Norwood has won the 2017 SANFL Statewide Super Women’s League premiership, outlasting a plucky North Adelaide by 27 points at Unley Oval on Saturday.
Despite only holding a six-point lead going into the last change, the Redlegs finished much stronger in the final term to boot three goals while keeping the Roosters scoreless to win the inaugural crown.
Led by Best on Ground Medallist Sophie Li – who finished with a game-high 23 disposals – Steve Symonds’ side had far too many weapons for North to counter, with soccer converts Ruth Wallace and Marijana Rajcic also having major influences on the contest.
Key forwards Kristi Harvey and Lucy Northcott also had significant roles to play in the outcome, with the former booting the first goal of the game inside the opening two minutes.
Both sides traded blows in an entertaining and skillful opening term which produced six goals at a slick pace.
Speedy North winger Paige Allan gave her side a 10-point lead when she soccered a goal off the ground six minutes into the second term, only to have the Redlegs wrestle back the ascendancy through majors to Harvey and Northcott, putting them nine points up at the main change.
Just as it appeared Norwood would run away with the contest in convincing fashion, Roosters star Chloe Scheer showed why she claimed the inaugural Powerade Star Search Award with two momentum-changing goals from long range.
Scheer’s brilliance only tied up the scores for four minutes in the third term as Wallace finished off a fine piece of team play with a 1-2 handball combination with Northcott to give Norwood a one goal buffer at three-quarter time.
From then on, it was party time for the Redlegs with arguably their best three players – Li, Rajcic and Wallace – each kicking majors in the final term to put the result beyond doubt.
Coach Matt Slade’s Roosters were best served by the game-breaking Scheer, who threatened to change the course of the contest while tireless captain Jess Edwards continued to lead from the front.
Allan provided plenty of pace on the wing all afternoon while Marinet Morgan performed solidly in defence while being under siege for several periods during the match.
GRAND FINAL SCOREBOARD
NORWOOD 3.1 5.5 6.8 9.11 (65)
NORTH 3.1 4.2 6.2 6.2 (38)
Norwood: Li, Wallace, Rajcic, Cutting, Burns, Reid, Northcott, Harvey.
North: Scheer, Edwards, Tynan, Allan, Morgan.
Norwood: Li, Wallace, Rajcic, Harvey 2, Northcott.
North: Burrows, Scheer 2, Reynolds, Allan.
BEST ON GROUND MEDAL – Sophie Li (Norwood)
UMPIRES – Tony Symons, Payne Sowter.
CROWD – 1927 at Unley Oval