Dolan, A. Landen, T. Maher, J. Zecevic

Norwood managed to hold off a determined and fierce-tackling Woodville-West Torrens Eagles squad to record a seven-point victory on Saturday. The Redlegs kept coming throughout the game despite being down at each break, and hit the front late in the third term, only for the Redlegs to respond in the last 30 seconds. A goalless final term resulted in Norwood holding on by dominating forward possession and restricting any chance the Eagles had of scoring with four straight behinds to win 4.10 (34) to 4.3 (27).

Jess Macolino stood up across four quarters for the Redlegs, working well in the forward half of the ground to win a truckload of it alongside Matilda Zander and Najwa Allen, whilst Bella Smith clunked some huge grabs across the ground. For the Eagles, it was current St Kilda and former Adelaide AFL Women’s talent Jess Sedunary, and young star Charlotte Dolan who really stood out and ensured the visiting side remained in tough right until the end.

The game started with the Eagles having a good first entry inside 50 as Jovanka Zecevic picked up where she left off. Chloe Forby was strong in midfield, but in what would prove to be a story of the day, the Redlegs defence was up to the task. Smith took her first of many contested grabs at half-back, and then it was rinse and repeat as the Eagles relentlessly attacked and Amie Blanden was strongly leading out and being rewarded. Kate Poole had the first set shot chance at goal from a contested mark 20m out in front, but it went wide and out of bounds. The Eagles continued to lift the pressure with Kiana Lee intercepting the ball off the kick-out and gave it off for a flying shot, but it missed.

As if the score was something that forced Norwood to fire up, the Redlegs suddenly began to spring to life. After struggling to get it past halfway, Leah Cutting who had been dominating the ruck took a strong mark at half-forward and centred it to Sophie Armitstead 35m out straight in front. Her shot was on track but fell just short and knocked back into play on the line. Zander was building into the game even though the Eagles were making a conscious effort to stop her run out of the stoppage, and soon it was Norwood fiercely attacking.

This time though, it was the work of Sedunary and Dolan in defence who were marking at half-back and running forward, with the composure strong between the pairing. Time and time again the Redlegs would try and get the ball forward without much luck, but Sedunary was having a massive impact on the contest and winning the ball everywhere. Allen had a flying shot on goal later in the term but it bounced out and it took until Kate Fenton had a quick snap around her body to clear the pack close to goal and bounce through for the first major of the game.

With just three minutes left in it the Eagles changed towards goal, but the Redlegs returned serve thanks to an Isabel Martin intercept and the ball eventually got forward in the dying seconds for Alison Ferrall to have a shot from tight on the boundary, but the shot fell short and was kept in for the siren to sound shortly after for a five-point lead.

The second term started like the first with the Eagles doing all the attacking, but a Forby shot from 40m out was touched on the line by Smith in the opening minute. It did not take long for Sophie Zuill to find a running Sedunary with great hands out of congestion for the AFLW talent to put through the Eagles and hit the front by two points. It did not take long for Norwood to answer though, with Alana Lischmund receiving a free kick 30m out straight in front moments later and she delivered. In the blink of an eye, the Redlegs lead was out to 10 when Macolino got on the end of some fast movement out of the middle and put through a running goal.

The Redlegs were right on top with Zander and Allen both winning plenty of the ball in midfield, and Monique Hollick also having a big impact around the ground. Smith launched a massive bomb from outside 50, but it just bounced the wrong side of the post, and despite all of the Eagles attempts to run the ball out of defence, they were swarmed by Norwood jumpers to keep them locked in the Redlegs’ attacking half.

Smith was having a huge game in the air with some big marks, and Norwood continued to push forward with numbers running into space. However it allowed space at the back and once the Eagles got over the top, it led to Kate Poole kicking towards goal and a fortunate Blanden to win the footrace with her opponent and soccer it home to cut the deficit back to five.

