CENTRAL District has remained alive in the hunt for the 2022 South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s finals, defeating Woodville-West Torrens Eagles in a come-from-behind Round 11 thriller. Both Norwood and South Adelaide suffered defeats at the hands of top three sides Sturt and Glenelg, meaning the Bulldogs must win comfortably over the Double Blues, whilst the Panthers need to beat Norwood, but by as little as possible for Central District to make the top four. North Adelaide further solidified the likelihood of finishing on top with its eighth straight win, defeating West Adelaide by 27 points.
Sturt has kept its top two hopes alive with a tight nine-point win over Norwood at Wigan Oval, kicking away from the Redlegs in the final term to salute, 6.6 (42) to 5.3 (33). The game was always in the balance throughout, even after Sturt held Norwood scoreless in the opening term, and Amy Brooks-Birve and Ellie Lynch both converted majors. After not scoring in the first term, Norwood was the only team to score in the second, kicking 2.1 with Jiarna Zerella and Lindsay Bigg drawing within three points at half-time.
After Sturt had been on top in the first term, the Norwood midfield of Tesharna Maher, Sophie Armitstead and Jade Halfpenny were all looking good, as Isobel Kuiper and Kiera Mueller were lively for the Double Blues. The home side got back on top in the third term with a couple of chances to young gun India Rasheed, before Alysha Healy broke through with a goal on the eve of three quarter time – the Doubles Blues’ first since the first term – to extend the lead out to 11 points. An early Abbey Rigter goal with a clever spin and burst in the final quarter stretched it out to 17 points, before Norwood started to get some momentum.
Alana Lishmund stepped up in the final term with a ripping long-range goal off the left, before snapping a ridiculous goal out of nowhere from the pack to keep her side on track either side of a second Brooks-Birve goal. Halfpenny’s final quarter was huge, setting up a number of forward thrusts, as Steph Simmonds kicked on from a set shot to cut the deficit to three points. By the time the ball was bounced there was just one minute left, and Sturt killed the clock for Healy to pretend to have a shot from outside 50 only to pass short and Rigter to go to ground and win a free kick. Slotting the set shot after the siren, Sturt got up by nine points.
Mueller had a big game for the Double Blues upon her return, picking up 23 disposals, four marks – one contested – nine tackles, four inside 50s and four rebound 50s, whilst inside midfielder Kuiper had 21 disposals, four marks, 14 tackles, seven clearances and two inside 50s. Elsie Dawes and Kate Harris accumulated 15 disposals apiece, with Zoe Prowse also busy around the ground and holding up the ruck against the quality Leah Cutting.
Cutting took control in the ruck against her less experienced opponent, amassing 39 hitouts to go with 18 disposals, four marks, three tackles, three clearances, two inside 50s and two rebound 50s. Halfpenny finished with 19 disposals, nine tackles, five clearances, three inside 50s and three rebound 50s, whilst Armitstead, Maher and Lana Schwerdt all found their fair share of the ball in the loss.
Sturt hosts Central District on Saturday at Summit Sports Park, whilst Norwood plays South Adelaide at Coopers Stadium on the same day, with the winner to claim fourth spot.
STURT 2.4 | 2.4 | 3.6 | 6.6 (42)
NORWOOD 0.0 | 2.1 | 2.1 | 5.3 (33)
Sturt: A. Brooks-Birve 2, A. Rigter 2, A. Healy 2, E. Lynch
Norwood: A. Lishmund 2, L. Bigg, S. Simmonds, J. Zerella
Sturt: K. Mueller, I. Kuiper, E. Dawes, K. Harris, Z. Prowse
Norwood: L. Cutting, J. Halfpenny, L. Schwerdt, S. Syme, S. Armitstead
Central District came from the clouds to boot four unanswered goals in the last 26 minutes with Woodville-West Torrens to run over the top of the Eagles by six points, 6.5 (41) to 5.5 (35). The Eagles lead by a game-high 21 points after a Jemma Whitington-Charity goal at the 11-minute mark of the third term. From that moment on, the Bulldogs booted 4.3 to 0.0 to run away with the contest. Caitlin Wendland proved a great inclusion, slotting three goals – two in that run home – to be the only multiple goalscorer in the match.
Wendland kicked an early goal just two minutes into the match, snapping around her body to give the Dogs an early lead with ex-Eagle Jovanka Zecevic racking up the ball in the first term. Klaudia O’Neill got the home side going midway through the first quarter, the first of three Eagles goals with Zahn Anthony and Neave Delaney also hitting the scoreboard. Ruck Isabelle Starmer showed off her forward craft with a great goal off a step in the term, with Shelby Smith and Shineah Goody racking up the ball for their respective sides.
