The Gallagher Williams Cup will be reinstated for this Sunday’s Round 10 clash at Norwood’s Coopers Stadium between traditional SANFL rivals Norwood and Port Adelaide.
Named after Norwood’s Gallagher and Port Adelaide’s Williams families, the Cup was first presented in 1991 and awarded to the team that finished with the best head-to-head record at the end of each season.
If a club wins both home and away matches throughout the season they will be awarded the Cup, if the matches are split one-all the winner is decided by margin.
Port Adelaide won this year’s Round 5 match by seven points and therefore Norwood must win by at least eight points this Sunday to be crowned with the Gallagher Williams Cup. If not the Cup will return to Alberton.
The Gallagher Williams Cup ledger sits at 18-12 in Norwood’s favour. Norwood also leads an incredibly slender overall win-loss record over Port, 202-198 (18 draws) across 418 SANFL meetings.
The Cup has not been formerly awarded in recent years, which Norwood Football Club CEO James Fantasia said was something both clubs wanted to rectify.
“The history between these two clubs is rich, and we thought it was time to formerly acknowledge that again by the awarding of this Cup – there are some great names attached to it,” he said.
“The Cup was drawn in 2016 (when both teams won one game by 25 points) and we think it was around that time it stopped getting awarded.
“We are really looking forward to dusting off the Cup and reigniting this tradition, as this rivalry is special.”
Norwood and SA Football Hall of Fame member Phil Gallagher said he had fond memories of his involvement in the Norwood-Port Adelaide rivalry.
“The Norwood V Port rivalry, it always meant a hell of a lot,” the four-time Norwood premiership player said.
“My family has been involved in this Port Adelaide V Norwood Rivalry for many decades, I think it is a great thing that the Cup is being recognised again.
“I remember talking to my father (Sam Gallagher), and he always used to say Port were the benchmark of the competition and if you played well against them you could actually play.”
Stephen Williams – who was involved in nine Port Adelaide premierships as player and coach – said the rivalry meant just as much to those that played for the Magpies.
“It’s always been tough for Norwood to come down and win at Alberton and hard for us to win at The Parade, it was always a bumper crowd, lots of banter between the supporters and if you beat Norwood at Norwood you knew you were travelling well,” he said.
“A rivalry is not a rivalry if one club dominates the other – because the overall win-loss record is so close ladder position never made much difference. It was a tough game coming up against Norwood whether they were top or bottom.
“It is always nice when there is some silverware to play for – there is only one cup at the end of the season that everyone wants but this is a good chance for the two clubs to battle it out and take a piece of silverware home.”
The Cup presentation will take place on ground following Sunday’s game, with either the Gallagher or Williams family to present to the winning team.
Norwood host Port Adelaide this Sunday, with the game getting underway at 2:10pm.