Round 10 saw us travel to Wigan Oval to face off against Sturt. We went into the game having lost some experience around the ground which gave us another opportunity to showcase some of our junior players. Iilish Ross missed Round 10 due to family reasons, we also lost Gemma Houghton and Lily Johnson who finished up their SANFLW duties in readiness for AFLW preseason starting soon and Annie Brearley was left out of the side this week. Coming into the side were Lauren Young and Ruby Ballard coming off a strong U18 State performance, Nicole Hooper came back from some calf issues the previous week and Chloe Tonkin made her SANFLW Debut this weekend after an All-Australian performance in the State U16’s comp.
It a wet, wintry day at Wigan we fortunately won the toss and elected to kick with the wind in the first quarter. A little bit of rain and hail made conditions quite slippery, but we were able to put the first goal on the board with a beautiful stoppage goal from Zoe Venning. Sturt were able to keep us at bay for the remainder of the quarter and we took a 1-goal lead into Quarter time.
Sturt then had the opportunity to use the breeze and managed to kick 2 goals with one coming late in the 2nd quarter to give some breathing space heading into half time. Up to this point, Lauren Young had 15 disposals, Zoe Venning was again in good form with 10 disposals and our only goal of the game to this point.
The girls came out after half time looking for a strong quarter to come back and get some distance on the scoreboard using the breeze. We started off well kicking the first goal of the quarter from Lauren Young to put us back within a couple points before Sturt quickly answered with one kicking into the wind. Lauren was able to kick her second of the quarter and we were back within 3 points which remained the lead Sturt held heading into the last.
Fortunately in the last quarter, Sturt weren’t able to capitalise on their shots inside 50 which left us with a glimmer of hope that we would be able to snare this one in the last quarter. Kendell Saffin kicked her first SANFLW goal which levelled the score with 10 minutes remaining. Sturt quickly responded kicking their 4th behind of the quarter which gave them a 1-point lead. Drama late stages of the game with Sturt being called for antidensity and Lauren Young had a set shot from 50 to win the game. Unfortunately, the kick didn’t make the distance and Sturt held on for a 1-point win.
Lauren Young, despite a hard tag all game was fantastic collecting 27 disposals and kicking 2 goals. Zoe Venning continued her incredible form with 24 disposals and a goal. Olivia Smith was strong all day and there was a real solid SANFLW debut for Chloe Tonkin.
This loss would mean that our young team has lost 4 games by less than 10-points, which is showing some real promising signs for the future. The girls have a short turnaround before facing Norwood on Friday night.
Goals: Lauren Young 2, Zoe Venning 1, Kendell Saffin 1
Best Players: Lauren Young, Emma Kilpatrick, Zoe Venning, Saraid Kustermann, Olivia Smith, Tess Huxtable