SANFLW Round 12 wrap: Panthers book finals spot
SOUTH Adelaide booked its 2022 South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s finals spot with a virtual elimination final win over Norwood on Saturday. The Panthers and Redlegs were fighting for fourth spot, and the visitors came away with the 25-point win at Cooper Stadium, as Sturt‘s win over Central District ensured it earned a double chance. In the other two games, Glenelg won the battle with a 10-point win over North Adelaide, but the Roosters won the war by still maintaining top spot, whilst Woodville-West Torrens finished the season on a high with its third win, sentencing wooden spooners West Adelaide to 11 straight losses to close out a challenging 2022 season for the Bloods.
A three-goal first term flurry set up an important victory for Sturt to ensure the Double Blues not only made their first finals series, but booked a double chance. They did not always have it their own way, but the Double Blues ground out a win to keep Central District to just one goal from seven scoring shots at the newly renovated Summit Sports Park. In what proved to be a match-winning performance, the 3.4 to 0.0 first term set up the 28-point result.
It was clear from early on that the Double Blues were there to play, and they dominated the opening quarter with 12 inside 50s to two, and converted seven scoring shots from those 12 inside 50s. Abbey Rigter was first on the board in sister Maya‘s 50th SANFL Women’s game, with both Georgia Bevan and India Rasheed looking dangerous early. Kate Harris found plenty of the ball alongside Alisha Gepp in the first term, but it was Amy Brooks-Birve who slotted back-to-back goals in the space of four minutes for the home side to head into the first break with a 22-point advantage.
Neither team had it easy in the second term, as six consecutive behinds started the quarter, though the speedy Georgia McKee was starting to get off the chain inside 50. She kicked a couple of behinds – including a rushed running one that just had a poor bounce close to the line. She did not make the same mistake two minutes later, running all the way to the line and burning off an opponent to slot the Bulldogs first – and unfortunately what would be their only – goal of the game. It did give the visitors a sniff of hope though, with McKee’s major dragging Central to within 16 points at the main break. Demi Sonneman had a chance just before the half-time siren wit ha set shot but it just fell short.
Shelby Smith and Caitlen Teague were trying hard to get the game back on their terms, but the work of Isobel Kuiper around the stoppages and Kiera Mueller rebounding out of the back 50 was too much. Even Alex Pearce was doing a terrific job on the impressive Bulldogs ruck Isabelle Starmer. Any real hope of bringing momentum into the third for the Bulldogs was snuffed out with a Zoe Prowse goal, courtesy of a low bullet Gepp pass inside 50. Caitlin Wendland and Sonneman had a couple more chances early in the term but could not convert, with Wendland’s in particular just touched before it crossed the line. Madison Lane was having a bigger second half off half-back, but the Double Blues were well on top, leading by 21 points at the last chance.
An early goal to Kuiper just put an exclamation mark on the victory, with the Double Blues able to maintain enough possession to get the job done. Unfortunately for the hard inside midfielder, her day would finish two minutes early as she was helped from the ground with a suspected knee injury; the only sour point of Sturt’s victory. Prior to that, Kuiper had been arguably best on ground with 19 disposals, two marks – one contested – seven tackles, 10 clearances, two inside 50s and a goal. Mueller (19 disposals, two marks, four inside 50s and three rebound 50s) was terrific off half-back, whilst the likes of Gepp (20 disposals, four tackles and two clearances) and Bevan (17 disposals, two marks, five tackles and two inside 50s) were also lively. Pearce (14 disposals, three tackles, 21 hitouts and four clearances) could also be credited with winning the ruck battle.
For the Bulldogs, Smith continued to lead from the front until the final siren, amassing a ridiculous 18 tackles to go with 23 disposals, seven clearances and four rebound 50s, whilst Teague also impressed with 19 touches, two marks, nine tackles and two inside 50s. Lane picked up out of defence with 16 disposals, five marks, five tackles and eight rebound 50s, whilst Laitiah Huynh, Caitlin Wendland and Lauren Breguet were busy, and Charlotte Riggs had some highlight plays out of the defensive 50.
Sturt will head to Prospect Oval next week for a chance to book their 2022 SANFL Women’s Grand Final spot when the Double Blues tackle North Adelaide. For Central District, the Bulldogs’ season is done and dusted as they look towards further improvement in 2023.
STURT 3.4 | 3.7 | 4.8 | 5.10 (40)
CENTRAL DISTRICT 0.0 | 1.3 | 1.5 | 1.6 (12)
Sturt: A. Brooks-Birve 2, Z. Prowse, I. Kuiper, A. Rigter
Central: G. McKee
Sturt: I. Kuiper, A. Gepp, K. Mueller, G. Bevan, A. Pearce
Central: S. Smith, C. Teague, M. Lane, C. Wendland, L. Huynh
Woodville-West Torrens Eagles have finished their season on a high, recording their third win of the season with a 33-point victory over West Adelaide. The Bloods sunk to their eleventh consecutive loss in the SANFL Women’s season since winning in Round 1, and unfortunately were not able to send off departing coach Mark Moody with a win. In saying that, the Westies did fight to the bitter end, with Nicole Hooper kicking back-to-back goals in the last term to go down swinging, losing 2.6 (18) to 7.9 (51). The Eagles were able to send off retiring vice-captain Zahn Anthony with a victory though, as the defender-turned-forward converted a goal in her swansong game.
