Mackereth the matchwinner as Bays bounce back

THEY almost let victory slip from within their grasp, but the Bays found a hero with the last kick of the day as bottom-age star Eloise Mackereth kicked the match-winning goal to steer Glenelg to a four-point win over Norwood.

Up by as much as four goals in the third term, Glenelg looked likely to record a comfortable victory, but the Redlegs kicked four consecutive goals either side of the final break to hit the front with a couple of minutes remaining. However a brilliant passage of player from half-back leading to Mackereth taking a contested mark one-on-one and then coolly slotting the set shot – her third of the game – to ice the game, was brilliant.

Glenelg top-ager Violet Patterson started the scoring chain in the back half of the ground to find Renee Wurfel. She moved it on to Mackereth’s fellow bottom-age State Academy member Jordan Horne who placed a pinpoint pass to her Bays teammate’s advantage. The talented forward went back and added one more major to her two first quarter goals.

Had someone said at quarter time that Glenelg would require the last kick of the game to take home the two points, they would have attracted some strange looks. The Bays led by three goals and had 11 inside 50s to three, completely dominating field position. Mackereth was a key reason for that, slotting two goals, while Jessica Bates who had a record-breaking tackle count also hit the scoreboard and was getting busy.

But the Redlegs refused to yield. Even when not capitalising on their chances, they kept the the Bays scoreless. Glenelg got out to as much as a four-goal in the third term, but again the Redlegs came hard. A vital goal from Amelia Rusden on the eve of three quarter time closed the gap to within three goals.

Norwood needed early ascendancy in the final term and they got it via a goal to Sarah Branford who stood up under pressure to clunk a strong mark and then converted the major. Kiana Lee then got in on the act with her second goal of the contest, before a high free kick to Steph Simmonds and subsequent 25m penalty brought the Redlegs’ co-captain to the top of the goalsquare.

When she kicked the major, the crowd roared with the possibility that Norwood had snatched an unlikely victory. However there was another twist to come. Once Glenelg won the ball at half-back following a Redlegs clearance, the Bays had to go direct, and direct they went. It finished in the hands of Mackereth who did the work and handed Glenelg back the two points it looked to have in safe keepings for the majority of the match.

Bates was a clear best on ground, setting a new SANFL Women’s tackling record of 23, while also winning 35 touches herself, a ridiculous amount of repeat contests. She also clunked eight marks – two contested – had three clearances, two rebound 50s and kicked a goal.

The next highest ball-winners were midfielder Madisyn Freeman and defender Tamsyn Morriss who had 13 touches apiece. Mackereth and Horne (two goals) were the major goalkickers for the yellow and black. In the ruck, Shay’Lee Dayman racked up 32 hitouts from 10 disposals, six tackles, five clearances and two inside 50s.

For Norwood, Simmonds finished with 18 disposals, as well as four marks – one contested – six tackles, six clearances, six inside 50s and a goal, while Jade Halfpenny (17 disposals, five marks – two contested – 18 hitouts and two clearances) played through the ruck and influenced around the ground. Lee (2.2) was the sole multiple goalkicker for the visitors, also having 11 disposals and five marks – two contested – in defeat.

GLENELG 4.2 | 4.2 | 7.4 | 8.4 (52)
NORWOOD 1.2 | 2.4 | 4.4 | 7.6 (48)

E. Mackereth 3, J. Horne 2, J. Bates, J. Eldridge, V. Patterson
Norwood: K. Lee 2, A. Davies. S. Branford, A. Rusden, L. Schwerdt, S. Simmonds

J. Bates, E. Mackereth, J. Horne, S. Dayman, T. Morriss
Norwood: S. Simmonds, J. Halfpenny, K. Lee, L. Schwerdt, T. Buethke

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