After a gruelling preseason, the girls were excited for Round 1 to see how we stacked up against last year’s Preliminary Finalists. We were fortunate enough to welcome back some experience to our League side with players like Bec Hansen, Zoe Greer and Lauren Young all returning from Injury, as well as welcomed 6 new debutants to the West Adelaide Football Club. Kelly Barltrop, Paige Allan, Tess Huxtable and Milli Gentle all played their first game for West Adelaide, while Iilish Ross and young gun Steph Tredwell played their first SANFLW games.
The game started with a bit of a tight battle, plenty of tackle pressure both ways but we were able to capitalise on the scoreboard first when a beautifully composed Ruby Ballard kick hit Paige Allan all by herself on top of the goal square where she was able to slot away the first goal of the game.
The second quarter we were able to weather a bit of Glenelg storm as they looked to get on the scoreboard, our defense held strong and were able to keep the Tigers goalless in the 2nd quarter and took a 7-point lead into half time.
The 3rd quarter saw us kick to the scoring end with the slight breeze pushing towards the goals. Although we were able to get plenty of the ball inside 50, we weren’t able to make the most of our chances to put the game away. A strong Kelly Barltrop mark in the goal square led to our 2nd goal of the afternoon and gave us a little breathing space and we went into the last quarter up by 15-points.
Glenelg put our backline under the pump in the last quarter, but the defense once again held up under siege. After a Glenelg goal at the 10-minute mark of the last quarter put Glenelg back into the game with a bit of momentum, the girls again had to step up for the challenge, enter Lauren Young. Despite having a very heavy tag, and being roughed up for majority of the game, Lauren took a mark on the wing, before pushing forward and taking a strong contested mark in the goal square to kick the sealer and the girls got home by 14-points.
It was a solid 4 quarter effort by the Westies girls and everyone battled hard to get the first win on the board for 2023. We took a moment to celebrate but now turn our attention to another challenge this weekend as we take on last year’s Premiers, North Adelaide at Hisense Stadium.
Goal Kickers: Paige Allan 1, Kelly Barltrop 1, Lauren Young 1
Best Players: Paige Allan, Georgie Pater, Ruby Ballard, Bec Hansen, Tess Huxtable