Macolino was having a blinder through the middle and involved in everything, whilst Smith and Allen were also productive around the round. Sedunary was having a great game for the Eagles and causing plenty of headaches for the Norwood side, and with a few behinds late in the term including a poster from Cutting, Norwood headed into half-time on top by eight points.

The third term saw the return of the Eagles, with Kiana Lee wasting no time to put her side within two points in the opening few minutes. Tesharna Maher was having a few nice touches and running with the ball on the outside, but again Smith intercepted with a strong mark and Zander was starting to find the space she needed to go to work.

Norwood had its chances in the third term, but were missing, with Lishmund having back-to-back chances but putting her shots to either side of the goals. Instead, it was the Eagles who were doing the bulk of the attacking and soon made it count. After narrowly missing a chance due to a rushed behind, the visitors had another goal through Sedunary who marked well straight in front of the big sticks 25m out off a Maher pass. For the first time, the Eagles were in front and the belief was there.

Except Zander and Norwood had other ideas. With the time whittling down into the last 30 seconds, a turnover was marked by Gallagher who gave it off to a running Zander inside 50 and put one through to prompt much celebration right before the three quarter time siren.

The last term was just a real territory battle, won by Norwood who had the ball inside 50 for the bulk of the term. The Eagles did not look like scoring other that a couple of early chances, with Smith and Armitstead doing well with moving the ball forward. Zander tried to go for a run but was run down brilliantly by Sedunary who never stopped pushing.

Try as they might, Norwood kept throwing everything at the goals, with a number of shots from Smith and Mattea Breed who had a couple of huge contested grabs in the last few minutes. When the siren sounded, Norwood had got up by seven points in a tight thriller that had plenty of ebbs and flows throughout the match.

 

SOUTH ADELAIDE 1.1 | 2.2 | 3.3 | 5.6 (36)
CENTRAL DISTRICT 2.0 | 2.0 | 2.1 | 3.2 (20)

GOALS: 

South: J. Kirk, G. Schirmer T. Charlton, S. Peters, N. Campbell.
Central: S. Murphy 2, K. Rosenzweig.

ADC BEST: 

South: I. Tahau, N. Gore, T. Charlton, T. Meyer L. Whiteley
Central: S. Allan, S. Smith, S. Murphy, K. Rosenzweig, L. Huynh

It took the full four quarters, but reigning premiers South Adelaide finally shook off a determined Central District outfit by 16 points. The Panthers went into the game as strong favourites, but realised how much of a challenge they were in for with Sarah Allan a standout for best on ground in the defensive half and through the ruck for the Bulldogs, as her side lead at quarter time and was within two and eight points respectively at the next two breaks. Whilst the Panthers got up in the end, it was far from easy as the Bulldogs defence showed steely resolve throughout the contest.

The first term saw Central District start strongly and surprise the back-to-back premiers, forcing South Adelaide immediately onto the back foot. Shelby Smith was everywhere, as was Allan who started in the ruck then would drop back to help out the defence. But despite all of Central’s attacking, South’s defence was up to the task, as Teah Charlton was looking good playing off half-back and running the ball out, working well with Nikki Gore and Tahlia Meyer who continued their good form from the week before. Jess Kirk had the first proper shot on goal with a running attempt but missed, but then South pressure forced a turnover and it led to another Kirk shot 15m out and the leading goalkicker popped it home.

For the strong work at the clearances, South found the going tough, and Allan was huge in her intercepting across half-back, then utilising the hardness of Smith and the speed of Latiah Huynh who continued to run off her legs throughout the game. Gore and Hannah Munyard were providing just that for the opposition, but Katelyn Rosenzweig‘s work up the ground to lay a number of fierce tackles and lead by example was terrific for the Bulldogs. The Panthers had a few more shorts, but could not extend the lead anymore, and instead it was South who struck back.

