Our final minor round game of the season saw us take on ladder leaders North Adelaide at Prospect Oval. North Adelaide have been the best performing team in the second half of the season, and with close to a 70% winning record at home, this was a great opportunity to tune up for finals a week early.
The tough and physical first quarter was a good indicator of how the game would be played over four quarters. Despite the first 10 minutes being played in our back half, we were able hold up really well defensively. We then managed to keep the ball in our half for most of the remainder of the quarter, kicking the first goal of the game. Unfortunately, a lapse in concentration allowed North Adelaide to kick a goal of their own and we went into the first break up by one point.
Rinse and repeat in the second quarter as both teams kicked a goal early. A dour defensive grind with neither team giving an inch remained the theme for the rest of the quarter. We went to the main break with a one-point lead.
We didn’t take a couple of opportunities early in the third quarter, which meant we were unable to capitalize on the momentum when we had it. Despite us having more inside 50’s, North Adelaide kicked the only goal for the quarter. With this they hit the lead for the first time, which was maintained through to the three-quarter time break.
Going into the last quarter behind, and against the top team at their home ground with momentum behind them, provided us with a great opportunity to see if we had the grit to overcome one of the biggest on-field challenges we have faced this season. Our team has built a healthy level of belief and confidence over the last few seasons. When the chips are down, we trust our system and we trust each other. Our best football was played in the last quarter. A couple of early goals saw us hit the lead and go nine points ahead. North Adelaide kicked a goal, but we then kicked the last one for the game to record an inspiring 10-point win.
This win resulted in the top three teams all finishing on nine wins and three losses, with only percentage separating them. We have finished 3rd, but our last four games have seen us defeat the other three finalists. Whilst this doesn’t guarantee us anything in the future, we know our best is good enough and we can challenge anyone.
This Sunday at 12pm we play an Elimination Final against South Adelaide at Prospect Oval. South Adelaide had a great win last week to earn 4th spot, so we are really looking forward to this week’s challenge. We hope to see everyone there cheering us on!
– Jason Fairall, Senior Coach
Goal kickers: S. Franson, C. Packer, P. Window, C. Swanson, E. Kellock
Best players: Ellie Kellock, Jess Bates, Ella Boag, Lauren Edwards, Chelsea Packer