The day we won our 10th premiership after winning the last game of the season against Port Adelaide
The Deciding Game
Venue: Adelaide Oval
Umpire: Mr Plunkett Crowd: 10,000
1st 2nd 3rd Final
Norwood 1.0 1.1 2.2 5.4
Port Adelaide 1.2 3.2 3.2 3.4
Date 5 September 1891 Win by 2 goals
Best: F B White, J Thomson, J McGaffin, R Correll, J Holbrook, N Richards
Goalkickers : G Kirby 2, J Holbrook, C Bennett, C Woods
The 1891 premiership was decided in the last match of the season between Norwood and Port Adelaide, played at the Adelaide Oval on Saturday 5 September. Both teams had won 11 games ahead of South Adelaide on 10 games, Medindie 4 games and Adelaide did not record a win for the year.
Norwood fielded its best team for the season, making a number of changes to the side that had played Port on July 11 with Kirby, McKee, Waldron and Wilson coming into the team. Waldron had only played one first class game for the season, against South on August 22. Port on the other hand had not been required to make many changes during the season and went into the game with a settled side.
Port had the assistance of the wind in the first quarter but Norwood’s defence led by Waldron at centre half back made it difficult for the Portonians to score. McKee on a wing was also outstanding. Port were kicking the ball long while Norwood relied on accurate short passing to move the ball around. At the end of the quarter Port had only managed 1goal 2 behinds to Norwood 1 goal.
Port went away with the game in the second quarter adding 2 goals and keeping Norwood goalless to lead at the half time break, 3 goals 2 behinds to Norwood 1 goal 1 behind.
Norwood lifted in the third quarter with their rucks and rovers gaining ascendency and they were able to stop Port from scoring while adding one goal to their half time score.
The final quarter belonged to Norwood who, with the breeze at their backs, quickly gained the ascendency. Woods goaled early to make the scores level and then Kirby, after receiving a contentious free for being tripped, passed to Holbrooks who goaled giving Norwood the lead. Kirby then scored the the last goal with a kick off the ground giving the Red & Blues victory by two goals. A Norwood Port game would be complete without a physical confrontation between players, thus it was reported;
A disgraceful yet amusing incident occurred on the field exactly in front of the Members' Pavilion. Just before the end came, Wilson and Hamilton were on the ball, when the Norwood man holding Hamilton longer than was to the latter's liking, an altercation ensued, and a pugilistic encounter was promptly added to the football performance. Immediately the fight began Daly tackled Hamilton in the fruitless endeavour to disengage the contestants, whereupon Webb could not stand seeing a two-to-one combat, so he joined the melee and had a 'go' at Daly. At this juncture the umpire stopped the game, and with the assistance of half a dozen players and a little physical persuasion a separation was effected. The fracas, which was short and sharp, but not decisive, will, of course, be reported.
South Australian Register 7 Sept 1891, p7
The correspondent for the South Australian Register was also clearly unimpressed by the standard of umpiring with the following colourful analysis
Mr. Plunkett was not a good umpire. Complaint is not that he did anything very wrong but that he was not strict enough. During the first quarter the referee did fairly well, though he countenanced numerous infringements of the rules. But his display afterwards was certainly the worst he has ever treated us to. Either side noticing his neglect as a matter of course took advantage of it and violated the rules with impunity. Naturally rough play was rampant. Mr. Plunkett's fairness is not for a moment questioned, though it be said, Norwood men sinned far more in the way of breaking the rules than their opponents, who were oftener detected, however. The umpire allowed infringements of divers kinds— holding (both man and ball), shepherding when right away from the ball, and unfairness of all descriptions... Hitherto Mr. Plunkett's plea for failure has been a bad knee, but this cannot now be offered as an excuse for this lame display.
South Australian Register 7 Sept 1891, p7
Our team in the game was
C Bennett, O Bertram, A Clift, R Correll, J Daly, A J Grayson, J Holbrook, A Jackson, G Kirby, G McKee, J McGaffin, W Parkinson, N Richards, J Shaw, J J Thomson, A E Waldron, F B White, R Wilson, C W Woods, J J Woods
Page prepared by W Heading April 2012