The first three quarters belonged to the Eagles though, particularly the first term as it was the McKenzie and Abbey Dowrick show. The West Australian sisters finally got a chance to reunite in Eagles colours, and tore the West defence to shreds in the opening term, slotting two goals apiece, even combining for McKenzie’s second goal with a neat one-two. Another West Australian in Brianna Hyde was also busy, as Jess Macolino was trying hard in midfield to get her team on top.
After five consecutive West Adelaide behinds – and most of the forward play in the second quarter – the Bloods fans hearts sunk when Anthony split the big sticks on the end of the Eagles’ first inside 50. The score read 5.0 to 0.5, which was the tale of the tape. Things went from bad to worse for the Westies when captain Madi Russell limped from the field hurting her knee late in the second term. The positives out of the first half were the likes of Macolino, Zoe Venning and Saraid Kustermann all finding plenty of the football. They could not contain the play of Jessica Sedunary and Annie Falkenberg who were outstanding in the defensive half and through the middle.
After a real arm-wrestle third term, the Eagles kicked a solitary goal in the final minute with Chantelle Mitchell running onto the end of one. It would make it a 37-point lead at the final break despite West Adelaide leading the hitouts and clearances. The Eagles would go on to triumph by 33, but not before Hooper kicked two and Mitchell got on the end of a full field play to kick another one herself and celebrate the victory.
Sedunary was best on ground with a massive 29 disposals, five tackles, eight clearances, three inside 50s and four rebound 50s, whilst Hyde (21 disposals, four marks, four tackles and four inside 50s) was very important in getting it forward. The Dowrick sisters combined for 27 disposals and four goals, whilst Falkenberg (16 disposals, eight tackles, two inside 50s and four rebound 50s tried hard all day. Natasha Holmes and Ella Little were also very busy.
WWT EAGLES 4.0 | 5.1 | 6.7 | 7.9 (51)
WEST ADELAIDE 0.4 | 0.5 | 0.6 | 2.6 (18)
Eagles: A. Dowrick 2, M. Dowrick 2, C. Mitchell 2, Z. Anthony
West: N. Hooper 2
Eagles: J. Sedunary, B. Hyde, A. Falkenberg, M. Dowrick, A. Dowrick
West: J. Macolino, Z. Venning. S. Kustermann, L. Boyd, N. Hooper
In what turned out to be a real scrap in challenging conditions, South Adelaide maintained finals appearances by securing fourth spot in the last round of the season. The Panthers conceded the first goal of the match against Norwood, but then booted 4.9 to 0.2 from that point on, running out 25-point victors at Coopers Stadium. The win allowed the Panthers to grab fourth spot and head to take on Glenelg next week in a do-or-die final, going in with confidence after a hard-fought 4.9 (33) to 1.2 (8) win.
Norwood was quick on the board with a great goal courtesy of an instinctual kick off the deck from Steph Simmonds. Her clever major put the Redlegs in front and produced a huge goal celebration to match. Unfortunately for the home side, it would be a rare celebration, as South had the majority of the run throughout the game, and ensured every look at goal from the home side would not be easy. Almost immediately after that goal, Shae Archbold snapped one home off a great passage of play from more experienced teammates Nicole Campbell and Czenya Cavouras, before Archbold set up Tahlita Buethke with a clever snap from congestion. The Panthers headed into quarter time with a seven-point lead.
Mother Nature decided to have some fun as the heavens opened up for the second term, and just one goal was scored for the term. That came through a nice passage of play from State Academy members Jemma Ellis and Archbold to Lucy Northcott who snapped her first after a couple of misses earlier in the first half. She almost had a second soccering it off the deck a few minutes later, but Ashlee Gould did enough one-on-one to ensure the rushed behind. The Panthers headed into the main break with a 16-point lead.
Northcott would slot her second goal after winning a great one-on-one contested ball, bursting away and kicking one on the run two minutes in, whilst the Panthers managed to rush a behind up the other end not long after. Both Archbold (twice) and Lauren Clifton missed chances they would normally get, as Jess Kirk – who had been in the thick of the game – got under the skin of Norwood opponents and there was a mini-melee on the wing. By the time the half-time siren sounded, the Redlegs trailed by 23 points, with competition leading goalkicker Alana Lishmund having some lively moments, but unable to quite be on target.
In a real arm-wrestle last term with the sun now out, South Adelaide just held on in a real grind. The Panthers were able to maintain possession and get it out of the defensive 50 through the work of Gypsy Schirmer and then Tahlita Buethke in the middle. The Panthers almost had one of the strangest goals of the year, when Buethke won it in the middle, took a bounce, went to kick and fresh aired it, only to recover it, throw it on the boot and land in Campbell’s arms. Her set shot missed, and would be one of only two behinds scored for the game, but it mattered little as everything went the Panthers way. A late Jade Halfpenny shot uncharacteristically skewed off her boot, summing up the unlucky afternoon, as the siren sounded with South up 4.9 (33) to 1.2 (8).
