Norwood is finally on the board in 2023 thanks to a 23-point win over South Adelaide in windy Noarlunga conditions on King’s Birthday Monday, celebrating co-captain Matthew Nunn’s 100th SANFL game in style.
The Redlegs dominated the second and third quarters, booting nine consecutive goals to open up a match-high 57-point lead at three quarter time, before the Panthers came storming home to put a scare through the Norwood camp.
South were held to just one goal in the first three quarters, but kicked seven unanswered majors to start the last quarter, making it just a 12-point margin with seven minutes to go.
Late goals to Connor McLean and milestone man Nunn helped the Redlegs steady and secure a 23-point win, 12.7-79 to 8.8-56.
Goy Lok booted three goals in a three-minute period during the third quarter onslaught where Norwood booted six goals in 12 minutes to rip the game away from South.
McLean also kicked three majors and Declan Hamilton two. Other goal kickers were Luke Bogle, Jacob Kennerley, Nunn and Matthew Panos.
In a new role across half back Matthew Ling was influential with 25 disposals, while Nik Rokahr had 20 disposals and six clearances, Cory Stockdale 20 disposals and five clearances, and Nunn 18 disposals, five clearances, six tackles and a goal.
Norwood coach Jade Rawlings was proud of his team to break through with a win.
“We have seen some good things in the last five weeks but it hasn’t shown in results – it is so satisfying to see the way we played today. To beat a good opposition away from home, under pressure is great,” he said.
“That second quarter was one of the best for our year (we kicked three goals to none against the wind) and then to get some impact on the scoreboard in the third quarter with some excellent turnover and chains of play (was good).
“It was powerful and good to watch, and we converted (in front of goal) which hasn’t been our strength this year.
“There were some anxious moments there in that last quarter – it was a breeze you could score heavily with. They kicked some early goals which gave them belief, we were losing centre bounce, and when you let good players get on top of you it puts you under pressure.
“I loved that we went back and kicked another two goals, it was pleasing that the group kept persisting.”
Rawlings congratulated Nunn (100 SANFL games) and Harry Boyd (50 SANFL games) for their milestones reached in Monday’s game.
“It has been a journey over 10 years for Matt Nunn to get to 100 games,” Rawlings said.
“He made his SANFL debut as a 16-year-old, I am big on milestones and the group reflected and captured what the day was for Nunny.
“We haven’t had the results we would have liked this year, but a win away from home in tough conditions, against a team that knocked over North Adelaide last week – it was very satisfying.”
Kicking with the strong breeze in the first term, the Redlegs didn’t start as they would have hoped with just one goal to the highly favoured grandstand end.
The scores were tied at 1.1-7 apiece at the first break, despite the breeze and Norwood’s inside 50m dominance.
The wind was having an influence on the game with kicks holding up in the breeze and wobbling off the side of the boot.
Returning from injury co-captain Kennerley kicked the first goal of the afternoon at the nine-minute mark, taking an intercept mark near the scoreboard and making the most of a 25m penalty.
Norwood had 14-5 inside 50m entries a the 18-minute mark but had great difficulty capitalising on the scoreboard, with three shots spraying out on the full in the opening term.
South had set up well in defence, repelling several Norwood inside 50m entries with ease.
From a defensive half turnover South worked the ball from end to end and kicked its first goal of the game against the flow of play, a set shot through Cooper Rogers.
Ling and Rokahr had five disposals each in the first term, but South led the disposal count 100-62 and evened the scores at 1.1-7 apiece.
To start the second term the Redlegs were luckily let off the hook when Damon Frietag missed a set shot from 10m out.
From that point Norwood kicked the next nine goals.
Norwood ended up with the first goal of the second term when Matt Panos pierced the paint of 50m and nailed a running goal – a classy finish into the strong breeze.
The Redlegs locked the ball in their forward half and were rewarded with a second straight goal, a set shot through McLean. At the 14-minute mark Norwood led by 11 points.
Nunn won the resulting clearance and belted Norwood forward again through Lok, and again the Redlegs trapped the ball in its forward 50m zone.
Despite kicking against the wind the visiting side restricted South to two inside 50m entries to the 18-minute mark of the second term, and had 10 of their own.
Again the hard work was rewarded when McLean booted his second goal in four minutes to make it a 4.1-25 to 1.2-8 lead at the main break.
Norwood led by 17 points at half time, thanks to three unanswered goals in the second term.
Ling was outstanding in the second term with nine disposals, taking his tally to 14 at the main break, while Rokahr had 12 to half time.
Norwood led the inside 50m entries 25-19, and evened up the disposal count to sit at 158-148 at the main break, while the midfield battle was even with 18 clearances apiece and 21-20 hitouts.
It had been an interesting ruck battle with both Keegan Brooksby and Boyd having an influence when dropping back to help the defence in the tough windy conditions.
It started to drizzle lightly after half time and Norwood continued to push hard. The Redlegs kicked three behinds to make it 20 points in the first 10 minutes.
South turned it over in the defensive 50m, and Declan Hamilton ended up with a 35m set shot.
Hamilton kicked the goal to make it four straight Norwood goals and a 26-point lead which kick started the avalanche where the Redlegs booted six goals in 12 minutes.
Against his former team Bogle kicked Norwood’s next goal to make it five on the trot and the lead was 6.4-40 to 1.2-8.
The margin swelled to 38 points when Hamilton booted his second goal from outside 50m at the 15m mark of the third term.
Lok took the game by the scruff of the neck, booting three goals in three minutes to put the game to bed, leading by 56 points.
Norwood led 10.7-67 to 1.4-10 at three quarter time, holding South to one goal to the final break.
Early in the last quarter Freitag booted South’s first goal since the 20-minute mark of the first term, breaking a string of nine straight Norwood goals.
Freitag booted a second to make it a 45-point deficit, and the Panthers had the belief that they could pull off a remarkable comeback.
South kicked seven straight goals to trail by just 12 points with seven minutes to play.
Norwood desperately needed a steadying goal and it got two through McLean and Nunn to make sure of the result.
The Redlegs face Port Adelaide next Sunday at Coopers Stadium.
Norwood 1.1, 4.1, 10.7, 12.7 – 79
South Adelaide 1.1, 1.2, 1.4, 8.8 – 56
Goals: Lok 3, McLean 3, Hamilton 2, Bogle, Kennerley, Panos, Nunn
Best: Panos, Ling, Stockdale, Nunn, Lok
Norwood’s Reserves suffered a 15-point loss to South Adelaide in Noarlunga on Monday, in a match that was highly impacted by the strong wind blowing towards the grandstand end.
The Redlegs led by 10 points at three quarter time before South came storming home with the wind behind them, kicking four unanswered goals in the final quarter to claim a 10.8-68 to 7.11-53 win.
Scores were level at quarter time, and the Panthers led by seven points at the main break.
Norwood made the most of the wind in the third quarter with four goals, but South was able to stay in the game with two goals of their own to trail by 10 at the last break.
The Redlegs that their chances in the final term, but kicked 0.3 to South’s 4.4.
Continuing his consistent year Tom Graham had 20 disposals, 19 hitouts, nine clearances and five tackles, while Tristan Binder, Liam Robinson and Alec Wright each had 17 touches.
Robinson booted two goals as the only multiple goal kicker.
Norwood 3.2, 3.3, 7.8, 7.11 – 53
South Adelaide 3.2, 4.4, 6.4, 10.8 – 68
Goals: Robinson 2, Allen, Dnistriansky, F. Heard, Pascoe, Tozer
Best: Robinson, Twelftree, Binder, Wright, Saywell