SANFLW Round 1 wrap: Reigning premiers flex as Westies hold on

GLENELG has kick-started its premiership defence on the perfect note with a big win over Norwood in Round 1 of the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s competition. Grand finalists West Adelaide also recorded a tight victory over fellow contenders North Adelaide, whilst South Adelaide and Sturt also got on the winners list with victories over Central District and Woodville-West Torrens Eagles respectively.

  • Team
  • Norwood
  • Glenelg

NORWOOD 1.0 | 2.2 | 2.2 | 2.2 (14)
GLENELG 3.3 | 5.3 | 8.6 | 13.9 (87)


Norwood: J. Halfpenny, L. Bigg
Glenelg: B. Tonon 6, C. Packer 3, P. Window, L. Armitage, L. Chigwidden, C. Swanson


Norwood: A. Ferrall, J. Halfpenny, S. Armitstead, M. Johnston, G. Mulvahil, N. Burns
Glenelg: B. Tonon, P. Window, S. Goodwin, J. Bates, E. Kellock, C. Packer

Reigning premiers Glenelg sent a message to the rest of the competition with a dominant 73-point demolition of Norwood on opening night of the 2022 SANFL Women’s season. Adelaide-listed youngster Brooke Tonon returned to her premiership SANFLW club from last year, and slammed home six second half goals to equal the all-time individual goals record in a memorable Round 1 win.

The Bays were on top early when Chelsea Packer slotted the first three goals of the match, and the Bays had a 20-point lead before the Redlegs had even had a chance to recover. Both her first two goals had come from forward smarts and then her third from a free kick. It took a bit of Jade Halfpenny magic through a contested mark and subsequent set shot to get Norwood on the board.

Halfpenny was next spotted up the other end in quarter two, saving it on the last line of defence, but it was not long before Glenelg got back on top. Piper Window who would go on to have an outstanding performance in midfield kicked the first goal of the second term, with fellow State Academy member Sarah Goodwin and the more experienced Caitlyn Swanson involved. Not long after, it was Swanson getting on the end of it from rampaging skipper Ellie Kellock, with Glenelg out to 27-point lead heading into the last five minutes of the quarter. Lindsay Bigg managed to apply some individual brilliance, kicking the final 1.2 of the half – including a set shot miss after the siren to cut the deficit to 19 points at the main break.

Little did anyone at The Parade know, that the Tonon show was about to start. Looking dangerous inside 50 but only having a behind for her troubles thus far, the teenager was about to put on a clinic. Over the next 40 minutes, Tonon danced one way then the other, found space where few could, and just showed pure desire to kick goal after goal. By the time the final siren sounded, she had booted 6.2, including a poster in the last minute of the game which would have seen her record standalone for individual brilliance.

That being said, Tonon’s six-goal effort was far from the only impressive performance, with fellow young gun Goodwin (21 disposals, six marks – two contested – nine tackles, nine inside 50s and two rebound 50s) taking over Tonon’s role from the premiership year. Window feasted on the clearances, with a team-high nine to go with seven inside 50s and 17 disposals, working in tandem with Jessica Bates (23 disposals, 19 tackles, six clearances and five inside 50s), Ellie Kellock (19 disposals, three marks, four clearances, three inside 50s and three rebound 50s) and Tessa Kohn (16 disposals, four tackles, five clearances and three inside 50s).

Norwood was smacked in the hitouts (42-26), clearances (33-22) and inside 50s (51-15), with Alison Ferrall bravely holding up the defence with 22 touches, six marks, five tackles and eight rebound 50s. Sophie Armitstead (17 disposals, six tackles, four clearances) and Halfpenny (14 disposals, four clearances, three inside 50s and a goal) did their best in the middle, but were ultimately overwhelmed. Grace Mulvahil, Morgan Johnston and Ashlee Gould also combined for 14 rebound 50s.

Norwood take on Central District at X Convenience Oval in Round 2, with both sides searching for a win, whilst Glenelg faces Sturt in a clash between the two of the winning sides in Round 1.

