2024 SANFLW R5 wrap: South strikes as ladder tightens

JUST four points stands between first and seventh in a massive logjam of a SANFL Women’s ladder following South Adelaide’s impressive 22-point win over Glenelg. The Panthers won their third straight game to rise up to second, while victories to Central District and Norwood moved them up to an identical 3-2 record, while Woodville-West Torrens remained in the hunt by defeating West Adelaide.

Panthers on parade as South steps up at The Bay

In a battle of offence and defence, it was the latter that won as South Adelaide took full advantage of an unbeaten Glenelg side missing some of its key forward targets to hold the Bays’ goalless during a 22-point win. The low-scoring victory – which saw competition leading goalkicker Emily Brockhurst slam home another three goals – resulted in the Panthers shooting up into second following West Adelaide’s loss.

The Panthers strangled the life out of the Bays, not allowing them field position, and set up incredibly well defensively. Top-age defender Esther Schirmer took her game to another level in the match, clunking a ridiculous 12 marks – three contested – as she was an intercepting machine in the back 50. Singlehandedly the State Under 18s representatives saved the day on more than a few occasions.

Up the other end, it was Brockhurst who was causing all sorts of headaches for the opposition, and aside from missing one she should have nailed, had another impressive day out for the Pantehrs. The midfield of Nikki Nield and Morgan Johnston were rock solid, with Brooke Boileau and Jess Waterhouse set to depart to Port Adelaide and Adelaide respectively, handing over the reigns to the returning Nicole Campbell who returned from an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury.

Despite the hard work of Jessica Bates on the inside – after a quiet start due to being tagged from the opening bounce – and Violet Patterson all over the ground, Glenelg could not produce enough opportunities to kick a winning score. The Bays’ best chance came when Jess Searle strolled into goal but rushed the kick, while Glenelg coach Lexi Edwards threw around the magnets sending intercepting defender Poppy Scholz forward to create a marking target.

Unfortunately for the home side, nothing quite worked and the Bays suffered their first loss of the season. It is not all doom and gloom for the yellow and black – who do lose Piper Window and Ella Boag back to the Power – as they still sit atop the SANFLW ladder, two points clear of the red-hot Panthers.

GLENELG 0.0 | 0.2 | 0.3 | 0.5 (5)
SOUTH ADELAIDE 2.2 | 3.3 | 4.3 | 4.3 (27)

South Adelaide: E. Brockhurst 3, J. Hickey.

J. Bates, V. Patterson, E. Boag, P. Scholz, P. Window
South Adelaide: E. Schirmer, N. Nield, B. Boileau, S. Wright, M. Johnston

Redlegs rise to third after Double Blues defeat

Norwood secured its third win over the SANFL Women’s season, and second consecutive victory heading into the first bye, defeating Sturt by a comprehensive 38 points. Despite Sturt having 18 more marks (71-3) and winning the clearances (29-24), Norwood’s efficiency with ball-in-hand (73 per cent) proved too much, pumping the ball inside 50 a total of 32 times during the 9.6 (60) to 3.4 (22) victory.

The Redlegs tarted the game strongly, but when Sturt kicked its first goal via youngster Monique Bessen, the margin reduced down to eight points. Unfortunately for the Double Blues, a purple patch of three goals in four minutes late in the term from Tesharna Maher, Jade Halfpenny and Lana Schwerdt blew the half-time deficit out to 26 points and it was too much of a gap to bridge.

Norwood ended up kicking six consecutive goals in the match to have it out to as much as 51 points late in the final quarter, before Bessen and Tahlia Walker regained some percentage for their side with late goals. Bessen joined the likes of Halfpenny, Lana Schwerdt and Steph Simmonds as multiple goalkickers, with the Sturt bottom-ager working hard all game alongside India Rasheed and Isobel Kuiper, while Molly Fletcher and Sophie Thredgold also battled against the momentum.

The Redlegs had far too many contributors across the ground with the likes of Najwa Allen and Sachi Syme among the best before heading back to their AFLW preseason. Tahlita Buethke racked up a match-high 28 disposals in her best performance of the year to win the Ellen Maple Medal, while Kiana Lee and Jade Halfpenny provided targets inside 50.

Norwood jumped up to third above West Adelaide with the victory, while Sturt sunk to seventh, showing just how even the competition is from top to seventh.

STURT 0.0 | 1.2 | 1.2 | 3.4 (22)
NORWOOD 2.2 | 5.4 | 6.5 | 9.6 (60)

M. Bessen 2, T. Walker
Norwood: S. Simmonds 2, J. Halfpenny 2, L. Schwerdt 2, A. Davies, K. Lee

M. Bessen, I. Rasheed, S. Thredgold, M. Fletcher, I. Kuiper
Norwood: T. Buethke, N. Allen, S. Syme, K. Lee, L. Schwerdt

Eagles soar to second win

Woodville-West Torrens bounced back from a disappointing loss to South Adelaide to return to the SANFL Women’s winners list over the weekend, comprehensively defeating West Adelaide by 41 points. The entertaining contest was soured by an ACL injury to Bloods and Port Adelaide star Lauren Young who went down in the opening term.

In a relatively one-sided match, the Eagles dominated field position to have 41 inside 50s to five at the final break. In many ways, the 25-point margin – which was still theoretically in reach for the Bloods – flattered the trailing side, with the West Adelaide defence able to save the day time and time again. The trio of Lucy Boyd, Emily Mableson and Jessica Chyer battled up against it all match, while skipper Madison Russell was rock solid as always.

But eventually the numbers became overwhelming, and when Crows-listed tall Lily Tarlinton got her eye in, it was game over as she slotted four goals – all in the second half – for the Eagles to kick away and win, 8.9 (57) to 2.4 (16). Aside from Tarlinton, Port-listed star Shineah Goody was outstanding once again, while Poppy Waterford worked hard on the inside, and defenders Annie Falkenberg and Christina Leuzzi providing rebound on transition.

The ever-consistent Zoe Venning added another 27 disposals to her lofty count for the 2024 SANFLW season, while Asha Dufour found plenty of the ball, particularly in defence. Keeley Kustermann – who will head off to the Crows – was also a standout through the middle of the ground.

Woodville-West Torrens moved up to sixth on the SANFLW ladder just two points and percentage outside the top four, while West Adelaide sits in that fourth spot after dropping from second heading into the league-wide bye.

WWT EAGLES 2.2 | 3.5 | 5.8 | 8.9 (57)
WEST ADELAIDE 1.0 | 2.1 | 2.1 | 2.4 (16)

WWT Eagles:
L. Tarlinton 4, M. Dowrick 2, A. Blanden, S. Goody
West Adelaide: Z. Venning, E. Maxwell

WWT Eagles:
L. Tarlinton, S. Goody, A. Falkenberg, P. Waterford, C. Leuzzi
West Adelaide: Z. Venning, K. Kustermann, A. Dufour, L. Boyd, J. Chyer

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