Tag: sanfl womens

Panthers go back-to-back in 22-point premiership victory

SOUTH Adelaide has gone back-to-back in the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s competition, following a 22-point win over North Adelaide Roosters in challenging conditions, which included three goals in red time across the quarters. The victory is a historic one for the club, with it being the first time South Adelaide had overcome North Adelaide in a senior league final. Indy Tahau was named best on ground for her two-goal haul in the low-scoring affair, while also picking up 20 disposals, five tackles, six inside 50s, three hitouts, one clearance and one rebound in the win.

Tamara Page booted the only goal of the first term late in the quarter as two of the more prolific scoring teams were putting in strong defensive efforts. The Panthers nudged ahead but the second term was the complete opposite early as Tahau took just 36 seconds to get on the board and hand them a 12-point lead. That advantage was cut to five by the time Lauren Daniel hit the scoreboard. A couple of behinds in favour of the Panthers, and then a second Tahau goal in the dying minutes meant the Panthers headed into the main break with a handy 15-point lead. The third quarter saw chances by Kathryn Reynolds and Leah Tynan go begging, as the Roosters desperately tried to hold on to the premiership dream, forcing a couple of rushed behinds before Teah Charlton broke through with a third red-time goal for the favourites and the margin was 21 points. Charlton missed a chance in the opening three minutes to ice the game, but with North Adelaide only managing a behind through Paige Allan midway through the term, the Panthers fans would head home happy, securing their second consecutive premiership in the SANFL Women’s competition.

Across the board the disposals were fairly evenly split between the teams, but it was very much an attack-versus-defence game with a whopping differential of 43 inside 50s to 21 in favour of the victors. Remarkably, the Roosters were able to rebound the ball 39 times, and also dominated the clearances, 25-16 against such a strong Panthers midfield. South Adelaide won the hitouts 21-18, and marks 30-23, but otherwise the teams were evenly matched around the ground. Czenya Cavouras had a team-high 22 disposals, two marks, five tackles, four clearances and five inside 50s, while Charlton not only booted a goal, but also helped herself to 18 touches, four marks, five tackles and three inside 50s. Nikki Gore (16 disposals, 10 tackles, three clearances and two inside 50s) was huge defensively, while Hannah Munyard again played well with 14 disposals, two tackles, three inside 50s and two rebounds. Montana McKinnon was the number one ruck with 18 hitouts, 11 touches and a massive four contested marks of her six total marks, while also laying four tackles, having four inside 50s and three rebounds. For the Roosters, Nadia Von Bertouch had a game-high 23 disposals, as well as two marks, two tackles, three clearances, two inside 50s and three rebounds, while Kendall Howell and Amber Ward were superb in defence. Howell had 19 disposals and six rebounds, while Ward finished the game with 16 disposals, three marks, eight rebounds and five tackles. Sarah Ellis was also prominent with 16 disposals, two marks, two tackles and two rebounds, while Adrienne Davis was important at stoppages, picking up five clearances to go with her 14 disposals, two marks, three tackles and three rebounds. While the loss was disappointing for North Adelaide, South Adelaide was the better team on the day and dominated the time in forward half which ultimately was the difference between the sides.

SOUTH ADELAIDE 1.0 | 3.3 | 4.5 | 4.7 (31)
NORTH ADELAIDE 0.0 | 1.0 | 1.2 | 1.3 (9)

GOALS:

South: Indy Tahau 2, Teah Charlton, Tamara Page.
North: Lauren Daniel.

DISPOSALS:

South: Czenya Cavouras 22, Indy Tahau 20, Teah Charlton 18, Nikki Gore 16
North: Nadia Von Bertouch 23, Kendall Howell 19, Sarah Ellis 16, Amber Ward 16, Lauren Daniel 15, Brittany Perry 15

Best on Ground: Indy Tahau (South Adelaide)

SANFL Women’s Grand Final preview: South Adelaide vs. North Adelaide

TEN rounds and two weeks of finals down has our last two teams standing in the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s competition. For one team, history will be made as either the South Adelaide Panthers or North Adelaide Roosters will be crowned 2019 premiers. There are a number of historic moments that will be made on Sunday, with history between the Men’s League sides pointing to North Adelaide – a South Adelaide side has never beaten a North Adelaide side in a final, going down on all seven occasions – while the men’s first flag came against South Adelaide back in 1900. However, fast forward to 2019 and the signs point to South Adelaide having knocked off minor premier, Norwood twice and advanced straight through to the Grand Final.

