SANFLW Round 3 wrap: Dogs on the board

CENTRAL District has won its first game of the 2022 South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s season, upsetting West Adelaide in a thriller at Hisense Stadium. The win meant all sides have at least one victory, with Sturt the only team to be undefeated heading into Round 4, holding off North Adelaide in a low-scoring clash at Thebarton Oval on Saturday. Glenelg won in its captain’s 50th match, whilst Norwood claimed the chocolates in Friday night action at The Parade.

  • Team
  • Norwood
  • Woodville-West Torrens

Norwood has won back-to games following an eight-point victory over Woodville-West Torrens Eagles under lights at Coopers Stadium. The Redlegs started a little slowly as the Eagles peppered the goals, but eventually the home team got into it, and did enough to come away with an eight-point win. The defence, lead by captain Alison Ferrall was superb, whilst Jade Halfpenny‘s ridiculous start to the season continued with yet another best on ground performance from the 19-year-old. Though the Eagles were in the contest for the most part, they were let down by finishing in front of goal, and Norwood capitalised with the 4.5 (29) to 2.9 (21) victory.

Kicking off at 8pm local time, The Parade was buzzing after the Redlegs had come off an important road win against Central District, and were keen to atone for the Round 1 shellacking at the hands of Glenelg. Eagles had most of he early play, and it showed on the scoreboard, but no one could seemingly find a goal. AFLW-experienced talents in Jessica Sedunary and McKenzie Dowrick, as well as Brianna Hyde and Amie Blanden all added behinds to lead by three points at the first break.

A couple of minutes into the second term, the Eagles extended that to what would be a game-high nine points for them, before Norwood found its form. Young gun Lana Schwerdt broke the home team’s drought with a goal 26 minutes from the first bounce, before Rosette Zerella and Lindsay Bigg kicked majors within a minute of each other, and by half-time the lead was suddenly in Norwood’s favour with an 11-point buffer.

Both teams could not manage to consistently get good looks, with Dowrick and Sedunary always under pressure. in front of goal, and defences rushing through behinds, or clearing it from danger. Only Alana Lishmund could find the middle of the big sticks, with a goal that felt like a match-winner despite being midway through the third term.

The Eagles came hard in the last quarter, having a number of opportunities, but the likes of Ferrall, Morgan Johnston and Sophie Armitstead were outstanding in the back half. The powerful boot of Dowrick had a number of chances, kicking 1.1 – her goal was a ripper off a couple of steps – and also having one fall short. Looking to be the biggest danger, the Redlegs defence put work into making sure she could not just step onto her left, and it worked, with neither team scoring in the final 12 minutes. It meant Norwood had got up by eight points, moving to 2-1 for the season to sit third overall after three rounds.

Halfpenny amassed 27 disposals, four marks – one contested – seven clearances and two rebound 50s in a starring role, though the defence was as solid as anything. Ferrall (18 disposals, four marks and nine rebound 50s), Johnston (14 disposals, nine marks – two contested – and six rebound 50s) and Ashlee Gould (15 disposals, six rebound 50s) were all strong. In midfield, the young guns of Sachi Syme (25 disposals, three marks and three inside 50s) and Schwerdt (22 disposals, five tackles, three clearances, three inside 50s and a goal) were terrific alongside the experienced Armitstead (20 disposals, two marks, three tackles, eight clearances and three rebound 50s.

For the Eagles, Ella Little created a ton of run on the outside with 19 disposals, two marks – one contested – six tackles and nine inside 50s, as Jasmine Simmons (19 disposals, 11 tackles) and Renee Forth (23 disposals, three marks and six tackles) were fierce as always. Though playing a quieter game than her first two, Shineah Goody had the 15 disposals, the same as other impressive players Charlotte Dolan and Sophie Zuill, while Dowrick and Sedunary combined for 2.5 of the team’s total 2.9.

Norwood travels south to Flinders University Stadium on Saturday night to face the Panthers, whilst the Eagles lock horns with the Bays at Hisense Stadium on Saturday morning.

