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The Northern girls know how to celebrate

Wednesday, 14th July, 2021

By Peter Argent

Broken Hill women’s football has etched itself in the folklore of the game in the Silver City, with 20 of the 23 players and the majority of the coaching and support staff playing roles in the Northern Zone inaugural SA Country Football Championships victory at Victor Harbor last Sunday, July 11.
“The girls trained for over a month before the event,” Co-coach Tony Tidball explained.
“So to come away with a title is definitely pretty special.
“The coaching staff were keen to give the girls a professional outlook on representative footy.
“As a collective, it’s one of the most exciting things that has happened for Ladies football in the City and it was well deserved.”
On Saturday, the Northern Zone comprehensively won both their games, defeated the Central Zone in the first game of the tournament by 33 points, and then backed up to triumph against the Western Zone by 20 points.
“We had a lot of first-time representative players don the jumper on Saturday,” Tidball continued.
“In our line meeting on the night before and pre-season helped them deliver strong performances in both Saturday matches.
“Nikki (Phillips) from Central was crafty in the small forward and Sophie Palmer from West Robins was strong in the ruck.
“Another Central Magpie Ash Anderson was damaging across half-back.
“Our defensive structure stood up very well and was nearly impassable, especially in the first match.
“In the second game, Western Zone kicked the opening two goals of the contest very quickly.
“We regrouped and kicked the next five to win comfortably in the end.
“Hannah Muscat, being used in a mid-field-forward rotation, was our best in this match.
“Meg Ryan from South, our Irish connection in the team, playing her first season of the code, was really strong in this contest.
“Bec Deer from North Broken Hill Bulldogs was outstanding at full-back in this match as well.”   
The Grand Final on Sunday against Murray South East (MSE) was an epic.
The game ebbed and flowed all content, with the Northern girls needed to hold on to a slender lead in the final term.
After MSE forward Angela Broad kicked a goal with a couple of minutes left in the final quarter, the game was on a knife’s edge.
With the ball deep in the MSE forward line, the siren sounded sparking euphoria celebrations amongst the Northern team and staff.
“We were two goals up at three-quarter time,” Tidball confirmed.
“All the scoring and the wind was blowing towards the Southern End of the ground, where the all the scoring was.
“We had impressed to the girls about the importance of the structures and they delivered in a tense final term.
“Ashleigh Anderson was a clear best player in this game, while Rebecca Deer was strong in defence yet again.
“We send Macey Edgecombe to MSE key forward Ella Little in the second half and she played an important role quelling this dangerous player.
“We were pretty excited for the girls and Phil to be able to experience this win.
“The bus trip back home was eventful and exciting.
“The girls embraced the experience and concept.”
At the post-game presentations, co-coaches and Northern mentors Phil Neal and Anthony Tidball received the Women’s ‘Coach of the Championships’ award.
Veteran Nikki Phillips secured the Leading Goal Kicker accolade with six majors, two in each match.
In the 2021 Women’s SA Country Team of the Championships Phillips also won a position in the forward pocket, while Timeka Cox was selected at full forward and Sophie Palmer made it on a half-forward flank.
Both Rebecca Deer and Paris Ralph also were selected on the full backline.
The Northern Zone also made a special presentation to its Women’s player of the championships, Ashleigh Anderson.

Results - 2021 SA Country Football Championships
Game 1 - Saturday, July 10
Central Zone 0.1 (1) lost to Northern Zone 5.4 (34)
Goal Kickers: N. Phillips 2, T. Cox 2, T. Reid
Best Players: N. Phillips, S. Palmer, A. Anderson, M. Edgecumbe, B. Mannion

Game 2 - Saturday, July 10
Northern Zone 5.2 (32) defeated Western Zone 2.0-12
Goal Kickers: N. Phillips 2, T. Cox, H. Muscat, T. Reid
Best Players: H. Muscat, M. Ryan, M. Edgecumbe, R. Deer, A. Stelling-Wood

Game 3 - Grand Final - Sunday, July 11
Northern Zone 5.2 (32) defeated Murray South East 4.4 (28)
Goal Kickers: N. Phillips 2, T. Cox 2, T. Reid
Best Players: R. Deer, A. Anderson, T. Cox, M. Ryan, A. Stevens

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