Women's Footy

South Adelaide win 2024 Hostplus SANFLW League Premiership

South’s Nikki Nield celebrates with vice captain Jordann Hickey. Picture – Cory Sutton


South Adelaide is the champion of the Hostplus SANFLW League after conquering Norwood in a tense grand final at The Parade on Saturday night to claim a record third premiership.

The Panthers, scoreless in the second half, were forced to withstand a spirited charge from the Redlegs to triumph by five points and add another title to its flag victories in 2018 and 2019.

Panthers coach Rick Watts described the win as phenomenal and praised the resilience and grit of his players to fight back from the shattering disappointment of last year’s controversial grand final defeat to Central District.

“All the emotion from last year sort of came out,” Watts said. “It wasn’t until the final 10 seconds I knew we had it.

“Last year has been in the back of our minds and this feels unreal, the girls have been so brave.”

The Redlegs, aiming to be the first side to win the flag from fourth, settled best and tested the highly regarded Panthers’ defence early, camped deep in attack for the opening seven minutes.

Having withstood the early assault, the Panthers then took over the territory battle, although they failed to create a serious scoring opportunity until late in the quarter.

South’s Jordann Hickey, named MVP for her influence in the victory, attacked the ball with venom, enabling Mel Anderson to swoop and blast her kick from just inside 50m towards an open goal. The ball bounced through for the opening goal.

“Last year has been in the back of our minds and this feels unreal, the girls have been so brave.”

South Adelaide coach Rick Watts

Norwood co-captain Stephanie Simmonds and South vice captain Jordann Hickey battle for the ball. Picture – Cory Sutton

In a repeat of the opening term, the Redlegs put the Panthers defence under the pump in the opening minutes of the second quarter. But the Panthers continued to stay composed.

And again, the Panthers were able to wrestle control. When Shae Archbold took an uncontested mark and nailed the goal, then Lauren Clifton held on to a terrific mark and kicked truly, the Panthers had built a 17-point buffer.

Such was the effective defensive work of the Panthers, the Redlegs were restricted to a behind for the first half.

However, it took only three minutes of the third quarter for the Redlegs to finally nail a goal when Adrienne Davies’ kick kept bouncing and through for a major.

It was the only score for the term, with the Panthers unable to threaten the goals despite having plenty of possessions inside 50.

Norwood’s Rosie Boon (left) and South’s Soriah Moon battle in the ruck. Picture – Cory Sutton

2024 SANFLW Grand Final Best on Ground Medal Votes

Player Votes
Jordann Hickey (South) 14
Esther Schirmer (South) 8
Candice Belbin (Norwood) 4
Jade Halfpenny (Norwood) 3
Nikki Nield (South) 1
Voter 3 2 1
Matt Duldig (SANFL GM Football) Hickey Schirmer Belbin
Courtney Cramey (Channel 7) Schirmer Hickey Belbin
Narelle Smith (SEN) Hickey Belbin Schirmer
Warren Partland (SANFL Website) Hickey Schirmer Halfpenny
John Casey (Channel 7) Hickey Halfpenny Nield
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