LAST TIME THEY MET

South Adelaide 5.9 (39) defeated North Adelaide 6.2 (38)

The teams have clashed once this year, with South Adelaide defeating North Adelaide by one point in the biggest comeback in SANFL Women’s history. The Panthers trailed by 25 points at quarter time, 21 points at half-time and eight points at three quarter time. In that game, Nikki Gore had 24 touches, two marks, two clearances, four inside 50s and laid five tackles, while Hannah Munyard produced 16 disposals, four tackles, five clearances and two inside 50s. Montana McKinnon impressed in the ruck with 20 hitouts, while Czenya Cavouras had 17 disposals as well. For North, Amber Ward was a wall in defence, picking up 11 rebounds and laying eight tackles to go with her 15 disposals, while Sarah Ellis and Rheanne Lugg each had 15 disposals. and Kelly Barltrop booted two goals. Since that Round 4 loss, North Adelaide has not tasted defeat – getting a momentum eight-game winning streak coming into the match, including downing the Redlegs themselves in the Preliminary Final. South Adelaide has only lost one since that match itself, going down to Glenelg and now having won nine of the past 10 games.

TEAMS

SOUTH ADELAIDE vs. NORTH ADELAIDE
Sunday, May 26
ACH Group Stadium

SOUTH ADELAIDE

B: 22. Samantha Pratt – 35. Jaslynne Smith – 44. Elke Jarvis
HB: 41. Indy Tahau – 29. Cheyenne Hammond – 39. Emily Brockhurst
C: 25. Teah Charlton – 6. Hannah Munyard – 9. Nicole Campbell
HF: 2. Nikki Gore – 14. Tiffany Copley – 7. Jess Kirk
F: 33. Brooklyn Kraft – 40. Sarah Wright – 18. Madison Bennett
R: 19. Montana McKinnon – 11. Czenya Cavouras – 8. Elysse Haussen
INT: 1. Emily Woods – 4. Lauren Buchanan – 20. Tamara Page – 21. Alana Browne – 24. Danielle Goding – 30. Emma Gryczewski – 34. Nat Gibbs – 45. Emogen Johnson

IN: Emily Woods, Lauren Buchanan, Madison Bennett, Danielle Goding
OUT: Nil.

NORTH ADELAIDE

B: 31. Nicole Collie – 7. Jess Eichner – 14. Olivia Gallio
HB: 30. Kendall Howell – 24. Amber Ward – 17. Sarah Ellis
C: 10. Paige Allan – 9. Lauren Daniel – 25. Erica Greet
HF: 6. Adrienne Davies – 29. Emma Sampson – 8. Nadia Von Bertouch
F: 4. Leah Tynan – 15. Kelly Barltrop – 1. Cristie Castle
R: 12. Jane Altschwager – 3. Kat Reynolds – 19. Brittany Perry
INT: 33. Julia Clark – 2. Alex Fitridge – 34. Danielle Nunns – 20. Elysha Willis

No change.

KEY STATISTICS: (pre-finals)

Stat: South Adelaide Leader | North Adelaide Leader
Disposals: Czenya Cavouras [ 195 ] | Nadia Von Bertouch [ 170 ]
Goals: Madison Bennett [ 9 ] | Kelly Barltrop [ 26 ]
Marks: Montana McKinnon [ 46 ] | Emma Sampson/Nadia Von Bertouch [ 39 ]
Tackles: Teah Charlton/Czenya Cavouras [ 77 ] | Leah Tynan [ 50 ]
Hitouts: Montana McKinnon [ 136 ] | Jane Altschwager [ 141 ]
Clearances: Czenya Cavouras [ 38 ] | Leah Tynan [ 38 ]
Inside 50s: Nicole Campbell [ 42 ] | Nadia Von Bertouch [ 30 ]
Rebounds: Jaslynne Smith [ 24 ] | Amber Ward [ 42 ]

KEY MATCH-UPS:

Montana McKinnon (SA) vs. Jane Altschwager (NA)

South Australia’s promising young ruck in McKinnon has enjoyed a terrific season for the Panthers and comes up against one of the better rucks in the competition in Altschwager. Both are capable of taking control of the match with McKinnon averaging 12.5 disposals, 4.8 marks, 2.3 tackles and 15.1 hitouts, while Altschwager has averaged 7.9 disposals, 2.3 marks, 1.7 tackles and 14.1 hitouts but will be keen to get one over her younger opponent.

Tiffany Copley (SA) vs. Amber Ward (NA)

These two may not match up directly, but one would expect a South Adelaide forward to pay close attention to Ward who is the competition’s top rebounder. If she can get her hands on the ball and get things moving, it goes a long way to North Adelaide winning. The Roosters have used her run out of defence to propel forward and put big scores on the board and she is a crucial player in defence. South Adelaide do not rely on one individual goalkicker and can afford to shut down Ward while looking for options away from her.