NORWOOD 0.1 | 3.3 | 4.4 | 4.5 (29)
WWT EAGLES 0.4 | 1.4 | 1.7 | 2.9 (21)


Norwood: L. Bigg, A. Lishmund, L. Schwerdt, R. Zerella
Eagles: M. Dowrick, J. Sedunary


Norwood: J. Halfpenny, A. Ferrall, S. Armitstead, M. Johnston, L. Schwerdt, S. Syme
Eagles: E. Little, C. Dolan, R. Forth, L. Kaslar, J. Simmons, M. Dowrick

  • Team
  • West Adelaide
  • Central District

By: Michael Alvaro

Central District is on the board at the third time of asking in 2022, after defeating West Adelaide by 10 points in a thriller at Hisense Stadium. In what was truly a game of two halves in a scoring sense, the Bulldogs lead at every break but were tested by Westies’ final term charge. After Adelaide-listed midfielder Abbie Ballard put the Bloods eight points ahead with over 10 minutes left on the clock, 15-year-old Georgia McKee turned it on with three final term goals to help Central come away with a memorable win.

Earlier, fans saw just one goal kicked in the first half – a Demi Sonneman mark and conversion 10 minutes into the opening quarter. It came against the run of play, with Westies having much of the early territory before conceding. The second term was even more tense as neither side let up on the pressure stakes, despite Westies having a couple of golden chances. It meant Centrals went into the main break five points to the good, with plenty of scoring to come at both ends.

The tone was set early in term three as Centrals quickly shifted the shape of the game. Brianna Burt got on the board within 90 seconds, and Lauren Breguet made it two within the first five minutes, before McKee ticked that up to three in seven. Each major came from just about the top of the goal square, as the Bulldogs began to get deeper inside 50 and took full toll.

That run of unanswered goals kicked West Adelaide into gear, and the Bloods turned up in a big way. Keeley Kustermann capped her side’s own run of three goals in quick time, rolling home a snap over the back with two minutes until the final break, to give Westies a big sniff at four points adrift. It was a game on, and all the pressure was on Centrals.

As has often been the case, the Bulldogs looked like letting a winning position slip. Gray snared her second goal to put the hosts up for the first time on the day, and Ballard went bang to create some separation. With a golden chance seemingly lost, enter McKee. The young gun snapped goals off either foot and sunk a set shot to seal the deal, marking a memorable comeback and maiden win for season 2022. Remember the name.

Ballard was fantastic in the engine room for West Adelaide, notching 20 disposals, six clearances, and laying 13 tackles in an inspired performance. State academy member Kustermann showcased her class to lead all comers with 31 disposals, nine tackles and seven inside 50s – also bagging a goal but missing a late chance put her side ahead.

Elsewhere for the Bloods, Beatrice Devlyn was reliable through the middle, while Madi Russell had her moments and young midfielder Zoe Venning got her hands dirty in a solid midfielder’s game. Gray was Westies’ lone multiple goal kicker, booting two at important times.

McKee proved the star and hero for Centrals inside attacking 50, kicking four goals in a best on ground performance. Sonneman also booted multiples with two, while Shelby Smith led by example with a team-high 24 disposals, 10 tackles and five clearances from midfield. Caitlin Wendland and Lauren Smith were also solid around the ball, as Isabelle Starmer (24 hitouts) fared well in the ruck and Laitiah Huynh provided her usual outside run from the wing.

With a win on the board, the Bulldogs face another good test next up as they take on North Adelaide in Round 4, while Westies’ run only gets tougher as they meet the unbeaten Sturt on Saturday.

WEST ADELAIDE 0.1 | 0.4 | 4.5 | 6.6 (42)
CENTRAL DISTRICT 1.2 | 1.3 | 5.3 | 8.4 (52)


West Adelaide: G. Gray 2, A. Ballard, A. James, L. Johnson, K. Kustermann
Central District: G. McKee 4, D. Sonneman 2, L. Breguet, B. Burt


West Adelaide: A. Ballard, K. Kustermann, B. Devlyn, M. Russell, Z. Venning, M. Zacher
Central District: G. McKee, S. Smith, L. Smith, C. Webbdland, L. Huynh, I. Starmer

  • Team
  • Sturt
  • North Adelaide

In one of the more unusual games in SANFL Women’s history, solitary goal with less than five minutes remaining proved to be all it took for Sturt to take home the four points, which was somewhat ironic considering that before that goal, it was the Double Blues’ score. Though many might look at the 1.4 (10) to 0.7 (7) scoreline as a game they will not be reaching for the highlights tapes, the match serves more as proof that low-scoring games are not necessarily bereft of highlights.

