SMOSH West Lakes are first through to the premiership decider. How we’ll see if Payenham Norwood Union are up to the challenge or if Old Ignatians will be their opponent
By Michelle Wakim

Old Ignatians v Adelaide University

The first semi-final to kick us off epitomised what it means to play finals football. The clash between Old Ignatians and Adelaide University was always going to be a heated one, and the first quarter, with no score from either team, was scoreboard proof of the intensity between these sides. The second term followed with Old Ignatians getting a slight breakaway, scoring two-goals-two to Uni’s one-goal-one. Iggies’ seven-point lead at half time wouldn’t stand for much in the home-and-away season, and stands for even less of a lead in finals; the Premiership Quarter proved this, as Iggies were unable to score while Uni were able to get one-goal-one on the board in the third, taking it to 14 points apiece at three quarter time. The final quarter was high scoring in relation to the rest of the game: each team came out swinging. Uni took their total to 21, adding a goal and a point next to their name, but Iggies were able to capitalise in front of goal, scoring two through the big sticks, leaving them with 26 – a four-point win to the Old Scholars. Often in finals, it’s mere points which see a side emerge victorious. Although they got the win, Old Ignatians always knew the road to the ‘big dance’ was going to be a long one; they can celebrate their achievements from the weekend, but need to swiftly reset for the prelim that lies ahead. Iggies will meet Payneham, the once favourites for the flag, but who have now suffered their first loss for the year over the weekend. Momentum is the strongest force in football, and now Old Ignatians have it on their side, they stand on solid footing for next week’s game. Best on for Old Iggies this week was Kate Ferguson, Lili Gambranis, Alice Winter, Courtney Rossi, and Maddison Murray, with Rossi scoring two, and Juliette Tyson and Isabelle Schwab contributing with one each. Rally your team Iggies, we are excited to see you perform next week! Although Adelaide Uni’s season has come to a close, they brought strength and grit to this year’s draw, and watching them make finals was a pleasure. Uni can hold their heads up high at the end of another commendable season. Uni’s three goals were split evenly amongst Madelyn Zacher, Tara McDermott, and Alexandra Fitridge. Ella Slape, Matilda Van Riel, Abby Pengelly, Tiarna Harfield, Ellie Davis, and Brooklyn Kraft made up Uni’s best. 

Payneham NU v SMOSH West Lakes

The semi-final between first and second was always going to be a remarkable event, particularly when a week’s rest and a clear road to the grand final was on the line. This semi-final also gave us one of the greatest upsets for the year. Payneham and SMOSH have been clear grand final contenders throughout 2020, yet Payneham have managed to edge SMOSH out of first spot, until now. The first term saw an intensity that could only be attributed to finals footy: Payneham were scoreless, and SMOSH only put two points to their name. Things picked up for SMOSH in the second, as they managed to score a goal and keep Payneham to a mere two points. The third quarter delivered the goods – as third quarters do – with both sides scoring three goals. The scoreboard read 28 to 19, SMOSH’s way buy the end of the third quarter. That three goals scoring power was the last we saw from Payneham, as they finished with their three-quarter-time score while SMOSH went on to score one goal five in the final quarter, clearly dominating the play and doing enough to lengthen their lead to 20 points. The roles were reversed the last time these sides met, as Payneham emerged with a 27-point win. What changed? Perhaps it was the pressure of finals footy; perhaps it was the week off Payneham enjoyed; perhaps it’s because Chloe Scheer wasn’t listed (although a game should never be won by a single player); perhaps SMOSH simply played a better game. Whatever it was, SMOSH have cleared their path to the grand final, and next week they can take the time to re-group, re-fresh and prepare for their big day on Norwood Oval. SMOSH, as most winning sides do, shared the footy between their goal scorers, with Danielle Cresp, Tayla Gordon, Shae Partington, Georgina Evans, and Teagan Usher each scoring one to make up the side’s five goals. Courtney Fretter, Molly Althouse, Nicole Carey, Partington, Cameron Kennedy, and Poppy Waterford were listed in SMOSH’s best. Payneham now face their biggest challenge for this short season: they must find some grit and resilience and come out next week to show the competition why they deserve to attend the ‘big dance’. Payneham are good enough, and now its their chance to prove it. Best on for Payneham were Jess Meachin, Danielle Stewart, Sophia Ialeggio, and Nicole Tucker, and Abbey Scheer slotted two, assisted by Ana Barisic with one. Best of luck to the minor premiers!

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