NORWOOD has recorded its eighth straight win with a tough-earned seven-point victory over Glenelg in muddy conditions on Friday night.
The Redlegs led at every change to claim a priceless victory from 7.7 (49) to 6.6 (42).
It wasn’t pretty but the Redlegs ensured the majority of the 2954 in attendance went home happy after acting captain Jacob Kennerley put the icing on a fine personal performance with the match-winning goal.
Forward Connor McLean gave Norwood the perfect start from a well-executed set shot from 35-metres before Tigers forward Luke Reynolds kicked his first to register the first Bays goal of the match.
In trying conditions, small forward Henry Nelligan nursed through a banana goal at the Northern End just on the stroke of quarter time, to hand Norwood a five-point buffer at the first break.
It took under a minute for the Redlegs to draw first blood in the second term, as livewire forward Baynen Lowe soccered the ball through from point blank range to extend the margin to 12-points.
Six minutes later, defender Tom Donnelly was caught holding the ball by Bays forward Brady Searle, which saw him make no mistake from 20 metres out directly in front.
The Redlegs replied instantly, as a deep forward 50 entry by Connor McLean saw Jay Rantall intelligently knock the ball forward into the path of the dangerous Lowe who had his second of the quarter inside nine minutes of play.
Glenelg started to find their groove in the match as they began to get their hands on the football courtesy of some strong ruck craft from gun forward Liam McBean. Matthew Snook and Luke Partington also started to get to work which led to Lachlan Hosie finding space from 40-metres on a slight angle.
Hosie made no mistake to reduce the margin to just seven points before he was at it again six minutes later with a perfectly weighted set shot from directly in front to draw the Bays level.
Despite the Bays gaining some control of the contest, it was midfielder Jed Spence who spun out of trouble to wheel onto his trusty left boot to restore the margin back in favour of the Redlegs.
The third term became a territory battle, as the muddy conditions didn’t favour either side’s ball movement.
Lowe again was in the thick of the action, however, he could only add two points to his two goals.
It took until Hosie to take a solid mark to kick the only goal of the quarter and breathe life into Glenelg who were desperate to claim a spot in the top three.
With all to play for in the final term, forward Ben Jarvis wasted no time marking the ball from Redlegs clearance just ten seconds into the quarter. Jarvis kicked truly and suddenly the Redlegs led by seven points.
The last quarter became a grind for both sides, as it was all on the line with several tackles laid and a repeat number of stoppages throughout.
Tigers forward Luke Reynolds had the Tigers back within one point after snapping onto his right from 15-metres to silence the Redlegs crowd.
Leading by just one point, Kennerley, in charge with skipper Matt Nunn sidelined by an ankle ailment, willingly accepted a handball before baulking around an opponent and finishing on the run from 25m.
The former Geelong midfielder, who led his side onto the ground through a guard of honour formed by Norwood fans, finished with 28 disposals, 10 clearances, 11 tackles and his sealing major.
The significance of this Round 18 victory cannot be understated as it all but seals the Legs a top three berth with West Adelaide to play in Round 19.
The hosts had their noses in front for most of the evening as they laid a staggering 114 tackles as Harry Boyd dominated the ruck with a massive 56 hit outs, 21 more than Glenelg could manage as a team.
Josh Richards (22 disposals) and Nick Lowden (19 disposals) applied 10 tackles each for Norwood while Baynen Lowe was a continual threat in the slippery conditions inside 50m, finishing with 2.5 from his 16 disposals.
NORWOOD: 2.1 5.3 5.6 7.7 (49)
GLENELG: 1.2 4.3 5.5 6.6 (42)
GOALS: Lowe 2, Jarvis, Kennerley, Spence, McLean, Nelligan
BEST: Boyd, Lowe, Richards, Kennerley, Lowden, Seymour