Tag: Sophie Armitstead

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Picture credit: SANFL

Weekend preview: 2020/21 NTFL Women’s Premier League – Round 2

ROUND 2 of the 2020/21 NTFL Women’s competition is set to see some intriguing battles, with Darwin Buffettes entering the competition for the first time this season after a bye to open their campaign, while Palmerston Magpies will take this week off to regroup after a disappointing and disjointed start to the season. The top four teams will all go head-to-head with a battle between Nightcliff and Waratah, and Pint and St Mary’s to follow.  Meanwhile, Southern Districts will look to overturn a sloppy start when they take on the Buffs and Tracy Village will take on the Wanderers sitting in fifth.

Nightcliff vs. Waratah
Saturday, October 10

A huge top two clash opens the day’s proceedings, with both Waratah and Nightcliff looking to back up strong showings after last round. Whilst Nightcliff sits comfortable atop the ladder with a huge 108-point margin last week, Waratah will be feeling less than comfortable only having played a half against Palmerston before the match was called off. Waratah booted five goals in a strong second quarter showing, however Nightcliff matched that easily with five goals scored in the third quarter alone and four in the second and fourth quarters to run away with the huge victory. That being said, Nightcliff will come up against an arguably stronger side than their Round 1 opposition in Tracy Village, so will need to ensure their backline holds up well against Waratah’s expanse of viable goalkickers. Emma-Lou Wolsey (five goals) and Darcy Elliston (four goals) were the real firepower last round so expect the Tigers forward to be in the drivers seat once more, while Eliza Morrison and Mickayla Ward were both named in the best. For Waratah, Caitlin Couch was the lone multiple goalkicker last round in her first outing at the club.

Tracy Village vs. Wanderers
Saturday, October 10

The second match of the round will see two first round losers go head-to-head, with significantly different ladder positions all that realistically separates the two sides. While Wanderers suffered a 63-point loss against St Mary’s, the Razorbacks could not contend with Nightcliff and failed to really hit the scoreboard. The main difference between these two sides is the work rate in the second half last week, with Tracy Village conceding nine goals and failing to score after the final change. While the Wanderers conceded five in the third quarter to a runaway St Mary’s outfit, they booted two goals back and only allowed the Saints to kick one major in the final term with a much better defensive effort stemming the flow. Kaitlyn Armstrong was the lone goalkicker last round for the Wanderers, making her a huge target this round while the likes of Deanna Peckham and Sophie Armitstead were also named among the best. For the Razorbacks, there is really no other way to go than up, with solid performances from Meagan Wylie, Sarah Wilson and Zhoe Clark showcasing some of their skill, just needing to finetune it.

Pint vs. St Mary’s
Saturday, October 10

Another battle of Round 1 victors, this is one of the intriguing matches of the round given the changes made over the off-season. While Pint were mildly successful last season, bumped out of the semi finals after finishing sixth, St Mary’s finished in eighth but ultimately have a new-look team this season with a number of new recruits from down south. Both coming away with excellent wins last round – with Pint’s coming against the reigning premiers, Southern Districts – and conceding a combined 3.5 across the two matches, this match will be a real test given they clearly have the scoring ability but could have come away with even bigger victories if not for patches of inaccuracy. Amy Chittick and Jacqueline Downey booted two goals apiece for the Queen Ants, backed up by four individual goalkickers and Jacinta Reid and Katie Streader finding the ball with ease, while for the Saints it was Michaela Long (four goals) and Ash Melnikas (three) who heaped on the offensive pressure. Alongside the aforementioned duo, Claudia Whitfort booted two to be named in the best among some exciting talent.

Darwin Buffettes vs. Southern Districts
Saturday, October 10

Darwin Buffettes enter the round at the bottom of the ladder but with a completely clean slate given they had an extra week on the sidelines. The Crocs, on the other hand, frankly had a rough start to the season and will want to rectify that immediately – but will need to watch the Buffs who have a heap of firepower that will be itching to have an impact. Booting just one goal last round, with a heap of names who can have a huge influence on the scoreboard, the Crocs will need to be far cleaner around the ground and make the most of their forward 50 entries. Megan Craufurd was the lone goalkicker in the Crocs camp last round, named in the best among the likes of Essie Grose and Malory Nankervis. For the Buffettes, Machaelia Roberts was hugely impactful last season before heading down to Melbourne for the AFL Women’s season, nabbed by Collingwood in the 2019 draft, while young gun Dominique Carbone and Kylie Duggan were two of the most consistent players last season making for an intriguing battle. In what is a rematch of their 2019/20 semi final, expect both teams to come out with something to prove here.

