By ZAC MILBANK
Norwood produced the great escape when Lindsay Bigg kicked a goal with just 50 seconds left to edge out Woodville-West Torrens by one point at Hisense Stadium on Friday night.
Despite trailing the Eagles for all but the opening three minutes of the match until the first score, the Redlegs hung tough enough to claim the premiership points in stunning fashion.
With the ball sent deep inside Norwood’s attacking 50m for one last scoring shot, the Eagles looked set to repel another forward foray until Bigg pounced.
Sensing her opportunity, the 25-year-old timed her run to perfection to intercept a lateral defensive pass from her Eagles opponent.
After taking the mark, Bigg played on before finishing on the run from 10m much to the delight of her team-mates, who joined in the celebration.
Once the ball returned to the middle of the field, there was only time for one more centre stoppage before the final siren sounded, handing the Eagles yet another agonising defeat.
Eagles coach Tess Baxter will be pleased with her team’s improving ability to challenge its opponents, particularly when it comes to tackling – a stat category won by a whopping 86 to 45.
Northern Territory recruit Mattea Breed impressed in her Statewide Super League debut for the Redlegs, earning a team-high 21 disposals while also registering five tackles and four clearances.
Vice-captain Sophie Armitstead had 16 possessions while speedy Matilda Zander collected 15 and ruck Leah Cutting 13 to go with her 23 hit outs and six tackles.
Crows-listed Jaimi Tabb led the way for the Eagles with 15 disposals and nine tackles to again push for selection in the AFLW.
Chloe Forby, Tesharna Maher and Stephanie Walker each chalked up 12 disposals while Rhiannon Metcalfe finished with seven disposals and 12 hit outs in her first game since rupturing the ACL in her knee with the Crows last year.
West Adelaide made it two wins from as many starts in 2020 with a resounding 40-point win against Glenelg at Hisense Stadium.
Leading at every change, the Bloods continued their impressive start to the season under new coach Mark Moody by restricting the Bays to just 1.2 for the match.
Glenelg’s basketball convert Soriah Moon booted their only major for the game 10 minutes into the second term, trimming the margin to just nine points.
But that would be her team’s last score for the contest as West slammed on 4.7 to earn some valuable percentage while remaining at the top of the premiership table after two rounds.
Tenacious West midfielder Rachelle Martin continued her strong form to tally a match-high 21 disposals to go with her four tackles and five clearances.
The Bloods’ leadership group member was well supported by Norwood recruit Zoe Greer with 18 possessions while emerging young pair Abbie Ballard and Keeley Kustermann had 17 and 15 respectively.
West forward Melanie Elsegood proved to be a handful for Glenelg’s defenders, chalking up three goals without a blemish.
New Bays skipper Chelsea Packer set the standard for her team-mates to register a team high 17 disposals and six tackles while Lauren Fisher, South recruit Grace Duffy and Tessa Kohn reached double figures.
Inaccurate kicking for goal prevented South Adelaide from registering an even more significant win than its comfortable 34-point triumph against Sturt at Flinders University Stadium on Friday night.
Restricting the Double Blues to just 1.3 for the game, the Panthers also kept their opponents scoreless for the final three quarters before finishing with 18 scoring shots to four.
Registering a massive 32 inside 50 entries to Sturt’s 10, the hosts did as they pleased around the ground to have an eye-catching 50 more handballs and 10 more clearances.
Blossoming South star Teah Charlton was everywhere, racking up 24 disposals, five tackles and four clearances while Redlegs recruit Tahlia Meyer proved she will be a handy addition this year by having 21 possessions.
First-year player Courtney Barry had 20 disposals while also laying a massive 10 tackles and engineering nine clearances while vice-captain Elyse Haylock had 18 disposals and booted a goal.
Flame-haired Jess Kirk was a livewire in attack for South, kicking 3.2 and laying three tackles.
Double Blues co-captain Georgia Bevan battled valiantly to collect 19 disposals and eight tackles while emerging leadership group member Hannah Prenzler had 15 possessions.
Sturt’s sole goal kicker was Kate Harris, who kicked truly in the 10th minute of the opening term.
After clinging on for a victory in Round 1, the Panthers are now one of three teams – along with West Adelaide and North Adelaide – yet to taste defeat in the opening fortnight.
North Adelaide established its premiership credentials with a dominant 54-point win against Central District at X Convenience Oval on Saturday.
Led by an eye-catching four-goal haul from talented utility Ashleigh Woodland, the Roosters only conceded 1.1 en route to the percentage-boosting victory.
Woodland, who only played two SANFLW matches last year after being on Melbourne’s AFLW list, had two goals on the board in the opening quarter to give North a 14-point lead.
And when the Round 1 Powerade Breakthrough Player, North’s Hannah Ewing, converted her free kick for catching her Bulldogs opponent holding-the-ball, the visitors were on their way to victory.
Woodland booted her third from close range under pressure midway during the second stanza, stretching the margin to 33 points.
Former Rooster Katelyn Rosenzweig – coming off a four-goal effort in Round 1 – then hit the scoreboard when she led out strongly from the goal square to mark, before converting a set shot from 25m in front.
But that was to be Central’s only major score for the contest as Krissie Steen’s Roosters perched themselves at the top of the table with a commanding percentage of 78.7.
Leadership group member Lauren Daniel was North’s highest possession winner with 23 while Cristie Castle bagged a goal to go with her 22 disposals.
Woodland (19 disposals) and Ewings (17 disposals) also did plenty of damage further up the field as well as hitting the scoreboard.
Central’s Georgia Madigan had 13 possessions while Demi Sonneman and Danielle Stewart had 12 each for the hosts, who were able to restrict North star Kelly Barltrop to just one behind and six disposals.
Sign up to see all the news from around the SANFL each week – directly in your inbox!