By ZAC MILBANK
Norwood snatched a last-gasp five-point win against a desperate Glenelg to kick off its year of redemption at The Parade on Friday night.
Trailing for the majority of the evening, the Redlegs showed off their poise at critical moments in a tense final term, kicking 4.6 to the Bays’ 1.5.
The visitors led by a handy 13-point margin 15 minutes into the final term when elusive forward Lachlan Hosie snapped a behind near the top of the goal square.
Norwood – led by a dominant Lewis Johnston with 37 disposals – then ran the ball the length of the ground before Ed Smart marked on the lead and converted his tough set shot from 40m out near the boundary line.
Just two minutes later, Matthew Panos stepped up to nail an impressive long-range goal from outside 50m to put his side within a point.
An outstanding piece of ruckwork by premiership bigman Sam Baulderstone then put Dom Barry in prime position to snap truly from 30m and give the hosts the lead 21 minutes into the final term.
Glenelg refused to concede it was done yet though, with returning utility Brad Agnew – spending more time through the midfield – took a strong chest mark only to see his set shot touched on the line for a behind.
A desperate lunging spoil from Tiger Luke Reynolds allowed former skipper Andrew Bradley to snap on goal but the narrow miss ensured the final margin would remain at five points, with Norwood backman Mitch Wilkins taking an important defensive mark seconds later to ice the contest.
It wasn’t pretty for the Redlegs – they had 69 more disposals, 22 more inside 50m entries, eight more clearances and five more scoring shots – yet only won by less than a goal.
But coach Jarrod Cotton will be satisfied with the premiership points given the rust in his team’s performance.
Dual Magarey Medallist Mitch Grigg was again influential for the Redlegs, notching two goals and 33 disposals while Matthew Nunn and Declan Hamilton also worked hard through the middle and half-forward.
The absence of captain Jace Bode after half-time was also a factor for Norwood, with the skipper leaving the ground at the 20-minute mark of the third term with a dislocated shoulder. Early diagnosis is that Bode may miss 1-2 weeks in recovery.
Despite the loss, there were plenty of positives for Glenelg, including its efficiency with ball in hand amid the slippery conditions.
Midfield recruit Luke Partington kicked a gutsy goal in close during the first term to go with his team-high 26 disposals while 18-year-old AFL Draft prospect Will Gould played like he belonged at the level to rack up 24 touches on debut.
Entrusted with the Tigers’ kick-ins, Gould was able to handle the tough stuff physically while also use his ranging kick to positive affect.
Tiger forward Josh Scott was his hard-working self at centre-half forward, finshing with 20 disposals and 2.2 while former Swan Jesse White had an entertaining battle in the ruck with Baulderstone, with the two giants earning 39 disposals and 19 clearances between them.
Norwood will now face Central at X Convenience Oval in Round 2 while Glenelg will host Adelaide at ACH Group Stadium next Friday night.
NORWOOD 1.3 3.6 5.9 9.15 (69)
GLENELG 2.4 4.4 8.5 9.10 (64)
LEADING DISPOSALS – Norwood: L. Johnston 37, Grigg 33, Nunn 28, Hamilton, Panos 25, McKenzie 24, Baulderstone 21, Shenton 20.
Glenelg: Partington 26, Gould 24, Scott 20, Bradley 19, Scharenberg, White 18.
GOALS – Norwood: Grigg 2, Bampton, Barry, Baulderstone, Hamilton, Panos, Smart, Szust.
Glenelg: Motlop, Scott 2, Gregson, Hosie, McBean, Partington, Reynolds.
A Jack Trengove-inspired Port Adelaide ran over the top of West Adelaide by 31 points at City Mazda Stadium.
Trengove, who amassed a staggering 44 disposals, 11 tackles, nine clearances and a goal, was instrumental in the victory.
As if the Sturt draftee wasn’t already doing enough around the ground, his goal came at a pivotal stage, putting the Magpies up by 16 points 15 minutes into the final term in what had previously been a tight tussle.
Westies wrestled back the lead just three minutes into the last quarter when clever goalsneak Kenneth Karpany completed a 1-2 foot pass routine with fellow forward Gibson Turner to boot his third from 30m out directly in front.
Karpany and former Richmond rookie Turner had been creating headaches for Port coach Matt Lokan all evening, each booting three majors for the game.
But Port’s dominance in the key stat categories of disposals, scoring shots, inside 50s and clearances ensured the dam wall would burst late in the game.
Power-listed rookie Tobin Cox, from Glenelg, put Port back in front with his second major 10 minutes into the final stanza, paving the way for ruckman Peter Ladhams, Trengove and Sam Gray (three goals) to put some space between them and the hosts.
Gray finished with four goals and 33 touches while Next Generation Academy graduate Kai Pudney, from Woodville-West Torrens, racked up 24 possessions in his Statewide Super League debut.
Premiership forward Boyd Woodcock registered 20 disposals and a goal for his Magpies debut while Hamish Hartlett continued his steady comeback from a knee injury to finish with 16 disposals.
Bloods premiership captain Chris Schmidt had 23 disposals in his return from a year away from the club while lesser-lights Murray Waite and Jack Evans also topped the 20-possession barrier.
Port will now host South in Round 2 next Saturday while West will travel to Prospect to confront North Adelaide.
PORT 1.2 4.9 5.13 11.19 (85)
WEST 2.2 3.3 6.5 8.6 (54)
LEADING DISPOSALS – Port: Trengove 44, S. Gray 33, Mayes 28, Atley 27, Pudney 24, Broadbent 21, Woodcock 20, Hartlett, Howard, Sutcliffe 16.
West: Waite 24, Schiller, Schmidt 23, J. Evans, K. Stevens 22, Noble 21, Hill 20, Snelling, B. Turner 19.
GOALS – Port: S. Gray 4, Cox 2, Hill, Johnson, Ladhams, Trengove, Woodcock.
West: Karpany, G. Turner 3, Cleeland, Schiller.