Women’s Premier Division Match of the Round Review- Southern Power v Pennant Hills Demons
Written by Lucas Holmes
As the sun broke through at Henson Park in Marrickville, the 2022 AFL Sydney Premier Division women’s competition got underway.
Southern Power was looking to continue what was a strong 2021 season. Whilst Pennant Hills who defeated the Power in round 10 last season, was looking to cause another upset.
Southern Power had a few opportunities in the early stages of the first quarter.
However, the Demons defence in particularly Grace Painting was up to the task. Painting’s intercept mark on the centre wing was the catalyst for the first goal of the match. After her kick was smothered by the Power’s Dakota Mason, Pennant Hills key defender Eleanor Rugg sent the ball by foot high inside the forward fifty. Tayla Dugiud received a wide handball and found Eliza Harvey who ran into the open goal square.
Harvey’s second goal came from the resulting centre bounce. Elizabeth Gordon’s centre clearance found space inside the forward fifty for the Demons. After some defensive pressure from key forward Tamika Sutton, Harvey collected the ball and snapped it across her body off three steps.
Quarter time Southern Power 0.1.1 Pennant Hills 2.2.14.
The Demons had a chance to extend their margin in the early part of the second quarter. Rugg cleared the ball into the middle of the ground after she collected a handball from Duguid. An exchange between Pennant Hills teammates Riley Quinn and Emily Phelps saw the ball deep inside the attacking fifty. However, some scrambling defence from the Power’s Madison Smith saved a goal-scoring opportunity.
It wasn’t long after that the Power had their first goal of the match. A searching kick from Natalie Murray on the centre wing found the elusive Kyla Tracey on the half-forward flank. The forward fifty entry found Ashlee Mcclure in the forward pocket whose centering kick caused some indecision in the Demons’ backline. Mason applied a strong tackle and was rewarded, converting the set shot just outside the goal square.
Pennant Hills didn’t take long to answer back. Paris Roditis collected the ball cleanly at pace on the centre wing. Roditis’ kick found Harvey who in turn kicked to the leading Sutton who took a strong mark. Sutton’s kick from just inside the forward fifty made it to the top of the goal square. Where Quinn, playing in front, marked and made no mistake with the set shot.
Two more goals from the Southern Power made it a two-point margin at the long break.
Half time Southern Power 3.1.19 Pennant Hills 3.3.21.
Southern Power had a chance almost immediately as the third quarter got underway. After initially giving away a free-kick the impressive Emily Eaves provided a second effort, and her tackle was rewarded. Eaves found Mcclure in stride about thirty metres out from goal, however her snap across the body was marked on the last line of defence by Painting.
After an extremely physical middle portion of the quarter, The Demons’ fourth goal came at the twelve-minute mark. From a boundary throw-in deep inside their forward fifty, a clever tap from Yolande Webster found Elly Rudd on the move and kicked truly from twenty metres out.
Three Quarter time Southern Power 3.1.19 Pennant Hills 4.6.30.
The final quarter also had an energetic start, as the Demons had a golden opportunity to extend their lead.
Madison Hare (who had been involved in a battle in the ruck with Kiahna Davis-White) followed up her work and sent Pennant Hills inside the forward fifty. Sutton, who had legally disposed of her opponent, elected to snap at goal rather than handball to an unmarked teammate.
But it was the Power who struck first for the crucial first goal of the final term. A Davis-White tap found Jemima Wigley whose short handball was collected in stride by Jess Whelan. Whelan’s lace out delivery found a diving Mcclure who converted the long set shot.
The Demons got the margin out to two goals soon after, as Harvey kicked her third goal. Laura Donohue created an intercept inside the centre square and sent the Demons on the attack. A clever handball found Harvey on the overlap who settled and kicked from thirty metres.
The Power needed to get one back quickly and they did just that. A smart kick to open up the far side of the ground from Smith found Mason who spun out of a tackle and kicked to the advantage of Mcclure inside the forward fifty. Mcclure somehow manufactured a handball with three opponents hanging off her and Kent snapped as the margin was cut to five points.
A late goal was scored by both sides as the Demons hung on to win this entertaining round 1 match by two goals.
Full time Southern Power 5.2.32 Pennant Hills 6.8.44.
For the Southern Power Emily Eaves was arguably the best player on the round. Kate Wrigley used her pace and foot skills to link the Power’s midfield and forward line. Whilst Jess Whelan was influential from stoppages.
For Pennant Hills Grace Painting was a force in the Demons backline, Madison Hare’s clash with Kiahna Davis-White was a focal point. Whilst Eliza Harvey was electric in the forward half.
Southern Power 5.2.32
Goal Kickers: N. Murray, M. Parker, D. Mason, A. Mcclure, L. Kent
Best: Not Provided
Pennant Hills 6.8.44
Goal Kickers: E.Harvey 4, R. Quinn, E. Rudd
Best: E. Gordon, E. Harvey, E. Rugg, K. Noble, R. Quinn, G. Painting