By PETER CORNWALL
Dual premiership-winning Adelaide Crows superstar Ebony Marinoff led Glenelg to a convincing 42-point win on Friday night against Sturt to keep alive the Bays’ hopes of snatching a last-gasp spot in the SANFL Women’s finals.
For the second week in a row the Tigers beat a team they had never before beaten. Last week it was reigning premier South Adelaide, shocked by 14 points, and this time at the Bay it was the Blues, comprehensively outpointed with Marinoff, in her first game with Glenelg, dominating.
The Eagles almost did the Bays an enormous favour, falling just five points short of West Adelaide in what was so close to their first win in their inaugural season. But the Bloods’ narrow escape sees them hold on to fourth spot with a 6-3 win-loss record (percentage 47.1), just ahead of Glenelg on 5-4 but with a much stronger percentage of 57.7. In the final minor round on Saturday, May 4, Glenelg faces the Eagles at the Bay, while West is up against the powerful Panthers at Noarlunga.
Marinoff, a dual AFLW All-Australian, racked up a record 33 disposals for the Crows this year against Geelong. Against Sturt she snared 35 possessions as she showed her class and sent a warning for the finals – if the Tigers can reach them.
Marinoff, from SAWFL club Morphettville Park, was here, there and everywhere against the Blues collecting 20 kicks, 15 handballs, 10 clearances, seven inside-50s and six tackles. Her ability to win the ball cleanly in packs, evade tackles and weave through traffic helped the Tigers dominate clearances, while her lethal long left-foot kicks constantly broke the lines and regularly set up scoring opportunities.
And when there were chances to score Ellen Fauser, Lucy Armitage and Caitlin Gould all looked dangerous. Fauser bagged a stunning four goals, with Armitage and Gould snaring two each.
Fauser, who had kicked four goals in her previous seven games this season, kicked goals after strong marks late in the second quarter and early in the third, then finished the game in a blaze of glory with two goals in the final minute, snaring the ball from in a pack and snapping, then marking, playing on quickly and capping a memorable night with another cool finish.
Tall and talented ruck Gould also banged on goals in a hurry when she kicked two in a minute late in the third quarter to guarantee the Tigers triumph. Displaying good hands and plenty of strength she had 18 disposals and 22 hit-outs to go with her first two goals of an impressive season.
Armitage’s two second-quarter goals – one from an impressive snap, the other from a long set shot that was marked by the desperate Double Blues defence just over the goal-line right on the half-time siren – were among 17 touches.
Former Crow Georgia Bevan again led Sturt’s possession-winners with 15, while Maya Rigter again gave it her all, throwing herself into 12 possessions and 12 tackles. But the Blues just have one more round of footy to look forward to. The Bays are hoping their season will go on longer
GLENELG 0.1 4.2 7.4 9.5 (59)
STURT 0.3 1.4 2.4 2.5 (17)
LEADING DISPOSALS – Glenelg: Ebony Marinoff 35, Caitlin Gould 18, Lucy Armitage, Lucy Bellenger 17, Chelsea Packer 16, Cass Hartley 14.
Sturt: Georgia Bevan 15, Paxton Davis-Mattner 14, Lucy Griffith, Maya Rigter 12.
GOALS – Glenelg: Ellen Fauser 4, Lucy Armitage, Caitlin Gould 2, Lucy Bellinger.
Sturt: Tess Maple, Georgia Swan.
Standing in Glenelg’s way for the final spot in the finals is West Adelaide – and the Bloods aren’t giving up their place without an almighty fight.
West could easily have slipped to defeat – and out of the top four – at the hands of Woodville-West Torrens but it refused to give up and edged out the unlucky new side by five points at City Mazda Stadium on Friday. The Eagles, who also came within a whisker of their first win when they fell short by just three points against Westies in Round 2, again gave the Bloods an almighty scare, not being headed until the final quarter of Saturday’s crucial clash.
After levelling the scores by three-quarter-time, back-to-back goals from Melanie Elsegood and Helen Maidment had West 13 points up in the ninth minute of the last quarter, looking to comfortably claim their sixth win from nine games this campaign. But the Eagles fought all the way to the finish, a point, then goal from Round 7 Powerade Breakthrough Player Jamie Tabb making it a goal the difference within the last few minutes. But a rushed behind was as close as they came.
