Match Report

Match Report – Legs defeat Crows to advance into 2022 Grand Final

Norwood celebrate on the final siren. Photo: David Mariuz

NORWOOD has booked a spot in this weekend’s SANFL Hostplus Grand Final, after recording a spirited 11-point victory over Adelaide in the Preliminary Final yesterday afternoon.

After being behind for most of the match, it took until Mitch Carroll to goal on the run nearly 16 minutes into the final term which led to Norwood running out eventual winners 12.9. (81) to 10.10. (70).

Adelaide started the match with a point to prove, booting the first two majors of the contest through Isaya McKenzie and big forward, Elliott Himmelberg.

Norwood star Matthew Panos kicked Norwood’s first eight minutes into the opening term, before exciting forward Ben Jarvis out marked Billy Frampton to boot the Redlegs second in succession.

The pressure was up from both sides throughout the opening term, as Norwood was resolute in defence and their pressure at the contest was high.

Himmelberg once again goaled, before small forward Henry Nelligan was gifted the ball on his chest and made no mistake from 35-metres out.

Despite the Redlegs finishing the quarter well, Adelaide found space out the back of the Norwood defence, which allowed Fisher McAsey the easiest of goals from point-blank range.

The second term started favourably for Norwood, as Connor McLean snapped truly from 15-metres out.

The Crows then kicked the following three goals in succession via Jay Boyle, Tariek Newchurch and Matthew Wright.

Adelaide stretched the margin to a game-high 19-points, it was Luke Surman who inspired the Redlegs as midfielder, Jay Rantall made no mistake of his set shot, before Surman rocketed a handball to Baynen Lowe to kick his first. The big forward then marked strongly from 40 metres out to send the Norwood fans into raptures and reduce the deficit to just one point heading into halftime.

Mitch Carroll celebrates a goal yesterday afternoon. Photo: Scott Starkey

After the break, Adelaide capitalised on two opportunities through McAsey which saw the margin back out to 13-points.

Midway through the third term the rain started to fall, with the conditions tough to move and mark the ball cleanly.

After a long kick from Nick Lowden, Vice-Captain, Jacob Kennerley was able to punch the ball forward from the contest, which allowed the ever-dangerous Lowe to crumb the ball nicely and wheel onto his right to kick a crucial goal and reduce the margin back to just eight-points.

It took inside the first minute of the final term for wingman Declan Hamilton to find Lowe who marked on his chest from 40-metres.

Lowe struck the ball beautifully and the Redlegs were back within a point early in the final term.

Himmelberg popped up a couple of minutes later and kicked his third, but from then on it was all Norwood who brought the pressure and forced Adelaide into turnovers.

After yet another inside 50 from Hamilton, a chaos ball spilled in front of Josh Richards who was able to find Lowe who kicked his fourth and locked the scores up at 67 a piece six minutes into the final term.

The Norwood crowd found voice, and the belief of the group was evident.

After another inside 50, Jarvis found space to farm out a handball to the running Mitch Carroll who ran in from 30-metres and sent the Norwood fans into jubilation and ultimately, handing Norwood the lead for the first time on the day.

With the crowd on their side, the Legs continued to work hard as they gained territory and sealed the result when star Matthew Panos wheeled onto his right to kick his second of the game and extend the lead to 12-points.

The Legs were able to hold on and keep the Crows at Bay to ultimately reach their first Grand Final in four years.

Despite trailing at every change, Jade Rawlings’ side seemed to relish the slippery conditions which stifled the Crows run, driven initially by a 44-30 advantage at the clearances.

The Legs’ pressure around the ball was tremendous, laying a total of 105 tackles as Jacob Kennerley (12), Nick Lowden (10) and Matthew Nunn (10) all hit double figures.

Redlegs’ star Nik Rokahr was outstanding, collecting 30 disposals, seven clearances and eight tackles.

Norwood defender Jack Heard continued his excellent finals form with 19 disposals and nine rebound 50s while his skipper Matthew Nunn played himself into timely form with 18 disposals, five marks and 10 tackles.

Clever Norwood goal sneak Baynen Lowe injected himself into the game late in the second term by booting the first of his four game-breaking goals.


NORWOOD: 3.3 7.4 8.6 12.9 (81)

ADELAIDE: 4.3 7.5 9.7 10.10 (70)

BEST: Boyd, Ball, Rokahr, Lowe, Panos, Rantall

GOALS: Lowe 4, Panos 2, McLean, Rantall, Surman, M.Carroll, Jarvis, Nelligan

Preliminary Final Press Conference: