NORWOOD has fallen to reigning Premiers Woodville West-Torrens by seven points in the Qualifying Final at Adelaide Oval on Sunday afternoon.
In a match that saw either side run away with it, the Eagles were resolute in defence as the Redlegs were unable to break down a stable back six even with five more inside 50’s to their name.
Midfielders James Tsitas and Kobe Mutch kicked the opening goals of the game for Woodville before youngster Xavier Tranfa wheeled onto his left to give the Redlegs their first major of the contest.
Both sides weren’t giving each other an inch of space, however, on the 20th-minute mark, Daniel Menzel marked strongly to go back and kick the Eagles third.
Despite the Eagles threatening, the Legs were able to rally and kick two vital goals at the end of the quarter through Tranfa and Lachlan Pascoe to trail by a single point at the first break.
The second quarter saw Norwood hit the scoreboard within the first five minutes as Gerloff pulled down a one-hander to go back and give Norwood the lead for the first time.
Gerloff’s goal was cancelled out only minutes after by the ever so dangerous Tyson Stengle.
Norwood threatened with several inside 50 entries yet couldn’t build any scoreboard ascendancy.
Goals to both sides towards the end of the quarter saw the scores level at the main break.
With all to play for, the Eagles threatened to break the game open as Stengle who recovered from an ankle niggle, kicked two goals within two minutes to give the Eagles their biggest lead of the contest.
To the Redlegs credit, they weren’t to be denied as they made life difficult for Woodville to build on that lead, and went Captain Matthew Nunn goaled from 50 metres out, the game looked back on Norwood’s terms.
Both sides couldn’t fashion another goal from the eleventh minute mark of the third term as the Eagles still had a six-point lead heading into the final change.
The last quarter had plenty, with both sides going at it for a spot in the Semi-Final against Glenelg.
A clutch moment from midfielder Joseph Sinor saw him kick a big goal from 50-metres to bring the Eagles fans into life, only for it to be matched by a big goal at the other end by an upcoming star in Henry Nelligan.
Both sides had moments to win the game, however, it was the Eagles who held strong to book themselves a date with Glenelg next Saturday night.
Norwood, despite falling by seven points will take confidence out of the clash as they now face South Adelaide next Saturday afternoon in a do or die First Semi-Final.
Norwood’s Richard Douglas finished with a team-high 31 disposals, eight clearances and a goal while Nik Rokahr had 30 disposals.
Redlegs captain Matthew Nunn made a successful return from his latest hamstring setback to tally 25 disposals, seven tackles, five clearances and his team’s only goal of the third quarter.
EAGLES: 3.3 5.5 7.5 8.9 (57)
NORWOOD: 3.2 5.5 6.5 7.8 (50)
GOALS: Tranfa 2, Pascoe, Gerloff, Nelligan, Douglas, Nunn
BEST: R. Douglas, N. Rokahr, D. Hamilton, J. Heard, C. Ball, M. Grigg