Match Report

SANFL Match Report: Norwood go down to Port in close contest in Round 5

Norwood looked on track to break its win-less start to 2023 when it took the lead mid-way through the last quarter at Alberton Oval on Saturday, but Port Adelaide blasted three late goals to steal a seven-point win.

SANFL debutant Goy Lok looked like he was going to be Norwood’s hero with three second half goals, but it wasn’t to be as the Magpies went on to win 8.10-58 to 7.9-51 on a cold, windy day in Alberton.

Lok kicked 3.2 from his eight disposals, and played a hand in several important moments, taking big contested marks and kicking goals at crucial times.

“Goy has been a good player back in Victoria and it took a little while for him to adapt to things over here, and how we wanted to play,” Norwood coach Jade Rawlings said post game.

“Every time it went in his area something good was happening – he plays with a lot of spirit and it was a good debut from him.”

Nik Rokahr had 25 disposals, eight tackles and seven clearances in what was a tough, low scoring battle.

Norwood welcomed back 2022 Premiership hero Matthew Panos, Pierce Seymour and Xavier Tranfa, while off-season recruits Patrick Walker and Lok made their SANFL debuts.

Ten players have made their debuts for Norwood in the first five rounds of this season – Lok, Walker, Jack Saunders, Logan Evans, Luke Bogle, Oliver Sanders, Alec Wright, Matthew Ling, Liam Robinson and Michael Stingel.

Norwood’s defence was under pressure early in the contest, with Port leading the inside 50m battle 8-3 in the first 10 minutes, but the home side had a scoreline of 1.3 to show for it.

The Redlegs had the chance to make the Magpies pay but missed two early shots on goal from limited access in their attacking zone.

Port eventually broke away with the second goal of the contest, a 50m bomb from Brayden Kirk to make it a 13-point ball game.

The Redlegs got deep inside 50m from two separate 25m penalties, but couldn’t find their first goal of the afternoon, often finding a Port Adelaide intercept defender.

Repeated inside 50m entries eventually paid off for Norwood when Tranfa found Baynen Lowe in the goalsquare for the Redlegs first goal at the 20-minute mark.

Norwood was starting to dictate the contest and Matthew Nunn found Lok 40m out, taking a strong contested mark, but Lok’s set shot missed to the left.

Port Adelaide went forward late in the quarter, but Tom Donnelly won a strong contest to get Norwood out of danger and the Redlegs were able counterattack and finish with Lowe’s second goal of the first term.

Norwood turned the ball over allowing former Redleg Cody Szust a set shot after the siren, but he missed to make the quarter time score 2.5-17 to 2.3-15 in Port’s favour.

Rokahr and Nunn started well with seven disposals each in the first term.

The second term started as an arm wrestle, with neither side able to gain the ascendency, before Port Adelaide took full control in what turned out to be a goal-less term for Norwood despite kicking with the breeze.

At the eight-minute mark Port Adelaide’s Aidan Turner kicked a clever goal that evaded the hands of several Norwood defenders, taking the Magpies eight points clear.

Oliver Cheesman again kicked Port 13 points clear when he dribble through his side’s fourth goal, in what was a low-scoring, tight contest.

Norwood was working hard, but weren’t able to break through for the important steadying goal, meanwhile Port looked dangerous on the counter attack, but squandered several set shot chances.

The half time score was 4.8-32 to 2.5-17, with Port leading the inside 50m count 25-18 and tackles 40-33.

“The damage was done in the second quarter,” Rawlings said.

“We lost the contest by 16 in one quarter which in any competition around the country you are going to be under the pump, and we weren’t able to capitalise on having the breeze in the second term, which was frustrating.

“We didn’t look at our best in the second, but our third quarter was arguably our best of the year.”

To start the third quarter the wind was playing a big role, making goal kicking tough. Panos had a set shot from 40m at held up and didn’t make the distance, and his second shot of the third term swirled around and missed to the left.

He had a third chance, marking in the goalsquare and booting Norwood’s third goal of the afternoon to bring it back to an eight-point margin.

Lok – who had his hand in several important plays throughout the day – caught an opponent holding the ball inside 50m and went back to kick a difficult set shot from 40m in blustery conditions.

The margin was back to two points, 4.8-32 to 4.6-30.

Norwood dominated the possession and inside 50m count (12-7) in the third term, and eventually found itself in front for the first time of the afternoon when Lok snapped his second goal.

The Redlegs again had to defend strongly to finish the third quarter, but Port broke through for its first goal of the term at the 26-minute mark to regain the lead.

The Magpies led 5.9-39 to 5.6-36 at the final break.

Norwood pressed hard to start the last quarter, sending the ball into attack from the first centre bounce and locking the ball inside 50m.

Connor McLean had a set shot, but narrowly missed and an under-pressure Nick Lowden snap didn’t score.

Inside 50m entries were 7-0 in Norwood’s favour at the eight-minute mark, and a Ben Jarvis set shot from the pocket missed to bring Port’s lead back to one point.

Norwood managed to go end to end and found Lok in the goalsquare for an uncontested mark, booting his third goal and putting the Redlegs in front.

Port responded instantly when Thomas Scully marked and goaled to put the Magpies back in front by one point, and they found another one minute later through Nick Moore to make it a challenging seven-point margin.

Ollie Lord sent the margin out to 13 points, but Norwood didn’t back down. Lowden’s set shot goal gave the Redlegs hope with a six-point ball game with three minutes to go.

Norwood unfortunately couldn’t find the next goal to draw level, and the siren blew on another disappointing loss.

The Redlegs travel to Port Lincoln next Saturday to face West Adelaide in the Teakle Cup.


Norwood 2.3, 2.5, 5.6, 7.9 – 51

Port Adelaide 2.5, 4.8, 5.9, 8.10 – 58

Goals: Lok 3, Lowe 2, Panos, Lowden