  • Team
  • West Adelaide
  • North Adelaide

WEST ADELAIDE 2.4 | 2.4 | 6.4 | 6.4 (40)
NORTH ADELAIDE 0.1 | 1.4 | 1.6 | 4.11 (35)


West: M. Elsegood 2, E. Barrenger, P. Francis, N. Hooper. C. Scutchings
North: H. Ewings 2, P. Crowe, J. Norup


West: J. Macolino, M. Russell, Z. Venning, B. Develyn, K. Kustermann, L. McCarthy
North: H. Ewings, K. Pope, J. De Melo, E. Metcalfe, J. Clark, E. Sundstrom

West Adelaide has held firm against a Hannah Ewings-inspired final term from the Roosters to enjoy a narrow five-point win over North Adelaide at Hisense Stadium. North Adelaide headed into the clash missing 10 players due to COVID protocols, and West Adelaide was on top early, having all the play for the first 15 minutes and putting 2.4 (16) on the board before the Roosters had managed to put a score on themselves. Katelyn Pope returned to the SANFL Women’s and looked incredible with her run across the ground, but it was Jess Macolino in her new colours who caught all the attention in the first term.

The former Norwood midfielder brought her own football in the opening quarter, racking up the ball with ease and dominating around the clearances. It was symbolic of West’s stranglehold on the game, and Melanie Elsegood was the beneficiary, kicking two goals from set shots. Pope almost created something out of nothing late in the term, but it was not to be, and the Rooster had a solitary point on the board and trailed by 15 points at quarter time.

Moving into the midfield, Ewings – who returned from a serious ankle injury – showed all the class and power that SANFL Women’s spectators have come to know from the talented teenager. North seemed to awake from its slumber in the second term, with Pope having another shot but missing six minutes into the term. For all of the Roosters dominance – with the likes of Jade De Melo and Jaime Norup looking ominous – it took until Paris Crowe received from Pope to take a few steps and launch the visitors’ first goal of the day and cut the margin back to eight points.

North would continue to pepper the goals with Crowe trying to kick it off the ground and Ewings have a shot under immense pressure, but both missed. The Roosters had dominated the term, but still trailed by a goal, which was good news for Mark Moody‘s chargers who had weathered the storm and could regroup in the second half.

Though the rest might have done the Bloods some good, it was North that continued the momentum out of the main break, having a couple of chances but being unable to nail the conversion. Behinds to Crowe and Norup represented some missed chances, and that left the door ajar for the home side. Then it suddenly clicked for West Adelaide. Nicole Hooper showed good evasion to break the Bloods’ drought, and when it rains it pours. Charlie Scutchings, Ebony Barrenger and Paris Francis all slammed home majors in the space of eight minutes to blow the margin out to 28 points.

North burst out of the final break with renewed vigour as a couple more chances went begging in the opening 90 seconds. By the eight-minute mark they had added three behinds to their score but the West defence was holding up. It took some Ewings magic to cleanly pick up the ball and slam it home. That gave the Roosters some hope, with Letisha Ackland finding Norup in the goalsquare, and the tall kicked the Roosters second of the term.

Despite having time on their side, the Bloods defence tried to clear the ball with five minutes remaining and unfortunately put it straight into the hands of Ewings, who took a couple of steps and banged it home from 40m to cut the deficit back to just six points. Now West was hanging on for dear life, and North was doing all the attacking. Ackland had a chance to tie the scores but just missed, and it went right down to the wire and West managed to hold on by just five points, 6.4 (40) to 4.11 (35).

Macolino had a day out in the midfield for her new side, racking up 25 touches, eight clearances, four inside 50s and laying 11 tackles. Also prominent in the midfield, Zoe Venning amassed 22 disposals, six tackles and four clearances, whilst the Bloods defence was steadfast throughout the match. Ex-AFLW Eagle Beatrice Devlyn (23 disposals, four marks and six rebound 50s), young talent Keeley Kustermann (19 disposals, five rebound 50s) and leader Madison Russell (15 disposals, four marks, six tackles and five rebound 50s) all impressed.

For North Adelaide, Ewings finished the match with 21 disposals, four tackles, six clearances, eight inside 50s and two goals, looking as dangerous as Pope (22 disposals, six tackles and five inside 50s). Ella Metcalfe (23 disposals, five marks – two contested – and two rebound 50s) and De Melo (20 disposals, five marks and five inside 50s) also looked incredibly lively, whilst Erin Sundstrom (14 disposals, four marks) and Julia Clark (17 disposals, three tackles) also caught the eye.

West Adelaide remain at home for Round 2, taking on Woodville-West Torrens Eagles, whilst North Adelaide travel to Flinders University Stadium to tackle South Adelaide.