2020/21 NTFL Women’s Premier League weekly wrap – Round 1

THE opening round of the 2020 NTFL Women’s Premier League season saw a number of blowouts, with Nightcliff, St Mary’s, Pint and Waratah getting huge wins on the board. Darwin Buffettes had the first bye of the season, watching on as some intriguing matches played out to open the season with a bang. A couple of new recruits, a milestone and a loss to the reigning premiers set the tone, and more in the first of our weekly women’s league wrap.

Wanderers 2.2 (14) defeated by St Mary’s 11.11 (77)

St Mary’s opened up their season and the 2020/21 season in style with an excellent 63-point victory over the Wanderers. While the Saints had a tougher time in the final quarter registering just seven points, it was a five-goal third term that pushed the side out to their excellent lead. St Kilda VFLW’s Claudia Whitfort was named among the best alongside Williamstown recruit Ash Melnikas, with the side seeming to gel with ease despite a heap of debutants, and continuing to push throughout. For the Wanderers, it just was not their day, although a couple of goals in the second half – both to Kaitlyn Armstrong – as well as the better defensive effort in the final quarter will give the side some solid moments to build off in the coming rounds, with Sophie Armitstead and Deanna Peckham named among the best.

Pint 8.9 (57) defeated Southern Districts 1.3 (9)

A victory in Cassie Henderson’s milestone 100th match was just what the doctor ordered for Pint in an excellent 48-point victory over the reigning premiers, Southern Districts to start the season. While a great first half saw a 27-point buffer at half-time, the Queen Ants did not let up knowing the Districts’ ability to score quickly, and conceded just the one goal in an excellent outing. Amy Chittick and Jacqueline Downey booted two goals apiece while Katie Streader had the ball on a string and Jacinta Reid was a force to be reckoned with off the half back, while for the Crocs Megan Crawfurd was the lone goalkicker, named among the best alongside Essie Grose and Malory Nankervis who were relentless in their hunt for the footy. 

Nightcliff 16.14 (110) defeated Tracy Village 0.2 (2)

It was a comprehensive and altogether dominant victory from Nightcliff, with the Tigers far too strong and with everything to play for after an improved 2019. Slipping straight up to top spot and not conceding a major throughout, Nightcliff had a complete day out with nine goals in the second half alone proving they had the firepower to get the job done. Emma-Lou Wolsey booted five goals to lead the tally, while Darcy Elliston (four goals), Mickayla Ward (three) and Rose Russell (two) all made their mark. With so much firepower up forward, Tracy Village just could not keep up with the Tigers despite the continued efforts of Meagan Wylie and Sarah Wilson who were named among the best. While the Tigers’ second half was not quite as accurate, booting eight behinds, Ward, Elliston and Eliza Morrison were excellent providing firepower across the field and proved that the Tigers could be a real team to watch this season. 

Waratah 6.6 (42) defeated Palmerston Magpies 0.1 (1)

A highly defensive effort was showcased in an intriguing battle that was cut short to finish the opening round, with the Magpies’ frontend failing to fire early but defensively showcasing some great attributes. Injury early in the second half saw the match finish on a difficult note, with Magpies’ Cassie Ormsby taken high and the match ended prematurely due to an ambulance call. Newcomer Caitlin Couch kicked two goals to start her season off well, and was a handy addition to the Waratah frontline slotting in nicely as the side kicked five unanswered goals, while Tabitha May, Khani White and Ormsby were named among the best for the Magpies. While the match ended abruptly, both teams have plenty to take out of this battle while Palmerston will be glad to have a bye in Round 2 to regroup and reset ahead of the coming weeks. 

Picture: Tymunna Clements – AFLNT Media

SANFL Women’s season review: Norwood

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

Position: 4th
Wins: 5
Losses: 4
Draws: 2

2020 IN A NUTSHELL

The inaugural SANFL Women’s premiers went into the season after falling short in 2018 and going out in straight sets in 2019 following a minor premiership. They lost some key personnel over the off-season and looked shaky early, but picked up after the postponement period to really threaten some of the better teams. Whilst they did lose in their first final, the Redlegs had plenty of experienced and young talent come through the ranks, which showed in the All-Stars game last Friday night.