The Eagles had their chances through the next 30 minutes, but could only kick 2.4 for their troubles, with McKenzie Dowrick slamming one home off that deadly left peg, before Whittington-Charity followed up with the final major of the game. In between, Chantelle Mitchell had a couple of chances but just lacked a touch of composure at the final moment, whilst Natasha Holmes also had an opportunity early in the third but missed. Madison Lane was prolific out of defence for the Bulldogs, with fellow ex-state teammate Laitiah Huynh also getting busy.
There was a shift in momentum through the later third term and fourth quarter as the Bulldogs roared to life. In what was one of the rarest things to see in SANFL Women’s football, Goody turned over the ball from a kickout for Wendland to kick her second goal. Demi Sonneman had opportunities either side of the final break, missing a gettable set shot after the siren, but then made no mistake off the Wendland hit-up to cut it to seven points. Another defensive 50 turnover from the Eagles lead to Wendland scooping up the ball and kicking her third of the game and when Shannon Murphy also kicked a major midway through the term, Central District was up by five. Central District kept attacking to the final siren, with a great play by Charlotte Riggs and Lane eventually leading to a Lauren Breguet shot that just bounced the wrong way. The visitors managed to hold on though and win by a straight kick.
Central captain Smith’s ridiculous form continued in the match, recording 34 disposals, two marks, eight tackles, four clearances and five inside 50s, also winning six free kicks. Huynh (24 disposals, four marks, three tackles, five clearances and four inside 50s) and Lane (24 disposals, two mars, three tackles and four inside 50s) also found plenty of the ball, with Starmer (22 disposals, five marks – one contested – three tackles, 29 hitouts, two clearances, four inside 50s and a goal. Zecevic (22 disposals, two marks, five tackles and six clearances), Breguet (21 disposals, four marks – two contested – six tackles, three clearances and four inside 50s) and Wendland (21 disposals, four marks, seven tackles, four clearances, three inside 50s and three goals.
Goody picked up 23 disposals, six marks – one contested – nine tackles, two clearances, two inside 50s and five rebound 50s upon return from her Most Valuable Player (MVP)-winning AFLW Under 18s carnival. Annie Falkenberg (16 disposals, eight tackles and three rebound 50s) and Ella Little (15 disposals, seven tackles and three clearances) both found their share of the ball with Mitchell, Amie Blanden and Annie Falkenberg also amongst the best.
Central District has to win big against Sturt next week to be any chance of making finals, whilst Woodville-West Torrnes Eagles close out their season with a bottom two clash against West Adelaide.
WWT EAGLES 3.1 | 4.3 | 5.5 | 5.5 (35)
CENTRAL DISTRICT 2.0 | 2.2 | 3.4 | 6.5 (41)
WWT: Z. Anthony, N. Delaney, M. Dowrick, K. O’Neill
Central: C. Wendland 3, S. Murphy, D. Sonneman, I. Starmer
WWT: S. Goody, E. Little, A. Blanden, C. Mitchell,, A. Falkenberg
Central: S. Smith, M. Lane, I. Starmer, L. Huynh, C. Wendland
North Adelaide has moved one step closer to the 2022 SANFL Women’s minor premiership with a 27-point victory over West Adelaide. In what was largely a scrap for the most past, North Adelaide made its job far harder than it needed to be, wasting a number of gettable chances on goal in the match, just opening the door for the Westies. Drawing within 10 points in the final quarter after three consecutive goals, the home side looked to be mounting a comeback before Brianna Arthur shut the door on that for the Roosters to run out 6.12 (48) to 3.3 (21) winners.
The first half was definitely a real scrap, with just the two goals kicked, the first of which went ot Jade De Melo who marked in the goalsquare just four minutes into the match. Both sides had plenty of opportunities in the first half, with Kristi Harvey standing up on the last line, and Jaimi Tabb and Jessica Edwards finding plenty of it through midfield. Lily Johnston was lively in attack for the Westies, whilst Jess Macolino and Keeley Kustermann were accumulating it with ease.
The second goal of the game did not come until the 17-minute mark of the second term when Tabb snapped a goal out of nothing, waking up the crowd. Prior to that, Elaine Grigg kicked two consecutive behinds from gettable chances, with De Melo missing soda from 15m out she would normally gobble up. The Roosters still lead by 14 at the main break, and that extended to 20 just after half-time following De Melo’s second goal on the board. When Doreena Hansen kicked the Roosters’ fourth, the lead looked an unassailable 25 points. Then West Adelaide came to life.
Louella McCarthy‘s quick snap around her body at the 13-minute mark bounced home, and when another clever snap – this time off the boot of Nicole Hooper – went through from an impossible angle, it was back to a manageable 14 points at the final break. Whilst North could not seemingly buy a goal – with behinds to De Melo and Sarah Steele-Park, Hooper snapped her second out of congestion to draw within 10 points five and a half minutes into the final stanza. North’s inaccuracy continued with another four straight behinds to keep the door ajar. Then Arthur went forward and kicked two goals in 90 seconds and it was game over with a few minutes left. A late snap from Hannah Ewings bounced home was but deemed to be touched off the boot, making it a final margin of 27 points.
