2023 SANFLW R3 wrap: Panthers remain unbeaten

SOUTH Adelaide stands alone at the top of the SANFL Women’s table after coming from behind to down West Adelaide in a Round 3 thriller. The Panthers had control throughout the first term, before the Bloods rallied through the middle two quarters to get on top, only for the home team to come home strong and kick a couple of last quarter goals to win by two points, 4.5 (29) to 4.3 (27).

Playing at Noarlunga for the third consecutive week, it would take another incredible battle for South Adelaide to come out on top against fellow undefeated side West Adelaide. Both had won their opening two games, and after North Adelaide received a percentage-boosting win over Woodville-West Torrens earlier that day, a victory was crucial to avoid slipping to third.

South peppered the goals in the opening term and looked in complete control even through they were missing chances. Senna Gulden and Caitlin Ross both had chances that went begging, but in the ninth minute, Northern Territory talent Kyanne Campbell showcased her forward craft by slotting a clever goal to put her side nine points up.

Despite young gun Lauren Young starring in the opening term as she and Gypsy Schirmer went head-to-head, the Bloods took until the second term to apply some real scoreboard pressure. Tabby Saville and Asha Dufour kicked goals in the first eight minutes to hand their side the lead, and would maintain it heading into half-time. Unfortunately for Schirmer, she would end up limping off with a suspected ankle injury, but first reports were non-serious.

Young would lineup on Samantha Pratt temporarily, before Schirmer’s younger sister Esther would be given the more permanent role, closer to Young’s height and speed compared to Pratt, and ultimately did well. Though fellow State Academy Lily Baxter would kick a goal against the tide, a blunder crossing goal from the South defence lead to kicking into the behind post.

The 2007-born Steph Tredwell would snap a brilliant bender from the pocket, and a couple of minutes later take a contested mark straight in front of goal to kick two in a quarter. By the final break, the lead was out to 10 points after Ruby Ballard narrowly missed a shot from a tight angle.

South needed a response in the final term and that came from key inclusion and leader Jordann Hickey who showed her class slotting a major just 46 seconds into the last stanza. A behind from Jorja Hooper at the two-minute mark reduced the deficit to three points, but South still needed a major. That came from the dangerous Campbell, who got forward of the ball, and once Hickey put it into her area, Campbell ran in and slotted it.

West kept attacking until the final siren, with the ball almost living in the Bloods’ forward half for the majority of the last five minutes. Though Kelly Barltrop managed a behind, it would not be enough as South enjoyed the two-point victory when the siren sounded.

Incredibly, West Adelaide dominated the disposal count with a plus-48 differential (240-192), while also taking 18 more marks (60-42). The Bloods laid 17 more tackles (90-73), and had seven more inside 50s (27-20), but were smashed around the contest. South Adelaide took control in both the hitouts (44-28) and clearances (29-20), while the defence held up strongly under pressure (22 rebound 50s to 16).

Though they were not massive in terms of their stats, the likes of Esther Schirmer (nine disposals) and Hickey (eight and a goal) were both crucial for the Panthers, while Holly Ifould provided run across the ground. Senna Gulden (19 disposals, five marks, 10 tackles, eight clearances and three rebound 50s) stuffed the stats sheet yet again, while Kyanne Campbell (five disposals, two goals) made the most of her touches.

For West Adelaide, Iilish Ross (18 disposals, four marks, 10 tackles, eight clearances, four inside 50s and two rebound 50s) was a clear standout in a losing side. Young had a match-high 23 disposals, as well as five marks, six tackles and six inside 50s despite being closely checked all night. Russell (16 disposals, five marks) lead from the front before her injury, while State Academy members Emma Kilpatrick and Ruby Ballard were both strong.

SOUTH ADELAIDE 1.3 | 1.4 | 2.4 | 4.5 (29)
WEST ADELAIDE 0.1 | 2.1 | 4.2 | 4.3 (27)

K. Campbell 2, L. Baxter, J. Hickey
West: S. Tredwell 2, A. Dufour, T. Saville

E. Schirmer, J. Hickey, H. Ifould, K. Campbell, S. Gulden
West: I. Ross, L. Young, M. Russell, E. Kilpatrick, R. Ballard


Central District won a thriller over Norwood in the first game of a double-header at the Ponderosa, thanks to a last minute goal from 17-year-old Jasmine Evans. Trailing by as much as 10 points late in the game, the Bulldogs rallied to see goals from Caitlen Teague and Evans, to run over the top of Norwood and hand the Redlegs a third straight heartbreaking loss. The final scores read Central District 5.3 (33) to Norwood’s 4.7 (31).

>> SANFLW R3 MOTR: Evans’ matchwinner gets Dogs home

After a tight first half, North Adelaide kicked away to put Woodville-West Torrens to the sword. The Roosters found the going a little tougher than expected for the first 35 minutes of their clash with the Eagles, only leading by a point. But back-to-back goals to Sky Jensen would provide the spark the reigning premiers needed to go on and slot 10 unanswered goals and run out 12.8 (80) to 2.6 (18) winners. Jensen would kick three goals, as Jaimi Tabb snagged four in the victory.

In the standalone Sunday game, Glenelg played party pooper to Sturt in a stunning 29-point win at Thebarton Oval. Both sides entered the game at 1-1, and while the Double Blues have proven to be incredibly hard to beat at home, nobody informed Piper Window. The top-age star tore the Double Blues to shreds en route to 29 disposals, two marks, seven clearances, eight tackles, four inside 50s, three rebound 50s and 3.1 in a complete performance. Bays captain Ellie Kellock also impressed, while Poppy Scholz was clunking everything that came her way in defence throughout the 9.4 (58) to 4.5 (29) win.

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