GSFLW Team of the Week - Round Fifteen
And then there were four: Willunga claims the 2021 GSFLW Minor Premiership while Goolwa earns their first-ever finals berth.
The 2021 GSFLW Minor Season has come to a close. Willunga claimed the Minor Premiership after storming home to jump Mt Compass during the final rounds of the home and away season; the Bulldogs finished second with 40 per cent separating them from the top-placed Demons.
The reigning premiers finished third on the ladder, while Goolwa managed to win the race for the fourth spot and in the process, they earned themselves their first-ever finals berth. Both Yankalilla and Strathalbyn finished one win outside of the top four, Victor Harbor improved from last season by claiming two wins--and their cross-town rival, Encounter Bay, claimed this year's wooden spoon.
Round Fifteen kicked off with Yankalilla's 58 point win over Victor Harbor, 11.10 (76) to 2.6 (18). Despite the final score, both sides had the same amount of scoring shots during the opening term; but the Kangaroos shot themselves in the foot by recording 0.5 (5). It was not until the final term that the Tigers managed to break open the game, with the yellow and black booting five unanswered goals during the final term to run away with the win.
Willunga waltzed to a 59 point win over Encounter Bay to ensure their place as the Minor Premiers, 10.7 (67) to 1.2 (8). Needing to win to hold onto the top spot, the top-placed Demons built a four-goal lead at halftime over the bottom-placed Eagles. From there, Willunga stormed home by kicking a very accurate 6.1 (37) during the final half to earn the Minor Premiership.
McLaren had to hold off a fast-finishing Roosters outfit during their 20-point win, 4.5 (29) to 1.3 (9). The Eagles were winning the Battle of the Birds at halftime, 28 to 0, but would go onto score just one behind for the remainder of the match. As for Strathalbyn, they collected four scoring shots during the second half but ultimately their 1.3 (9) total was not enough.
A possible Grand Final preview between Goolwa and Mt Compass saw the Bulldogs overcome some wayward kicking to record a hard-fought 15 point win, 3.9 (27) to 2.0 (12). The Magpies jumped out of the box early and led two goals to one at the first break. However, Goolwa would not score for the remainder of the match--allowing Mt Compass to storm home and take the win.
Scroll down to see this round's Team of the Week, plus a small breakdown of the squad.
Captain: Tahlita Buethke
Vice-Captain: Linda Shute
Three of the top four sides this week lead the way in terms of players represented. Mt Compass, Willunga and McLaren all have four named players this week. Goolwa, Yankalilla and Strathalbyn follow close behind with three named players each.
The Captain of the Round Fifteen Team of the Week is McLaren's draft hopeful, Tahlita Buethke, who enjoyed a stellar end to the minor season. Key Mt Compass contributor, Linda Shute, earns the Vice-Captaincy as the Bulldogs look to make the final dance for the first-ever time.
Headlining this week's forward line is Yankalilla's Jasmine Smith, whose Round Fifteen display included an outstanding total of 6 goals. This Best on Ground performance is also the highest goal tally of the round.
Also up forward this week is the familiar McLaren forward, Sheena Peters, who added 2 goals to her season total which now equates to 34. Impressively, this total is also the highest tally in the competition--meaning Sheena is the competition's Leading Goalkicker at the end of the minor round.
Joining Sheena up forward is fellow Eagle and South Adelaide Panther, Sophia Flanagan-Sjoberg, whose performance on the weekend was one of the better ones for the Eagles.
Willunga's Kristen Rothwell joins the team this week on the back of a classy 3 goal performance. She is joined up forward by fellow Demon, Stellar Remphrey-Pese, whose efforts on the weekend included 2 goals.
Centre half-forward is home to Mt Compass forward and talented volleyballer, Elke Jarvis. The Moose's actions on the weekend included 2 of the Bulldogs' 3 goals.
Rucking duties this week fall to Yankalilla youngster, Jemma Ellis. The 2020 U16 GSFLW Best and Fairest winner was a standout in the yellow and back--only made more impressive when you consider that ruck is not her preferred position.
Also on-ball this week is Victor Harbor's Best on Ground, Jaimee Millard, whose display for the Kangaroos included a goal. Goolwa's Best on Ground, Kaya Angus, rounds out the followers this week. Kaya was praised by her teammates for her performance on the weekend which is perhaps the ultimate accolade.
The middle is home to Yankalilla young gun, Leah Bailey. As a SANFLW-listed Panther and the Vice-Captain of the Association Side, Leah finished off her 2021 GSFLW season in style.
Our Captain this week, Tahlita Buethke, calls the wing home after being a key contributor for McLaren. The fast-paced and silky Eagle is certainly one to watch in this year's AFLW draft.
The other wing is home to our Vice-Captain, the ever-reliable Mt Compass midfielder, Linda Shute. Like Tahlita, Linda was a key performer for the Bulldogs who managed to scrape home with a hard-fought Round Fifteen win.
Finding herself at centre halfback is the tall Strathalbyn defender and netball convert, Melanie Cross. Forming part of the Roosters' spine down back for the first time; she had her work cut out for her against the potent McLaren attack--but she certainly made it work by being named as the second Best on Ground.
Joining Melanie at halfback is the fast-paced Roosters' rebounder, Ella Thomas, who was also up against the quality Eagles attack but managed to make the most of it.
SANFLW Premhersip player, Tiffany Copley, joins the team this week on the half-back flank after being one of the better performances for the reigning premiers. Also in the back six is Goolwa's Tayla Hoad, who has found some great form heading into the Magpies debut finals berth.
A Willunga pair rounds out the defence this week. Reliable Demon and their Round Fifteen Best on Ground, Jodie Hunt, is named a little deeper than she was on the weekend, while Courtney Gutschmidt also makes another appearance down back after impressing in the white and red.
Joining the rotations this week as the side's second ruck is Strathalbyn's Best on Ground, Emma Champman. Also, a part of the backup brigade is Encounter Bay's Best on Ground, Amber Grahame.
Goolwa young gun, Indi Quaremba, makes her debut appearance for our Team of the Week. The young Magpie equated for half of Goolwa's goals while also being named as the second Best on Ground in the black and white.
The final spot amongst the rotations is the familiar named Mt Compass player, Amy Taylor, who was a standout player for the equal ladder-leaders.
The final two spots in our Round Fifteen MWM GSFLW team of the Week belong to Victor Harbor's promising prospect, Maya Overall, and experienced Mt Compass player, Taylah Eastwood.
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Special Thanks to all those who nominated players for the Team of the Week.