AFL WOMEN’S ALL-STARS GAME REPRESENTATIVES:

Leah Cutting

One of the standout rucks in the competition, Cutting was not only proficient at the stoppages, but provided a target around the ground, able to help out in defence or spread out to the wings to offer an option. Her strength overhead and body positioning is quite impressive.

Jess Macolino

Had a ripper second half of the season and showed during the All-Stars game what she offers with a fierce attack on the ball. She thrives in the contested situations and uses quick hands to dispose of the ball and allow her teammates to run off, or she can go forward and hit the scoreboard as well.

Bella Smith

The key position utility became a regular in defence, with her booming kick and contested marking superb. Smith’s ability to read the ball in flight and chop it off, or kick long out of the danger zone was a feature of her game, and even though she did not spend a lot of time there, she can also play as a key forward.

Jade Halfpenny

A strong marking forward who was trialled further up the ground at times, but has the class and talent to be a really impressive player in the future. In her debut season for the League side, Halfpenny showed how difficult she is to beat one-on-one in marking contests with her ability to sum up the situation quickly and use good body positioning.

Alana Lishmund

A middle-age talent who had a stellar season this year for Norwood and will benefit from her experience in the All-Stars game. Capable of playing as a forward or further up the ground, Lishmund always looks dangerous when around the ball and will be one to watch in 2021.

Matilda Zander

An accumulating midfielder who showed she can play as a forward too, Zander was able to regularly find the football around the ground and play inside or outside roles. With a high work rate and an ability to shake tacklers, Zander was a four-quarter performer nearly every match,

Rhiannon Busch

Reliable as ever, the experienced defender was a key cog in the Redlegs defensive unit and provided equal measures of offence and defence. She mopped up a lot of plays that went deep in defensive 50, and then provided drive off half-back, using her experience to guide her younger teammates.

Mattea Breed

Missed out on taking part in the All-Stars game, but put out a stellar season with a really improved year from the over-ager. Having gone through the pathways, Breed showed off her ability with some highlight-reel marks and match-winning performances with multiple goals. Capable of playing anywhere on the field, Breed is the ultimate utility.

OTHERS WHO STOOD OUT:

  • Najwa Allen
  • Isabel Martin
  • Elisha Gallagher
  • Sophie Armitstead

There was no shortage of midfield depth in the Norwood side, with Adelaide midfielder Najwa Allen returning to the club she won a league best and fairest with after the break. She continued her dominant ball-winning ways, and teamed up well with fellow AFLW-experienced midfielder, Sophie Armitstead who also spent time in defence. Elisha Gallagher and Isabel Martin also showed promising signs this season, rotating through the midfield and holding their own.

Summary

Norwood had a strong season despite not winning a final again. They had so much change over the off-season they needed time to adapt, but showed in the later stages of the season they were starting to gel, and with a number of improving young guns coming through the team, expect 2021 to be another year to watch for the Redlegs.

Picture: SANFL/Hannah Rex

SANFL Women’s League Best & Fairest preview

TONIGHT is the night that the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s Best and Fairest award is run and won ahead of Sunday afternoon’s decider. From 7.45pm, the league will announce its top player of the season, as well as the SANFL Women’s Team of the Year. North Adelaide’s Ashleigh Woodland already claimed the leading goalkicker award this season, and is among a host of favourites for the overall gong.

CENTRAL DISTRICT:

Top Contender: Shelby Smith

The midfielder played consistent four quarter football throughout the season to be named among her team’s best seven of a possible 10 times this year. The only issue for her will be that Central only won a couple of games, so if she picks up votes it will be the minor votes. Still a ripping season.

Other contenders: Demi Sonneman, Katelyn Rosenzweig, Sarah Allan

Last year’s club best and fairest winner in Sonneman has held up at full-back throughout the year and has dash and dare which catches the umpire’s eye. Rosenzweig was unstoppable when on fire and took out the club’s leading goalkicker award again with 14 majors in 10 games, while Allan only played the six games, but will no doubt pick up some votes as she was among the best on ground even in some losses.

