Payneham Norwood Union were too good for Old Ignatians last week. But can they overcome a fresh and buoyant SMOSH West Lakes in the grand final who are waiting and ready
By Michelle Wakim

Payneham Norwood Union v Old Ignatians

Finals season is drawing to a close, but the Division One sides are still dishing up the brand of football we long to see. This week’s prelim was the kind football fans treasure, one built on intensity, ferocity, and passion, all leading to an exciting finish. Payneham were the favourites going into this match, but they were slow out of the gate; on the other hand, Old Ignatians were the underdogs and had clearly come to play. The first quarter saw Iggies score two-goals-two to Payneham’s one goal, setting the old scholars up for a seemingly promising game ahead. Payneham grew into the game in the second term, showing their exceptional abilities that earnt them the minor premiers spot: Payneham kicked two unanswered goals which saw them take the game into their hands, sitting three points ahead at half time. Both teams rose to the expectation the premiership quarter, battling through an arm wrestle with each team kicking one goal. Going into the final term, Old Ignatians sat a point behind their opposition, with three-goals-six. Their score card escalated to four-goals-eight by the end of the game; arguably, Iggies’ inability to capitalise in front of goal was their downfall. Payneham scored a crucial two goals in the final term – compared to one-goal-two from Old Ignatians – leaving Payneham’s final score at 38 to Old Ignatians’ 32. Like most notable finals, the difference between both sides was minute – a goal exactly if we are putting a figure on it. I can say confidently that both sides reflected the benchmark for women’s football in South Australia. 

Old Ignatians, walk away with your heads held high and celebrate your achievements and contribution to women’s football during 2020. You are a young side and have matched it with established teams in this competition. We are all looking forward to seeing the talent you bring to the league in the coming years. Goal kickers for Old Ignatians were Gabrielle Salt with two, and Alexis Mason and Isabelle Schwab with one each. Mason, Ellen Lynch, Sophie Muecke, Sarah Branford, and Alice Winter made up the best for the old scholars. 

To Payneham, you certainly did enough to get over the line, and this result rightfully reflects your efforts all year. Last week I thought you would be lost without your star player; this week you proved me wrong. Abbey Scheer helped bring the win home with five goals to her name, assisted by Hannah Bebbington with one. You have a mammoth week ahead of you, and SMOSH will be thinking the same. Carry this momentum with you ladies, and next week will be a game to remember.

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