The Pinktails got invited to compete in the Around The Campfire Cup Tournament at Coopers Stadium on Saturday the 8th of October 2016.
What a challenge these ladies had! To come from 4 different clubs in the CAWL with just 8 weeks of training together, then somehow gel together as a team and take on 3 SA teams, was indeed an exceptional and commendable effort alone.
Their first game was against Port Adelaide. The Pinktails took to the field after a very thorough warm up, led by Macka, and got straight to business. They slotted 4 goals 2 behinds in the first 20 minutes, without the opposition scoring. The Pinktails then managed to keep up the intensity by adding another 3 goals and 1 point to their perfect start, keeping Port Adelaide scoreless and resulting in 45 point triumph. Ashley Fitzpatrick was in good form kicking 4 of our goals and presenting as a strong forward target. Our Sports Medical officials (Julianne and Lisa) took the girls for a thorough warm down and stretching session afterwards as the coaches made adjustments to the team and assessed our next challenge, the SA Indigenous Team.
Game 2 against the SA Indigenous team was a tight match in the end. Our girls commenced with most of the play in our forward half, but struggled to capitalise from their scoring opportunities, kicking 3 points in the first 20 minutes. The Pinktails defence was too strong for the opposition as they held them scoreless leading into the break. Our fearless co-captain Kerry-Anne White sealed the win by booting the only major, holding the girls victorious by 5 points. Unfortunately, in the first half of play both Kelea Lovell and Ashley Fitzpatrick went down with injuries that had them stretchered from the field and off to hospital. Fitzpatrick fell to an ACL injury and Lovell badly damaged her ankle.
Game 3 was against Adelaide Uni who were keen to avenge their previous encounter against us from last year. However, this was not to be as the Pinktails contingent were finding their mojo and functioning as a well-oiled-machine, looking the goods and finding their targets with some impressive skills and movement. Our backline strength from the likes of Petyarre, Lingen, Hickey and Dean kept repelling the opposition's entries and linked up with our swift ball-movers in Felisha and Shaquille Swan, Riley and Cox. Kerry-Anne was everywhere working hard and inspiring the team with her actions on the field. Dennis, Hill, Fulwood and Wilson were able to kick truly to aid in the team's third victory by 26 points.
So it was into the Grand Final against the SA Indigenous team after another warm down session to try and restore some life into tired legs and bodies. It was a tight contest at the beginning with SA seeming to have free players on the field. A head count was then called by Rayner, which resulted in SA having 19 players on the field and having their 1 goal score removed as a penalty. From this point on we were away and running, able to cover the SA players and allowing us to have a fair contest. One of our youngest players (Shoneeka Abbott) came to life and kicked us 3 goals in the first half, along with 1 goal each from Hill and Hartung, giving us a healthy lead of 32 points after the first half. The Pinktails finished off in fine style keeping up the intensity of their attack and strength in defence to seal the victory by 48 points and win the Cup.
The Coach of the Adelaide Crows Women's Team (Bec Goddard) had been observing the Pinktails throughout the day and was extremely impressed with their professionalism and skills, expressing her interest toward a few of the players. This was quite an accolade considering our league has only been operating since 2014 (3 years) and it was only the Pinktails representative team’s third competition.
CENTRALIAN PRIDE was evident and well deserved as we gathered back in the change rooms to shout the rant.