The day we won our 28th premiership and broke another long drought
GRAND FINAL 2012
Venue: AAMI Stadium (Football Park)
Umpires: M Avon, L Haussen, C DeBoy Crowd: 29,661
1st 2nd 3rd Final Pts
Norwood 1.1 4.4 9.5 12.7 79
West Adelaide 0.3 1.4 1.6 3.12 30
Date: Sunday 7 Oct 2012 Win by 49 points
Best: D Terlich, J Cachia, B Zorzi, A Georgiou, J Aish, T Webber, L Brown,
Scorers: L Jericho 2.2, B Jefferies, E Smart 2, S Phillips 1.3, J Aish 1.1,
B Warren, J Gallagher, M Suckling, T Webber 1, D Terlich 0.1
Jack Oatey Medallist: Dean Terlich
The Redlegs won their way into the 2012 Grand Final after an outstanding season, finishing minor premiers and then accounting for West Adelaide in a dour second semi final. There was some concern that the team’s preparation for the game was not ideal after a bye in the last minor round followed by another bye in the first round of the finals and then another week’s break after the semi final. Furthermore Norwood entered the game with three players, Chippendale, Kirwan and Smart each having played less than ten games and the Port Power contingent, Pfeiffer, Rodan and Jonas were unavailable. Key players, McGuinness, Fuller and Newton had also been ruled out during the season with long term injuries. Given the number of changes to the side each week, it was a remarkable performance to finish the minor round on top after losing only two games.
Any lingering doubts about the preparation or make up of the team were soon allayed as the game got under way. Norwood’s on ball brigade soon controlled the stoppages although there were wasted opportunities up forward in the first quarter. West did not score a goal in the first quarter and Norwood’s first goal came from a Simon Phillips snap after he relieved Brad Fisher of the ball at half forward. Norwood drew away in the second quarter with goals to Jefferies and Smart before West was able to put a goal on the board. Norwood’s defensive pressure forced West to continually make mistakes and a late goal to Mat Suckling from just outside 50 metres gave the Redlegs an 18 point break at half time.
West players were so late on to the ground after half time that Norwood players were in position when West finally appeared. The West players were denied the chance to warm up when the umpires sent them to their positions and Norwood was quick to pounce getting the ball to Jericho who took two strong contested marks and converted both from the half forward flank. West was again goalless in the quarter and majors to Jefferies, Webber and Smart gave the ‘legs a commanding 47 point lead at three quarter time.
Although Norwood looked home, no one in red and blue was claiming anything until early in the final quarter, James Aish accepted a neat pass from Batsanis just backward of centre, bounced the ball three times and then calmly slotted a long goal from just inside fifty.
It took the youngest player to ever feature in a grand final to produce the highlight of the game and over twenty thousand delirious Redleg supporters rose as one to salute the sixteen year old.
Gallagher scored a late goal from a left foot snap and then in the dying minutes, as West supporters called it a day and Norwood fans waited for the final siren, Jace Bode took exception to getting clouted by Nat Caruso, after Jace had handballed on at half back, and a good old fashioned melee ensued. It was almost as if players on both sides felt they owed the crowd a little something extra. As players rushed to join in, the ball found its way down to Ben Warren courtesy of a couple of long penalties and a generous pass from Luke Jericho and Ben kicked the final goal. It had been a long journey to grand final success for the veterans Gallagher and Warren and it was fitting that they kicked the last goals of the game. Norwood had won and broken another long premiership drought.
Celebrations at Woods Street continued late into the night and as the big crowd started to leave the oval, some conversations invariably moved on to next year and the possibility of back to back titles. Such is the nature of the game; win or lose, there is always next year.
Our team in the 2012 grand final was
Coach: Nathan Bassett
F B Warren L Jericho S Phillips
HF J Gallagher B Dawe A Kirwan
C N Batsanis M Suckling J Aish
HB L Brown M Chippendale D Terlich
B J Bode A Georgiou B Jefferies
Followers A Clarke J Cachia T Webber
Interchange B Zorzi capt. E Smart J Donohue
Page prepared by W Heading October 2012