The Norwood Football Club has fallen to the reigning Premiers Sturt by 12-points in Round one of the SANFL Maccas League.
In front of what was a healthy crowd at Coopers Stadium, the Redlegs weren’t able to overcome a fast finishing Sturt outfit despite being within one goal at three quarter time.
Heading into the match, the Redlegs fielded five debutants which included Michael Talia, Caleb Edmead, Declan Hamilton, Luke Surman and Nick Pedro.
In blustery conditions, both sides found it hard to gain any momentum within the opening 10 minutes of play.
However, it was the Double Blues who drew first Blood after ruckman Jack Osborne found small forward Shane McAdam who capitalised from 25-metres out.
The Redlegs responded a minute later, as former Saint Cameron Shenton latched onto a ball from Ben Jefferies which allowed him to turn Sturt defender Sam Colquhuon and wheel around on his right for his first of the match.
After Shenton’s goal, Norwood began to pressure Sturt well forcing the reigning Premiers to turn the ball over.
Immediately after quarter time Norwood were unable to gain any territory with Sturt dominant in all areas, including clearances and ground ball gets.
The Redlegs fought hard to nullify Sturt’s influence on the contest and responded well however weren’t able to take their chances in front of goal.
Although Norwood didn’t manage to kick a goal in the second term, the Redlegs resolute defending came to fruition as Sturt only managed to generate a slender 7-point lead at the main interval.
After the main break both sides found the conditions tougher with the wind really stamping it’s authority on the contest.
Midway through the third term Western Bulldogs recruit Declan Hamilton was able to find target man Brady Dawe who had the ability to bring the ball to ground allowing Shenton to swoop and kick his second of the match.
The intensity of the match started to lift throughout the third-quarter, as Sturts inaccurate kicking kept Norwood within arm’s distance.
Sturt’s poise and precision was showcased later in the third term when Josh Dodd kicked truly extending the Double Blues margin to 7-points.
The Double Blues started the last term where they left off, as their Captain Zane Kirkwood escaped from the congestion to pinpoint the charging forward in Tom Read.
Read, made no mistake handing the Double Blues a vital 13-point lead at the beginning of the last quarter.
Three minutes later Surman had a golden opportunity to put Norwood within a couple of points, yet his kick faded away to the right only managing a behind.
Although Norwood’s effort wasn’t to be questioned, the Redlegs weren’t able to grab a hold on the contest through Sturts manic pressure.
When former Redleg Mark Evans struck 18 minutes into the last term the match fell into the hands of Sturt despite Surman getting his second goal towards the end of the match.
Despite falling by 11-points Norwood will look to record their first win of 2018 as they entertain South Adelaide on Sunday afternoon.
Norwood FC: 7.15 (57)
Sturt FC: 9.15 (69)
Goals: Surman 2, Shenton 2, Hamilton, Panos, Phillips
Best: Johnston, Smart, Hamilton, Bampton, Georgiou, Baulderstone, Panos
Crowd – 5,036