In wet, cold and windy conditions at the weekend’s South Australian Country Football Championships, the Northern Zone women’s team, which included no less than 18 Silver City footballers, endured a tough weekend.
They played both eventual Grand Finalists, in alien conditions at Angaston Oval on Saturday and then had to front up early on Sunday morning for a 9.20am start and play a full game.
“The conditions made hard to execute skills, especially on Saturday at Angaston,” first time Northern Zone Coach Ethan Kimball said.
“The girls never really play in those conditions back at home and the development of women’s football in some of the other zones has improved exponentially, especially with the pace and the ball skills. One of the grand final teams, Eastern, were fifth last year.”
In total the Northern Zone women’s team received three large defeats, with a total margin of 169-point deficit across the three encounters.
The results reflected the high quality of the opposition and growth needed to compete at this level.
Central Broken Hill defender Ash Anderson was strong against the tide in the first game, taking a number of intercept marks and battling strongly to be the Northern Zone’s best.
Abbey Stevens from the South Kangaroos also produced a strong showing while another backline player, Emma Camilleri, had an impact on the contest.
Forward/midfield Paris Ralph also had her moments in the competition opener at Panther Park.
The inclement weather didn’t relent in game two on Saturday against the Eastern Zone side, which included a number of girls with SANFLW experience.
Teagan Coombes was high amongst the Northern Zone best in this clash, followed by her Central Broken Hill team mate Ashleigh Forbes.
A couple more Magpies, Zoe Imisides and Elke Page also deserve a mention for their gallant efforts.
Despite being battered and bruised both physically and mentally, the girls fronted up for the play-off clash at the Centennial Park Number 2 ground at Nuriootpa Oval.
The weather had improved, but it was still wild and windy conditions to endeavour to execute the skills of the game in.
Forbes continued her form from the previous day, while Melissa Keenan from South was consistent across the four quarters.
Ashley Anderson and Ash Forbes made the Team of the Champions selection for their individual performances.
Anderson won selection on a half back flank, while Forbes won a position on the interchange bench.
“Forbes played at centre half forward and Anderson was a half back flanker, taking a number of intercept marks,” Kimball said, adding, “both we high deserving of this accolade.”
The hosts, the Central Zone, won the women’s final in a thriller by three points and the decider. The final standings were Central, followed by Eastern, Southern, South East and Eyre Peninsula, with the Northern Zone girls at the foot of the ladder.
Game 1 – Angaston Oval
Central Zone 8.5 (53) defeated Northern Zone 0.1 (1)
Best Players – Ashleigh Anderson, Abbey Stevens, Emma Camilleri, Samantha Ramm, Paris Ralph
Goal Kicker – Nil
Game 2 – Angaston Oval
Eastern Zone 9.11 (65) defeated Northern Zone 0.0 (0)
Best Players – Samantha Ramm, Teagan Coombes, Ashleigh Forbes, Zoe Imisides, Elke Page
Goal kickers – Nil
5th vs 6th – Nuriootpa #2 Oval
Eyre Peninsula 7.10 (52) defeated Northern Zone 0.0 (0)
Best Players – Ashleigh Forbes, Caitlin Brooks, Melisa Keenan, Ashleigh Anderson, Timeka Cox
Goal kickers – Nil