The day we won our third consecutive title and our 30th Premiership


Venue: Adelaide Oval

Umpires: T Medlin, A Crosby, C Deboy             Crowd: 38,644

  1st 2nd 3rd Final Pts
Norwood 5.1 7.8 11.8 12.10 82
Port 1.3 6.7 10.10 11.12 78

Date: 21 September 2014        Win by 4  points

Best: M Panos, K McGuinness, S Baulderstone, A Kirwan, T Webber, E Smart, K Roocke, S Phillips

Scorers:  S Phillips 3-1, L Davis 3-0, M Newton 2-1, S Baulderstone 1-2, C Barlett 1-2, J Donohue 1-0, M Panos 1-0, K Roocke 0-1, T Webber 0-1 Rushed 0-2

Jack Oatey Medal: Matthew Panos

Game Review

Perhaps Norwood should add David Bowie's "Changes" to its theme song list. In 2013, ten players departed the club for various reasons and in 2014 twelve players were missing from the previous grand final team and coach Nathan Bassett had moved to Essendon as an assistant coach. In fact, 40 different players have won a premiership over the last three years and only six have played in all three premierships.  It says something about a club that was bottom ten years ago to build a culture of success and depth in its ranks. Four grand finals in five years and three premierships have changed the way not only its own supporters, but the also rest of the SANFL, looks at Norwood. Not since the 1887,88 and 89 titles had the Redlegs achieved a hat trick of premierships.

Norwood v Port grand finals have been a traditional staple throughout the history of the SANFL from the first grand final played in 1889 to the classic 1984 contest.  This year lived up to the billing of classic as the “part timers” from the Parade clung on in a game that went right to the wire with not only the coaches box on tender hooks but also the entire 38,644 crowd and countless more viewing the game on television.

Norwood got off to a flyer with Sam Baulderstone and Brady Dawe dominating in ruck, giving mid fielders Matt Panos, Tim Webber, James Allan and Kristian Roocke first use of the ball, thus allowing the ‘Legs to win the clearances.  Thanks to the strong marking of Liam Davis and smart roving by Simon "Flipper" Phillips with two goals each and Josh Donohue’s goal, Norwood held the lead by 22 points at quarter time. The minor premiers however fought back in the second quarter, led by Aaron Young with two goals and Summerton and Krakouer each kicking one to take the lead, before a late goal by Callum Barlett allowed Norwood to steady and regain a seven point lead at half time.

The last half became a battle royale as is the tradition between these clubs, with neither giving an inch. The captain, Kieran McGuinness  and vice captain Jace Bode were rocks in defence, grandly supported by Michael Chippendale, Alex Forster and Gavin Hughes.  It was nearly goal for goal during this quarter with Newton, Phillips, Panos and Baulderstone scoring for Norwood  and Krakouer, Shaw, Mitchell and Hitchcock adding goals for Port.  It was the  ‘Legs by four points at three quarter time.

Cometh the hour cometh the man. Matt Panos, after an outstanding season as a big bodied midfielder, stood tall with a brilliant last quarter.  Aided by James Allan and the move of Andrew Kirwan onto the ball,  Norwood dominated the inside 50's and kept the ball in their forward half for most of the quarter. A early goal to Michael "Juice" Newton extended the Redlegs lead and the game of relentless tackling, smothering, ball ups and enormous pressure continued. The ‘Legs were hanging on for dear life after Krakouer kicked his third at the 18th minute. Crippled by injury after giving their best, Kane Murphy and Anthony Wilson could only watch anxiously from the bench, as the the last nine minutes of the match ticked away without a goal from either side. Both teams had their chances to score further goals until Port stormed forward with one, final, desperate torpedo but thankfully after 26 minutes and 33 seconds the siren blew, thus cementing in history Norwood's first back to back to back for 125 years.

The last word deserves to go to rookie coach Ben Warren who, at 2 wins 4 losses earlier in the season, still kept the dream alive as his leadership qualities grew and the team gradually consolidated. In The Advertiser on 22 September 2014, Ben said of the playing group "The resilience and character and spirit they have is unbelievable." That was the 2014 Norwood team.

B Dawe M Newton S Phillips
K Murphy
L Davis
E Smart
B Jefferies
T Webber
A Wilson
J Bode
M Chippendale
G Hughes
A Kirwan
K McGuinness (C)
A Forster
Ben Warren

S Baulderstone
M Panos
K Roocke

J Allan
C Bartlett
J Donohue

Page prepared by  G Keiller Oct 2014

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