GLENELG:

Top Contender: Caitlin Gould

The Bays are a tough one to determine because they had players that stepped up in different games, but probably not enough, nor enough wins to really cement a standout player for the award. Gould is one who catches the eye with her ruck work, forward craft and goalkicking, and she played seven games which is more than the other AFL Women’s talent on the list.

Other possible contenders: Madisyn Freeman, Sam Franson, Ellie Kellock

It was a very even team performance this year from Glenelg, and hard to determine who will take the votes. It is imagined that they will split the votes very evenly this season, with teenager Freeman always a popular one with the coaches – eight of 10 bests – as well as the tenacious Franson working hard, and Kellock rotating between midfield and defence.

NORTH ADELAIDE:

Top Contender: Ash Woodland

Coming off a brilliant season where Woodland claimed the SANFL Women’s goalkicking award, the mid/forward also shone being named among the best in nearly all of her matches. She looms as the top chance from the minor premiership-winning side, but in terms of votes, expect it to be spread.

Other possible contenders: Hannah Ewings, Anne Hatchard, Katelyn Pope

Legitimately there could be a list into double-digits such is the depth of the club. Hatchard should rack up multiple best on grounds and despite only playing the five games, could pick up double-digit votes easily. Ewings is eye-catching with her speed and ability to hit the scoreboard, with the 16-year-old having a remarkable debut season. Pope is another who catches the eye with her run down the wings, but she played a couple less games than the others which may hurt the voting chances.

NORWOOD:

Top Contender: Matilda Zander

Much like North Adelaide, the players will share votes and it could well be one of a number of players who gets lucky enough to poll plenty. In this case we have opted for Zander because of her ability to hit the scoreboard, provide forward pressure and also run around the ground. But there could be half a dozen names that deserve to be there.

Other possible contenders: Sophie Armitstead, Najwa Allen, Jess Macolino

Last year’s winner in Allen always has to be considered given it is proven she catches the umpire’s eye. With only six games this season though, will it be enough? She had others who will fight for votes off her such as the reliable Armitstead who could really be a surprise packet for the Redlegs in the vote count, while Macolino burst onto the scene late and was named in the best in each of her six games.

SOUTH ADELAIDE:

Top Contender: Teah Charlton

It feels like even when Charlton is not amongst the best players on the ground, she does something that catches the eye in the match that umpires will remember later. While it is hard to pick how South’s votes will go down with so many players lining up, Charlton will no doubt be amongst it given how much ball she wins and can kick goals.

Other possible contenders: Tahlia Meyer, Indy Tahau, Nicole Campbell

As already mentioned, it is likely players will take votes off each other with the greatest depth going through the list. Meyer might be the most consistent of the lost each week, whiler Campbell managed the eight games which should be enough for votes ahead of some other AFL Women’s talents. Tahau always does something that features in the highlights so will naturally attract votes.

STURT:

Top Contender: Zoe Prowse

The 2021 AFL Women’s Draft prospect might be a sneaky chance here, but it will depend on how favourable the umpires are to giving votes in a losing team effort. Prowse was by far the most dominant ruck in the competition for a stretch with her athleticism and consistency despite being overwhelmed on the scoreboard, which is where it might not quite be enough as the votes will likely be minor ones.

Other possible contenders: Georgia Bevan, Maya Rigter, Kate Harris

The co-captains were consistent all year and Bevan will arguably attract the most, potentially even more than Prowse given league best and fairests are midfielder’s awards. Rigter has worked hard throughout the season, while Harris has stepped up playing every game and was named amongst the best six times.

WEST ADELAIDE:

Top Contender: Rachelle Martin

For the overall winner, our prediction is pocket rocket Martin. The uncompromising midfielder was named among the best just about every single week and deservedly so. She made our Team of the Week seven times, and the Westies won more than enough games to suggest she will pick up some threes for best on ground.

Other possible contenders: Zoe Venning, Maddie Newman, Stevie-Lee Thompson

When it comes to umpire votes, it is often those who catch the eye the most, and the Bloods have no shortage of players that fit the bill. Venning had a huge season through the midfield and playing forward, Newman has a super boot that you cannot miss, and Thompson was a match winner on more than one occasion. They might split the votes as a team.

WOODVILLE-WEST TORRENS:

Top Contender: Kiana Lee

The Eagles were the most even team in terms of best players this season in our opinion, and Lee just gets the nod for her work at both ends. Kicking 11 goals in 10 games, which included playing out of full-back late in the year, her contested marking and long kicking will no doubt be something the umpires look at for votes.