Marie Martino, with her impressive attack on the ball and body, did everything she could to will Westies to the important win, earning 16 disposals and booting two goals, while Natasha Farrier was in everything for the Eagles with 24 touches and a goal. She didn’t deserve to be on the losing side.
WEST 1.1 2.1 3.3 5.5 (35)
EAGLES 2.0 3.3 3.3 4.6 (30)
LEADING DISPOSALS – West: Rebecca Owen 18, Marie Martino 16, Abbie Ballard, Madison Newman 15, Rachelle Martin, Zoe Venning 14.
Eagles: Natasha Farrier 24, Jaimi Tabb 16, Stephanie Walker 15, Kiana Lee 14, Tara McDermott 12.
GOALS – West: Marie Martino 2, Melanie Elsegood, Helen Maidment, Emma Smith.
Eagles: Jaimi Tabb, Natasha Farrier, Georgia Taylor, Stephanie Walker.
South Adelaide handed Norwood its first loss for the season with a stunning seven-point triumph at Noarlunga on Saturday.
The Redlegs’ previous loss had come at the hands of the Panthers in last year’s hard-fought grand final at Unley but South displayed its undoubted credentials for back-to-back flags, bouncing back from a shock loss to Glenelg in the previous round.
South ended Norwood’s winning run at eight with a decisive 3.4-to-nothing third quarter. Czenya Cavouras continued her outstanding season with 22 possessions and eight tackles, Elyse Haussen was in everything for 20 touches, Teah Charlton had 18 possessions and a remarkable 14 tackles – although she blotted her copybook with five behinds – while classy Nikki Gore and last year’s grand final best-afield Cheyenne Hammond displayed their abundant skills and determination.
The Legs, who had held a comfortable two-goal half-time lead, did not know what had hit them. But they remain a game clear of South at the top of the table with one round before the finals and no-one will be reading much into one loss. Dynamic Najwah Allen, Hannah Dunn and Sally Riley again had plenty of the ball – and you can bet they will continue to do so over the next month.
SOUTH 1.2 1.2 4.6 5.6 (36)
NORWOOD 1.0 3.2 3.2 4.5 (29)
LEADING DISPOSALS – South: Czenya Cavouras 22, Elyse Haussen 20, Teah Charlton 18, Nikki Gore 15, Cheyenne Hammond, Hannah Munyard 14.
Norwood: Najwah Allen 24, Hannah Dunn, Sally Riley 20, Hannah Priest 14.
GOALS – South: Madison Bennett, Lauren Buchanan, Elyse Haussen, Hannah Munyard, Tamara Page.
Norwood: Monique Hollick 2, Jo Hill, Sally Riley.
North Adelaide’s all-out attack on the flag continues as it keeps kicking big scores and claiming crushing wins.
The Roosters have won their past five games by an average winning margin of seven goals, although admittedly in that time they have played newcomers Central District and the Eagles twice each. But winning form is good form and Matt Slade’s men certainly are in good form. Lauren Daniel led the way with 21 disposals, while the likes of Kathryn Reynolds, Emma Sampson, Adrienne Davies and Brittany Perry continued their good form and talented Christie Castle kicked three goals. And Kelly Barltrop booted two to take her season tally to a league-leading 23 goals.
Central’s Caitlen Teague and Jayme-Lee Sonneman won more than their share of the ball but Courtney Jensen booted the Bulldogs’ only goal nine minutes into the last quarter.
NORTH 2.1 6.5 9.7 11.7 (73)
CENTRAL 0.0 0.3 0.4 1.4 (10)
LEADING DISPOSALS – North: Lauren Daniel 21, Kathryn Reynolds 19, Emma Sampson 18, Adrienne Davies, Erica Greet, Brittany Perry, Leah Tynan 16.
Central: Caitlen Teague 17, Jayme-Lee Sonneman 14, Amy Fisher 12.
GOALS – North: Christie Castle 3, Kelly Barltrop 2, Adrienne Davies, Lauren Daniel, Erica Greet, Kathryn Reynolds, Brittany Perry, Sharni Tansell.
Central: Courtney Jensen.