Jaslynne Smith (SA) vs. Kelly Barltrop (NA)

Barltrop is the competition leading goalkicker and a hard player to stop on her day. She has kicked bags of goals and is the only player to average more than two goals a game this season. Smith is South Adelaide’s dominant rebounder this season, and could have a duel purpose in this game, having her hands full with Barltrop, while trying to drive the ball out of defence.

KEY POINTS:

1. North Adelaide’s firepower is #1 in the league, ranked first in scoring and accuracy.
2. South Adelaide has a slingshot approach to its football, ranked #1 in both inside 50s and inside 50s allowed.
3. The Panthers are also ranked #1 in contested possessions and hard ball gets.
4. South Adelaide is gunning for for its second consecutive flag, while North Adelaide are hoping to bounce back from its one grand final loss in 2017 to win its first flag in the competition.

FINAL CALL:

The best offensive team meets the most consistent one in what shapes to be a thrilling contest. The match will come down to whether or not South Adelaide can contain the Roosters forward line, while the Roosters midfield must break-even in the midfield with the star-studded Panthers on-ball brigade. Both sides are capable of getting the ball forward and giving their forwards opportunities, so the team that makes the most of their opportunities will win. South Adelaide has been here before and deserves to be favourites, but it is hard to ignore some of the feats of the Roosters side since they were 1-3 at the start of the season. They can match it with the Panthers too. The week off for South Adelaide will be interesting to see how they go, North could have a strong start and the Panthers come back like in Round 4. South Adelaide in a thrilling one-point contest.

Weekend wash-up: SANFL Women’s Preliminary Final

NORTH Adelaide has exorcised any lingering demons that haunted the playing group in its previous two finals series, after holding on in a titanic struggle against minor premiers Norwood. The Redlegs have been a source of pain for the Roosters over the past two years, defeating them in the 2017 South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s decider, before sending them packing in the Preliminary Final last year. Twelve months on and the Roosters had to do it tough, but survived in a 2.6 (18) to 1.10 (16) armwrestle. While the Roosters are used to using their firepower to overwhelm teams, they had to do it with a low-scoring struggle, but did it well to move through into the 2019 decider. It was more than remarkable considering the Redlegs won the hitouts (32-17), clearances (29-18) and inside 50s (35-18) but struggled with accuracy which ultimately cost them.

Neither team could score in the opening term as the minor premiers applied plenty of forward pressure, booting four behinds to just one behind in the opening term. The game opened up immediately in the second term with Matilda Zander putting one through the big sticks just 43 seconds into the quarter, before three minutes later Paige Allan responded for the Roosters. A couple of behinds each later and the Redlegs still held a narrow three-point advantage. Norwood continued to pepper the goals after the main break, booting three behinds, but it was competition leading goalkicker Kelly Barltrop who found the opening and slammed it home after two behinds, to give the underdogs the first – and what would be only goal of the second half. Leading by only a point at the final break, Allen and Erica Greet both missed chances in the opening seven minutes to add to the Roosters’ lead, but Norwood could not apply any scoreboard pressure, and when Rhiannon Busch missed the only scoring shot in the final term for Norwood, the Roosters had held on by two points in a low-scoring nail-biter.

Amber Ward stood up gallantly in defence for North Adelaide, starring with 23 disposals and eight rebounds, while Olivia Gallio was also good with 14 disposals, three rebounds and two clearances. Kathryn Reynolds laid six tackles to go with her 14 disposals, while Erica Greet was the other main ball winner with 13 touches, four marks, two tackles, two inside 50s and two rebounds. The usual ball winners were kept quiet, but the Roosters found a way to win against a Norwood side that was missing its biggest ball winner, Najwa Allen. In her absence, Hannah Dunn put out her usual performance with 26 disposals, nine clearances, six tackles and four marks, while Sally Riley was also busy around the stoppages with 22 disposals, five clearances and four tackles, as was Michele Reid (18 disposals, five clearances, four inside 50s and three rebounds. Now Norwood are left ruing what might have been for the second year running, while North Adelaide must find a way to topple reigning premiers South Adelaide and make it a remarkable nine wins on the trot.

NORTH ADELAIDE 0.1 1.3 2.4 2.6 (18)
NORWOOD 0.4 1.6 1.9 1.10 (16)

GOALS:

North: Kelly Barltrop, Paige Allan
Norwood: Matilda Zander

DISPOSALS:

North: Amber Ward 23
Norwood: Hannah Dunn 26, Sally Riley 22, Tahlia Meyer 19, Michele Reid 18, Monique Hollick 17, Sophie Armitstead 16, Leah Cutting 15

Weekend wash-up: SANFL Women’s – Semi-finals

THE reigning premiers are back in the decider after a 13-point win over minor premiers, Norwood – South Adelaide’s second win over the Redlegs in three rounds – while North Adelaide breathed a sigh of relief, coming back from a four-point final break deficit against Glenelg to ensure their premiership dream remains alive.

