Open Women's Round 16 Match Previews
National 1 Plumbing Open Women's Division 1
Adelaide Uni v West Adelaide
2:30pm Sun 7th August
University Oval (Park 12), North Adelaide
A Metre or a Mile?
Throughout the season, not much has separated these two teams. They are currently sitting on equal points, and the last time they met West Adelaide came away with the win by only four points. Will this time be any different? Adelaide Uni seem to be the working class team of the competition. They have lost only two matches for the year, with an average losing margin of just 3 points. With over half their squad in their first year of footy they seem to have found a way to match it with the more experienced teams, keeping their heads above water with winning margins sitting around the 30 point mark. West Adelaide on the other hand, have been doing much more than just matching the other teams. Rounds 11-14 saw them come away with an average winning margin of 50 pts, and then in round 15 they really hit their stride, defeating Angle Vale by a whopping 102 points. Whilst they too have plenty of new blood, it seems the experienced leaders in their team are stepping up and teaching the new players how to go for a full four quarters. Louella Mccarthy, a classy winger with pace to burn, may account for some of the surging form of late. She has recently returned from injury and by all accounts has been in stellar form. The Blacks will also need to look out for Allison Evans who, in her first season, has kicked 7 goals in her last four matches and looked very dangerous early the last time these two met before being struck down with an injury. With Adelaide Uni’s full back Mollie Barker racing the clock to return from injury, Uni may be stuck for a matchup here.
If Uni are to have any chance they must stem Wests fire power. They will need defenders Marica (Mitzy) Galic (300th game) and Sarah Watherston to hit the ground running and go all day. Coming in for Adelaide Uni from an 8-week stint with injury this week are Kelly Barltrop and Ruth Wallace . Barltrop booted 25 goals in her first 7 games of footy and is a welcome inclusion. Wallace is a hard, talented midfield who can provide both in and under work and outside run.
If Uni can get everything right they are in with a shot, but expect experienced Bloods Masiero, Hartley, Degabriele, Woods, McMahon and McDermott steady the ship and claw the margin back should Uni make a break. This game will either be an absolute cracker, or Westies will burst out of the gates from the get go and never look back. It is time to find out what separates these two- a metre or a mile?
Defib Shop Open Women's Division 2
Mt Barker v Mt Lofty
3pm Sunday 8th August
Able Storage Oval, Mt Barker
The Rivalry Builds
The last time these two met Mt Lofty came away with the win by 18 points, in a match where Lofty’s Ellen Maple was vital. Since that game, Mt Barker have been working really hard on their team game. They have recently knocked off both Christies Beach and Adelaide Uni and will have their sights set on really taking it to 2nd placed Lofty this week. Part of their success has been due to their defensive work all over the ground. Up forward, Melanie ‘Spud’ Bell, drives the forward line to press back hard and lay tackles. Defensively, the Roos have built a strong, hardworking backline who work tirelessly at breaking down opposition play and rebounding the ball. Brittany Jackson, who has been holding down CHB, has been integral in building the team defence. This week will be a big test, will Jackson and her defence struggle to survive or will they thrive under Mt Lofty’s pressure?
Lining up up forward for Lofty will be Lucy Northcott, Madeleine Dufek and Elsie Dawes; all sitting in the top 10 for goals kicked this year. Mt Lofty’s mids will be looking to break away early and provide some silver service their talented forward line. Over the season they have been known for consistently feeding quality balls down the line. However, this week Lofty’s midfield will look a little different, with gun ruckman and Captain Shae Pacifico Hart going down in heartbreaking fashion last week. Unfortunately, Shae will miss the rest of the season. Mt Lofty will need to be proactive here and have a plan in place to try to curb the influence of hard working Roo Sheena McMullen in the ruck.
The top two teams this year seem to be have been set in stone, with almost no-one managing to get over the line against Morphettville or Mt Lofty. For Mt Barker, this will not only be a test of how much they improved, it is a chance to knock over a top two side and send a clear message heading into finals. With both teams being new to the competition, this will be their first true finals atmosphere. Expect the margin to be smaller than the last time they met, but one would expect Mt Lofty to take home the points in the end.