Norwood 10.16 def Sturt 11.7
Friday Sept 11th, Coopers Stadium
Match Review by Sarah List
The remaining weeks of the SANFL fixtures have been scheduled to extract the most suffering from the fans of Sturt, Norwood, Glenelg and South Adelaide, as each cling to the chance of craping into the finals for 2020. Sturt and Norwood both need a win to stay in touch, and Glenelg and South need to win to cement their places in the top four.
This evening, Norwood took on Sturt at home in a do or die battle that could substantially firm up their chances of finals action. Sturt were first to fire up, piling on three goals in the first 12 minutes of the first quarter. The Legs were shellshocked as Sturt hammered the goal square and could have easily been further ahead if they had had more luck, but some smashing solo efforts from Bastinac and Barry kept the legs in touch. Their form has been consistently good in a mixed outfit over the last few weeks, and Barry in particular impressed with his crumbing and accuracy on the run from awkward angles. Still, Sturt had a handy 12 point lead at quarter time.
The second quarter saw the Legs find their feet (and the goals) early with a pair by the 11th minute mark that enabled them a slim lead for the first time during the match. Sturt were scrapping hard but managed just one behind for the quarter. Both teams turned the ball over, were off target in front of goals, and lacked smoothness of play and it was anyone’s match at half time.
Norwood insisted on continuing their frustrating possession focused game plan, despite the fact that it was consistently failing to connect with a clear lead and was being tuned over far too frequently. The match from both sides was especially focused on turnovers and then scrambling to reclaim possession that should never have been lost in the first place. The high point for Norwood came from another star effort from Dom Barry. Evans added a second goal to his tally for the Double Blues, while Johnson and Houlihan provided scoring support of their own and suddenly it was an even pegged game.
The last quarter was filled with desperation and tit for tat goal scoring. Both team played to their last scrap of energy, and Shenton was brutally effective in rebounding the ball back towards Norwood’s end. The lead see-sawed from 12 points in the Legs favour, to 6 points in Sturt’s at the 16 minute mark, thanks to three consecutive majors from Houlihan, Davis and Morrison. From that point every player was throwing themselves at the ball to hold possession. Norwood had fans tearing out their hair with three behinds scored in the dying minutes (including one from Surman who was off target and scored just 4 behinds for the night). Sturt were calling for the siren – then Rokahr squeaked one through for the Legs at the 25thminute mark to see the home side hold on by the skin of their teeth for a wafer thin win (3 points).
Friday 18 September
West Adelaide v Eagles, Hisense Stadium, 7:20pm
Saturday 19 September
South Adelaide v Norwood, Flinders University Stadium, 2:10pm
Sturt v North Adelaide, Peter Motley Oval, 2:10pm
Glenelg v Central District, ACH Group Stadium, 4:10pm