NORTH ADELAIDE 2.0 | 2.1 | 2.1 | 4.1 (25)
GLENELG 0.3 | 2.5 | 2.5 | 3.5 (23)

GOALS:

North: Kelly Barltrop 2, Brittany Perry, Leah Tynan.
Glenelg: Ellen Fauser, Melinda Speechley, Tasja Batzavalis.

DISPOSALS:

North: Lauren Daniel 17
Glenelg: Ebony Marinoff 38, Cass Hartley 17, Samantha Franson 16, Caitlin Gould, Ellie Kellock, Chelsea Packer 15.

A herculean effort from Ebony Marinoff and Glenelg was not enough for the Tigers to cause an upset win over North Adelaide in the do-or-die semi-final on Friday. The underdogs conceded the first two goals of the game with Leah Tynan and Kelly Barltrop getting the Roosters on top in the first term, before majors to Ellen Fauser and Melinda Speechley saw the Tigers hit the front at half-time by four points. The third quarter was a titanic struggle with neither side able to score such was the intensity and defensive pressure, and the Rooster fans were feeling nervous still down at the final break having scored one behind since quarter time. Luckily their fears were put to bed early in the fourth with Brittany Perry putting her side in front, before Barltrop booted her second a couple of minutes later to five them an eight-point lead. Tasja Batzavalis picked a good time for her first league goal in the tenth minute and the margin was back to two points. Unfortunately for the Tigers despite their best efforts they were not able to breakthrough and the Roosters breathed a sigh of relief knowing the next two weeks were going to be tough. North Adelaide shared the ball around in the win, with Lauren Daniel amassing a team-high 17 disposals, as well as two marks, two clearances, two inside 50s and four tackles. Amber Ward won 14 touches, laid five tackles and had two rebounds, while Perry worked hard between the arcs with four clearances, four rebounds and three inside 50s, while laying six tackles and having 13 disposals. Barltrop made the most of her opportunities with two goals from six disposals. The clear standout player on the ground to no-one’s surprise was Marinoff, who broke her own league disposal record for a third consecutive week, amassing 38 disposals, taking nine marks (two contested), eight clearances, five inside 50s, four rebounds and laying nine tackles. Cassie Hartley also had 17 touches, while Samantha Franson was fierce around the stoppages with 16 touches, four clearances, three inside 50s and a game-high 12 tackles. Caitlin Gould was busy in the ruck with 24 hitouts, three clearances, seven inside 50s and five tackles as well as 15 disposals. It was a promising season for Glenelg but the Tigers now bow out, while the Roosters face Norwood next week for a spot in the decider.

SOUTH ADELAIDE 2.1 | 4.2 | 4.2 | 5.4 (34)
NORWOOD 0.2 | 1.2 | 3.3 | 3.3 (21)

GOALS:

South: Teah Charlton 2, Tamara Page, Jessica Kirk, Tiffany Copley.
Norwood: Kate Fenton 2, Matilda Zander.

DISPOSALS:

South: Nicole Campbell 16, Nikki Gore
Norwood: Najwa Allen 20, Hannah Dunn 18, Hannah Priest 17, Sally Riley 15

It was the game talked up as the biggest of the weekend, but South Adelaide almost put the result to bed in the first half, piling on four unanswered goals – including two to Teah Charlton – to lead by as much as 24 points late in the second term. Matilda Zander gave the minor premiers a glimpse of hope in the dying minutes of the second term with the Redlegs’ first goal, before Norwood looked to have found its groove in the third, with Kate Fenton slotting two majors. The Redlegs had drawn within five points at the final break and looked to have the momentum running into the last quarter, but it was only South Adelaide who managed to get on the board, with Tiffany Copley booting the winning goal midway through the quarter as the Panthers ended up winning by 13 points in a more comfortable fashion than predicted. Nicole Campbell and Nikki Gore both had 15 disposals in the win, while combining for eight clearances, 14 tackles, four inside 50s and four rebounds, while Sarah Wright was busy in defence with four rebounds to go with her 14 disposals and three tackles. Hannah Munyard had 13 disposals, while Czenya Cavouras was down on her usual numbers like most of her teammates, but still laid eight tackles. For Norwood, Najwa Allen still managed 20 disposals in the loss, while taking three marks, having three inside 50s and laying three tackles. The usual suspects were all at the top of the disposal tallies with Hannah Dunn (18 touches, five marks, six tackles, three clearances, three rebounds), Hannah Priest (17 disposals, four marks, six tackles and two rebounds) and Sally Riley (15 disposals, two marks, three clearances and three tackles) all important. Leah Cutting was once again strong in the ruck with a game-high 19 hitouts as well as 14 disposals, two marks, four clearances and four tackles. It was a disappointing result for the minor premiers who have had a terrific season but dropped two of their past three games, both to the same opponent. Now the Redlegs must prepare for a preliminary final against North Adelaide who escaped Glenelg’s clutches in order to book a rematch with the Panthers in the 2019 decider and try and reverse the result of last year’s grand final.