Edwards recorded more disposals than any other Rooster with 25, as well as two marks, four tackles and six inside 50s. Her midfield partners in Ewings (22 disposals, four tackles, three clearances and 10 inside 50s) and Katelyn Pope (22 disposals, four tackles, four clearances, two inside 50s and two rebound 50s) also stood tall. Tabb (17 disposals, five tackles, five clearances, three inside 50s, two rebound 50s and a goal) and De Melo (2.2 from 13 disposals) also stepped up in the win.
Kustermann had a day out with a match-high 26 disposals in the loss, also recording four marks – one contested – three tackles, three clearances, two inside 50s and three rebound 50s. Beatrice Devlyn (20 disposals, two marks, two tackles, three inside 50s and five rebound 50s) and Madison Russell (18 disposals, five marks and six rebound 50s) were handy from the back half of the ground, whilst Johnston and Venning were important across the field.
North Adelaide finishes its season against Glenelg in a top three battle that has finals ramifications, whilst West Adelaide will hope to finish on a high against fellow bottom two side Woodville-West Torrens Eagles in Round 12.
WEST ADELAIDE 0.2 | 0.2 | 2.3 | 3.3 (21)
NORTH ADELAIDE 1.0 | 2.4 | 4.5 | 6.12 (48)
West Adelaide: N. Hooper 2, L. McCarthy
North Adelaide: J. De Melo, B. Arthur 2, J. Tabb, D. Hansen
West Adelaide: K. Kustermann, Z. Venning, M. Russell, B. Devlyn, L. Johnston
North Adelaide: H. Ewings, J. Edwards, K. Pope, J. Tabb J. De Melo
In one of the more unpredictable games of the SANFL Women’s season, Glenelg used a get out of jail free card for the second week in a row to come from behind and grab the victory against South Adelaide courtesy of some late behinds. The Bays could not buy a goal in the first half, but only needed 55 seconds in the second half to convert through Lucy Armitage after being five points at the main break. The Panthers got off to a perfect start through Tahlita Buethke who returned to the side to kick two first quarter goals and lead by as much as 13 points at one stage. The next 20 minutes saw eight straight behinds with the usually accurate Caitlyn Swanson, as well as Jess Searle missing some golden opportunities.
Luckily for Glenelg, the defence was holding up its end of the bargain with Sarah Goodwin, Jessica Bates and Madisyn Freeman all playing good footy. When Lucy Armitage converted a goal in the first minute of the third term, Glenelg had all of a sudden hit the front. AFLW-listed Cheyenne Hammond had a couple of huge moments which resulted in a goal to put South back in front, but soon Chelsea Packer edged the Bays back ahead. Just when it looked like Glenelg might head into the final break in front, Shae Archbold burst out of the middle and hit up Brooke Boileau who made no mistake.
South Adelaide looked like creating an upset six minutes into the final term when Lauren Clifton won a free kick inside 50 and nailed the set shot to put her side eight points up. But the celebrations did not even last 90 seconds as Swanson finally hit the scoreboard with a major to put it back to two points. In a throw back to last week where the Tigers overran the Eagles via behinds, they did it again, with Samantha Franson, Ella Boag and Searle all scoring behinds to ensure Glenelg got up by a solitary point, 4.11 (35) to 5.4 (34).
Bates had another huge game of 27 disposals, two marks, 13 tackles, four clearances and five inside 50s, as Ellie Kellock picked up 22 touches, three marks, four tackles, seven clearances, six inside 50s and two rebound 50s in an equally-impactful performance. Goodwin managed 18 touches, two marks, three tackles, four inside 50s and six rebound 50s coming out of defence, with Piper Window and Freeman also among the top performers, and Matilda Scholz taking control in the ruck.
Hammond was lively throughout the game with her crucial goal accompanying 13 touches, two marks, 13 tackles, four clearances and four inside 50s. Nicole Campbell (18 disposals, nine tackles, eight clearances, two inside 50s and two rebound 50s) and Jess Kirk (15 disposals, four marks, 10 tackles, two clearances, five inside 50s and two rebound 50s) found plenty of the ball through midfield. Nicole Collie and Samantha Pratt picked up a combined 27 disposals, six tackles and six rebound 50s in defeat.
Glenelg take on North Adelaide in a massive top three battle next Sunday, whilst South Adelaide face off against Norwood for a spot in the top four.
GLENELG 0.2 | 0.8 | 3.8 | 4.11 (35)
SOUTH ADELAIDE 2.1 | 2.1 | 4.4 | 5.4 (34)
Glenelg: J. Searle, C. Swanson, L. Armitage, C. Packer
South Adelaide: T. Buethke 2, C. Hammond, B. Boileau, L. Clifton
Glenelg: E. Kellock, J. Bates, S. Goodwin, P. Window, M. Scholz
South: C.Hammond, N. Campbell, J. Kirk, S. Pratt, N. Collie