National Pharmacies SANFL Juniors Div 1 U17.5 Girls Grand Final Preview


Minor premier Henley Blue will take on Blackwood in the National Pharmacies SANFL Juniors Division 1 U17.5 Girls title-decider at Thebarton Oval on Sunday from 12.40pm.

Henley Blue finished the minor round with 12 wins, one ahead of Blackwood and the team they conquered twice during the finals, Golden Grove.

The Woods claimed victory in the first two matches, while the Sharks reversed that result in both the Round 14 and Second Semi Final contests.

In both the Qualifying Final and the penultimate game of the season, last week’s Preliminary Final, Blackwood had wins against Golden Grove, beating the Kookaburras by 33 points last week.

“Henley have been the benchmark side for the last five years,” Woods coach Simon Manser explained.

“Our girls enjoy challenging themselves against the best team there is in SANFL Juniors.

“Early in the season, both teams had girls involved in SANFL League and Development programs.

“Across our matches, about two goals has been the biggest margin.

“The strength of our squad is its evenness and they certainly have the ability to stretch Henley.

“We are certainly the underdogs, but if was can start well and make the most of our opportunities in front of goal we still are a genuine chance.”

Blackwood’s captain and running defender Lily Whitcombe played all season at SANFLW league level for Sturt, and her senior finals experience will be an asset.

Key defender Mia Mueller has displayed really strong leadership this season.

Charlie Scutchings is a ball-winning inside midfielder and is a member of the West Adelaide Bloods SANFLW squad.

Bethany Sigley (West) and Bella Drew (Sturt) have both experienced the rigors of SANFLW league footy as well.

Henley’s Klaudia O’Neill (right) in action for Woodville-West Torrens. Picture – Cory Sutton

The Henley Sharks Blue side has three key focal points in front of goal, with Zara Kemp (17), key forward Kayla Robran (17) and Klaudia O’Neill (16) all averaging more than a goal a game across this season.

“We’ve had 36 players through the squad across this year’s campaign,” Henley coach Andrew Kemp said.

“This has settled down in the past six to eight weeks.

“Klaudia (O’Neill) is a SANFLW league footballer with the Eagles in 2022 and will be a key asset for us both at centre half-forward and in ruck.

“Our captain Marlie Fiegert (daughter of Port Adelaide player Nigel) has been through the Port Adelaide Academy and is in the Eagles program as well.

“Gemma and Chloe Whitington-Charity are both quality ball users and play with composure.

“Tayla Coles is one of our country girls from Port Victoria on the Yorke Peninsula and Izzy Price from Clare both travel down to play in this side.

“It is expected to be a tight contested game and we need to utilize our running game and strength with ball use.”

A skillful Blackwood will be hoping to clinch a grand final upset.

Head-to-Head in 2022

Round 5
Sunday, 29 May 22 – Henley Sharks Blue 1.5 (11) lost Blackwood 4.5 (29)

Round 10
Sunday, 10 July 22 – Blackwood 4.1 (25) defeated Henley Sharks Blue 2.7 (19)

Round 14
Sunday, 14 August 22 – Henley Sharks Blue 5.5 (35) defeated Blackwood 3.8 (26)

Finals Round 2
Sunday, 28 August 22 – Henley Sharks Blue 3.3 (21) defeated Blackwood 1.4 (10)

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