SANFL Women’s weekend preview: Semi-finals

FINALS fever is in the air in South Australia as the South Australia National Football League (SANFL) Women’s finals series commences tonight in a double-header at Coopers Stadium. Three of the four sides were in last year’s finals series, with Glenelg bundling West Adelaide out in the final round to ensure a fresh face made it to the final month of competition. The Tigers won the wooden spoon last year and will take on the high-scoring North Adelaide outfit, while minor premiers Norwood were the clear best team all year, only dropping one game – but that was to their opponents South Adelaide.

NORTH ADELAIDE vs. GLENELG
Friday, May 10, 6pm
Coopers Stadium

The do-or-die clash between North Adelaide and Glenelg has the relentless scoring team up against the underdogs whose wildcard – that of Adelaide star Ebony Marinoff – is the best of any team. She joined the Tigers in the penultimate round and has led them to two victories, lifting the confidence of the team heading into the clash. It is hard to weigh up how much she can do against a top three side with so much depth, but making it to the finals was the first box ticked. Now she and her teammates will have to compete with the likes of Kat Reynolds, Brittany Perry, Lauren Daniel and Paige Allan in the midfield, while Amber Ward will patrol the backline with ease. The one aspect the Tigers will have over the Roosters is the Round 2 victory where they won a see-sawing contest 7.6 (48) to 5.3 (33). Since then, the Roosters have dropped just one match and won six on the trot, and have looked every bit the premiership contender. In that win, Chelsea Packer picked up 16 disposals, while Lucy Bellinger and Jordana Bradley both had the 12, while Madisyn Freeman booted two majors. Ward was terrific out of defence with 15 touches and four rebounds, while Adrienne Davies and Nadia Von Bertouch had 14 disposals each and laid seven tackles between them. Dominant goalkicker, Kelly Barltrop booted two goals in the match from limited opportunities, amassing just the five disposals. In this game, expect Samantha Franson to head to her, while Ward will take the dangerous Bellinger who can play anywhere on the field.

Key players:

Kelly Barltrop (North Adelaide)

Barltrop has booted 12 more goals than any other player in the SANFL Women’s competition and looms as a make-or break player in the side. While the Roosters do have others who can hit the scoreboard, Barltrop is averaging 2.6 goals per game, a remarkable effort and is a key cog in the Roosters’ machine. Franson will have her work cut out for her in defence, but it will likely be double-teaming and third efforts that will slow her impact if they manage to at all.

Ebony Marinoff (Glenelg)

There is no more dominant player in the competition than Marinoff who has played the two games and racked up 35 and 36 disposals respectively. She holds the record for the two highest individual disposal efforts in the competition, but is also damaging defensively, carrying over her tackling prowess from the AFLW to the SANFLW, laying 15 tackles. Throw in a casual 9.5 clearances, 8.5 inside 50s and 143.5 Dream Team Points per game and it is a no brainer that she is the player North Adelaide must nullify in the midfield.

NORTH

B: (14) Olivia Gallio, (7) Jess Eichner, (31) Nicole Collie
HB: (17) Sarah Ellis, (24) Amber Ward, (30) Kendall Howell
C: (25) Erica Greet, (9) Lauren Daniel, (10) Paige Allan
HF: (8) Nadia Von Bertouch, (29) Emma Sampson, (6) Adrienne Davies
F: (1) Cristie Castle, (15) Kelly Barltrop, (4) Leah Tynan
R: (12) Jane Altschwager, (3) Kat Reynolds, (19) Brittany Perry
INT: (33) Julia Clark, (2) Alex Fitridge, (34) Danielle Nunns, (20) Elysha Willis

IN: Julia Clark, Alex Fitridge, Elysha Willis
OUT: Bonnie Felsbourg, Gabrielle Gormlie, Tyra Pix

