It was devastating scenes on the siren for Norwood’s SANFLW side as it let slip a last-quarter lead to record its third consecutive close defeat to commence Season 2023.
The Redlegs were hoping to change their 2023 fortunes, which had them with two-and-five-point losses in Rounds 1 and 2, but Central District had other ideas… pulling off a stunning come-from-behind two-point victory in Elizabeth on Saturday afternoon.
Despite trailing by 10 points with five minutes to go, Centrals booted two late goals to record a 5.3-33 to 4.7-31 win.
Tahlita Buethke had 17 disposals, four tackles and four clearances for Norwood, while Lana Schwerdt had 16 touches, Emily Bartsch 14, Georgie Jaques 14 and Morgan Johnston 14.
Najwa Allen, Alana Lishmund, Jade Halfpenny and Grace Mulvahil were Norwood’s goal kickers.
Former Bulldog Lauren Smith and former Eagle Kiana Lee made their club debuts today.
Norwood started slow and Centrals capitalised, with Bulldog Katelyn Rosenzweig dominating the early stages of the game across half forward.
Rosenzweig set up the first goal, which came through a Chantel Reynolds set shot at the Chris Gowans End at the six-minute mark.
The game was played in the Bulldogs forward half for the opening 14 minutes with Centrals recording 8-0 inside 50m’s and a 12-1 mark count.
Luckily for the under-pressure Redlegs the scoreboard read only 1.2-8 to 0.0-0.
Norwood started to take control of the ball late in the first term, finding repeat inside 50m entries, and its first score of the opening quarter came in the final minute when Lishmund missed a tough set shot from the boundary line.
Centrals dominated most statistical lines in the first quarter, and the Redlegs needed to respond.
They did so, winning the first centre clearance of the second term and setting up Lishmund’s second set shot.
She couldn’t convert from the pocket, but didn’t have to wait long for her third chance, which she nailed to provide Norwood with its first goal, evening the score (1.2-8) at the two-minute mark.
Lishmund, who was causing real problems for Centrals had two further set shots in the opening six minutes of the second term for two further behinds.
Norwood was dominating and at the eight minute mark of the second term, Mulvahil found Allen 30m out from goal, who converted to make it a 2.4-16 to 1.2-8 Redlegs lead.
With their first inside 50m of the term, the Bulldogs managed to answer with a snap goal through Dakota Williams.
Centrals put the Redlegs back under immediate pressure, and Jovanka Zacevic made it two goals in two minutes for the hosts, converting from a free-kick in the goalsquare.
At half time Norwood trailed by four points (3.3-21 to 2.5-17), in what was a see-sawing contest.
Offseason Norwood recruit Buethke led the disposal count at half time with 11 touches and four clearance, while Allen had eight disposals and a goal.
Lishmund was a dominant force in the forward line with seven disposals, four marks, but she had a scoreline of 1.4 to her name.
The third quarter started as a close, contested tussle, with the opening 11 minutes remaining scoreless.
The ball was stuck on the far wing, as both sides struggled to move the ball beyond the half forward mark, until Maher linked up with Coby Morgan through the midfield, who found Allen at half forward.
Allen shuffled the ball onto Mulvahil who kicked a skillful running goal to give Norwood the lead back.
This broke the deadlock, and the Redlegs got the next centre clearance which resulted in a Halfpenny goal in the goalsquare.
Norwood’s midfield was starting to get on top, with Shai Hiscock, Maher, Buethke and Johnston proving tough to stop around the clearances.
The Redlegs went into three-quarter time leading by nine points and holding the Bulldogs scoreless throughout the third term.
Holding the lead Norwood looked more composed starting the last quarter, creating turnovers through the middle and at half forward to lock the ball in its forward half.
Centrals set up well behind the ball and the Redlegs struggled to find the final kick inside forward 50m to create a set shot. The first score of the final term was a Halfpenny behind to extend the lead to 10 points.
The Bulldogs started to get their hands on the ball in a tense last 10 minutes and surge forward, creating scoring opportunities.
Caitlen Teague nailed a 25m set shot for her Bulldogs side to bring the margin back to a manageable four points with five minutes to go.
Jasmine Evans’ goal at the 19-minute mark broke the spirits of the Norwood team as the Bulldogs went ahead, and by the time the ball was back to the centre there was just 30 seconds remaining.
Norwood surged the ball forward but couldn’t find a mark, and the siren sounded with the Burley at Norwood’s half-forward line.
Norwood will have next weekend off, before facing the Eagles at Coopers Stadium on March 17 on what will be a First Nations Round match.
Norwood: 0.1, 2.5, 4.6, 4.7-31
Central District: 1.2, 3.3, 3.3, 5.3-33
Goals: Lishmund, Allen, Mulvahil, Halfpenny
Best: Bartsch, Nenke, Jaques, Johnston, Maher
Norwood’s Development League side made it three consecutive wins to start its season in a stunning display at X Convenience Oval in Elizabeth on Saturday, defeating Central District by 52 points.
The Redlegs looked on from the first quarter, nailing three goals to one to open up a 12-point quarter time lead.
The Bulldogs couldn’t reel Norwood back from that point, as the Redlegs went on to kick two goals in each of the second, third and fourth quarters to seal the 9.5-59 to 1.1-7 win.
Charli Hazelhurst was a standout through the midfield, while tall forward Kaitey Whittaker booted three goals.
Norwood’s third win and strong percentage proves important, given the length of the short seven-game Development League season.
The Redlegs returned to the room and belted out the song in emphatic fashion, as they stamped their authority on the Development League competition.
Redlegs: 3.0, 5.2, 7.3, 9.5-59
Bulldogs: 1.0, 1.0, 1.0, 1.1-7
Best: Hazelhurst, Egan, J. Zarella, Gambranis, Davies.
Goals: K. Whittaker 3, Gambranis 2, Rossi, Robran, Egan, J. Zarella.