Other possible contenders: Jovanka Zecevic, Tesharna Maher, Amie Blanden

It is hard to pinpoint those who will take the votes given the evenness of the team, but Zecevic was one of the most consistent Eagles throughout the year, Maher provided line-breaking speed out of defence, and Blanden was always solid through the middle going forward.

PREDICTION:

It is far from obvious which way the votes will go this year, but our tip is West Adelaide’s Rachelle Martin who had the most consistent season of any player, and was able to play every game. Others who will challenge her include Teah Charlton, Ash Woodland, Anne Hatchard and possibly Zoe Prowse.

SANFL Women’s Finals preview: Semi-Finals – Fans treated to double header at Thebarton

FINALS fever is in the air and the four best teams remain in the race for the 2020 South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s competition. Last year’s grand finalists North Adelaide and South Adelaide do battle in the first game at Thebarton Oval for automatic entry into the grand final, before Norwood and West Adelaide face off to remain in the hunt and head into a preliminary final next week.

NORTH ADELAIDE vs. SOUTH ADELAIDE
Sunday, August 9, 10.30am at Thebarton Oval

It is the clash that many SANFL Women’s fans have been waiting for, the two best teams in the competition going head-to-head at full strength and with so much talent across the field. North Adelaide Roosters, led by Krissie Steen naturally hold favouritism as they are yet to drop a game in 2020. The last time the Roosters looked vulnerable was way back in Round 4 of this season when South Adelaide pushed them for four quarters in an absolute thriller. The four-point margin in favour of the visiting side ultimately determined which order the top sides would finish, as neither side lost another game. South Adelaide might not have been blowing teams off the part to the extent that Roosters have, but Rick Watts has his charges primed for a third consecutive flag knowing the pressure of favouritism is off.

These two teams faced off in the decider last year, where South took control after quarter time and just kept the Roosters at arms-length to get up 4.7 (31) to 1.3 (9). It is expected the scores on the weekend will be much higher with some seriously talented forward lines. In saying that, both teams have remarkable back six’s, so it will not be easy to score against. The aspect about this matchup that people are most intrigued about is that they have not faced off again since their AFL Women’s talents returned.

This arguably gives the Roosters a boost given they have welcomed in arguably the competition’s best player – given she was a club best and fairest winner and All-Australian at the elite level – in Anne Hatchard, as well as reliable and recently retired, Talia Radan, and the dangerous forward in Britt Perry. South Adelaide has added Crows’ teenage ruck Montana McKinnon – who also played games prior to the break while she was waiting to crack into the Crows team – as well as speedster Hannah Munyard, and defender Lisa Whiteley. Both represented Western Bulldogs and GWS GIANTS in 2019, and both have since headed home and will represent the tri-colours next season.

In terms of in-form players from the last two matchups, it is hard to look past South tall, Indy Tahau. Winning the Best on Ground medal in the 2019 SANFL Women’s Grand Final, she booted two goals from 20 touches, and then back it up with a strong 16-disposal, 17-hitout and 10-tackle game earlier this year. Adelaide train-on talent Czenya Cavouras will be a welcome return for the Panthers after missing a couple of games to injury, she is averaging the 21.5 disposals, 3.5 clearances, 4.5 inside 50s and 7.0 tackles. The third Panther to highlight is Teah Charlton who booted a crucial goal in the grand final last year, having 18 touches, four marks and five tackles, before a quieter outing earlier this season with 12 touches, four marks and six tackles.

North Adelaide has changed so much since last year’s grand final with one of the Roosters’ best in Kendall Howell named back in the side this week. She gathered 19 touches and six rebounds in last year’s decider, and had 12 touches and five marks in the 2020 victory over South. Lauren Daniel has been an experienced campaigner who has performed in both matches, picking up 15 disposals, four tackles and three inside 50s in the grand final, and then 18 touches, four marks, three tackles, three clearances and three rebounds earlier this year. Then there is Amber Ward who had eight rebounds from 16 touches and three marks last year, and it was Kristi Harvey this year who won the game with her work in defence racking up 15 disposals, eight marks – two contested, six tackles and eight rebounds.