GLENELG

B: (15) Caitlin Gould, (1) Samantha Franson, (2) Madisyn Freeman
HB: (8) Ellie Kellock, (7) Tess Morcom, (10) Jordana Bradley
C: (13) Brooke Trevena, (19) Lucy Earl, (21) Melinda Speechley
HF: (11) Tasja Batzavalis, (18) Lucy Bellinger, (5) Cassie Hartley
F: (12) Tamsyn Morriss, (6) Chelsea Packer, (28) Rhiley Ritchie
R: (24) Ellen Fauser, (17) Ebony Marinoff, (3) Charlotte Dawe
INT: (30) Lauren Bungey, (34) Hannah Crump, (14) Lucy Armitage, (4) Laura Isaac, (22) Sheridan Howell, (9) Bonnie Wells

IN: Hannah Crump, Laura Isaac

Final word:

North Adelaide deserve to win the game after an outstanding season that realistically had it not been for a sluggish start could have netted them a top two spot. For as good as Norwood and South Adelaide have been, when it comes to scoring, North Adelaide have done it consistently and it will take a mighty effort for Glenelg to restrict them. In saying that, Marinoff will give her forwards at least nine chances inside 50 and have a couple herself, so if the Tigers can make the most of their opportunities this is anyone’s game. North Adelaide by 15 points.

 

NORWOOD vs. SOUTH ADELAIDE
Friday, May 10, 7.45pm
Coopers Stadium

The other semi-final pits the two best sides of the season against one another for a spot in the decider. Last year South Adelaide triumphed over Norwood in the Grand Final after finishing top of the table, while this year it is the other way around, with the Redlegs gaining the vital pole position heading into finals. The Panthers are the only side making a forced change heading into the post-season series with Maddison Bennett out with a hamstring injury. She is a crucial loss for the Panthers, rebounding and creating run out of defence. Otherwise both sides have named extended benches to keep their opposition guessing, with the sole on-field inclusion being South Adelaide’s Jess Kirk named at half-forward. These two powerhouses have met twice throughout the season, with South Adelaide defeating Norwood – the Redlegs’ only defeat of the season – in Round 9 by seven points. The pair faced off in Round 2 as well, which saw Norwood take home the chocolates with a 12-point victory. Unsurprisingly, Najwa Allen has been the top ball winner across the two games, picking up 24 disposals in each match, and averaging six marks, 3.5 clearances, 3.5 inside 50s, three tackles and one goal per game. Hannah Dunn also has 37 disposals across her two games, as well as averaging six tackles per match. For South Adelaide, Czenya Cavouras has been the major ball winner, averaging 20.5 disposals, as well as 7.5 tackles, while Teah Charlton was the Panthers’ best in their win over the Redlegs as only inaccuracy (five behinds) stopped her from having a massive day out as she had 12 touches and laid 14 disposals with terrific forward pressure. Heading into this match, the likes of Charlton, Hannah Munyard, Nicole Campbell, Cavouras and Elyse Haussen go head-to-head with Allen, Dunn, Sally Riley and Monique Hollick as the best two midfielders go to-for-toe. What makes these teams so damaging is not having a dominant goalkicker and instead sharing the load making them unpredictable inside 50.

Key players:

Najwa Allen (Norwood)

No surprises her for Norwood’s top player. While a number of the Redlegs are so crucial to the team, Allen has time and time again being named best on ground and will be a real leader for them in the midfield or when she plays forward. In nine games she is averaging 26 disposals at 74 per cent efficiency, while also having 5.2 marks, 3.4 clearances, 3.3 inside 50s, 2.7 tackles and 2.1 rebounds. With the exception of her Round 3 game where she had just 13 disposals against Sturt, Allen has amassed at least 20 touches in every game – having three matches greater than 30.

Montana McKinnon (South Adelaide)

There is a long list of key players you could name in this line-up for a key player, but I’ve opted with McKinnon – not only because she is a terrific young prospect, but the fact if she can win her head-to-head ruck battle against Leah Cutting, it will got a long way to winning the match. Cutting is the number one ruck in the league, averaging 20.8 disposals and also laying 7.7 tackles. If McKinnon can get on top of her, being able to drift forward and make her accountable, she can try and not only nullify Cutting’s influence, but have an influence on the game herself. She averages three more touches and three more marks than her direct opponent, and will look to get around the ground and help her side get the important win.

