It was Mitcham’s year. The premiership and two of their girls as joint medalists. And the leading goal kicker to top off the perfect season. But for Flinders Park they’ve also been kicking goals with a premiership in 2019 and runners-up in 2020
By Jessica Phipps
Mitcham V Flinders Park It was the day: the SAWFL Division four Grand Final. As Simonds Park filled with fans, some wearing blue and some wearing red, the first bounce declared the start of the game. It was Mitcham, who cemented their spot at the top of the ladder early this season, versus Flinders Park, who were never too far behind. The playing field looked even and both teams rightly deserved their spot for a chance at the ultimate sporting glory. As the game began, both teams were ruthless at the centre bounce. Mitcham and Flinders Park alike played with fire in their eyes and a desire to win, however, as the clock ticked on it was Mitcham who begun to control the game. With the first score of the game coming from Mitcham, the crowd erupted; it was exactly the start the girls wanted, and keeping the girls at Flinders Park scoreless in the first whilst having a total of 14 on the board themselves, Mitcham had a spring in their step going into the second. The scoreboard total was not to get to Flinders Park who brought the pressure in the second, and the girls were able to get their first scores of the day. Unfortunately, the girls could not convert their efforts into majors and were only rewarded with two points, and Mitcham only seemed to add to their total. After slowing Mitcham’s momentum in the second, only 17 points were separating the two grand finalists at the main break. They often say that third quarters are the premiership quarters, and Mitcham proved that there may be a whole lot of truth behind that statement. In a quarter dominated by Mitcham in almost every area of the field, their total soon increased to an impressive 41. Suddenly, a game that had the potential to be won by either side was soon becoming a Mitcham fairy-tale as Flinders Park only mustered a goal from A. McNeill. Never say never, and Flinders Park came in the last with their heads held high. Although the girls did not score themselves in the final quarter of division four women’s footy for the season, they did slow Mitcham down as they brought their score from 41, to finish on 48. The siren sounded and the scoreboard read that Mitcham on 48, to Flinders Park on eight, had gifted themselves the title of SAWFL Division Four champions for season 2020. As the girls celebrated and shouts of excitement sounded across the field, it was the forward-line efforts which deserved to be recognised for Mitcham. S. Shields was dominant with three goals on the day, while P. Visvardis, J. Wittervan and Z. MacGill-Rankin all contributed with a major themselves. Although every player goes home titled a grand final winner, it was J. Wittervan who was impressive all season, and M. Hurley, Z. MacGill-Rankin, G. Monaghan, and S. O’Hara who were named the best on the day. As for Flinders Park, it was an unfortunate way to end a great season. The girls may not have received the final taste of success, yet they showed that Flinders Park will be a team sitting top of the ladder once again next year. Credit must be given to M. Raynes, A. Thomas, E. Minervini, N. Fazzalari, and A. McNeill who were named the best for Flinders Park, but all girls were recognised for their efforts on the day, even if the scoreboard did not reflect their efforts. At the end of the day, it was Mitcham who had been dominant all season who took home the grand final win, and in a season which many thought may not even get the go-ahead, Mitcham showed that even when in doubt, Women’s Footy will always win.