By Josh Teakle – Norwood FC
It was a win to remember in so many ways for Norwood’s SANFLW side on Friday night, as the club celebrated Captain Alison Ferrall’s 50th game, First Nations Round, Brad Snell’s first scalp as new coach… and a drought-breaking victory in what’s been a challenging 2023 season.
Both Redlegs and Eagles sides entered the Round 4 SANFLW clash desperate for their first wins of 2023, and after three devastating losses to start the season Norwood ran out comfortable 31-point victors, 6.10-46 to 2.3-15.
Norwood welcomed back Port Adelaide AFLW listed players Hannah Dunn, Sachi Syme and Ebony O’Dea, as well as key forward Rosette Zerella.
All had an impact on the contest, none more so than O’Dea who was unstoppable with 27 disposals, nine tackles, nine clearances and a goal.
Jade Halfpenny had 22 disposals, 12 marks and a goal, Dunn had 17 disposals and a goal, and Lana Schwerdt had 26 touches.
Playing in a First Nations guernsey designed by herself and her family, Tesharna Maher had 16 disposals.
Norwood managed to keep Woodville-West Torrens scoreless until three-quarter time in a dominant performance, that may-well get its season back on track.
In a free-flowing first term Adelaide Crows AFLW player Najwa Allen booted the first goal of the evening from a set shot, but the Redlegs didn’t make the most of their dominance, kicking 1.3-9 to 0.0 for the quarter, despite dominating the disposal, mark, inside 50m, and hit-out counts.
O’Dea dominated the first quarter, collecting 10 disposals and laying three tackles.
It was a fierce start to the second term, both sides desperate for a win.
Norwood worked it beautifully from a boundary throw-in on the Eagles half back line to its forward line, finishing in a R. Zerella goal.
The Redlegs led by 15 points at the five-minute mark of the second term, and were switched on to any Eagles attacking move.
O’Dea was continuing to dominate the contest, and Norwood again benefited with a goal from her clearance from half back, this time through Halfpenny, whose set shot took the Redlegs 21 points clear of the Eagles.
Norwood was on a roll and moved the ball forward from the resulting centre clearance, locking the ball into its forward half.
O’Dea rounded out a perfect first half for Norwood with a goal, taking her side’s half time lead to 4.5-29, whilst holding the Eagles scoreless.
Norwood again locked the ball in its forward 50m during the third term, but the Eagles pushed numbers back and made it a congested contest.
Coby Morgan broke the goal-less deadlock at the 11-minute mark, taking the Redlegs clear by 37 points.
Norwood failed to show it on the scoreboard during the third term (kicking 1.5) but was in complete control of the game, leading by a match-high 40 points at three-quarter time.
The Eagles got on the board in the opening minute of the final term with two goals, but the job was done.
Dunn finished with a last quarter goal to put the cherry on top of a good night for Norwood’s SANFLW program.
Coach Snell said the win meant a lot to the group which had lost by two points in Round 1, five in Round 2 and two in Round 3.
“It feels a lot better, I am relieved and really proud,” the first-year coach said following his first win.
“We moved the ball quicker tonight, got the ball in deeper and we got on the scoreboard.
“The win means a lot, the girls are happy and there are smiles on their faces.”
Norwood – 1.3, 4.5, 5.10, 6.10-46
Woodville-West Torrens – 0.0, 0.0, 0.0, 2.3-15
Goals: Allen, R. Zerella, Dunn, O’Dea, Halfpenny, Morgan
Norwood sits clear on top of the SANFLW Development League ladder following a close three-point win over Woodville-West Torrens in the top of the table clash on Friday.
The Redlegs got the tough battle they were expecting, but ran out 4.7-31 to 4.4-28 winners over the Eagles.
It was a perfect night for footy at Coopers Stadium, and both sides donned their Indigenous guernseys for First Nations Round.
Norwood’s guernsey was designed by player Tesharna Maher, her family and with the support of Maxima and apparel sponsors Apelle.
The Eagles started well and put Norwood under immediate pressure when Kayleigh May snapped the first goal for the Eagles in the opening three minutes.
From there the Redlegs controlled the play.
Kaitey Whittaker continued her strong form, booting Norwood’s first goal at the 12-minute mark, and the Redlegs had two in a minute when Kiana Lee goaled from the centre clearance.
Amelia Rusden and Elle Lineage were strong through the middle of the ground and helped Norwood to a 2.2-14 to 1.3-8 lead at quarter time.
The Redlegs got the first goal of the second term to take it out to an 11-point lead.
Lee – playing against her old side – was damaging in the forward line, but Norwood couldn’t capitalise on opportunities
The latter stages of the quarter turned into a tough battle, with the ball trapped in the Eagles attacking zone.
Norwood held Woodville-West Torrens scoreless in the second term and managed a 12-point lead at half time.
It was another close tussle in the third term with the only goal coming towards the Eagles end.
At three-quarter time it was Norwood holding a nine-point lead, but it was quickly back to three when Zara Kemp goaled for the Eagles.
The Eagles didn’t go away in the final term, kicking two goals to Norwood’s one.
Sophie Arkun sealed the game with a late set shot, helping the Redlegs to a fourth consecutive win.
Norwood – 2.2, 3.3, 3.6, 4.7-31
Woodville-West Torrens – 1.3, 1.3, 2.3, 4.4-28
Goals: Lee 2, K. Whittaker, Arkun
Best: G. Whittaker, Hazelhurst, Rusden, Yardley, Davies
Norwood – 9.6-60
Woodville-West Torrens – 17.9-111
Norwood – 13.11-89
Woodville-West Torrens – 8.7-55