An unusually warm Saturday afternoon saw us take on the reigning premiers on their home ground. With the senior men, reserves and U18’s chalking up wins, the pressure was on to make it 4 from 4.
The competition dynamics have changed significantly across the last few weeks with AFLW listed players being introduced into SANFL Women’s squads. North Adelaide have had a number of AFLW players filter into their squad over the last few weeks, whilst we were surprisingly fortunate to have Caitlin Gould return to the Tiger family for the remainder of our season.
Our previous Round 2 encounter with North Adelaide was a tough and tight affair, which saw us fall tantalisingly short. We learnt a lot from that game and we have definitely improved a fair bit since.
Despite our strong start, where we had good control of the territory battle, we just couldn’t get the ball into dangerous areas in our forward line to trouble the scoreboard. North Adelaide was able to at least get the Goal Umpire working a little by registering three behinds.
Our second quarter was as dominant as we have had for the season so far. We almost completely controlled the quarter to win the territory battle convincingly, with the ball locked in our half for most of the quarter. Disappointingly we only managed a goal and three behinds, but were able to keep North Adelaide scoreless for the quarter. Our solitary goal came from a dangerous deep forward 50 entry from the vastly improved Ellen Tyminski, resulting in a free kick to Meara Girvan. In her first ever season of football after crossing from Netball, Meara then kicked her first ever goal. We headed to the halftime break with a 7 point lead.
The floodgates opened in the third quarter with the scoreboard starting to turn over for both teams. Taylah Scapens missed a tough snap under pressure on the run, then we went goal for goal, with North Adelaide kicking three to our two. Jess Bates kicked a great goal after three efforts working the ball forward from a centre bounce stoppage. Catlin Gould took a strong contested mark in the goal square to kick our second for the quarter. We held a 1 point lead at the last break.
Our back line held strong in the last quarter, as North Adelaide were starting to get some momentum. A last quarter goal from our kick in was a highlight for the game, with Meara Girvan kicking her second goal after taking a strong contested mark in the goal square at the backend of the coast to coast passage of play. Meara then kicked her third goal. Brooke Tonon kicked a dangerous ball deep into our forward line, Tessa Kohn crumbed and kicked the ball forward, and then Meara gathered and snapped truly. 12 points up with 10 minutes remaining, North Adelaide began to throw everything at us as they were fighting to make inroads on the scoreboard. We rushed a behind and conceded a goal in this time, but thankfully managed to hold on to win by 5 points.
As always, our backline was strong for the whole game. Brooke Tonon continues to grow and is putting together an incredibly consistent season. Caitlin Gould controlled the Ruck contest, which meant Ellie Kellock, Jess Bates, Sarah Goodwin, Maddie Green and Tessa Kohn were able to get good supply and influence the game. Meara Girvan provided us with a good target forward, Jess Searle played her first game for the season providing some good forward pressure and Chelsea Packer had a strong game on the back of her trademark work rate.
We are now clear in second spot on the ladder, having won our last three games and being undefeated for the last four games. That said, we are yet to lock in a finals spot with only two rounds remaining, so the last two minor round games are a must win if we want to remain in control of our destiny. This week we play the Eagles 9:40am Saturday 8th May at Woodville Oval.
– Jason Fairall, Senior Coach
Goals: Meara Girvan (3), Caitlin Gould (1), Jess Bates (1)
Best: Jess Bates, Brooke Tonon, Caitlin Gould, Ellie Kellock, Tessa Kohn, Meara Girvan, Sarah Goodwin