Schirmer was a standout all day for the Panthers, amassing 22 disposals, two marks – one contested – six tackles, two inside 50s and three rebound 50s – whilst Kirk played up the ground on her way to 18 touches, five marks – two contested – six tackles and four inside 50s. Campbell (17 disposals, six marks, six tackles and four inside 50s) was busy, with Senna Gulden, Cheyenne Hammond and Jess Waterhouse also impressive, and Northcott finishing with 2.3 from 15 disposals and two marks.
Sophie Armitstead was busy across the ground for Norwood, picking up 22 disposals, two marks – both contested – three tackles and eight clearances, working well in midfield with Lana Schwerdt (22 disposals, five tackles, five clearances and five inside 50s) and Molly Brooksby (16 disposals, four tackles, four clearances and three inside 50s). Leah Cutting dominated the hitouts with 36, as well as 15 disposals, three marks, five tackles and four inside 50s, but was relatively contained from her usual potential output. Gould was also very strong in defence, racking up 20 disposals, three marks, our tackles and nine rebound 50s.
Whilst Norwood’s season comes to an end, South Adelaide will now take on Glenelg in a do-or-die elimination final at Prospect Oval next Sunday afternoon.
NORWOOD 1.0 | 1.0 | 1.2 | 1.2 (8)
SOUTH ADELAIDE 2.1 | 3.4 | 4.7 | 4.9 (33)
Norwood: S. Simmonds
South: L. Northcott 2, S. Archbold, T. Buethke
Norwood: S. Armitstead, L. Schwerdt, L. Cutting, A. Gould, M. Brooksby
South: G. Schirmer, J. Kirk, L. Northcott, N. Campbell, J. Waterhouse
Glenelg downed minor premier North Adelaide by 10 points in a potential sighter for finals, clawing back from a narrow deficit at the final break to grasp an impressive victory at Prospect Oval. Despite the loss, and both sides sitting among a top three boasting 9-3 records, the Roosters took out top spot via superior percentage and could face the Bays again as the post-season arrives
The ledger now sits at 1-1 between these two finals-bound sides, after North got up by a comprehensive 32-point margin in Round 7. It looked like going that way again in the early stages on Sunday, as the home side owned much of the territory in a deadlocked opening 10 minutes.
With no scoring inroads to show for it, Glenelg skipped up the other end and chanced the first major of the day through clever forward Caitlyn Swanson. It came against the run of play, with North locking the ball up well with more numbers at stoppage, but proving unable to pass Glenelg’s defensive wall.
North still managed to hit back before quarter time as Jaimi Tabb made it one goal apiece. After taking 10 minutes to trouble the scorers in term one, both sides got going early in the second stanza, again trading goals as the Bays held onto their one-point lead heading into the main break.
They call the third the premiership quarter, and North looked to live up to that billing by taking control of the contest. The Roosters also snatched the lead for the first time, with Brianna Arthur’s goal doing the job as the clock ticked over 11 minutes.
Things could not have turned much quicker from there. Ellie Kellock, who had been a star turn for Glenelg all day, converted a set shot less than two minutes into term four, sparking a decisive three-goal quarter for the victors.
A costly 25-metre penalty against gun youngster Hannah Ewings saw fellow state Under 18 representative Piper Window put the Tigers further ahead, but the North midfielder got it back with a flukey snap which dribbled through. It gave the Roosters slight hope, only for Chelsea Packer to slam the door shut with a sealer in the last six minutes.
Ewings put up ridiculous numbers on the same day the AFLW Academy got together for a showcase game, collecting 34 disposals and eight clearances from midfield. She was supported well by the likes of Tabb and Jessica Edwards, while the Roosters’ defence was propped up by rock-solid performances from Kristi Harvey, Jamie Parish, and Amelie Borg.
With AFLW Draft prospect Sarah Goodwin sidelined, Ella Boag stepped into her role at half-back and provided a good amount of dash in transition. Kellock was exceptional for her 22 touches and five clearances, but it was Jessica Bates who lead Glenelg’s disposal count with 25, and 13 tackles. The Scholz sisters – Matilda and Poppy – also showed promise in their respective roles (ruck and wing).
Next, North takes on Sturt for a spot in the 2022 Grand Final, though a second chance is also on offer for the loser. Glenelg will meet South Adelaide in the knockout semi-final, forced to take the long road in its premiership defence this time around.
NORTH ADELAIDE 1.0 | 2.1 | 3.2 | 4.2 (26)
GLENELG 1.1 | 2.2 | 2.5 | 5.6 (36)
North Adelaide: B. Arthur, J. De Melo, H. Ewings, J. Tabb
Glenelg: C. Swanson, S. Franson, E. Kellock, C. Packer, P. Window
North Adelaide: H. Ewings, J. Tabb, J. Parish, K. Harvey, J. Edwards
Glenelg: E. Kellock, E. Boag, M. Scholz, J. Bates, C. Packer