It was a really good effort to grind out the game and hold an eight point lead at the final siren. A brave win from our team, where again, probably only consistency in our method will be the final piece to fall into place.
I thought we started the game furiously and really had intent to win the ball and pressure the ball carrier. We spent the majority of the first half of the quarter in our front half, but after that we really controlled the forward movement, with 11-5 inside 50s. It was great to have our co-captain Sam Franson back into the line-up, and she was a really important link up player for us, who hit the post with her first kick of the game. Second gamer Eloise Mackereth started where she left off with seven disposals – five of which were contested possessions.
Our second quarter was by far the most dominant ball movement I have seen from our team over the season. We were aggressive and attacking, with our midfield really standing up and being able to take the heat out of the contest. Freeman was massive with her attacking ability, and Piper Window, who’s shown what she is capable of each week no matter the tag or attention she gets, was able to damage on the scoreboard with a goal to set us up for a great second half. Again, we kept surging forward, and with the speed from Tyminski and Wilmore through the middle of the ground, we were able to get some reward with two goals to Chelsea Packer, who capitalised when it mattered.
North Adelaide are the reigning premiers with finals on the line, so we knew they would come out ready to contest the second half. Madi Freeman set us up well with a goal, and our backline stood strong as the onslaught came. I was really impressed with our defenders’ ability to trust themselves and play a really aggressive style, coming off to intercept or impact when we needed. Tessa Kohn was a large contributor, as was young up-and-comer Marie Martino, who has really found her groove in the backline by either winning the contest or halving it.
The last quarter, we owe to our backline. A testament to this team is its ability to work for each other. This was epitomised when 15-year-old Jordan Horne was able to make a contest on the goal line, as a wing positioned player, to stop us conceding a late goal. Poppy Scholz and Alex Walker were everywhere in that last quarter, where North Adelaide had 15 inside 50s to one. To only concede the one goal was huge for us.
As we shift our focus to next game, a must win for our finals hopes to stay alive, we know that our best football is enough to beat anyone on the day and we showed that on Saturday night. For us, we grow and learn each training and game, and know that together, with support from our teammates, we are ready to face any challenge that might come.
Goal kickers: Chelsea Packer (2), Madi Freeman, Piper Window
Best players: Poppy Scholz, Matilda Wilmore, Tessa Kohn, Marie Martino, Alex Walker, Piper Window