LBB + DGS Women's Match Report: Grand Final South vs North
Little Black Bike + Daily Grind Skate Women's Match Report
South Adelaide vs North Adelaide
Grand Final - Thebarton Oval - 23/08/20
Goals: Charlton, Gore, Schirmer, Tahau
The 2020 SANFLW Grand Final sees South Adelaide come just seven points shy of completing the three-peat as they fall to North Adelaide at Thebarton Oval on Sunday.
The Panthers matched it well with the undefeated Roosters for the second time in three weeks but unfortunately a few costly errors and missed opportunities proved to be the biggest factor in the 4.4 (28) to 5.5 (35) defeat.
Fielding a slightly different side to what faced the Roosters two weeks prior, the Panthers hit the scoreboard first after just two minutes of play thanks to a beautifully struck goal by Teah Charlton.
A costly free would see the Roosters reply only minutes later, and they would go onto make the most of their early momentum to put the Panthers on the back foot with yet another goal at the twelve-minute mark.
But then, playing in her second Grand Final in just ten matches, the Panther pathway product Gypsy Schirmer stepped up with an intercept mark and a great goal from a tough angle to help steady the side.
The siren would sound with the ball deep in the Roosters' forward 50 sending the side into the first break facing a narrow 2.0 (12) to 2.2 (14) deficit.
The Roosters would open the scoring in the second quarter with Perry's second of the day to which her fellow Gold Coast Suns teammate, Cheyenne Hammond, came close to responding to.
Indy Tahau then stepped up with one her signature marks and kicked truly to peg the deficit back to under a goal.
But a lapse of concentration during the final minute of the second term, coupled with an extremely contentious holding the ball decision, allowed North Adelaide to goal after the halftime siren to bump their lead to over a goal.
With the halftime scores reading 3.1 (19) to 4.2 (26), which was already higher than the final scores of their semi-final clash two weeks prior the Panthers had plenty of work to do as they trailed in the inside 50 count, 11 to 21, and the clearance count, 7 to 17.
Just four minutes into third term, the Panthers came close to scoring via Hammond, but her kick was just touched on the line. Then a few costly errors and decisions allowed North Adelaide to go end to end, and further extend their lead with a goal.
The Roosters would go onto pepper the goals for the remainder of the quarter, but through some valiant defending by Lisa Whiteley and dual premiership Captain, Lauren Buchanan, the Panthers held them to just three behinds.
But even with these strong defensive efforts, the Panthers still trailed 3.2 (20) to 5.5 (35) at the final change.
With the fast-paced Panther duo of Tahlia Meyer and Hannah Munyard both providing South Adelaide with plenty of play they attempted one last fightback.
Against a very tough North Adelaide defence, the Panthers managed to trap the ball down their end but could only muster two behinds. This was before the ever-reliable Nikki Gore, kicked a much-needed late goal for the Panthers.
But it would prove to be too little, too late as the Panthers could not find a goal within the remaining three minutes and ultimately fell to the 4.4 (28) to 5.5 (35) defeat.
While they did not get the end result it is still a huge feat to make three consecutive Grand Finals during their first three years in the competition. This, coupled with the U17 Girls making five consecutive Grand Finals and winning four of them, is a huge credit to South Adelaide's women's program.
The girls will be back bigger and stronger in 2021.