Our first legitimate home game for the season saw us take on vastly improved Central District on Friday night. It was another great opportunity to test ourselves against a team that has been the highest scoring team in the competition to date. Incredibly, we had seven changes to our line-up this week.
Pleasingly we had a hard-fought close win. Disappointingly we nearly got overrun after being 21 points up 5 minutes into the last quarter. Whilst there was an element of luck in getting the win this week, we have been on the other side of the ledger in all our losses this season. To finally win a close one against very good opposition has done wonders to instil belief that we are on the right path.
Aside from losing Tess Morcom to injury early, we had a great start to the game, kicking two goals and two behinds in the first quarter to Central District’s one behind. Our first goal to Grace Duffy was a result of an outstanding kick from the backline into the middle of the ground by our Captain Ellie Kellock. Our second goal was a free kick to Chelsea Packer in the forward pocket after Madi Freeman’s clever kick to her advantage.
Second quarter was a grind for us, where the ball seemed to be stuck in our back half. Thankfully we held up well despite the opposition not taking their chances. Five behinds from three missed shots and a couple of rushed behinds was the only damage to the scoreboard. We headed to the half time break with an 8 point lead.
After conceding a goal early in the third quarter, we started to get back into the game. We finished strong with two late shots at goal from Sarah Wilton, which resulted in a goal from one of them.
The final quarter started with a strong mark and goal to Sarah Wilton, followed by a long running goal to Chelsea Packer a few minutes later. This saw us with a largest lead for the game, 21 points up, but with a long 12 minutes still to play. From this point onwards Central District threw caution to the wind and began to surge forward at all costs. They kicked the last 3 goals of the game to tighten up the scores. The ball was stuck in our backline for the last minute, but thankfully we were able to defend this well.
Our backline, which has been a strength for us all season, stood up strong for the entire game. Special mention to Alice Bradley, who was able to keep the leading goal kicker in the SANFLW to just 5 possessions and 2 goals. Ellie Kellock, Jess Bates and Tessa Kohn were really strong in the contest all game. Most exciting was the impact of 16 year old Sarah Goodwin, who is playing her first season of SANFLW and returned to the team after being rested. Her run and carry along with her courage in the contest, both in the air and on the ground, was outstanding all night.
In such an even season, our ladder position has gone from 6th to 2nd on the back of this win. Our best is good enough and we are now firmly in control of our own destiny.
Another home game this week against last year’s grand finalist, South Adelaide, at 4:20pm on Saturday 24th April. It’s a huge triple header for us where the U18’s play before us and we are the curtain raiser to the Men’s League side.
– Jason Fairall, Senior Coach
Goals: Sarah Wilton (2), Chelsea Packer (2), Grace Duffy (1)
Best: Ellie Kellock, Alice Bradley, Jess Bates, Sarah Goodwin, Tessa Kohn, Airlie Schirmer, Ellen Tyminski, Sheridan Howell