By ZAC MILBANK
The Statewide Super SA U19 Girls team has begun its 2021 campaign with a gritty six-point win against Western Australia at Flinders University Stadium on Sunday.
Despite leading at every change, the Croweaters were unable to gain a meaningful advantage throughout the dour contest with the Sandgropers fighting hard until a deep inside 50m entry was curtailed by the final siren.
Coached by Magarey Medallist Tim Weatherald, SA was powered by a starring role from Sturt’s Zoe Prowse in the ruck.
The AFLW Academy member racked up 20 disposals to go with her 25 hit outs in an eye-catching display, while also illustrating her workrate with three inside 50m entries and two rebound 50 exits.
Speedy South Aussies Laitiah Huynh (Central) and Jade Halfpenny (Norwood) accumulated 22 and 14 disposals respectively to give the WA defenders plenty of headaches on the wide spaces of the Noarlunga venue.
Glenelg’s Brooke Tonon and Central’s Madison Lane defended strongly, with the latter racking up nine rebound 50s to go with her 19 disposals and four marks.
South pair Lauren Clifton and Gypsy Schirmer each kicked a goal on their home ground while West running machine Keeley Kustermann also hit the scoreboard for SA.
The contest was the first of a three-match campaign for the Statewide Super SA U19 Girls Team, with two matches – against the Allies and Queensland – to come in April at the NAB AFLW U19 National Championships on the Gold Coast.
SA 1.1 2.2 2.2 3.5 (23)
WA 0.2 1.3 1.5 2.5 (17)
BEST – SA: Zoe Prowse, Brooke Tonon, Laitiah Huynh, Madison Lane, Jade Halfpenny, Alana Lishmund
GOALS – SA: Lauren Clifton, Gypsy Schirmer, Keeley Kustermann
At Flinders University Stadium, Noarlunga