It wasn’t pretty but Norwood managed to grind its way to a crucial 12-point win against Adelaide at The Parade.
Despite kicking an inaccurate 8.17 (65), the Redlegs did enough to secure the premiership points to draw level with the Crows on the ladder with 10 wins for the season.
Without star veteran Matt Panos and captain Matt Nunn, the hosts still found enough contributors to keep Adelaide scoreless in the first term while also winning key stat categories including inside 50m entries, clearances and tackles.
Adelaide – playing without All-Australian Matt Crouch who was a late withdrawal due to quad tightness – got within 14 points when Jay Boyle’s shot on goal just cleared the line five minutes into the fourth term.
But an answering major to Norwood’s Xavier Tranfa, who found himself alone in the goal square, ended up giving the hosts enough of a buffer to wear the Crows down.
Redleg Nik Rokahr was superb in the centre square again, racking up 29 disposals and a nice snap goal from a standing start while Declan Hamilton provided his trademark dash with his 31 disposals.
Jed Spence, Josh Richards and acting Legs captain Jacob Kennerley all reached the 20-disposal barrier while bigmen Luke Surman and Harry Boyd also had their moments with 15 disposals and a goal each.
Interestingly, Boyd was starting as a midfielder in the centre square while Surman took the ruck, before the former Magpie would push forward and become a target in attack, leaving Boyd to to ruck around the ground.
Adelaide’s Jackson Hately regained some touch after his demotion, collecting a game-high 33 disposals, eight clearances and six tackles.
Lachlan Sholl is proving a consistent ball-winner, with 23 touches and a goal this week, while fellow Crow Billy Frampton had 24 disposals and five marks playing deep in defence.
Crumbing Crows forward James Rowe booted a team-high three goals while Mitchell Johnson made the most of his late inclusion from the Flagstaff Hill Falcons to tally 18 disposals and seven marks in a promising display.
South Adelaide saved its season with a fighting seven-point win against Sturt at Wigan Oval.
Desperately needing a victory to keep their faint finals chances alive, the Panthers managed to find a way to win despite trailing at every change.
Trailing by 16 points at half-time, Jarrad Wright’s charges swung the game in their faovur during the third term by keeping the hosts goalless while kicking back-to-back goals thanks to experienced veterans Joey Haines and Keegan Brooksby.
Haines made a streaking run through the middle of the ground to goal from inside the centre square, while Brooksby pulled in a towering contested mark before pulling the deficit back to just four points.
Sturt tied up the scores nine minutes into the fourth term after South kicked the opening two majors of the fourth term – to Eamon Wilkinson and Damon Freitag – but the desperate visitors again responded.
Classy forward Liam Fitt snapped truly after weaving out of traffic before Wilkinson again impacted the contest with a cool set shot goal after taking a nice mark, pushing the lead out to a significant 13 points entering time-on.
Double Blues dangerman Tom Emmett threatened to haul his side back in front with a late goal but time ran out for his side as the Panthers came-from-behind for a memorable victory.
South’s Mitch O’Neill and Hayden Sampson collected a team-high 25 disposals, Sampson also having seven clearances.
Haines was tremendous with his 24 possessions and momentum-swinging major while Ryan Garthwaite revelled in his move back to defence, keeping Abe Davis to a goal while racking up 20 disposals and 11 marks.
Wilkinson was a real difference-maker with a game-high three goals in a low-scoring contest.
Sturt’s Casey Voss led the way with 33 disposals and 13 marks as he continually attempted to spark offence from defence as did defensive teammate Guy Page with 26 disposals and 11 marks.
Skipper James Battersby battled hard for his 24 possessions and eight clearances while Blues defender Henry Carey was solid in his return to League level with 17 disposals and 11 marks.
Glenelg held on for challenging nine-point win against a persistent West Adelaide at Hisense Stadium.
After an unflattering start to the contest, the Tigers carved out a 13-point lead at half-time but never looked truly settled against the Bloods, who had their tails up after breaking their 26-game losing streak last round.
The Bays led by just two points when West’s Tom Morrish goaled on the run in the sixth minute of the fourth term as the loyal locals found plenty of voice in sniffing a second win in succession.
But Glenelg’s Matt Allen read the drop of teammate Cooper Horsnell’s long set shot much better than anyone else to take a nice overhead mark in the 14th minute.
The former West Coast Eagle converted his snap from close range but just as his side was set to break away, Jono Beech stepped up with a goal for the Bloods just three minutes later.
Beech missed an opportunity to give Brad Gotch’s men the lead closing in on time-on, a miss which proved costly once Tigers star Liam McBean nailed his 40m set shot in the 23rd minute.
It was enough to give the visitors enough breathing room in the dying stages as they won in the absence of Magarey Medallist Luke Partington (concussion).
Bays midfielder Corey Lyons, who missed last round due to Covid health and safety protocols, racked up a game-high 30 disposals, nine clearances and five marks.
Jack Oatey Medallist Matt Snook was his tenacious self with 25 possessions, eight clearances and eight tackles while Darcy Bailey (21 disposals), Cole Gerloff and Billy Stretch (18 disposals), also helped to fill Partington’s void.
Glenelg captain Max Proud was steady in defence with 21 disposals and nine marks while McBean spent a considerable amount of time in the ruck and further up the ground in collecting 18 disposals and eight marks to go with his match-sealing goal.
West’s Joel Stevens continued his development with 26 disposals and an eye-catching goal, in which he started his run with a disposal from the back pocket before getting on the end of the scoring chain to finish nicely.
Jordon Boyle (25 possessions) was solid in the middle for the Bloods while Callum Park surprised by pulling on a short-sleeved guernsey after half-time en route to collecting 21 touches against his former side.
West veterans Hamish Hartlett (23 disposals, seven tackles), Beech (19 disposals, two goals) and Tom Keough (17 disposals) also did their bit in trying to secure a second victory for the season.
Port Adelaide took the best part of three-and-a-half quarters to eventually shrug off Central District for a much-needed 23-point win at Maughan Thiem Kia Oval.
Playing at Woodville with Alberton unavailable due to renovations ahead of the AFLW season, the Magpies only held a slender 13-point advantage when Bulldog Ethan East finished a nice chain of handballs six minutes into the final term.
But Port – fielding a much stronger side with 18 AFL-listed players – responded in fine fashion with the next four goals in succession to extend the lead out to a sudden 35 points.
Two of the four majors kicked in the defining period came from clever goalsneak Orazio Fantasia, who finished with three for the match in an encouraging return from injury.
Port midfielder Sam Mayes was exceptional again with 29 disposals, eight clearances and six tackles while Trent Dumont also made a positive impact in his return with two goals and 21 touches.
Squeezed out of the Power line-up, Jackson Mead responded with 23 disposals while bigmen Brynn Teakle (16 disposals) and Sam Hayes (15 disposals, two goals) were also influential for the Pies.
Former Redleg Anthony Wilson put himself in contention for the 7News Adelaide Goal of the Week with a stunning checkside finish from the boundary line, deep in the forward pocket.
Central defender Rhett Montgomerie was one his team’s best in taking several trademark intercept marks to finish with nine, to go with 17 disposals.
Usual Bulldog suspects Kyle Presbury (24 disposals), Travis Schiller (22 disposals) and Jarrod Schiller (19 disposals) also battled hard but their side rarely produced any fluency moving forward.
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