Zoe Perry won a contest at half-back, Smith got it through midfield to Rosenzweig who won a one-on-one bounced up before her opponent received the handball as her teammate was being thrown to the ground and the former Adelaide forward snapped a terrific goal. Central was on the board and rewarded for its efforts, and little did the home fans know, the favourites would be trailing at quarter time. Central won a free kick after a great tackle not long before from Smith on Gore, and the ball worked its way to Shannon Murphy who ran in and kicked a superb goal on the move. The last half of the first quarter belonged to Central and they almost looked liked scoring another, but a great tackle by Laura Clifton stopped the Bulldogs kicking a third late goal.

Both teams were battling hard in the second term to try and win an advantage with neither team able to really get too far. Murphy ran down Charlton and Huynh was terrific with her pressure and speed around the ground, while Munyard and Gore were very busy. At one stage, Munyard evaded an opponent took a couple of bounces and got it forward, but again the Bulldogs repelled. It was rinse and repeat as both sides could only manage a behind each, and with only 90 seconds left in the match time was halted due to injury in Central’s defence.

With time back on, the play of the day occurred from South’s back 50 as Meyer pumped it straight down the middle to Kirk who surprisingly passed it back to Meyer. The midfielder dropped the mark but recovered and gave it to Gypsey Schirmer to put through a major just before half-time. The siren sounded moments later for South to now be up by two points at the main break.

Lauren Smith almost had to come off in the opening seconds of the third term after her leg got caught in a tackle, but she bounced back up and continued to push hard, winning a free and passing off to Caitlen Teague who bombed long off half-back. The intensity was as high as it had been in the second term, with Munyard scooping the ball at half-forward getting it to Charlton who kicked deep, Madison Bennett threw a handball over her head knowing a teammate was running into the goalsquare, but Taryn Wills was up to the task and rushed it across.

Demi Sonneman who had been solid once again for Central was even feeling the pinch with an intercepted kick by Tahau who found Charlton, but even the Panthers were under heat with the usually classy Charlton sending it out on the full. It was bubbling that South would eventually score again and so they did when Munyard found Tahau in a big pack, who kicked it straight to Charlton, pulling down a two-grab mark. After a couple of missed opportunities, the young gun made no mistake from 20m out straight in front to put the Panthers up by nine with seven minutes gone.

Allan and Rosenzweig tried to combine for something special in the forward half of the ground, with Murphy and Huynh continuing to win plenty of the ball. Munyard took a terrific mark under heavy contact from Shelby Smith at half-back, and both half-back lines were working overtime. Kirk had a chance at half-forward but in trying to dance around her opponent, was swarmed by Bulldogs and rushed down to the forward line with a minute left, only for Nicole Campbell to get back and save the day. With less than a minute, South looked to slow the clock, but even had a chance to score, through the siren eventually sounded with South up by eight at the final break.

With the game in the balance it was South that went to another gear early in the fourth. Just 90 seconds into the game, Tahau had a chance but again, uncharacteristically shanked the kick to the left to make it a nine-point game. It was Tahau’s presence in the air that helped the breakthrough, bringing the ball to ground and was beautifully roved by Sheena Peters who snapped and goaled to ice the game with a 16-point lead five minutes into the term. Tahau had another chance close to goal but again missed, this time off the side of the boot under immense pressure.

Central was not going to just give up though and continued pushing with the Bulldogs having a chance through Lauren Breguet who missed to the side, as Teague also had a chance but could not quite put it through. If the game was not already done and dusted, then it was when Gore found a leading Campbell inside 50 with her 25m set shot straight in front putting her team 23 points up almost nine minutes into the term.

Gore tried a touchdown style of rushed behind to desperately getting across the line, but the Central defence drag here back to force a stoppage and it paid dividends. A quick handball out of the pack made its way to Murphy who booted a deserving goal for the Bulldogs with a few minutes left. It was a gallant effort by Central, but the reigning premiers just had that extra class when it counted and went to another level, but the Bulldogs pushed them all the way.