Instead of putting it through the big sticks, crowds witnessed the two best defences in the SANFL Women’s provide some of the most staunch work they could across 80 minutes of action. Approaching the 15-minute mark of the final term, it looked incredibly likely the game would go without a goal until Alysha Healy split the big sticks with just over four minutes remaining. The celebration was so intense the forward accidentally injured young teammate India Rasheed with some friendly fire, but it could not douse the Double Blues’ mood.

At one end, you had a team defence of Sturt, weathering attack after attack from North Adelaide, who somehow did not score in the second half. The Roosters were not without a number of opportunities throughout the match, as the likes of Jade De Melo, Katelyn Pope, Erica Greet and Brianna Arthur continually applied pressure on the Double Blues’ back 50. But an outstanding performance from Alex Ballard – who was pulling down anything in her zone – coupled with he likes of Kiera Mueller, Georgia Bevan, Zoe Prowse and Hannah Prenzler.

Up the other end, you had Kristi Harvey who was the human equivalent of a brick wall, with Sturt unable to penetrate past her reliable hands and strong positioning. She lead the team superbly from the back 50 in a game where the Roosters had one more inside 50 (33-32) and the same amount of rebound 50s (31). Harvey finished with 22 disposals, eight marks – four contested – and 12 rebound 50s in what was arguably a best on ground performance. Up the other end, Cristie Castle returned to the side to be a powerful target inside 50, clunking 10 grabs from 15 disposals, including three contested marks, and four inside 50s. She looked the most dangerous across the ground as most likely to score.

In the end, all the back and forth’s between the sides results in the last five minutes going up a notch. Sturt did as it had all game and played smart, possession football, just looking to keep it off the Roosters. For North Adelaide, it was about covering ground in the shortest time possible. Despite running the gauntlet and trying to score as directly as possible in the final few minutes, it never came and the Roosters headed home without the points.

Bevan (22 disposals, nine marks, two clearances, four tackles, three inside 50s and five rebound 50s), Mueller (17 disposals, five marks and four rebound 50s), Ballard (16 disposals, seven marks and three rebound 50s) and Prenzler (13 disposals, eight marks and three reound 50s) worked brilliantly together. Prowse covered the ground well to amass 18 touches, six marks – two contested – six tackles, 13 hitouts and three rebound 50s, whilst Jasmyn Hewett (16 disposals, four marks, four tackles 10 hitouts, four clearances and three inside 50s).

Aside from Harvey’s heroic efforts, Jessica Edwards (19 disposals, four marks and three rebound 50s) worked hard back there, with wing rotations Pope (16 disposals, six marks, four tackles and five inside 50s), Greet (13 disposals, dive marks and four inside 50s) and Julia Clark (16 disposals, five marks) were all busy. Castle was lively inside 50, whilst Hannah Ewings had a big first term and then a few lively moments late to finish with 17 touches, five marks, three tackles, three clearances, three inside 50s and three rebound 50s.

Sturt has West Adelaide next up in the second game of a double-header at Hisense Stadium on Saturday, whilst North Adelaide heads further north to take on the Bulldogs at X Convenience Oval.

STURT 0.1 | 0.1 | 0.4 | 1.4 (10)
NORTH ADELAIDE 0.5 | 0.7 | 0.7 | 0.7 (7)


Sturt: A. Healy
North: Nil


Sturt: A. Ballard, G. Bevan, K. Mueller, Z. Prowse, E. Lynch, J. Hewett
North: K. Harvey, C. Casetle, J. Edwards, H. Ewings, J. Clark, K. Pope

  • Team
  • South Adelaide
  • Glenelg

Glenelg has managed to get up for captain Ellie Kellock‘s 50th game, defeating South Adelaide by nine points in a tight contest at Flinders University Stadium to close out the round. Both sides came into the clash coming off respective Round 2 losses, keen to atone for their defeats. Kellock was becoming the first Glenelg player to reach the 50-game milestone, in a game where rain threatened at times, but never quite continually fell. Though the Panthers kept coming late – mostly through the exploits of sharpshooter Jess Waterhouse – the Panthers always seemed that touch behind the visitors, eventually going down, 5.6 (36) to 4.3 (27).

