A massive thank you to both SMOSH West Lakes and Payneham Norwood Union. You have set an unbelievable standard for women’s football in a year which looked like we wouldn’t even take the field
By Michelle Wakim
SMOSH West Lakes v Payneham Norwood Union Can you believe it? In a flash, we find ourselves at the close of the 2020 women’s football season. There was no better way to cap off this season then to witness the two best sides in the league playoff in a gripping finale at Norwood Oval. The result saw SMOSH and Payneham separated by a mere seven points. The first quarter was as expected: an arm wrestle with a physical intensity for the ages. The score at quarter time saw SMOSH with one-goal-one, while Payneham edged ahead with two-goals-four. SMOSH regained some control in the second, with a couple of crucial centre clearances that escalated to goals. The two middle terms were goal-for-goal, and there were miraculous displays of courage around the ground – backing into packs, ferocious tackling, hard ball gets – as both teams were prepared to throw the kitchen sink at each other to get over the line. The fourth quarter opened with SMOSH with three-goals-eight, to Payneham’s three-goals-seven. SMOSH came out blazing, scoring two early goals. Payneham were only able to answer with one goal, leaving the premiership cup in SMOSH’s rightfully deserving hands: a final score 39 to 31. Talah Gobell, Ana Barisic, Abbey Scheer, and Chloe Scheer each scored a goal for Payneham, and the best listed Jennifer Frost, Scheer, Jess Meachin, Lily Ilko, and Barisic. Payneham deserve widespread recognition for their form this year, finishing as minor premiers and demanding the highest standard of football from any opponent who was to beat them. Payneham will stand as major contenders in the years to come. A few weeks ago, I stated that SMOSH’s kryptonite was Payneham: well haven’t they proved me wrong, beating Payneham not once but twice in the final’s series. They haven’t stepped a foot wrong in the last few weeks, and they were able to milk this season for everything it was worth. Best on for the premieres was Molly Althouse, Nicole Carey, Poppy Waterford, Shae Partington, and Kassandra Stroh, while Althouse took home the umpires’ vote for Best on Ground. Goal scorers were Remy Grant and Tayla Gordon with two each, and Stroh with one. A massive thank you is due to both SMOSH and Payneham: you have set an unbelievable standard for women’s footy in a year which looked like we wouldn’t even take the field. Enjoy the well earnt celebrations. We are all waiting with bated breath to see what you bring to the competition next year.