2024 SANFLW R1 wrap: Dogs survive scare

FROM a couple of two-point thrillers, a terrific come from behind win and then a battle between former premiers that saw the Bays kick away late, the first round had it all. We covered the Match of Round between West Adelaide and South Adelaide earlier, so here’s some talking points from the other three games.

>> MOTR: West Adelaide 7.7 (49) defeated South Adelaide 7.4 (46)

Dogs hold on in absolute nail-biter

A Charlotte Riggs mark on the goalline in the dying moments of the game saved the day, with the Dogs getting home by just two points against a determined Redlegs outfit. Both the attempted shot by Jade Halfpenny, and one from Lana Schwerdt as she tried to breakthrough tacklers close to goal were thwarted by a defence that had been under siege in the last 10 minutes.

The Dogs defence did look a little shaky at times during that period with a 15m kick missing a target, but the Norwood players had the same nerves as Kiana Lee dropped a sitter straight in front of goal as it bounced off her chest. Lee was one of the Redlegs best throughout the night, working hard alongside Halfpenny and other midfielders, Sachi Syme and Sarah Branford.

Earlier in the night, the Dogs kicked the only two goals of the first term via young gun Jasmine Evans – who has a habit of creating nightmares for Norwood – and Julia Teakle. The strong marking Port Adelaide player was outstanding across the course of the night, finishing with two majors. Both Evans and Teakle kicked their goals either side of half-time to retake the league by eight points after Adrienne Davies had put the Redlegs in front for the first time late in the second term.

Davies and Hiscock would kick goals in quick succession during the third term as Evans peppered the goals with some more chances, but at the final break it was the home side in front. Dogs utility Lauren Breguet bobbed up with an incredible Goal of the Year contender with a snap across her body while under pressure early in the fourth term. It turned out to be the match-winner as only one more behind registered with Halfpenny’s shot a minute later cannoning into the post.

NORWOOD 0.0 | 3.1 | 5.2. | 5.3 (33)
CENTRAL 2.1 | 3.3 | 4.5 | 5.5 (35)

A. Davies 2, S. Hiscock, K. Lee, A. Rusden
Central: J. Evans 2, J. Teakle 2, L. Breguet

J. Halfpenny, S. Syme, S. Branford, K. Lee, T. Buethke
Central: M. Lane, S. Smith, O. Levicki, J. Teakle, K. Searle

Sturt survives scares as plucky Eagles fall short

PERENNIAL bottom four side Woodville-West Torrens fell short of producing am impressive upset over last year’s finalists Sturt, but the seven-point performance would have lost no admirers. The Eagles booted five goals to two in the first half before Sturt clawed its way back into the contest. Once the Double Blues hit the front, most would have expected the Eagles of old to fade away, but they kept fighting to the final siren before a late goal to Georgia King – her second of the match – sealed the 8.7 (55) to 7.6 (48) victory.

To the Eagles’ credit, they led throughout the match, and did not fall behind until four minutes into the final term when Millie McCarthy broke a 14-minute drought of six behinds between the two sides. The Eagles certainly had their chances, but when India Rasheed made no mistake from the set shot with a few minutes left, Sturt led by seven points and the game looked in the bag.

Except no one told the Eagles, as Grace Martin won the next clearance and booted it inside 50, and after a couple of plays, Olivia Evans slammed home her third goal of the day. At the 18-minute mark of the term, it was a one-point ball game. The next 90 seconds was as tense as it got, with Sturt having plenty of opportunities but not able to put one through, until a bizarre last play.

The Eagles had won a holding the ball free kick and then looked like playing on while the Sturt forward was right there, they were immediately tackled and pinged straight in front of goal. That Sturt forward – King – made no mistake from the set shot, sealing the game with the kick to make it a seven-point victory.

Jasmin Fejo and Leah Cutting had a great battle in the ruck, while the likes of Zara Walsh, Alisha Gepp and Isobel Kuiper all produced some big moments, and first-gamer Summer Ross caught the eye. Ex-Panther Taylah Levy was the best for the losing side, picking up 20 disposals and laying 11 tackles, working hard alongside Martin and Poppy Waterford. Skipper Annie Falkenberg was steadfast in defence, as well former forward Klaudia O’Neill.

EAGLES 2.3 | 5.3 | 5.6 | 7.6 (48)
STURT 1.0 | 2.2 | 5.4 | 8.7 (55)

O. Evans 3, T. Levy, R. Zerella, B. Kraft, P. Waterford
Sturt: A. Pengelly 2, G. King 2, Z. Walsh, I. Rasheed, A. Brooks-Birve, M. McCarthy

Eagles: T. Levy, A. Falkenberg, K. O’Neill, P. Waterford, G. Martin
Sturt: J. Fejo. Z. Walsh, S. Ross, A. Gepp, I. Kuiper

Bays breakaway in final term

IN a low-scoring encounter compared to the rest of the Round 1 matches, Glenelg posted a 22-point win over North Adelaide at Thebarton Oval to close out the opening weekend’s action. The first half yielded just one goal, and by three quarter time, Glenelg led by 10 points with just 3.4 kicked between the sides. A couple of fourth quarter majors then stretched out the margin as the Bays would go on to win, 4.5 (29) to 1.1 (7) and rise to the top of the ladder.

While there was plenty of firepower on both sides, it was the strong defences that stood tall on this occasion, with neither side willing to give an inch. It was scrappy early and teams could not get deep looks, while the likes of Sarah Goodwin and Tamsyn Morriss at one end, and Kristi Harvey and Amelie Borg continued to provide plenty of rebound for their respective sides.

Bays bottom-ager Eloise Mackereth bobbed up for a couple with some impressive bodywork for a lighted body talent, even out-marking the incredibly strong Harvey. The teenager looked the most dangerous inside 50 for Glenelg, but former Rooster Jorja Eldridge had a moment she would savour in the final term, snapping around her body to ice the game beyond doubt.

Glenelg’s midfield was as expected outstanding, with Ellie Kellock alongside the past two league best and fairest winners, Piper Window and Jessica Bates all racking up the clearances. Bates even got on the end of a goal prompting a big celebration having returned from Collingwood VFLW to put up 36 disposals, nine marks, four clearances and four inside 50s in her first match back. Glenelg young guns Poppy Scholz and Violet Patterson were clearly amongst the most influential as well.

Laela Ebert freed up was a sight to behold, with her precise kicking and decision making coming off half-back an absolute highlight compared to the majority of contested work across the game. She along with Katelyn Pope – who kicked her side’s only goal – really stood out, while Aprille Crooks also had some eye-catching moments in the loss.

NORTH ADELAIDE 0.0 | 0.1 | 1.0 | 1.1 (7)
GLENELG 1.3 | 1.3 | 2.4 | 4.5 (29)

North Adelaide:
K. Pope
Glenelg: E. Mackereth 2, J. Eldridge, J. Bates

North Adelaide: L. Ebert, K. Pope, A. Crooks, T. Henry, K. Harvey
Glenelg: P. Scholz, V. Patterson, J. Bates, S. Goodwin, E. Kellock

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