Despite starting the season 0-3 Norwood has qualified for the 2023 Hostplus SANFL Women’s League Finals series following its Round 11 win over West Adelaide at Coopers Stadium on Friday night.
The 16-point win over the Bloods locked away the Redlegs top-four spot, despite one home and away game to play this Saturday afternoon.
Norwood will have the best possible lead in to the finals campaign as it will have the chance to play a finals-like game this Saturday against the top of the table South Adelaide.
The Redlegs will host South at Coopers Stadium on Saturday, from 12pm. It will be the only Norwood side to take to the field this weekend with Senior Men’s and Juniors sides enjoying a league-wide bye for the State Game.
On Friday night, Norwood defeated West Adelaide 6.7-43 to 4.3-27.
Like the Round 6 match against the Bloods, Westies took it right up to Norwood despite being locked to the bottom of the SANFLW ladder.
The Redlegs seemed to have the game under control in the second term, holding a nine-point lead, before the Bloods went on a run of three unanswered goals to take a 10-point lead of their own mid-way through the third term.
Zoe Venning (who leads the league for disposals) was having a big impact for West with two goals during this passage of play – she finished with 17 disposals for the match.
Tesharna Mahar kicked a steadying goal for Norwood to bring the margin back to four points, but Ella Maxwell responded with a goal for West Adelaide before three quarter time to take it back out to a nine-point margin.
From that point Norwood went on a run of four consecutive goals to take the lead back and secure the all-important win, thanks to majors from Molly Brooksby, Ali Ferrall, Rosette Zerella and Tahlita Buethke.
Buethke was once again outstanding for Norwood with 21 disposals, seven tackles, five clearances and one goal, while Lana Schwerdt had 19 disposals, seven tackles and six clearances in what’s been an ultra consistent season.
Norwood’s goals came through Maher (two), R. Zerella, Buethke, Ferrall and Brooksby.
This Saturday Norwood will have to face the most defensive side in the competition, with South letting through an average of just 24 points per game. Norwood has the second best defense (28 points against per game).
Despite having a win-loss record of 9-2 South Adelaide are ranked sixth in attack (27 points per game), while Norwood is ranked second (39 points per game) behind Central District (41 points per game).
Norwood is currently third on the SANFLW ladder and can rise as high as second (if it defeats South and Centrals lose to West Adelaide). It’s unlikely for Norwood to drop to fourth considering its healthy percentage.
South Adelaide, Central District and Norwood have locked in its finals spots with the fourth place to be decided when Glenelg (fourth) and Sturt (fifth) meet in a blockbuster Round 12 match in Unley on Saturday. The winner of that match will likely play finals, and the loser to miss.
Norwood 0.3, 1.4, 3.5, 6.7 – 43
West Adelaide 0.1, 1.1, 4.2, 4.3 – 27
Goals: Maher 2, R. Zerella, Buethke, Ferrall, Brooksby
Best: Buethke, Maher, Schwerdt, Birchall, Gould
Back to back wins for Norwood’s U18 side has helped the Redlegs leap into the top four.
Norwood travelled to Richmond Oval to take on the win-less West Adelaide, and escaped with a 30-point win, 12.8-80 to 7.8-50.
William Rowlands was the star for Norwood on Saturday, kicking five goals, while also gathering 30 disposals, five clearances and taking eight marks.
Rowlands was named the Round 8 U18 SANFL MVP.
Captain Jacob Jones continued to impress with 36 disposals, nine tackles and seven clearances, while Brayden Rachwal booted three goals.
“We were certainly glad to record back to back wins for the first time this year,” Norwood U18 coach Alex Newell said.
“Particularly after losing so many players to the Adelaide College football system in recent weeks, to get our season to 5-3 heading into the bye is really pleasing.
“We know the competition is incredibly even and tight, the ladder is a testament to that so to win our fifth game from being on the road for seven out of the eight weeks, we are really impressed with that.
“We have a few things we need to improve on like all programs do but we are a resilient group, our performances showcase that.”
Following an even first quarter that saw both sides locked at 1.2-8 apiece, Norwood went bang in the second term with five consecutive goals to lead by 30 points before half time.
West Adelaide responded with a late goal through Aquel Rankine to reduce the margin to 24 points at half time, 6.4-40 to 2.4-16.
Rowlands kicked three of his five goals in the second term
“The second quarter saw us do just what we didn’t in the first, and that was capitalise on our chances and time in forward half,” Newell said.
“We were controlling the game in almost every facet, our set up behind the ball, our method going forward, our contest method were all some of the best we have displayed so far this year.”
It all turned after half time as Westies kicked three goals in the first six minutes of the half to quickly reduce the margin back to seven points.
“Our first quarters are not our only challenge this year, our third quarters are also a problem,” Newell said.
“Unfortunately this trend did not break as Westies came out and kicked three goals very quickly and all of a sudden the game was back to only a goal the difference.
“We went away from what we had been doing for a 15-minute period and lost ascendancy in the clearances and ability to defend the ground, that frustratingly allowed westies back into the game, however as we have proven all season we are a responsive group and we managed to get the game back on our terms for the last six to eight minutes of the third term and kicked a couple of late goals.”
Norwood’s response in the third term was three quick goals through Olly Sellen, Rachwal and Caleb Barton to get the game back out to 27 points.
From there it was an even affair with Norwood booting three goals to West Adelaide’s two to claim the important 30-point win.
“The last quarter we got back to Norwood football and ended up walking away with a 30 point victory and consecutive wins,” Newell said.
“Our captain (Jones) really led the way, whilst wingman Riley Kirchhofer was an absolute work horse amassing 23 disposals and creating overlap for us going forward.
“Key Defender Calem Krollig has been a pillar for us down back and he had another solid day at the office with support from half back defenders Jaidyn Mead and Matthew Williams.”
Norwood – 1.2, 6.4, 9.7, 12.8 – 80
West Adelaide 1.2, 2.4, 6.5, 7.8 – 50
Goalkickers: Rowlands 5, Rachwal 3, Barton 2, Fedele, Sellen
Best: Rowlands, Jones, Kirchhofer, Butcher, Mead
Norwood defeated West Adelaide by 10 points in its Round 6 SANFL U16 match on Saturday.
Darcy Speyer was outstanding for the Redlegs in the 10.6-66 to 8.8-56 victory, claiming 34 disposals, six clearances, four tackles and a goal.
Oliver Gribben was also a dominant force in the ruck with 26 disposals, 28 hitouts and 11 clearances, while Harper Bromson kicked four goals from his 15 disposals, as well as winning 11 hitouts.
Norwood had the better of the Bloods in the first half, holding West Adelaide to one goal to half time, while booting six its own. The half time score read 6.5-35 to 1.5-11.
Westies worked their way back into the contest in the second half with six of the next seven goals to get it back to a four-point margin.
Norwood steadied with two consecutive goals to Thomas Fotheringham to get the margin back out to 16 points.
Westies kicked the final goal, but it was the Redlegs who claimed their third win of the 2023 campaign.
Norwood 1.4, 6.5, 7.6, 10.6 – 66
West Adelaide 1.2, 1.5, 4.7, 8.8 – 56
Goals: Bromson 4, Fotheringham 2, Pitt 2, O’Brien, Speyer
Best: Speyer, O’Brien, Lee, Minervini, Bromson