Norwood broke a 21-year premiership drought with a comfortable 19-point win against Woodville-West Torrens in the 2019 Reserves Grand Final at Adelaide Oval on Sunday.
Chasing their first Reserves flag since 1998, the Redlegs overcame a sluggish start to set up the victory with a strong second term to avoid a seventh successive Grand Final loss.
With AFL Draft prospect Dylan Stephens and Reserves Magarey Medallist Jed Spence prominent in the midfield, Gavin Hughes’ Legs kept the Eagles goalless for more than a quarter.
It resulted in transforming a seven-point quarter-time deficit into a 15-point half-time lead for the Norwood outfit, which was well led by former Hawthorn bigman Luke Surman, who claimed the Bob Lee Medal as best afield.
Surman, who has battled injuries for the majority of the season, was a real difference maker in the ruck and in attack as he finished with 21 disposals, 11 clearances and 18 hit outs.
The Eagles, hunting their first Reserves flag since 2015, started brightly with former Magpie Harrison Morgan banging through two quick goals in the opening two minutes.
Regular defender Jake Westbrook landed a long bomb from well outside 50m which got his side back within 14 points late in the third term to give his side some hope.
But when burly key forward Lachlan Pascoe and former Panther Cody Szust booted goals either side of the final change, the Redlegs pushed the advantage back out to 26 points early in the final term.
Norwood captain Mac Bower was important in defence with several intercept marks while Cam Taheny made the most of his opportunities to kick a defining four-goal haul.
Woodville-West Torrens came home hard with a final flurry to boot the last three goals of the game but it was too late for Vinnie Rugolo’s men.
Torrens Uni SA U18 midfielders Harry Schoenberg and Lachie McNeil led the way for the Eagles with 20 touches each while League experienced Jack Gaffney had 19.
NORWOOD 2.1 6.2 9.4 13.5 (83)
EAGLES 3.2 3.5 5.8 9.10 (64)
Norwood: Spence 27, Stephens 26, Surman 21, Pedro 19, Ball, Szust 17, Bower, Coles 16.
Eagles: McNeil, Schoenberg 20, J. Gaffney 19, Westbrook 17, Nason, Wehr 16.
Norwood: Taheny 4, Pascoe, Szust 3, Charlton, Coles, Pedro.
Eagles: Morgan 3, Pickett 2, Coff, McNeil, Mead, Westbrook.
UMPIRES – Mason Beyer, Aaron Bennett, Sam Morgan
BOB LEE MEDAL – Luke Surman (Norwood)
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