NORWOOD has kept it’s 2020 Finals hopes alive after a thrilling three-point win over the Double Blues on Friday night.
The Redlegs at times seemed in control of the contest, however, it took a set shot from midfielder Nik Rokahr in the last few minutes of the final term for Norwood to win 10.16 (76) to 11.7. (73).
In front of 2,700 spectators, the Double Blues started the match on their terms kicking the opening three goals and registering the first seven scoring shots.
The Redlegs battled manfully and it took until the 16th minute for gun recruit Ryan Bastinac to wheel around on his right and kick Norwood’s first goal of the game.
From there the Redlegs clawed their way back into the game with Richard Douglas giving first use of the ball with some strong work around the clearances.
Dom Barry ended the quarter the way Norwood would have hoped as some clever work saw him free out the back to stroll into an open goal and reduce the deficit to 12-points at the first break.
After some refining from coach Jarrod Cotton at the break, Norwood came out all guns blazing. Luke Surman had a shot on goal after a nice build-up but sprayed it across goal.
Matthew Nunn was then rewarded after a good tackle and nailed the 35-metre set shot to put Norwood back in control of the contest.
It was all Norwood from there as the home side piled on 2.7 to just one point for the quarter to take a six-point lead into half time.
The Double Blues made the perfect start in quarter three as Jordan Houlahan made no mistake, converting hist set shot from 40-metres to hand the lead back in Sturt’s favour.
Barry continued to impress the Norwood faithful scoring his second goal of the game just moments later crumbing and kicking truly from 10 metres out.
Both sides went goal for goal as Aidyn Johnson booted his first of the game before reliable forward Tom Pinyon found himself 15-metres out and snapped the ball expertly to hand Norwood the lead back.
With the game’s intensity lifting it was Sturt who was able to tie up the score heading into the final term, as some nice build-up work allowed Mark Evans to kick from 50-metres out to dribble home a goal to set up what would be a tantalising final quarter of football.
Nik Rokahr set the tone early as he capitalised on a poor kick from the opposition to set up Barry for his third goal of the contest inside the first five minutes of the final quarter.
Bastinac then made it back to back goals for Norwood as the Redlegs steadied to claim a 12-point advantage with eight minutes gone on the clock.
As Sturt looked down and out, they continued to press kicking three of the next four goals to lead by three-points heading into the last few minutes of the game.
To Norwood’s credit they continued to pressure and it took a classy kick from Barry to set up Nik Rokahr who then held his nerve to nail his set shot from 40 metres out to claim a vital three-point win at the Parade.
Ryan Bastinac stepped up in the absence of skipper Matt Panos, racking up massive numbers in the midfield to finish with 29 disposals, ten tackles, ten clearances and two goals in his best performance for his new club.
Barry was clever with the ball to tally 20 disposals and three goals while the experience of Richard Douglas, Cam Shenton and Brad McKenzie was also vital.
Ruckman Sam Baulderstone was again influential with his 19 disposals and seven clearances, often moving the ball forward for his side or creating a path for his midfielders late in the final term.
The Redlegs now travel to Noarlunga to face the Panthers in Round 13 of the Statewide Super League Season on Saturday.
NORWOOD: 2.4 4.11 6.13 10.16 (76)
STURT: 4.4 4.5 7.7 11.7 (73&
GOALKICKERS: Barry 3, Bastinac 2, Wilson 2, Nunn, Pinyon Rokahr
BEST: McKenzie, Bastinac, Barry, Irra, Rokahr, Shenton, Fairbrother