Norwood not only secured a finals berth but kept itself in the hunt for the double chance with a gritty 12-point win against North Adelaide at Prospect Oval.
Still needing a win to secure September action, the Redlegs also kept the door ajar for third spot by toppling the Roosters, who are they are now equal with on premiership points.
With one round to play, Norwood will need to beat Adelaide in Round 19 while also hoping Sturt defeat North as it is unlikely to make up the 6.8 percentage deficit.
First-year Redlegs coach Jade Rawlings will be delighted that his side’s accuracy in front of goal played a major role in the win, after previously costing it victory in recent rounds.
The visitors led at every change despite conceding the inside 50m count 51-40, as veteran Richard Douglas led the way with 29 disposals, nine marks, five clearances and five tackles.
Nik Rokahr was also influential for Norwood with 27 disposals, seven clearances and a goal while Lachlan Pascoe presented strongly in attack to finish with 3.2 from his 12 disposals.
North’s Campbell Combe relished the wet conditions to tally 25 possessions, 10 tackles and six clearances as brother Will had 20 disposals and a goal.
Veteran Jarred Allmond made a comeback from concussion to have 19 touches while Harrison Wigg collected 23 for the hosts.
Woodville-West Torrens secured second spot on the ladder as it severely dented Sturt’s finals hopes with a hard-fought 10-point win at Unley Oval.
Trailing at the first change, the Eagles surged past the Double Blues in the second term with 3.3 on the board to the hosts’ one behind. It proved to be a pivotal period of play given the closeness of the result.
And it now leaves Sturt needing to beat North Adelaide in Round 19 while also relying on West Adelaide defeating fifth-placed South Adelaide at Flinders University stadium.
Prolific Eagle James Tsitas found plenty of the ball at the stoppages to tally 42 disposals and six clearances as a host of his teammates chimed in with at least 20 touches, including Kai Pudney, Joseph Sinor, Ethan Haylock and Riley Knight, who also kicked a goal and laid six tackles.
Angus Poole was also important for the visitors with two goals and 20 disposals as Daniel Menzel and Tyson Stengle also bagged a pair.
Sturt’s Abe Davis was a huge reason why his side remained in the contest, collecting 25 disposals and 11 marks while also kicking three goals.
Double Blues captain James Battersby had 30 disposals, six clearances and a goal while Tom Lewis continued his fine season with 27 disposals, eight tackles and six clearances.
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