SANFLW R2 MOTR: Panthers claw home
FOR the second successive week, South Adelaide survived a low-scoring thriller at Noarlunga, while Norwood fell short of a late comeback in Round 2 of the SANFL Women’s. In a battle between two finals hopefuls, the Panthers were coming off an inspired with over Sturt in Round 1, while Norwood agonisingly fell two points short of reigning premiers North Adelaide.
It was a strange match in hindsight, with South Adelaide racing out of the blocks to lead 20-0 early in the second term to have Norwood on the back foot. An important goal from Coby Morgan got the visitors on the board, but for the most part of two and a half quarters – bar some Najwa Allen magic in the final term – it was an arm-wrestle. The match was not without highlights though, with Under 16s talent Lily Baxter kicking a couple of impressive goals in just her second senior match.
South Adelaide Womens
SOUTH ADELAIDE 2.2 | 3.2 | 3.5 | 3.5 (23)
NORWOOD 0.0 | 1.0 | 1.0 | 3.0 (18)
South Adelaide: L. Baxter 2, L. Northcott
Norwood: N. Allen 2, C. Morgan
South Adelaide: C. Cavouras, C. Couch, S. Gulden, B, Boileau, J. Smith
Norwood: S. Branford, T. Maher, N. Allen, S. Hiscock, T. Buethke
South Adelaide forward Lucy Northcott created a bit of magic early in the contest, kicking the first goal of the game just six minutes into the match. As multiple opponents around her lost their feet, Northcott kept hers close to the goal line and slammed home the game’s opener.
It was a battle of the talented inside midfielders in the first term, with South Adelaide tough nut Czenya Cavouras racking up 10 disposals in the opening quarter. She and one of her opponents, Tesharna Maher (eight disposals) were battling it out brilliantly to try and get their respective sides some ascendancy.
A brilliant running goal from teenager Lily Baxter handed the second gamer her second goal of the match after a clever snap in the opening term. Not winning as much of it as last week. Baxter did a lot more damage playing further inside 50, which ended up being the perfect role for her.
Coby Morgan finally got her side on the board courtesy of a free kick and set shot. It gave the Redlegs a much needed pressure release, having trailed 20-0 at that point in time,
Senna Gulden and Baxter both had miraculous shots on goal in the term but could not quite put them through the big sticks, with Gulden’s snap from a forward stoppage out of nothing just missing, and Baxter shot on the run also just going through for a behind, South’s last score of the day.
Tahlita Buethke took mark of the day against her former side, leaping up high on the wing to take a brilliant grab, in what was a really promising performance from the ex-South speedster.
The quarter belonged to Najwa Allen who almost single-handedly dragged her team across the line. Having played in defence for the first three quarters, Allen was thrown forward, and kicked a goal just 90 seconds in from a 40m set shot. Then midway through the term, chucked the ball on her left and it bent round the post perfectly from 25m out to cut the deficit to five points.
Though not specifically in the last term, defender Samantha Pratt‘s job on AFLW talent Meghan Gaffney was first class. Locking down on the GWS GIANTS player, Gaffney was restricted to just two disposals in the match, with Pratt’s job going a long way towards helping South win the game.
THE STAR: Czenya Cavouras
There were plenty of names who deserved to be in the category, with an even contribution across the board. In the end, it was the player who started it all from the opening bounce, with Cavouras just dominating and playing a superb four quarters. She was a prime mover for South and never let up, helping her side maintain focus when Norwood was coming hard late.
SURPRISE PACKET: Sarah Branford
By her own admission, Branford is not a big ball-winner, but that all changed in her new defensive role. After a solid first-up game, the talented small dominated in game two, racking up a career-high 25 disposals in the SANFL Women’s, and putting her skills to good use behind the ball. Quite often she took grass and evaded would-be tacklers, clearing the ball to midfield, or pushing up to be another option to move it forward in transition.
YOUNG GUN WATCH: Lily Baxter
Two goals in the first 30 minutes put South in the box seat, and both were superb goals. The first was via a handball from Nicole Campbell to convert off a standing start, and then to kick a great goal on the move via a snap was superb. She came agonisingly close to a third goal, but was clearly South’s most damaging forward on the night.