Central District’s amazing run has continued, ending Norwood’s season with a 48-point victory in the Macca’s League Elimination Final at the Adelaide Oval on Saturday.
After storming into the top five on the back of four wins in succession, the Bulldogs made it five-in-a-row by shocking the injury-hit Redlegs with a strong opening term.
The Bulldogs kicked six goals to three in the opening stanza to put Norwood on the back foot early in the contest.
And while the Redlegs grinded their way back into contention by holding Roy Laird’s men goalless in the second term, they were unable to overcome the significant start they allowed Central before quarter-time.
Despite having 28 fewer disposals than their rivals, the Dogs engineered eight more inside 50 entries, illustrating their efficiency due to the consistent effort provided by their overwhelming midfield brigade.
Carlton recruit Nick Holman continued his stellar season with 32 disposals while Chris Jansen and Travis Schiller also benefited from the great work of ruckman Darcy Fort in the centre square.
In attack, Justin Hoskin’s late-season resurgence continued with three goals and 18 disposals while the class of former Gold Coast Sun Josh Glenn was significant after half-time.
Glenn’s run and carry was invaluable as was his finishing in front of goal, when he slotted a game-high four majors to help split the game open for the Bulldogs.
A deflated Redlegs outfit was best served by midfielders Mitch Grigg and Brad McKenzie, who collected 56 disposals between them.
Norwood defenders Alex Georgiou and Pat Levicki battled hard despite being under siege for much of the match, reading the ball well and trying to stop the flow of Central goals.
But ultimately, the absence of forwards Lewis Johnston and Simon Phillips, together with captain Jace Bode, proved too much for Jarrod Cotton’s men to overcome.
Central will now progress to the First Semi-Final, to be played at 12.10pm on Sunday September 10 at the Adelaide Oval.
Central 6.1 6.5 10.8 17.13 (115)
Norwood 3.2 5.5 7.6 10.7 (67)
BEST – Central: Holman, D. Fort, Jansen, Glenn, Hoskin, Goodrem, T. Schiller, Presbury.
Norwood: Grigg, McKenzie, Levicki, Georgiou, Nunn.
GOALS – Central: Glenn 4, Hoskin 3, Goodrem, T. Schiller 2, Butcher, F. Fort, Habel, Hannath, Holman, Presbury.
Norwood: Viney 2, Bampton, Fuller, Dawe, Bartlett, Grigg, Wilson, McKenzie, Shenton.
UMPIRES – Corey Bowen, Toby Medlin, David Sobieraj.
CROWD – 10,429 at the Adelaide Oval.
CHIEF SANFL WRITER