South Australia storms to another national title

SOUTH Australia has extended its winning streak at national carnivals to a fourth straight title after dispatching Western Australia in what was ultimately the Pool A Grand Final for the AFL Women’s Under 16 Championships. The Croweaters took care of Vic Metro at Prospect Oval the week before, then won big against the Sandgropers at Thebarton Oval, taking home the title after a 16.10 (106) to 1.5 (11) thrashing.

West Adelaide defender Emily Mableson won her state’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) after another 22-disopsal and seven-mark effort. Her performances across both games were phenomenal, with the home side putting in a real team effort across the board. Glenelg’s Georgie Fielder (27 disposals, seven marks, three clearances, five inside 50s and a goal) was the star of yesterday, while Maia Freemantle impressed as a bottom-ager in the championships with 21 touches, four marks and four inside 50s.

From the first bounce South Australia asserted itself and never looked like losing, piling on five goals to nil in the opening term, and had raced out to an eight-goal advantage by half-time. Only a major to Ada Duncan right before the main break added a score on the board for the visitors, though it would prove to be Western Australia’s only goal in the match.

South Australia got back on top in the second half, kicking eight goals to nil, though Western Australia did steal some of the forward half possession, kicking five behinds for the final two terms. In the end though, South Australia had 126 more disposals – having led 184-62 at half-time – as well as 33 more marks (71-38), nine more clearances (28-19) and 24 more inside 50s (47-23).

The SANFL Women’s experience of Mableson, and South Adelaide duo Emma Charlton (18 disposals, three marks, five tackles, five clearances and two goals) and Layla Vizgaudis (18 disposals, three marks, four clearances, two inside 50s and a goal) was evident, while Central District tall Miyu Endersby (17 disposals, four marks, three inside 50s and four rebound 50s) was fantastic behind the ball.

Rotating through the ruck and forward, Kate Alexander (12 disposals, 13 hitouts and two goals) and Taya Maxwell (nine disposals, seven hitouts and three goals) were both damaging on the scoreboard. Charlee Brooksby – the sister of Port Adelaide’s Molly – was impressive again in attack, kicking two goals from 15 touches.

All bar four South Australians had 10 touches, with two of those kicking multiple goals in the win and still contributing. All in all, it was a wide team effort for the winners, who backed up last year’s Under 16 triumph to go with back-to-back Under 18s trophies.

While the day did not work out for the Sandgropers, they still had a number of impressive players, with Cara Dziegielewski racking up 19 disposals, four marks, seven tackles, 19 hitouts, four clearances, four inside 50s and three rebound 50s in the loss.

Marie Polimeno (15 disposals, five marks, three tackles and eight rebound 50s) was strong overhead and tried hard in defence, while West Perth duo Lexi Strachan (14 disposals, two marks and seven tackles) and Taya Nicholson (14 disposals, six tackles and five rebound 50s) were steadfast.

SOUTH AUSTRALIA 5.2 | 8.6 | 12.8 | 16.10 (106)
WESTERN AUSTRALIA 0.0 | 1.0 | 1.2 | 1.5 (11)

South Australia:
T. Maxwell 3, E. Charlton 2, C. Brooksby 2, K. Alexander 2, L. Thomas 2, G. Fielder, L. Vizgaudis, J. Newchurch, T. Lord, P. Turner
Western Australia: A. Duncan

South Australia:
G. Fielder, E. Mableson, E. Charlton, M. Endersby, M. Freemantle
Western Australia: C. Dziegielewski, M. Polimeno, T. Nicholson, L. Strachan, B. Nelson

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