Round 5 saw our West Adelaide girls travel for the first time this season to Flinders University Stadium to face off against South Adelaide. A win would see us back in contention for a spot in the Top 4 and our girls were up for the challenge. However, the Football God’s had other ideas during the week, as we lost 9 players from our Round 4 team through either injury or Health and Safety protocols.
This gave us a great opportunity to blood some of our younger girls who had been playing in our Development Squad, with 4 of the 9 inclusions making their SANFLW debut. Asha Dufour impressed in her first game with her leg speed, Charlotte Spence was fierce in and around the contests, Astrid Powell brought her defensive pressure picking up an equal team high 13 tackles and Tash Christophers made South’s forwards work hard all night. Tamika May, Bethany Sigley, Jess Chyer and Grace McNicol came into the team for another opportunity to play senior football for the club, while experienced defender Hannah Scholar rounded out the inclusions to the team.
The first quarter saw South have the wind advantage, but it was West who got the first score on the board with a set shot from promising young Riverland girl Sarah Campbell narrowly missing a tough set shot into the wind. But it didn’t take long for South to hit the scoreboard kicking 3 goals to 1 in the first quarter. Young gun Keeley Kustermann worked hard through the midfield picking up 6 of her team high 18 disposals in the first quarter and Tasmanian recruit Lily Johnson burst into the forward line to pick up our first goal of the game.
The 2nd quarter came, and we got our first opportunity to make the most of the breeze. Mel Elsegood kicked her first for the game off a holding free kick in our forward 50. South pushed hard into the wind and kept our backlines busy. Captain, Madi Russell, battled hard in defence and Madelyn Zacher’s desperation and attack on the ball meant that South had to work hard to get their scoring opportunities.
Our girls came out of half time with a challenge ahead of them, coming into the 3rd quarter 5 goals down and South having the breeze. Our Westies girls matched South’s intensity throughout the quarter – they were only able to add 1 goal to their tally for the third. Astrid Powell put on the pressure after half time with 7 tackles for the quarter and young rucks Tamika May and Bethany Sigley started to give our midfielders more opportunity in the middle of the ground. Zoe Venning kicked our only goal for the quarter off a nice set shot.
We headed into the last quarter with a bit of work to do needing a big last quarter with the wind if we were going to come out on top. Again, the girls battled hard and matched South’s intensity, but it wasn’t to be our night going down by 36 points. Lily Johnson again showed off her pace running into an open goal for our only major for the quarter.
We will welcome the bye round this week and use the opportunity to refresh and regroup as we look forward to our Grand Final rematch against Glenelg on Friday the 18th at home.
Best Players: Zoe Venning, Beth Sigley, Madi Russell, Keeley Kustermann, Maddy Zacher
Goals: Lily Johnson 2, Mel Elsegood 1, Zoe Venning 1