It was a 628-day wait to see Matthew Panos don a Norwood guernsey in the Hostplus SANFL League.
And the 2014 Jack Oatey Medallist ensured it would be well worth it after kicking the match-winning goal to lead his team to a sensational five-point win against Adelaide at The Parade.
Returning after a serious knee injury suffered in Round 11 of 2020, the former Norwood skipper’s fourth goal of the night completed an amazing comeback for the Legs’, who booted the last three majors in succession.
Key forward Connor McLean nailed back-to-back goals, the second a classy snap set shot from the pocket, to bring the margin back to one-point in the 27th minute.
Then it was Panos’ time to shine as he fond space to mark on the lead at half-forward, turn and run to 50m before letting fly from long range to see his kick bounce through for a memorable six-pointer.
The 31-year-old finished with 16 disposals, four marks, four clearances and three tackles together with his match-defining scoreboard contribution.
With captain Matthew Nunn missing with illness, the Redlegs’ midfielders stepped up to share the load as Jay Rantall (23 disposals), Nik Rokahr (21 disposals) and Declan Hamilton (18 disposals) all did their bit for the cause.
Trailing by as much as 22-points when Norwood’s Jacob Kennerley snapped truly late in the second term, Adelaide did an admirable job of working its way back into the contest.
A pair of goals to forward Elliot Himmelberg stretched the Crows’ lead to 13 points in the 23rd minute mark of the final term but that was when McLean and Panos stepped in with their late-game heroics.
Crows midfielder Harry Schoenberg earned a team-high 21 disposals and a goal while Lachlan Sholl, Jay Boyle and Patrick Parnell collected 19 disposals each.
Defender Billy Frampton had 16 disposals and six marks while Tariek Newchurch looked lively early inside 50m, booting the Crows’ first three goals of the game.
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