By ZAC MILBANK
Glenelg ensured its Centenary Year will be even more memorable when it claimed its first Statewide Super Women’s League premiership with a 23-point win against West Adelaide at Thebarton Oval.
Featuring in their first SANFLW title-decider, the Bays sent an ominous signal when Jess Searle kicked the opening goal of the match within 24 seconds.
The Tigers’ ferocious start set the tone as star midfielder Ebony Marinoff asserted herself on the contest with a magical first-term finish, en route to being the most influential player on the field.
Marinoff covered almost every inch of the turf in tallying 31 disposals, five clearances, five tackles and two goals to win the Best-on-Ground Medal.
‘’It’s just a pleasure to play for this great club,’’ a jubilant Marinoff said after the final siren.
‘’I love coming back to the Bays after every AFLW season and I know they have been building for lots of years now.
‘’I’m very proud to put these colours on and be a part of their first (SANFLW) flag in history.’’
Leading at every change, Glenelg constantly threatened to break the game open but the Bloods were able to stem the tide in the third term as each side managed just three behinds.
The Bloods’ Richmond AFLW recruit Sarah Dargan had earlier kept her side in touch with a snap goal from 20m, trimming the deficit to 12 points at half-time.
SANFLW Best-and-Fairest Lauren Young was doing a tremendous job of taking several telling intercept marks in defence for West as Sharnie Whiting was also attempting to spark attack from defence.
But the Bays continually surged in the final quarter as Caitlin Gould dominanted the ruck and aerial contests while Brooke Tonon and Piper Window provided plenty of dash.
Veteran Tigers Ellie Kellock and Chelsea Packer were determined to pile on the pressure, with the latter setting up the sealing goal for Marinoff in the last minute of the match.
Having gathered at half-forward, Packer snapped along the ground and as the ball stopped short in the goal square, Marinoff swooped to soccer it off the ground much to the delight of the black-and-gold faithful at the northern end.
Glenelg coach Jason Fairall, steering his side to victory on the back of a seven-game winning streak, paid tribute to his entire squad.
‘’We’ve been on an intentional journey over the last four years,’’ Fairall said.
‘’There’s been some ups and downs as well as some blood, sweat and tears and it does take a great squad to get to this level.
‘’So today’s not just about the 22 players (who played in the grand final) it is because every single member of our squad has worked their backside off to secure such a meaningful win.’