NORWOOD

B: (5) Cassie Tsoumbris, (30) Bella Smith, (35) Jessica Macolino
HB: (36) Sophie Armitstead, (25) Jo Hill, (16) Ashlee Gould
C: (18) Hannah Priest, (8) Hannah Dunn, (17) Tahlia Meyer
HF: (24) Kate Fenton, (6) Najwa Allen, (1) Matilda Zander
F: (28) Rhiannon Busch, (26) Erika Sporn, (29) Jane Fitzgerald
R: (21) Leah Cutting, (2) Monique Hollick, (15) Sally Riley
INT: (12) Elisha Gallagher, (33) Lindsay Bigg, (14) Michele Reid, (4) Zoe Greer, (3) Jiarna Zerella, (32) Rosette Zerella, (39) Ella Murison

IN: Jiarna Zerella, Rosette Zerella, Ella Murison

SOUTH

B: (22) Samantha Pratt, (35) Jaslynne Smith, (44) Elke Jarvis
HB: (41) Indy Tahau, (29) Cheyenne Hammond, (39) Emily Brockhurst
C: (25) Teah Charlton, (6) Hannah Munyard, (9) Nicole Campbell
HF: (2) Nikki Gore, (14) Tiffany Copley, (7) Jess Kirk
F: (33) Brooklyn Kraft, (40) Sarah Wright, (45) Emogen Johnson
R: (19) Montana McKinnon, (11) Czenya Cavouras, (8) Elyse Haussen
INT: (1) Emily Woods, (5) Mykala Walker-Murphy, (20) Tamara Page, (21) Alana Browne, (30) Emma Gryczewski, (34) Nat Gibbs

IN: Emily Woods, Jess Kirk, Alana Browne, Nat Gibbs
OUT: Madison Bennett (hamstring), Airlie Schirmer

Final word:

Norwood will be keen to stamp its authority on the game in what is a coin toss of a result. They looked to have let loose last week on Central District after losing to the Panthers and will look to exact revenge here. South Adelaide have the key to beating them with a midfield to match them one-on-one, but there is a reason the Redlegs finished on top of the table. This has all the makings of an absolute epic contest, and the tip will be Norwood by a point, but do not be surprised if this goes into extra time.

Weekend preview: SANFL Women’s – Round 9

THE PENULTIMATE round of the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s season is here, with finals spots up for grabs as five teams fight for four spots, and wins for West Adelaide and Glenelg in particular become of the upmost importance.

NORTH ADELAIDE vs. CENTRAL DISTRICT
Friday, April 19, 4.15pm
Prospect Oval

The Roosters have been in ripping form of late and after a slow start to the year which saw North Adelaide start 1-3, last year’s minor premiers have strung four games on the trot to not only all but guarantee a finals spot, but keep the heat on second placed South Adelaide who are just one win ahead. For Central District, their finals dream was doused last week, but there is still plenty of pride in performance on the line as the Bulldogs look to leapforg Sturt into sixth place if they can muster an unlikely away win. North have brought back Melbourne AFL Women’s player Ashleigh Woodland who has returned to the half-back flank alongside Amber Ward and the duo will no doubt make it hard for the Bulldogs to score. The Roosters have lost Paige Allen to a hamstring, while winger Erica Greet also comes into the side among three changes. The Bulldogs have named an extended bench which includes Taryn Wills and Shannen Solly who return to the side, while the Bulldogs were forced to make a change with their half-back general, Gemma Doughty out of the team with a knee injury. The Bulldogs will look to Katelyn Rosenzweig up forward, while Chantelle Reynolds and Abbey Scheer are among the consistent performers thus far, while sisters, Jayme-Lee Sonneman and Demi Sonneman have been crucial cogs since coming into the club this season. For North, they have the dominant Kelly Barltrop who leads all-comers in the goalkicking and beside her is Brittany Perry and Cristie Castle who are potent in attack, while Nadia Von Bertouch has enjoyed her time at half-forward leading the troops, with Jane Altschwager dominant in the ruck and Leah Tynan consistent in midfield. With a strong line-up across the park, North should get the job done here, while Central will miss Doughty who has been an important player in their side.

WEST ADELAIDE vs. WOODVILLE-WEST TORRENS
Friday, April 19, 5.15pm
City Mazda Stadium

West Adelaide hold the coveted fourth spot in the SANFL Women’s competition with Glenelg biting at the Bloods’ heels to sneak into the final four. The Bloods face the winless Woodville-West Torrens Eagles in this clash and will be keen to take the points and set up a huge final round. Youngster Jaimi Tabb has returned for the Eagles to join Kiana Lee in the forward line with the midfielder Tabb looking to add extra firepower up front. Jess Wilson also comes into the forward line amongst at least four changes for the underdog, with Annastasia Falkenberg forced out of the team due to a finger injury. The Eagles have some good developing talent in the team, but have not been able to sustain their intensity for four quarters, with blow-outs often not reflective of the effort, more lapses in play. Natalie Subelli and Natasha Farrier will hope to win the midfield battle, while Stephanie Walker and Tesharna Maher will hope to provide some good movement out of defence. Chelsea Biddell and Melanie Elsegood are a dominant key forward duo, and the likes of Ashlee Reid and Colbie Frankland could have their work cut out for them. For West Adelaide, Kasia Culhane will miss after a great 18-disposal, five-clearance game last week; she has succumbed to a shoulder injury. The big return – both literally and metaphorically – for the the home side is Leah Swain who will be an important presence in the ruck. She, along with Alexandra Mason in the forward pocket, join five potential inclusions on an extended interchange bench. Maddie Newman is the one to watch in defence, sure to rebound time and time again, while through the midfield, Rachelle Martin and Abbie Ballard lead an underrated group who can match it with most sides. West Adelaide have much more to play for and should grab the points in this one, although the Eagle could enjoy spoiling the finals party for their opponents.

