Women's Match Report: Panthers women lock in Finals double chance
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SAFCW Match Report
South Adelaide vs West Adelaide
Round 10 - Flinders University Stadium - 05/04/19
Goals: Bennett 2, Munyard, Haussen, Walker-Murphy, Tahau
Best: Tahau, Bennett, Cavouras, Campbell, Gore, Wright
Injuries: Bennett (hamstring)
South Adelaide's senior women have secured a double chance in the 2019 Final thanks to a win over West Adelaide at Flinders University Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The Panthers had to come from behind, but eventually kicked their way to a 6.7 (43) to 4.3 (27) victory and lock in their position in the top two on the ladder.
The victory sets up a tantalising Semi Final clash with last year's Grand Final opponent Norwood at the Parade this Friday night.
The winner will go straight through to the big dance at ACH Group Stadium (Glenelg) on Sunday, May 26, while the loser will face the winner of Glenelg and North Adelaide, who play off in the earlier Semi Final, also on Friday evening.
That said, qualification in the top two did not come easy, with the Panthers forced to play from behind for much of the match against West on Saturday.
Both sides failed to register a goal in a dour first term.
Winger Tamara Page and young tall Brooklyn Kraft came ever so close to breaking the deadlock after each had a goal called back for being touched off the boot.
South controlled much of the possession for the term but could only manage a three point buffer at the first change.
Elyse Haussen finally broke through for the hosts, after converting a neat set shot from a strong mark off of a pin point Nicole Campbell pass.
However, the rest of the second quarter belonged to West Adelaide.
The visitors piled on three unanswered goals to end the term, as Mary Smith burst into an open goal square, Melanie Elsegood reacted first to a bobbling ball in traffic and Rachelle Martin marked in space and played on to kick her first.
The result set the Bloods up with a seven-point advantage at the major break.
However, the Panthers responded quickly after emerging from the rooms.
Madison Bennett kicked her first after catching her opponent holding the ball 10m out from goal just two minutes after the restart to bring her side within a point.
Minutes later Hannah Munyard gave South back the lead with a brilliant solo effort.
After pouncing on a poor kick inside from the Bloods in the centre square, Munyard took a bounce, baulked past a defender, steadied and buried a shot on the run from 35m out.
Neither side found much ascendancy for the remainder of the quarter, before the Panthers broke through in the final minute.
Montana McKinnon cut off a rebounding kick out of defence and found Bennett on a lead, who was promptly driven into the ground in a tackle. Her free kick found a leading Indy Tahau for one of her numerous contested marks for the afternoon and she converted coolly from 25m out dead in front.
South put the game away in the fourth.
Bennett and Mykala Walker-Murphy each slotted free kicks for high contact to push the lead to 22 and secure the win and the double chance.
Elsegood did pull one back for West in the dying stages, the Bloods only goal of the second half, but it was too little, too late.
Tahau was the standout for the hosts, gathering 17 touches, taking nine marks, kicking a goal and even pinch hitting well in the ruck.
Bennett's pressure in the forward line (seven tackles) was key to several scoring opportunities, while Czenya Cavouras, Campbell and Nikki Gore racked up 53 touches, 17 tackles and 10 inside 50s between them.
Young utility Sarah Wright also impressed playing a lock down role in defence.
South Adelaide's Semi Final against Norwood kicks off at 7:45pm at Coopers Stadium this Friday night, preceded by Glenelg vs North Adelaide at 6:00pm. Entry to both games is free.
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