Daily Grind Women's Match Report: Trial 1
Daily Grind Women's Match Report
South Adelaide vs Sturt
Trial 1 - Flinders University Stadium - 06/02/2021
Goals: Kirk 3, Haylock, Huxtable
Promising signs to take from the first trial game as familiar names impress and new faces shine during the Panthers 33-point win over Sturt at Flinders University Stadium on Saturday.
Donning the blue and white for the first time since August, the Panthers struggled to find inroads through the Double Blue defenders but a three-goal unanswered run during the final term sealed the 5.11 (41) to 1.2 (8) win.
The forward line played host to a new-look attack, with last year's leading goalkicker Jess Kirk booting three goals and Encounter Bay's Tess Huxtable scoring one to help the Panthers over the line. Happy Valley forward and Panther junior, Jorja Hooper also got her hands on plenty of the footy.
Yet despite the final score line, the opening half was very much a battle of the backlines. After several thwarted attacks, a clever handpass by Panther recruit Alannah Rochow allowed Kirk to snap for her first goal of the match.
Minutes later, Madi Bennett showed her trademark speed by getting out the back of the pack, but she was tackled before she could score.
Playing in strange summer conditions there were some light showers during the opening term which certainly did not lessen the pressure that was around the ball.
Nicole Campbell tried her best to break the game open on several occasions, but the Panthers wouldn't score another major for the opening term and headed into the first break with a narrow 1.1 (7) to 0.1 (1) lead.
The second quarter saw the Double Blues push for their first major of the match and they came extremely close to doing so if it wasn't for a 'kicking in danger' call within the goal square. After this close call, the Panthers managed to trap it down in their forward 50 but struggled to find the middle of the goals as they booted three behinds in four minutes.
Sturt's strong defence came close to rebounding on several occasions, but a strong tackle by Rochow and a solid defensive play by the Yankalilla duo, Leah Bailey and Jemma Ellis, helped keep the ball on the Panthers' side of the centre circle. But Sturt continually tried to counterattack.
Lucy Northcott helped South's backline stay strong with a composed intercept mark. But the Double Blues came close to scoring on several occasions during the closing moments. The first of which was safely escorted over the line by Emily Brockhurst, which gave Sturt their first score of the quarter.
Then just as it looked like Sturt were surely going to kick their first of the match, Northcott reminded us of her rugby background with a strong goal-saving tackle which helped South Adelaide enter halftime with a 1.4 (10) to 0.2 (2) lead.
Despite seemingly being in control, the Double Blues were easily in striking distance of the lead.
Czenya Cavouras was busy early as was Campbell, but the Panthers struggled to breakthrough with their second major of the match. Then, after fifty minutes of play Sturt managed to score their first goal of the match but despite being their first of the day, it cut the lead to within a kick.
But three minutes later, Sophia Flanagan-Sjoberg was able to get her kick over the back of the pack and Huxtable, who was able to stay on her feet despite the opposition, picked up the ball and handed the Panthers a much-needed goal.
With a 2.6 (18) to 1.2 (8) lead at the final change, the Panthers went to work to help seal the win.
Just sixty seconds into the final term, Kirk and Hooper combined for a quick one-twowith Kirk hitting up Hooper before receiving the ball back and snaping what was the goal of the game.
Meanwhile, at the other end of the ground Brianna Wedding showed her versatility with an intercept mark at halfback. Credit to the Panthers backline who would combine to keep Sturt scoreless for the remainder of the match.
South Adelaide's next goal would also come courtesy of Kirk, who intercepted back-to-back Double Blue kick insthe last of which saw the ball soar over the line for her third of the match.
The final minutes saw some strong induvial acts with the likes of Rochow's run and carry, Northcott's tackling and Flanagan-Sjoberg's double-grab intercept mark.
With just a minute left to play, Elyse Haylock put the icing on the cake with a goal from close range, handing the Panthers a 5.11 (41) to 1.2 (8) win. The first of 2021 and the first with the new-look coaching group.
South Adelaide's second trial game sees them travel to the Eastern Parade Reserve to face off against the Eagles on Saturday February 13, from 10:30am.
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