Everything’s Rosie at Centrals as Dogs deny Double Blues
AN incredible frantic few moments at Wigan Oval had to be seen to be believed as Central District snatched victory from the jaws of defeat thanks to quick thinking and an ounce of luck for star goalkicker Katelyn Rosenzweig. The talented forward lifted her side with a remarkable four-goal second half performance to put away grand finalists Sturt and edge closer to a maiden SANFL Women’s finals appearance.
After a goalless first half, the Bulldogs trailed by 13 points at the main break, with neither side really able to add much in the way of scoring thanks to superb defensive efforts up either end. Then the game completely changed in the second half with a shootout ensuring. A massive 13 goals went through the big sticks, with Central District booting 8.0 to Sturt’s 5.1, the last of which came with the final kick of the day to seal the 8.2 (50) to 7.4 (46) result.
In the final moments of the match, defender Alex Ballard marked on the goalline and kicked well to half-back where Crows AFLW listed ruck Jasmyn Hewett took a strong contest with one minute left on the clock. Effectively two kicks and marks from victory, many might have expected a long kick down the line. Instead, Hewett spotted up Georgia Swan at centre half-back on the 45-degree kick.
What Hewett might not have spotted was a rampaging Charlotte Riggs who closed down the distance runnin from half-back, and with the extra centimetres, pulled down the mark over the top of the flat-footed Swan. Her kick inside 50 went to a pack, and thanks to a brilliantly clean effort from Caitlin Wendland kicked deep towards a two-on-two in the goalsquare.
At first it looked like the kick was going to bounce over for a behind, but instead the oblong-shaped pill had other plans. It bounced back into play over the head of Jasmine Evans, and the two opponents bearing down on her in Isabella Drew and Hannah Prenzler. Timing her run to perfection, Rosenzweig was the last to arrive but the ball bounced into her lap where a split second kick from a couple of metres out resulted in the visiting fans erupting.
By the time the ball had arrived back at the middle of the ground, the siren sounded and the game went the way of the Bulldogs. It meant Central District moved to 6-2 for the season, while Sturt fell back among the pack with Norwood and Glenelg at 4-4 and North Adelaide at 3-5.
Though the final finish defined the result, it was just the last chapter in an enthralling contest that included five last quarter lead changes. When India Rasheed kicked her third goal at the 18th minute of the third term, the lead was out to 13 points and it looked like the home side was going to celebrate at Unley Oval.
But a brilliant running goal from Dakota Williams in the final minute of the third quarter gave the Bulldogs a sniff, and then Rosenzweig kicked her third of the day three and a half minutes into the final term. A minute later Jess Allan put the Bulldogs in front for the first time since the opening term. It would take another five minutes before acting captain Kate Harris – who will take on the role permanently following the unfortunate retirement of Maya Rigter – slotted one through the big sticks.
No more than 90 seconds later Allan produced a great pass into the goalsquare where Evans clunked a strong mark and made no mistake, putting the visitors back in front. Skilful forward Alysha Healy won a free kick for a fantastic tackle on a rather unlucky Riggs in the 15th minute handing the Double Blues an important two-point lead heading into the final five minutes.
Up until the final play of the day, neither team had scored and Double Blues had held the Bulldogs at bay. But that fateful decision to kick inboard and open the door for Riggs set the wheels in motion for the Central victory. However it was far from the only ‘what if?’ moment for Sturt in that last play. Had Wendland not picked it up cleanly, had the ball bounced straight rather than back on the line, or had Rosenzweig fumbled in the goalsquare, and the Double Blues would be breathing a sigh of relief.
Unfortunately for the home team, none of those things happened and they had to settle for a fourth loss in the season. Luckily defeats to Norwood and Glenelg ensured Sturt remained inside the top four and can refocus its attention on the remaining four rounds of the regular season.
Central District had a number of impressive contributors, with Wendland racking up six clearances from 16 disposals, six inside 50s and nine tackles. She worked well with captain Shelby Smith (18 disposals, 16 tackles, four clearances and four inside 50s) and Elaine Grigg (17 disposals, eight tackles, four inside 50s and a goal). Riggs (17 disposals, nine marks – two contested – two inside 50s and three rebound 50s) was superb, while Rosenzweig’s four goals from 12 disposals was the difference.
For the Double Blues, Isobel Kuiper was incredible with 21 disposals, three marks, seven tackles, 10 clearances and a goal, teaming up with Harris (20 disposals, four marks, five tackles, five clearances, four inside 50s and six rebound 50s. Rasheed’s three goals from 12 disposals was only bettered by Rosenzweig on the day, with Ballard’s 14 touches, five marks and four rebound 50s also providing a pivotal service.
STURT 2.1 | 2.3 | 5.3 | 7.4 (46)
CENTRAL DISTRICT 0.1 | 0.2 | 4.2 | 8.2 (50)
Sturt: I. Rasheed 3, K. Harris, A. Healy, I. Kuiper, A. Ladas
Central District: K. Rosenzweig 4, J. Allan, J. Evans, E. Grigg, D. Williams
Sturt: K. Harris, I. Rasheed. I. Kuiper, A. Ballard, A. Ladas
Central District: K. Roseznweig, C. Wendland, C. Riggs, S. Smith, E. Grigg
AROUND THE GROUNDS
South Adelaide maintained its place at the top of the SANFL Women’s table with an outstanding last quarter to defeat West Adelaide by 38 points at Flinders University Stadium. In the Panthers’ last home game for the season, South Adelaide booted 4.2 to 0.0 in the final term to storm away with the win.
The Panthers kept West Adelaide goalless in the 6.9 (45) to 0.7 (7) victory, as Tasmanian Elise Barwick was the sole multiple goalkicker. Taylah Levy, Cheyenne Hammond and Brooke Boileau were the top ball-getters for the winners, while Zoe Venning (29 disposals, six marks, five tackles, two clearances, three inside 50s and five rebound 50s) worked hard in midfield for the Bloods. Lauren Young also impressed with four contested marks from seven total, as well as 21 touches, but kicked four behinds.
North Adelaide survived a late comeback from Norwood to post a two-point win over Norwood at Coopers Stadium, repeating the identical feat of the Round 1 clash between the sides. After leading by five points at the main break, the Roosters extended the lead out to as much as 20 points early in the final term. However four late goals for the Redlegs resulted in them hitting right back, but ultimately falling short, 6.9 (45) to 6.7 (43).
Roosters co-captain Jessica Edwards stood out with 24 disposals, seven marks, four clearances, five inside 50s and four rebound 50s in the win, while the likes of Brittany Perry and Aprille Crooks stepped up and Katelyn Pope‘s incredible 2023 season form rolled on. Tahlita Buethke continued her good form for the home side with 19 disposals, contributing well with the midfield of Ebony O’Dea and Sachi Syme, while Ashlee Gould was desperate in defence.
In the other game, Woodville-West Torrens hoisted itself off the bottom of the table to run out 6.9 (45) to 1.6 (12) winners over Glenelg. The Eagles produced one of the bigger upsets of the season after the Bays knocked them off earlier in the year, but on this occasion it was the last placed Eagles who handed Glenelg its third straight loss.
Captain Annie Falkenberg led from the front with 20 disposals, three marks, four tackles, two inside 50s and five rebound 50s, sharing the top disposals from her side with Poppy Waterford who was influential in midfield. The usual suspects in Abbey Dowrick and Shineah Goody also had big games. For the Bays, skipper Ellie Kellock and young gun Piper Window combined for 41 disposals and 15 clearances working hard through the middle of the ground, with the former kicking her side’s only major of the contest.