GLENELG vs. STURT
Friday, April 19, 7.15pm
ACH Group Stadium

The inclusion of the round, and arguably the season by far is that of Ebony Marinoff, the Adelaide Crows’ star onballer who slots into the Glenelg midfield for her first local game in a few years. Marinoff supported the Tigers growing up and now will run out for Glenelg at home as they try and keep in touch with West Adelaide in the penultimate round. She is joined by ruck, Rhiley Ritchie and Hannah Crump in the side, while Sturt have opted for an unchanged line-up for this game. Sturt’s season unofficially came to an end last week when its hopes for finals were dashed. A win here and the Double Blues can dash those of Glenelg fans too. It will be more than a tough ask for the visitors, with Georgia Bevan, Maya Rigter and Caitlyn Swanson a strong trio onball, but coming up against Marinoff will make the Tigers hard to combat. Throw in the likes of Ellen Fauser and Charlotte Dawe and the Tigers are still solid through midfield. Glenelg is one of the teams which does not have a particular strength, rather relying on efforts across the ground with Tess Morcom and Samantha Franson making a consistent key defensive duo, Lucy Bellinger providing the firepower up forward, and Madisyn Freeman and crucial key position player, Caitlin Gould also have great seasons. All eyes will be on Marinoff given the midfielder had the most touches at AFL Women’s level in a game this season, so seeing what she could do at state level will be reminiscent of the time Nathan Buckley suited up for Williamstown and packed out the stadium – hopefully we see the same at ACH Group Stadium. The Double Blues have a strong midfield, while Alex Ballard has been a talent in defence, and Georgia Swan and Nicole Baker good in the forward half. If they can win the midfield battle while controlling Marinoff, the Double Blues are a solid chance, but like West Adelaide in the previous game, Glenelg have a lot more at stake and should grab the points.

SOUTH ADELAIDE vs. NORWOOD
Saturday, April 20, 1pm
Flinders University Stadium

The final game of the round and standalone match is that of the top two sides going head-to-head in what could be a Grand Final preview. Last year’s premiers host last year’s grand finalists in what is shaping up to be a sensational clash. Both teams have taken different approaches to their team selection, with South Adelaide making at least seven changes compared to Norwood’s one confirmed change. Both have crucial players returning, with ball-winner and Adelaide Crows midfielder, Nikki Gore coming into the Panthers line-up alongside Mykala Walker-Murphy who booted a bag of four goals earlier in the season. Also returning to the Panthers are defenders Emily Brockhurst and Tiffany Copley, while Rhiannon Busch comes into the fold for Norwood, as does recently departed Crow, Sally Riley. The Panthers will be smiting at their second defeat of the season last weekend when they went down to Glenelg having defeated them a week earlier, while the Redlegs are yet to taste defeat and will look to secure top spot with a victory here. Norwood won the clash between the powerhouses in Round 1, and have had such a settled team throughout the season. Their midfield is the best in the competition, and the inclusion of Riley allows Ellen Maple Medallist Najwa Allen to play forward which is a fantastic luxury to have. Add in Matilda Zander and Hannah Priest in attack, and the defensive rebound duo of Sophie Armitstead and Monique Hollick in defence, and the Redlegs are covered at both ends. Leah Cutting provides first use to her midfielders including Busch and Hannah Dunn, but she will have to contend with the athletic, Montana McKinnon who is a terrific emerging talent. Their young and talented midfield at South Adelaide include Hannah Munyard and Teah Charlton who get forward and apply scoreboard pressure, while Czenya Cavouras, Elyse Haussen and Nicole Campbell make the Panthers have the best depth of anyone in the competition. Basically, the best top-end midfield going against the deepest midfield makes for a fascinating contest. Norwood deservedly go in as favourites for this game, while South Adelaide would have geared itself up for this match as both sides look to go deep in finals. With North Adelaide breathing down the Panthers’ necks, South will hope to get the job done and secure second spot.