Fast forward to this matchup today and the Roosters have been in ominous form, only conceding one goal in the past three weeks – not a typo – as they have completely powered past sides, albeit three of the bottom four sides. North Adelaide have booted 33.37 (235) to 1.8 (14) in that time with a percentage of 943. The Roosters are usually accurate but had a down day last round in terms of accuracy with 7.17, but that was as much credit to Central District’s defence as it was to North’s missed chances. In the two matches prior to those three thumpings, the Roosters defeated Glenelg by 18 points, and Norwood by 45 in strong performances.

South Adelaide has had a weird fixture to end the season, playing twice against each of West Adelaide and Central District, as well as Glenelg. The Bloods have provided a great measuring stick against the Panthers, with South getting up by 18 points in Round 7, and and 12 points last round. The trick with South Adelaide is that the Panthers just find a way to get it done. No matter what the score, the Panthers are the best at adapting to a style of playing and then beating the opposition with that style. They might not have belted teams in the last month, but they have beaten quality opposition off the back of terrific defence.

The most exciting area of the ground to watch will be North Adelaide’s forward line up against South Adelaide’s defence, with the likes of Ash Woodland – fresh off another four-goal haul – alongside Cristie Castle, Daniel, Perry and speedster Katelyn Pope going head-to-head with the reliable trio of Jaslynne Smith, Lauren Buchanan and Samantha Pratt, and then no doubt Whiteley and Roosters’ Kelly Barltrop will also be ones who have a bearing on the result of the game.

Up the other end, Ward and Harvey have the best one-two intercept marking and rebounding punch of any side in the competition, but what makes South so good is creating space inside 50 and letting the smaller forwards go to work. Jess Kirk returns and was leading the competition goalkicking prior to injury, while Munyard has kicked multiple goals on occasions, and Madison Bennett is always dangerous at ground level. Tahau and Charlton are South Australia’s top two top-age prospects this year as the pair are in the AFL Women’s National Academy. Radan and Lauren Gauci can provide some good intercepting and run and carry respectively back there, and they will have their work cut out for them.

In the midfield, McKinnon will be keen to impress in her second game back from injury against Bek Rasheed who has been one of the most consistent surprise packets this season since coming to the club. Hatchard leads the Roosters’ onball brigade, but the likes of Leah Tynan and Hannah Ewings will go head-to-head against Nicole Campbell and Tahlia Meyer, with Nikki Gore and Pope providing the dash through the middle, It is likely the team that not only wins the midfield, but has the most effective inside 50 entries will be the winner. Both these teams are capable of locking down the hatches and defending well, while they also know how to score quickly.

If you had to pick a team, North Adelaide is hard to look past given its strength and unbeaten nature, but the general feeling is, if the Roosters are to lose, it will likely be against the Panthers. A grand final spot on the line, this is set to be a ripper.

NORTH

F: Daniel, Castle, Woodland
HF: Pope, McKendrick, Perry
C: Greet, Hatchard, Case
HB: Gauci, Ward, Sundstrom
B: Clark, Harvey, Radan
R: Rasheed, Tynan, Ewings
INT: Arthur, Barltrop, Gallio, Howell, Reynolds, Taylor, Woodards

IN: Hatchard, Howell, Pope

SOUTH

F: Bennett, Kirk, Munyard
HF: Tahau, Cavouras, Schirmer
C: Hammond, Campbell, Charlton
HB: Copley, Pratt, Buchanan
B: Haylock, Smith, Northcott
R: McKinnon, Meyer, Whiteley
INT: Gore, Wedding, Flanagan-Sjoberg, Gibbs, Clifton, Pennifold, Ross

IN: Gore, Kirk, Cavouras, Bennett
OUT: Rothwell, Peters

 

NORWOOD vs. WEST ADELAIDE
Sunday, August 9, 12.20pm at Thebarton Oval

The loser of the first game will have the best opportunity to scout its next opponent when Norwood tackles West Adelaide in the second game. Unlike the North Adelaide-South Adelaide clash, there is no turning back for the loser with the defeated team out of contention this year. These teams have played twice this year, and both have been thrillers with Norwood getting the job back in Round 9 with an 11-point win over West Adelaide, while neither team could be split in Round 4 when they headed home with a draw prior to the extended break.

