By ZAC MILBANK
Norwood woke from its mini-slumber to produce a handsome 53-point win against West Adelaide at The Parade on Friday night.
Having lost their last two matches – to Adelaide and the Eagles – in succession, the Redlegs made a statement on the back of a rampaging second term.
Taking a nine-point break into the first change, the hosts imposed themselves on the contest by booting seven goals without a miss while restricting the Bloods to just one behind for the second term.
Without Jack Oatey Medallist Matt Panos (heel), the Redlegs still had more than enough contributors as they controlled the tempo of the match by maintaining possession across half-back before using precision by foot to create scoring opportunities.
Impressive Norwood teenager Cameron Taheny made it 11 goals from his first three Statewide Super League games when he booted a game-high five majors.
The boy from Cleve on the Eyre Peninsula showed exactly why he is on the radar of AFL scouts by timing his leads well and marking cleanly at pace.
The left-footer’s third major, after marking a deep foot pass from Dom Barry, put Norwood 21 points up four minutes into the second term as the Legs began to make their match-winning move.
This goal was sandwiched by majors to the Richards brothers, with Zac getting things rolling for the Redlegs with a lovely snap at pace from 40m.
Then Josh Richards – Norwood’s fifth RAA Rookie this season – kicked his first Statewide Super League goal after a bit of good fortune on the goal line prevented team-mate Brady Dawe from stealing his thunder.
By the time Lewis Johnston booted a long-range goal on the verge of half-time, Norwood’s lead had stretched to 50 points.
West – stung by the sudden departures of key midfielders Will Snelling and John Noble through the AFL Mid-Season Draft on Monday – won the third term by a behind as it strived to get back into the contest.
But Jarrod Cotton’s charges remained in control of the encounter as illustrated by them having 104 marks to the Bloods’ 75 as they worked the clock to perfection.
Anthony Wilson marked his return from a quad injury with four goals for Norwood, with his ability to hit the ball at speed before snapping truly an eye-catching feature of his game.
Former North Melbourne defender Brad McKenzie created plenty from the back half to have 35 touches while Cole Gerloff continued to cement his spot in the best 21 with four goals to go with his 24 possessions.
The Bloods had Brett Turner (26 disposals and seven tackles) to bob up and assist prime movers Kaine Stevens (27 disposals) and Tom Keough (23 disposals) but the visitors were simply overwhelmed by the class of their opponents.
Gavin Colville’s men will now turn their attention to the Round 9 clash with Adelaide as they look to secure their second win of the season while Norwood faces a tough assignment against South at Noarlunga on the Queen’s Birthday Holiday.
MAIN PHOTO – John Emery (Norwood FC)
NORWOOD 4.5 11.5 16.6 19.8 (122)
WEST 3.2 3.3 8.5 10.9 (69)
LEADING DISPOSALS – Norwood: McKenzie 35, Barry, Grigg 29, Stephens 25, Gerloff, L. Johnston 24, Hamilton, Shenton 21, Georgiou, J. Richards, Z. Richards 20.
West: K. Stevens, 27, B. Turner 26, P. Fairlie, Keough 23, Batley, H. Haysman 18, Waite 17.
GOALS – Norwood: Taheny 5, Gerloff, A. Wilson 4, Barry, Baulderstone, Hamilton, L. Johnston, J. Richards, Z. Richards.
West: Beech, Hupfeld 2, Anderson, Osborn, K. Stevens, B. Turner, G. Turner, Waite.