On a day of close finishes, Yartapuulti and Gold Coast provided the closest of the lot, battling wind and rain at Alberton Oval to finish a nailbiting contest with a 7.3 (45) to 7.3 (45) draw.

Former Port Adelaide player Uncle Mickey Kumatpi Marrutya O’Brien conducted a Welcome to Country before play got underway, and Yartapuulti felt more than welcome on its home deck, booting the first goal through Gemma Houghton 31 seconds in.

But Gold Coast was very quick to respond and suddenly there were two goals kicked in the first two minutes.

The apparent goal fest did not eventuate as the wind played into things, but the SUNS made the most of the advantage the conditions presented.

A stunning kick around the body by Daisy D’Arcy to Tara Bohanna which resulted in a goal was a highlight for the SUNS.

Niamh McLaughlin provided another highlight for the reel, taking four bounces from the defensive arc and kicking into the forward 50m for Claudia Whitfort to slot her first goal. 

Gold Coast’s pressure whenever Yartapuulti tried to push the ball forward was immense, which saw Power half forward Sachi Syme with four tackles by quarter-time.

But Yartapuulti wrestled the momentum back early in the second quarter thanks to two quick goals by Julia Teakle, including a remarkable snap from the boundary.

The home defenders wanted in on the action and full-back Angela Foley and half-back Ebony O’Dea did so by kicking goals.

Charlie Rowbottom collected plenty of the footy in her effort to bring the momentum back to her side, with 14 disposals by half-time, but her team could not reward her work and was held scoreless for the second quarter.

Yartapuulti coach Lauren Arnell decided Rowbottom had acquired enough of the ball and sent Maria Moloney to her in the third quarter; while she reduced the young gun’s impact, the disposal count continued to rise.

McLaughlin pushed hard early in the third, starting and ending a back-and-forth handball chain which she finished with a goal.

That was the only goal scored in the quarter due to plenty of play between the arcs and players began to tire.

Abbey Dowrick was a bull for the Power, laying important tackles and getting in and under to push the ball to her side’s advantage.

One point separated the two teams at three-quarter time, and a Bohanna point levelled the scores early in the final term.

Gold Coast kept the ball in its forward half for the first five minutes of the quarter, but Matilda Scholz was able to break through the SUNS’ wall, and this burst saw Ashleigh Saint kick on to a running Houghton which allowed her to kick truly and give Yartapuulti the lead.

Soon after, Teakle kicked her third of the game - having only kicked three goals for her career beforehand.

With six minutes left the wind dropped off as rain started to fall, but somehow Darcie Davies was able to clunk a huge mark in the forward line which she converted into her first career goal.

With two minutes to go, the SUNS were able to successfully complete an end-to-end play off the back of a miskick by Teakle, with a huge goal to Jacqueline Dupuy levelling the scores once again.

Yartapuulti held the ball in its forward 50m arc but could not squeeze it through for any score, and the scoreboard remained level as the final siren blew.

Back in the backs
It's not often you get a defender moving forward to kick a goal, but Yartapuulti did that not once, but twice, and in succession. The first came through Angela Foley, who called for a cheeky handball from Yasmin Duursma and sent the ball flying through the big sticks. Six minutes later, Ebony O’Dea burst through a pack to score her second career goal on the run.

Up next
Gold Coast will host GWS Giants at Heritage Bank Stadium on the Gold Coast on Friday night, while Yartapuulti will head to Frankston to play Hawthorn at Kinetic Stadium.

YARTAPUULTI     1.0    5.3    5.3    7.3 (45)
GOLD COAST       4.1    4.1    5.2    7.3 (45)

Yartapuulti: Teakle 3, Houghton 2, O’Dea, Foley
Gold Coast: McLaughlin 2, Whitfort, Stanton, Dupuy, Davies, Bohanna

Yartapuulti: Houghton, Dowrick, Teakle, Phillips, Moloney
Gold Coast: Rowbottom, Whitfort, Dupuy, Single, Brancatisano

Yartapuulti: TBC
Gold Coast: TBC

Reports: Nil

Crowd: TBC at Alberton Oval