For most of the season, West Adelaide had held third spot on the table, going toe-for-toe with the top two sides, but two losses against them kept them in third. The draw and then loss with Norwood saw the Panthers drop back to fourth in the final round as the Redlegs enjoyed a huge win over a depleted Glenelg, while the Bloods went down in a fight against South Adelaide. In their most recent encounter back in Round 9, it was only a final term burst that saw Norwood create separation and celebrate a 4.9 (33) to 3.4 (22) victory.

The Redlegs almost kicked themselves out of it with seven straight behinds, before midfield dynamo Matilda Zander put through a crucial snap out of congestion. West Adelaide immediately trimmed back the deficit to under a kick through the great work of AFL Women’s teammates, Stevie-Lee Thompson and Chelsea Biddell, but it was loose checking on the defensive goal line that ultimately cost the Bloods third spot. With a free kick near the behind post, Tessa Hankinson was brought back on a sharp angle, but her opponent opted to stand on the goal line leaving the mark unguarded and Hankinson ran in to kick a goal from a couple of metres out, bettering the angle and helping her team to victory.

It was not the first time that Norwood had escaped ill-fated mis-kicking in front of goal. A week earlier, they kicked a frustrating 2.8, in what was a strange match. The Redlegs booted the first goal of the contest, then eight consecutive behinds against a Sturt side that refused to give in. It took until Kate Fenton‘s after-the-siren goal to give the visitors another major, and it levelled the scores and ensured the fourth placed team walked away with some points. A week later they knocked off the Bloods, and then took apart Glenelg in a strong performance.

West Adelaide did enough against Central District back in Round 8 to win by 22 points as Madison Newman and Thompson were dominant, booting four goals to zero in the middle two quarters to guarantee a win. The loss to Norwood cost them third spot, but they would have been pleased by the effort against South Adelaide early. They looked on from the first bounce, but could not sustain it across four quarters as quick goals to the Panthers was the difference.

Looking at this match, the battle of the midfields is absolutely crucial. Rachelle Martin had 21 touches and five clearances against the Redlegs in the Round 4 draw, and Norwood must find a way to try and stop her if they are to win. But she is far from alone in that onball brigade with the young talents of Abbie Ballard, Zoe Venning and Olivia Smith running around, with Mattea Breed a taller option who could play at either end or through the middle. Leah Cutting is one of the league’s best rucks so expect her to have a say on the contest as she leads a strong midfield group in Adelaide AFL Women’s talent and last year’s SANFL Women’s best and fairest, Najwa Allen, as well as Zander, Jess Macolino and Sophie Armitstead in there. The entire midfield is not afraid to get its hands dirty and win the contested ball.

Both these sides have some seriously underrated players in the competition, with Jade Halfpenny able to play at either end, as could Bella Smith who has been relishing the intercept marking role at centre half-back. The Norwood defence is strong, with Armitstead able to drop back there, and the likes of Rhiannon Busch mopping up everything that comes her way. The West Adelaide forward line is one of the most damaging when up and firing, with Biddell a key target, and Rachael Killian filling the role of Melanie Elsegood perfectly. Throw in midfielder Isabel Martin who can hit the scoreboard, along with Kasia Culhane, Thompson and Venning who both float down there, and the Bloods have a formidable group.

Up the other end, Norwood has Breed and captain Alison Ferrall as the targets to watch for, with Breed able to fly and Ferrall powerful on the lead. The latter returns for this game, and with Fenton a known goalkicker, and Zander and Allen both able to rest forward, the Redlegs have a versatile front six. The Bloods half-back line of young guns, Newman and Keeley Kustermann, as well as captain Lauren Rodato is the best in the business, but as Helen Maidment showed last week, she is more than capable of playing high half-back with Rodato dropping back deeper.

Both these sides have some incredible talent which showcases what they are capable of on their day. They can match it with the best sides, but they can also struggle against the lower sides at times. The team that plays its most on-brand game will win this, which by Round 8 looked certain to be West Adelaide, but the last two weeks have shown that Norwood probably deserve to be favourites. West have struggled through the midfield of late, and the Bloods have to win that to take home the points, while Norwood have to be smart with the inside 50s to stop the elite half-back line of the Bloods taking easy intercept marks.

