FORTIS IN PROCELLA – Strength in Adversity
It was an emotional day at Coopers Stadium on Saturday as Norwood played its first match since the tragic passing of 2022 Premiership player and current squad member Nicholas Lowden.
Players, coaches, staff and representatives from both Norwood and South Adelaide came together on Coopers Stadium pre-game for a tribute and minutes silence to tribute Nick, while all SANFL matches played this weekend paused to do the same.
In a memorable day on and off the field, the Redlegs had to fight to the end to claim a two-point win, 12.11-83 to 12.9-81.
Norwood led by as much as 39 points early in the last quarter, before South Adelaide came charging home with the last six goals of the match.
Emotion boiled over when the siren blew on a two-point Norwood win.
Norwood Coach Jade Rawlings said he was immensely proud of his team, who have stuck together through a devastating week.
“The emotions have been wild,” he said.
“Our group has rallied since last Thursday, we came straight to the club and supported each other, got together again on Friday and again on Monday for training.
“I think this group has been incredible, we wanted to make our club proud this week and I think irrespective of the result, I think our supporters would be proud of how our club has gone about it, today included.
“We will remember this day for a lot of reasons.”
Connor McLean booted Norwood’s first goal of the afternoon, and in celebration slapped the black armband on his bicep and pointed towards the sky.
Both sides showed a great level of spirit and fight in the first quarter – kicking three goals apiece – before Norwood forward Jackson Callow took a strangle hold on the match in the second term.
Callow – who played just his third match of the 2023 season as a result of an ankle injury – had eight disposals, four marks and kicked 3.2 in the second quarter alone.
The Redlegs kicked 6.5 to South 1.1 in the second term and led by a commanding 35 points at the half time break, 9.9-63 to 4.4-28.
It started to drizzle after half time, and the game turned from free flowing into a goalless scrap for the first 12 minutes of the half, despite South having the inside 50m advantage.
The Panthers couldn’t capitalise on set shots, booting 0.3 in the first 10 minutes of the third term.
South eventually broke the deadlock, with Ben Shillabeer making the most of a turnover in Norwood’s defensive 50m zone to bring the margin back to 26 points.
It was a scrappy third quarter from the Redlegs, who struggled to find scoring opportunities.
Norwood remained goalless until the 22-minute mark, and it was an unlikely hero to step up with usual defender Cam Ball sneaking forward to mark 40m out from goal.
He nailed the set shot to kick Norwood’s 10th goal for the match and make it a 33-point lead deep in the third term.
South responded instantly with a Kobe Mutch goal to make it 10.10-70 to 6.7-43 at three quarter time.
The game felt done in the first 20 seconds of the final term when Nik Rokahr came streaming out of the centre bounce to goal from 50m.
Rokahr sent another kick close to The Parade End goals a minute later and Callow again showed his strength in the square, winning a one on one mark and kicking his fourth major for the afternoon.
Callow’s goal made it a match high 39 points, before South gave it one last roll of the dice.
Norwood stopped to a crawl in the final term and South slammed home six goals in the last 25 minutes of the match, leaving the Redlegs in a desperate scramble to hold on.
Luckily, the siren blew on a memorable two-point win.
Rokahr had 31 disposals, five clearances and kicked a goal, while Callow had 20 disposals, eight marks and four goals.
Norwood 3.4, 9.9, 10.10, 12.11 – 83
South Adelaide 3.3, 4.4, 6.7, 12.9 – 81
Goals: Callow 4, Binder 2, McLean 2, Ball, Kennerley, Panos, Rokahr
Best: J. Heard, Kennerley, Rokahr, Callow, Panos
It was a win to remember for Norwood’s Reserves on Saturday.
In memory of current teammate Nick Lowden – who passed away on August 3 – the Reserves side overcame a physical South Adelaide side to claim a 26-point win and keep its finals hopes alive.
The lead changed eight times throughout the match, and the Redlegs trailed by one point at three quarter time before a four-goal final term helped Norwood to a 11.10-76 to 7.8-50 win.
2022 SANFL Premiership player Henry Nelligan played his first game for the club this season – after spending time travelling overseas – had 27 disposals, seven tackles and six clearances.
Luke Bogle had 20 disposals, six clearances and a goal, while Finn Heard, Taaj Nicholls, Izaak Twelftree and Nick Weightman each kicked two goals.
Norwood had the better of the first term, leading by 12 points at the first break, before South regained the lead early in the second quarter.
The margin didn’t grow past seven points either way in a sea-sawing, tense, physical second and third quarters, before Norwood ran away with it in the fourth term with goals to Nicholls, Bogle, Twelftree and Weightman to take a memorable 26-point win.
Young ruckman Alex van Wyk – who has been in outstanding form over the past six weeks – had 27 hitouts, 13 disposals and seven tackles.
The Reserves remain Norwood’s only Finals hope in Season 2023.
They currently sit sixth with two games remaining against West Adelaide (seventh) and Central District (third).
Woodville-West Torrens sit fifth with a win-loss record of 7-9 and 47.74%, while Norwood is 6-10 and 46.75% with two big Away games to close out the season in Richmond and Elizabeth.
The Eagles – who are the only team that can potentially drop out of the top five for Norwood – take on Glenelg (first) and West Adelaide (seventh) in the final two matches of the season.
Norwood 4.1, 5.4, 7.6, 11.10 – 76
South Adelaide 2.1, 5.3, 7.7, 7.8 – 50
Best: Nelligan, F. Heard, Warburton, van Wyk, Nicholls
Goals: F. Heard 2, Nicholls 2, Twelftree 2, Weightman 2, Bogle, Robinson, Walls