  • Team
  • Central District
  • South Adelaide

CENTRAL DISTRICT 0.1 | 2.3 | 3.3 | 4.3 (27)
SOUTH ADELAIDE 3.4 | 3.8 | 5.12 | 10.13 (73)


Central: D. Sonneman 2, K. Cannizzaro, I. Starmer.
South: S. Archbold 3, J. Waterhouse 3, L. Clifton, J. Kirk, L. Northcott, B. Wedding


Central: M. Lane, C. Teague, I. Starmer, S. Smith, D. Williams, L. Huynh
South: J. Waterhouse, S. Archbold, N. Campbell, T. Buethke, B. Wedding, J. Smith

Despite debuting a host of fresh faces to a traditionally-strong lineup, South Adelaide showed its rebuild may not be so traditional after all, having kicked away from a tough Central District outfit to win by 46 points at X Convenience Oval. The Panthers burst out of the blocks with the first three goals of the game, before the Bulldogs got back on top to kick the next three and get within a kick of the lead early in the second half. After that though, the match belonged to the visitors as they piled on seven of the next eight goals to run out 10.13 (73) to 4.3 (27) winners.

Central District actually had the first play of the day with captain and two-time best and fairest winner Shelby Smith hitting up defender-turned forward Demi Sonneman 30m out. Her shot missed, but South Adelaide did not make the Bulldogs pay, with Lucy Northcott kicking the first of a number of behinds for the visitors. In fact the first goal did not come until the 12th minute of the first term, when State Academy member and Under 16s talent Shae Archbold kicked a set shot goal. She then gave it off to Jess Waterhouse who would hit the scoreboard twice in the first term with one goal and one behind, before captain Brianna Wedding used her strength and smarts in a ruck stoppage at the top of the goalsquare to kick a last minute goal and hand her side a 21-point advantage at the first break.

Over the next 25 minutes, Central mounted its comeback. Sonneman kicked the first of the day from a set shot courtesy of a clever snap under pressure from young gun Georgia McKee. A couple of other players had chances with Laitiah Huynh, Keely Cannizzaro and Smith all looking lively. Eventually their pressure paid off with Isabelle Starmer converting her side’s second goal of the match. South did not have an inside 50 until the 14th minute mark of the match, and despite having a number of chances later in the quarter, the Panthers kicked four consecutive behinds – two more to Northcott – but managed to hold a 11-point advantage at the main break.

Straight out of the main break the Bulldogs looked super dangerous as Smith had a chance running into goal but it just skewed off the boot, and eventually work from Smith to Madison Lane to Sonneman at the top of the goalsquare cut the deficit back to five points just three minutes into the third term. Unfortunately for the home team, from that point on, it was all South Adelaide. The Panthers slammed home seven of the next eight goals – only Cannizzaro’s major six minutes into the fourth term broke the trend – with Waterhouse and Archbold both kicking two more majors and Lauren Clifton and Jess Kirk joining the party. Perhaps the feel-good moment was when the unlucky Northcott finally got her chance, smothering a Dogs defender just outside the goalsquare and running into the open goalsquare to kick her first after four behinds.

South Adelaide had got the job done, though through momentum more than anything else, with an ultra-impressive forwardline not willing to give in once they smelled blood. Waterhouse finished with 16 touches, four marks, six inside 50s and 3.3, pairing up with Archbold (15 touches, five marks, six tackles, four inside 50s and 3.1 as a damaging duo. Nicole Campbell produced an outstanding four-quarter effort with 19 disposals, six clearances and four tackles, whilst Tahlita Buethke had a big second half to finish with 24 disposals, three marks, five tackles and six inside 50s. Wedding and Jaslynne Smith also helped with their experience.

For the Bulldogs, Caitlen Teague amassed more disposals than anyone else, with a consistent four-quarter efffort of 21 touches, five clearances and two rebound 50s, whilst Lane was outstanding upon her return from a long-term injury, notching up 20 disposals, three marks and six rebound 50s. Starmer impressed through the ruck with 18 disposals, eight marks, 19 hitouts and four inside 50s, while Smith (17 disposals, nine tackles, five marks, three clearances and three inside 50s) was at her consistent best. Youngsters Huynh and Dakota Williams also caught the eye through midfield.

South Adelaide hosts its first game of the year next round taking on North Adelaide at Flinders University Stadium, whilst the Bulldogs remain at home to face Norwood at earlier on Saturday afternoon.