NORWOOD

F: Smith, Bigg, Gould
HF: Tsoumbris, Zander, Macolino
C: Hiscock, Busch, Ferrall
HB: Avery, Cutting, Fenton
B: Allen, Breed, Armitstead
R: Halfpenny, Sporn, Gallagher
INT: Lishmund, Martin, Samuel, Hankinson, Rochow, Zerella, Barisic

IN: Ferrall, Lishmund, Martin, Tsoumbris, Samuel, Barasic
OUT: Karamoshos, Murison

WEST

F: Ballard, Scholar, Scutchings
HF: Kustermann, Biddell, Venning
C: Culhane, Rodato, O. Smith
HB: Newman, Thompson, Martin
B: Maidment, Killian, Doupis
R: Walsh, James, Greer
INT: E. Smith, Mason, Gray, Davis, Hooper, Harfield

IN: Scholar, Gray, Doupis, Hooper
OUT: Hardwick, Griffiths

SANFL Women’s Team of the Week – Round 10: Even spread for competition in final round

YOUTH is the highlight of the final Draft Central South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s Team of the Week. The top three teams shared in 12 of the 24 players this round with North Adelaide, South Adelaide and Norwood all having four representatives in our side this week. Three of the other five teams – West Adelaide, Central District and Woodville-West Torrens – had three representatives in an even team spread, while Sturt (two players) and Glenelg (one) rounded out the side.

South Adelaide’s defence on the weekend was ultra impressive and that is why a couple of their back six make the starting team in Jaslynne Smith and Lauren Buchanan. Samantha Pratt made it into the extended side as an emergency, while through the midfield, Nicole Campbell and Tahlia Meyer also made the team. For their opponents West Adelaide, the Bloods had three representatives with key defender Helen Maidment at centre half-back, and youngsters Abbie Ballard and Zoe Venning slotting into the side.

North Adelaide’s quartet starts with captain of this team, Ash Woodland who had a starring four-goal role in the Roosters’ big win. Holding down the fort at full-back is Kristi Harvey, whilst another forward in Britt Perry, and the classy Hannah Ewings all made the side once again.Their opponent Central District had its fair share of defenders in the side too, with Madison Lane making the starting side, and Nicola Biagi and Demi Sonneman both squeezing onto the bench.

Norwood also had the four players make the Team of the Week after a big win over Glenelg. Starting at half-back is Sophie Armitstead who spent a fair chunk of time in the midfield but can slot back there, whilst Matilda Zander is on the wing Up forward, Mattea Breed stands at centre half-forward, whilst Najwa Allen is in the team once again onball and vice-captain in our team this week. The Tigers only had one player in the side with Deni Varnhagen on the bench, though Lucy Armitage came close to making it and is one of our emergencies.

Of the remaining players, there were a combined five players in the Woodville-West Torrens and Sturt clash in the 24-player team. Chloe Forby and dual position player Kiana Lee are inside 50, whilst Anastasia Falkenberg has made it onto the bench. In defeat, Zoe Prowse once again made the side in the ruck position, whilst Hannah Prenzler returned to the side on the bench. Eagles’ Charlotte Dolan is the third emergency in the side after another solid performance in the win.

DRAFT CENTRAL SANFL WOMEN’S TEAM OF THE WEEK: ROUND 10

B: Jaslynne Smith (SA) – Kristi Harvey (NA) – Madison Lane (CD)
HB: Sophie Armitstead (NW) – Helen Maidment (WA) – Lauren Buchanan (SA)
C: Matilda Zander (NW) – Nicole Campbell (SA) – Hannah Ewings (NA)
HF: Chloe Forby (WWT) – Mattea Breed (NW) – Abbie Ballard (WA)
F: Britt Perry (NA) – Kiana Lee (WWT) – Ash Woodland (NA) (c)
R: Zoe Prowse (ST) – Najwa Allen (NW) (vc) – Tahlia Meyer (SA)
INT: Deni Varnhagen (GL) – Nicola Biagi (CD) – Hannah Prenzler (ST) – Anastasia Falkenberg (WWT) – Demi Sonneman (CD) – Zoe Venning (WA)
EMG: Lucy Armitage (GL) – Samantha Pratt (SA) – Charlotte Dolan (WWT)

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 review: Round 7 – Roosters send warning with huge win

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

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

GOALS: 

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

ADC BEST:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

GOALS:

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

ADC BEST:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

GOALS:

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

ADC BEST: 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

GOALS:

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

ADC BEST:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SANFL Women’s Round 6 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.