NORWOOD has recorded a vital win in their march to the finals as they defeated a tough West Adelaide outfit by 29-points at Coopers Stadium on Friday night.
Coming off a deflating loss to Glenelg in which it booted 8.17 (65), the Redlegs were challenged early by a spirited Bloods side aiming to bounce back from a tough loss the week before against Sturt.
West Adelaide with a point to prove booted the first major of the match courtesy of Captain Tom Keough before, ruck/forward Harry Boyd booted his fourth goal of 2021 with a lovely crumbing effort from five metres out.
Former Crow Jono Beech showed his poise and class returning to the side after injury to boot two goals in a row before it was a former teammate Richard Douglas and wingman Brad McKenzie who evened things up heading into the first break.
In what was a rather contested game, the tackle pressure from both sides was on show with West Adelaide limiting the Redlegs ability to move the ball with fluency.
It took seven minutes for upcoming forward Tristan Binder to mark strongly from 40 metres and kick his first of the night, as the Redlegs continued to find avenues to goal as Eyre Peninsula product Nick Pedro brought the crowd into life kicking an excellent goal on the run from 45-metres.
To West Adelaide’s credit they continued to make life difficult for Norwood and when Bloods star Kaine Stevens nailed his set shot on the 17th-minute mark, they trailed by seven points at the halftime break.
Despite dominating for almost the entirety of the third term, the Redlegs only managed one goal through Boyd who booted his second after grabbing the ball from a contest and snapping onto his right.
West Adelaide kicked a late goal through Hugh Haysman to reduce the deficit to 13-points heading into the final stanza.
The last quarter saw the Redlegs able to expose the Bloods as they kicked the first of the term through youngster Henry Nelligan.
With the game on their terms, Richard Douglas kicked his second of the contest nailing a beautiful set shot from just on 40 metres, before Cam Shenton who had struggled in front of goal for most of the night was able to get on the end of one to put the icing on the cake and all but cement a tough fought 29-point win.
Declan Hamilton led the way on the stats sheet for Norwood with 31 disposals while Nik Rokahr had 27.
But the real difference-maker was veteran Richard Douglas, who tallied 26 disposals, six clearances and two goals, one of which in the clip below was clean from stoppage in the first term.
Former Cat Jacob Kennerley nearly finished with more tackles than disposals, tallying 19 touches while laying a staggering 18 tackles in an outstanding defensive display.
The Redlegs enjoy the bye this weekend before they head to Prospect Oval to face an in-form North Adelaide outfit.
NORWOOD: 3.1 5.3 6.10 9.15 (69)
WEST ADELAIDE: 3.1 4.2 5.3 6.4 (40)
GOALS: Boyd 2, Douglas 2, Nelligan, Shenton, McKenzie, Binder, Pedro
BEST: Rokahr, Hamilton, Wilkins, Heard, Shenton, Douglas