  • Team
  • Woodville-West Torrens
  • Sturt

WWT EAGLES 1.3 | 1.5 | 1.7 | 2.8 (20)
STURT 1.1 | 5.4 | 5.7 | 7.8 (50)


Eagles: M. Dowrick, J. Whitington-Charity.
Sturt: A. Rigter 2, A. Brooks-Birve, E. Dawes, A. Healy, E. Lynch, I. Rasheed


Eagles: S. Goody, L. Kaslar, C. Dolan. J. Whitington-Charity, E. Little, A. Blanden
Sturt: J. Hewett, A. Gepp, A. Ballard, I. Kuiper, Z. Prowse, I. Rasheed

Six unanswered goals through almost three quarters of play proved that Sturt had made good on its promise to add attacking flair to its defensive ability. The Double Blues proved a bit too strong for the equally-young Woodville-West Torrens Eagles, who despite having a number of AFLW-experienced talents, were missing some through COVID-19 protocols. When the ball was bounced little mattered though, as the Eagles booted the first through McKenzie Dowrick and looked to be on their game. From there though, it was all Sturt who slammed home six goals on the Double Blues’ way to win, 7.8 (50) to 2.8 (20).

After Dowrick’s major came at the three and a half minute mark of the game, the Eagles lead by eight points. It took six more minutes for Alysha Healy to kick the Double Blues’ first off a lovely play from ruck Jasmyn Hewett. The Crows-listed ruck did her recall chances no harm with a best on ground performance, dominating the ruck stoppages and giving her midfielders first opportunity. Sturt did all the attacking late in the term after Amie Blanden missed the first of three behinds for the game. When the first siren sounded, the Eagles still lead by two points.

That was about to change, and suddenly, as the Double Blues banged on four goals in 14 minutes, three of which came in the first eight. Under 16s talent India Rasheed showcased her outstanding left boot with a brilliant running goal off teh first centre clearance of the term. Hewett had a chance at the top of 50 but it fell short, but then a great tackle from Elsie Dawes on Charlotte Dolan lead to a set shot conversion for the former. Ellie Lynch pulled out the party tricks by selling some candy in front of goal and kicking on the run, and by the time Abbey Rigter had her side’s fifth of the game, the Double Blues were firmly in control.

Though Dowrick had another couple of chances in front of goal, she was under pressure, as Under 19s State representative Alex Ballard was outstanding in her role, taking a number of strong marks and driving the ball out of defence. Sturt showed its attacking side, then managed to get it done defensively in the third term, with no goals scored, but the Double Blues still holding a 24-point lead at the final break. Amy Brooks-Birve the broke the half an hour goal drought to seal the game for Sturt with a fortuitous kick off the ground in the goalsquare three minutes into the final quarter.

Jemma Whitington-Charity – who had played a good game for the Eagles – sharked Hewett’s tap in the forwardline perfectly midway through the term to slam it on the boot and give the Eagles their second of the contest. It would prove not enough though as Rigter would kick her second major in immediate response, and the Double Blues would ice the clock to win by 30 points, 7.8 (50) to 2.8 (20).

Hewett was absolutely outstanding in the ruck with 18 disposals, 32 hitouts, five tackles, seven clearances and two inside 50s, dominating from the first bounce. The midfield of Alisha Gepp (25 disposals, five clearances and four inside 50s), Isobel Kuiper (18 disposals, four clearances and five tackles) and Elsie Dawes (17 disposals, three clearances and six marks) all stood tall. In defence alongside Ballard, Kiera Mueller and Zoe Prowse both impressed, whilst Molly Fletcher and India Rasheed were also among the better players.

Two players stood out above others for the Eagles with young gun Shineah Goody racking up 26 disposals, five marks, nine tackles, three clearances, two inside 50s and five rebound 50s in a huge effort from the bottom-ager. At the other end of the scale, ex-AFLW captain Leah Kaslar used her experience to finish with 18 disposals, four marks and nine rebound 50s on the last line. Whitington-Charity had 16 disposals, five tackles, three inside 50s and a goal, whilst Dolan (14 disposals, four tackles and three rebound 50s) also tried hard throughout the match.

Next week Sturt hosts reigning premiers Glenelg at Thebarton Oval on Saturday night, with the Eagles travelling to Hisense on Friday night.

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