The first term saw the goals traded thick and fast, with Caitlyn Swanson getting on the end of one after a few attacking plays. South responded almost immediately through Waterhouse, much to the delight of the home crowd, but soon it fell silent again as Samantha Franson kicked a ripper on the run in her first game back at League level. Remarkably, the term belonged to Glenelg, with South only having the one inside 50, but it resulted in the Waterhouse goal.

The second term – aside from a Waterhouse goal – was largely an armwrestle. Neither side got too many looks, with the ball becoming a stalemate between the arcs for the first seven minutes. When Nicole Campbell put it deep and long, Waterhouse ran onto it in the goalsquare to convert her second major. By the time the half-time siren rang, both teams had added one scoring shot, and the Panthers had closed the gap to nine points.

It was much of the same in the third, as Glenelg added a couple of behinds, with Packer hitting the post from a good opportunity. Though the Bays did control the tempo, the visitors only extended their lead by two, and the Panthers were within two kicks of the lead.

South Adelaide had its fair share of chances in the final term, with a flying shot on goal early touched just before it sailed through. That seemed to spark the Bays, as they went end-to-end, and the ball finished in the hands of Jessica Bates who kicked their first goal since late in the first term. Waterhouse kicked her third off a step in the pocket to keep the Panthers in with a chance, but then youngster Piper Window came up with the goods inside 50, kicking a great goal on the run as she was pushed over.

South continued to pepper the goals but with no avail until Waterhouse was the beneficiary of a horror bounce for her opponent at half-forward, having the entire forward 50 to run into, taking a couple of bounces and slamming home her fourth. With a minute left to play, it would prove too little, too late, but the ex-Glenelg forward had kicked all of her side’s majors on the day.

Bates had an outstanding game for the Bays, racking up 24 disposals, six marks, seven tackles, four clearances, five inside 50s, two rebound 50s and a goal in an all-round performance. After a quiet two-disposal first term, Sarah Goodwin found her rhythm on the wing, racking up 24 disposals, three marks, two tackles, three inside 50s and six rebound 50s for the game. Another State Academy member in Violet Patterson (17 disposals, three marks, three tackles and four inside 50s) did well, whilst Franson had 19 touches, seven marks – three contested – eight tackles, three clearances and three inside 50s upon returning to the top flight.

Nikki Gore came back to SANFL Women’s level and did her chances of a Crows recall no harm, picking up 27 disposals, seven marks, nine tackles, four clearances, three inside 50s and four rebound 50s. She was a part of a Panthers midfield that impressed with Tahlita Buethke (22 disposals, two marks, five tackles, five clearances, two inside 50s and two rebound 50s) and Campbell (21 disposals, six tackles, five clearances and three rebound 50s). Jemma Ellis also played outstanding in the ruck against fellow State Academy member Matilda Scholz, picking up 13 disposals, 19 hitouts and five clearances. Jaslynne Smith and Gypsy Schirmer combined for 25 disposals, six marks and nine rebound 50s in an eye-catching defensive performance.

Glenelg takes on Woodville-West Torrens Eagles at Hisense Stadium on Saturday, with South Adelaide hosting Norwood that night back at Noarlunga.

SOUTH ADELAIDE 1.0 | 2.0 | 2.0 | 4.3 (27)
GLENELG 3.2 | 3.3 | 3.5 | 5.6 (36)


South: J. Waterhouse 4
Glenelg: C. Packer, J. Bates, S. Franson, C. Swanson, P. Window


South: N. Gore, J. Waterhouse, T. Buethke, N. Campbell, J. Ellis, J. Smith
Glenelg: J. Bates, S. Goodwin, S. Franson, V. Patterson, C. Packer, M. Scholz

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