SANFLW League Round 1 Match Report

In a thrilling season opener at Thebarton Oval, the clash between last year’s grand finalists, South Adelaide, and our determined squad, promised to be a spectacle. The match was not only a good indication of how we have prepared over preseason, but also a celebration of new beginnings and milestones. We welcomed Jemma Ellis (South Adelaide), Brooke Smith (Adelaide Crows), and Emily Mableson, marking their debut for the team. The game also celebrated Paige Allan’s 50th SANFLW game, an incredible comeback story following her recovery from an ACL injury.

The game kicked off under blustery conditions, with South Adelaide leveraging the wind advantage to boot the first three goals. However, a couple late goals meant we were able to claw back and reduce the margin to just seven points by quarter time.

Our second quarter saw us turn the tables, making the most of the wind. We managed three goals to South Adelaide’s one, thanks to Jemma Ellis, who scored her second against her former team, and Paige Allan, who marked her milestone game with a goal, providing us with some breathing space at halftime.

Fatigue began to set in during the third quarter, with South Adelaide kicking two goals and holding us scoreless to snatch the lead once more. The stage was set for a nail-biting final quarter.

South Adelaide extended their lead early in the last quarter, but Asha Dufour’s crucial goal brought us back within four points. The game reached its crescendo when Emma Kilpatrick was awarded a free kick for a holding-the-ball decision. With the game on the line and after the final siren, Kilpatrick’s 35-meter kick sailed through, marking her first ever SANFLW goal and clinching our first victory since Round 2, 2023 in dramatic fashion.

Lauren Young was a standout, gathering 21 touches and a goal. Zoe Venning (25 touches) and Keeley Kustermann (20 disposals) were also instrumental in the win.

This victory sets a positive tone for our season, and we now turn our focus to Round 2, where we will face North Adelaide at home, bolstered by a tremendous Round 1 win.

Best Players: Lauren Young, Keeley Kustermann, Chloe Tonkin, Ruby Ballard, Zoe Venning

Goals: Jemma Ellis (2), Paige Allan, Asha Dufour, Emma Kilpatrick, Ella Maxwell, Lauren Young (1)

Women’s League Coach – Bruce Dawes