Hostplus League Qualifying Final Snapshot

Adelaide's Jay Boyle fires out a handball in his team's classy 55-point win. Picture - David Mariuz

Compiled by Zac Milbank

Adelaide produced an impressive display of skill and flair en route to a barnstorming 55-point win against Norwood in the Qualifying Final at Adelaide Oval.

Regularly taking the game on with speed, the Crows not only won more ball on the inside of the contest but ensured the Legs were under constant pressure with an incredibly lop-sided inside 50m count of 73 to 40.

Michael Godden’s men kicked the ball long with handsome ball movement before finishing nicely in front of goal as Luke Pedlar (three goals), Isaya McKenzie, Jay Boyle and Zac Taylor were among a host of Crows to boot long-range majors.

Leading by 10 points at the first change after kicking four goals without a blemish in the opening term, Adelaide pushed the advantage out to 26 by the main change as Pedlar began to impose himself on the contest with two of his eye-catching goals on the run.

It was a sign of the avalanche to come as the Crows piled on 7.2 to Norwood’s 1.2 in the third quarter to ensure they would win their first game against the Legs in their last five outings and first since winning the 2019 First-Semi Final by 62 points.

Adelaide’s Luke Pedlar celebrates one of his long range goals in the second term. Picture – David Mariuz

Now set to tackle minor premier North Adelaide in the Second Semi-Final next Sunday, Adelaide didn’t skip a beat through the midfield despite the absence of Matthew Crouch and Jackson Hately, who didn’t qualify for the major round.

Crow Jay Boyle racked up a team high 27 disposals and seven clearances to shade teammate Brett Turner with 26 possessions, eight clearances, and 15 tackles.

Adelaide pair Luke Nankervis and Lachlan Sholl each picked up 25 disposals while captain Matthew Wright was tremendous with five clever goals from 14 disposals and five tackles.

Norwood, having lost its past three finals in succession, will now reset to face Elimination Final winner Glenelg in next Sunday’s First Semi-Final.

Redlegs defender Jack Heard was superb in defence with 23 disposals, six marks and five tackles while Nik Rokahr fought bravely under duress from a foot concern to tally 32 disposals and six marks.

Emerging Norwood midfielder Nick Lowden finished the game strongly to rack up 22 disposals, nine tackles and a snap goal in traffic.

Norwood’s Connor McLean celebrates kicking his team’s opening goal. Picture – David Mariuz

Tom Wyman's Match-Ups That Mattered

Brett Turner (Adelaide) v Nik Rokahr (Norwood)

 The Crows proved far too quick and skilful for their Redlegs opponents in the Qualifying Final, but it all started on the inside with Brett Turner.

The Crows mid-season recruit amassed 26 disposals, eight clearances and four inside-50s in the win. Also laying a game-high 15 tackles, the midfielder’s defensive pressure at the contest denied Norwood of time and space on a quick Adelaide Oval surface and ensured Adelaide gained a massive inside-50 advantage.

His on-ball nemesis Norwood’s Nik Rokahr entered the game under an injury cloud and battled hard for his 32 disposals and six marks, but wasn’t able to have his usual influence at stoppages.

Elliott Himmelberg (Adelaide) v Jack Heard (Norwood)

Clearly Norwood’s best player on a disappointing day, Jack Heard held Adelaide spearhead Elliott Himmelberg to just two marks.

The key back proved tough to beat in the air, then defended admirably at ground level – with his strong holding-the-ball tackle in the first half a highlight.

Leading into the clash, Himmelberg had booted 16 goals and averaged four marks in 11 SANFL League matches in 2022, but added just one more to his tally despite the Crows booting 18 for the match.

He may have given away some size to the Crow, but it didn’t bother a dogged Jack Heard.

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