Norwood has opened its 2023 U18 season with back to back wins following a 15-point win over Woodville-West Torrens at Maughan Thiem Kia Oval on Sunday.
Continuing his strong early season form Jack Michalanney was named best on ground for Norwood with 21 disposals and five marks, as well as some outstanding pressure acts in the final term, which included a two on one goal saving tackle in the goal square and an intercept mark on the last line of defence.
Darcy Emerson had 26 disposals, five marks and six tackles, while Jacob Newton had 24 disposals, seven marks and five tackles.
Ben Purdie kicked three goals for the Redlegs, and Grant Catalano two goals from his 15 disposals, including the final goal of the game which sealed the victory.
Both sides came off wins in Round 1 and conditions were completely different to last weekend’s wintery afternoon in Noarlunga.
Scores were level at 4.0-24 quarter time, following a high scoring four-goals-all opening term
Purdie on his debut for the club kicked two majors in his first quarter of football in the red and blue and was joined by Will Rowlands kicking a 55m set shot.
U18 Coach Alex Newell said he was happy with the first term, breaking even with Woodville-West Torrens before putting the foot down in the second term where the Redlegs booted 2.5 to one behind.
“We were content with how we were moving the ball, particularly from our back half but we felt we could defend the ground a bit better and give ourselves more opportunities to create turnovers and score from them,” he said.
“The second quarter we gained the ascendancy in all the key areas we targeted and had the game looking like what we believe a Norwood game looks like. Unfortunately we did not capitalise on our forward 50m entries and opportunities on goal and kicked 2.5 as a result.
“We headed into the rooms at half time pleased with how we had the game looking and our method but frustrated at the lack of conversion.”
The Redlegs continued to dominate the contest in the third term, and straight goal kicking would have put the game to bed, but Norwood again managed 2.3 to the Eagles 2.0, and the margin sat at 13 points at three quarter time.
“It set up a tense arm wrestle battle in the last quarter,” Newell said.
“We were confident in the work we had done in the week to prepare for the Eagles as well as believing in our style and had the one point win from the week before to draw upon in yet another close encounter.”
The Eagles kicked the first goal of the final term through Kade Herbert to reduce the margin to five points, putting Norwood’s defence under pressure.
The visitors were able to weather the storm and absorb the onslaught, and thanks to some big game moments by Michalanney, Norwood was able to repel and counter attack.
Norwood sealed the game with two late goals through Jay Polkinghorne and Grant Catalano to claim the 9.8-62 to 7.5-47 win.
“To start the season 2-0 with two very different types of victories in how we managed to obtain them is incredibly pleasing and has given us a lot of belief moving forward. We believe in what we do and we believe in our ability to handle big moments when the game calls upon it. We celebrate it and we quickly get back to work for next week.”
Norwood – 4.0, 6.5, 7.8, 9.8 – 62
Woodville-West Torrens – 4.0, 4.1, 6.1, 7.5 – 47
Goalkickers: Purdie 3, Catalano 2, Johnston, Polkinghorne, Rowlands, Smart
Best: Michalanney, Newton, Rowlands, Cronin, Duncan.
Norwood’s U16 side is on the board in 2023 thanks to a come from behind 17-point win over Woodville-West Torrens at Maughan Thiem Kia Oval on Sunday.
The Redlegs were under the pump at half time, trailing by 23 points, but booted seven goals to two in the second half to claim a 11.19-85 to 10.8-65 win.
Will Prescott kicked four goals – following up his three goals from Round 1 – while Jack Hayter had a day out with 38 disposals, six tackles, seven marks and six clearances.
Toby Callow, Harry Lake and Jeff Rozenbilds each had 24 disposals.
U16 coach Craig Roberts said his side got off to a slow start with the Eagles getting out a 21-point break at quarter time.
“The game started slowly for us, we were a fair way off the mark with our centre clearance work and felt our backs were not being tight enough,” he said.
“The Eagles were playing well and jumped us kicking five goals to two in the opening term and we needed to fix it quickly or it could have blown out real quick.”
Norwood steadied into the game and booted the first two goals of the second term through Rozenbilds and Prescott to reduce the margin back to six points, and had further opportunities to score, but were inaccurate.
This inaccuracy brought Norwood undone as the Eagles managed to rally with the next three goals before half time to produce the 23-point deficit.
“The boys were challenged at half time as we know our footy is good enough but felt our intensity dropped away and at times some players decided to do their own thing,” Roberts said.
“This was addressed and finally we were able to see the boys respond with a 5.6 to 1.3 quarter, with goals to Prescott, Kelly, Stevenson, Rozenbilds and Varcoe we found ourselves in front at three quarter time.”
Leading by four points at three quarter time, the Redlegs knew that the Eagles would continue to challenge and they kicked the first goal of the final term through Brock Jamieson.
From that point Norwood dominated the term with nine scoring shots to one, but it was an output of 2.7 to 0.1.
The Redlegs went on to record a 17-point victory.
Norwood’s U16 and U18 sides take on Sturt at Wigan Oval on Good Friday.
Norwood 2.0, 4.5, 9.11, 11.19 – 85
Woodville-West Torrens 5.3, 8.4, 9.7, 10.8 – 68
Best – Callow, Kelly, Kretschmer, Hayter, Rozenbilds
Goals: Prescott 4, Rozenbilds 2, Stevenson 2, Kelly, Varcoe, Thompson