SANFL Elimination Final – Norwood v Sturt: Norwood beat the Elimination Blues

A crowd of 12,473 combined for the 2 games, most for the early game (and it’s time all finals apart from the Grand Final were held at the club’s home ground who finished higher at the end of the minor round IMO).


Norwood, which has had an up and down season to finish the minor round in 5th spot defeated Sturt by 14 points in the elimination final to progress to play the Adelaide Crows reserves next week in the 1st semi final. The Redlegs really should have prevailed by a higher winning margin, 30 scoring shots to 21 was a reasonably accurate indication of the game. The first quarter was an arm wrestle, both teams feeling each other out where it was nearly 10 minutes before the first score.

Mark Evans kicked the first goal of the game (only time the Double Blues were in front for the game) and at quarter time Norwood were up by 4 points.


Norwood blew the game apart at the start of the second quarter, Sam Baulderstone got right on top in the ruck against Tom Read, Matty Nunn was important with clearances out of the middle, Dom Barry’s pace and ability to break the lines was crucial.

Brady Dawe, playing his best game of the year, took some very good marks while Anthony Wilson was just too quick and proved a handful for the Sturt defence. Norwood threatened to blow the game apart until Sam Colquhorn and James Battersby, in particular, got on top in the midfield and provided Jake Sutcliffe with opportunities, his marking providing a huge headache to the Norwood defence with Josh Hone buzzing around and dangerous, crumbing around the big sticks at half time the Double Blues had cut the margin back to 16 points and had momentum.



Brady Dawe with Steve Fendt. Photo: Malcolm Ashwood


In the third quarter the game went goal for goal in what was a high standard game. Brady Dawe continued on while for Sturt James Battersby with his core strength in packs and Aidan Riley desperate and committed to the contest, as always. Dom Barry goaled after some exquisite team footy for Norwood and then Lewis Johnston with a trademark long bomb broke the game open, the ‘legs kicked clear to lead by 30 points at lemon time.


Sturt, to their immense credit came at Norwood in the last quarter, where the highlight for mine was Dylan Stephens, who at that stage had been serviceable really put his footprint on the game. You could feel the AFL recruiters nodding their heads and Dylan moving up the draft order. The umpiring till the last quarter had been reasonable but then there was two baffling decisions, an incorrect free kick paid against Sam Baulderstone in the ruck for crossing the line (I am completely stuffed how so many of the umpires at AFL and SANFL level do not understand the ruck rules and my guess is it is a massive problem in the game), Baulderstone was then a beneficiary of a free kick for interference in a marking contest deep in Sturt’s forward line; it should have been play on for mine (the Sturt supporters carrying on around me about the mark not being paid didn’t take kindly being reminded of Phil Gallagher’s mark in the 1978 Grand Final – if only fish were that easy to catch!).


Joe Tripodi, Sam Baulderstone & Sam’s Mum Jane. Photo: Malcolm Ashwood


While Sturt fought hard, Norwood had all the answers and ran out winners by 14 points.


Dom Barry, while clearly best on ground, had he finished better could have ended up with 6 goals and it been one of the great finals games, Lewis Johnston was influential on the game especially with his disposal, Cam Shenton ran hard out of defence and provided plenty of rebound, Cole Gerloff and Ed Smart stepped up (Ed another hand of god moment to intercept the footy similar to the 2014 Grand Final). A positive for Norwood was winning without Mitch Grigg or Matty Panos having huge games (although each Panos touch was all class). For Sturt Tom Harms as usual was important in defence with several others having cameo moments, in particular Byron Sumner and Danyle Pearce, but not enough over the whole game. Sturt also have been hit hard by retirements after the game in
Aidin ‘Pig dog’ Reilly, John Greenslade and the best defensive duo in the competition for the better part of the last decade in Fraser Evans and Jack Stephens.


Matty Panos after the game. Photo: Malcolm Ashwood


A huge example why we need a national reserves competition occurred RE: Sam Jacobs deciding not to play for Adelaide, now I understand why Sam opted not to play as he has to decide where his next footy chapter takes him but it is ridiculous that 8 clubs have their sole ambition to win the SANFL flag while the two AFL clubs quite rightly main aim is to get ready and attempt to advance at AFL level, why oh why that the AFL administration can’t govern for the overall good of the game continues to leave a bitter taste in many SANFL followers’ mouths.


Justin Staritski & Ed Smart. Photo: Malcolm Ashwood


So onward to next week where Norwood challenge the Crows reserves to advance to the preliminary final while Glenelg play Port’s reserves to decide who moves through to the big dance. Go the ‘legs!


Michael Aish, Brenton & Abby Klaebe, Rick Neagle.
Photo: Malcolm Ashwood



NORWOOD 16.14.110 

STURT 15.6.96


Norwood: D Barry, B Dawe, A Wilson 3, P Bampton 2, M Panos, M Grigg, D Stephens, D Hamilton, L Johnston
Sturt: J Sutcliffe 4, J Hone 3, J Greenslade, B Sumner, M Evans, J Patullo D Fahey-Sparks,J Battersby, T Read, M Crocker


Norwood: D Barry, S Baulderstone, L Johnston, C Shenton, C Gerloff, B Dawe, E Smart, B McKenzie, D Stephens
Sturt: S Colquhorn, J Sutcliffe, J Battersby, T Harms, A Riley, J Hone



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  1. Dean Bogisch says

    Very accurate summation of the game. I agree with your comments re the AFL seconds teams and the sooner they go the better for SANFL.

  2. Bill Drodge says

    Good article Malcolm. I thought a couple of times during the match that it also reflected both teams positions on the ladder. Generally they’re equally matched, but Norward’s best was always going to be the difference.

  3. Peter Myers says

    If for no other reason, a final at Norwood would mean you could buy decent beer at a reasonable price! In that scenario I guess we’d get next week’s game at home, since the SANFL crows don’t have one, but the following week we’d be at Alberton or Glenelg, so maybe not such a bad thing. Pretty good effort from the boys, let’s keep it going this Sunday.

  4. Nice work great report

  5. Jeff Milton says

    Well played Norwood. At times an up and down season but their best could be good enough. For all sorts of reasons (apart from the fact they have never beaten us in a GF – 1950,75 and 82) would love to see a Norwood Glenelg GF. Have to get past both of the AFL reserves first.

  6. Peter Myers says

    Also, I couldn’t see why Sutcliffe’s mark in the last quarter wasn’t paid – he can certainly take a good grab that lad. But the funny thing was, Des Foster and Phil Gallagher came up in conversation around where we were too!

  7. Martin Rumsby says

    It was good to have an Ashwood match report to read and reflect on – well done Malcolm. Your analysis of the game was spot on. I wondered why Sturt didn’t pay more attention to Dom Barry. He seemed to be unchecked for much of the match and his run and transition footy was a key difference between the teams. With regard to the issue of the venue for SANFL finals, there is something to be said about providing the best facilities for players and spectators. I agree with Peter Myers’ comment about beer prices, although food prices at Woodville Oval for the U18 final earlier in the day were equivalent to those at Adelaide Oval.

  8. Ray Higginbottom says

    As always a great article with succinct points in regards to the AFL getting their act together re national reserves.On to the game was only able to watch the 2nd half on tv,Dom Barry sensational,likewise Dylan Stephens what a smooth mover he is.Where was Cameron Taheny?

  9. Once again Rulebook an outstanding summation of the match. Actually it reminded me of the fable “the hare and the tortoise”. After an even start, the Legs raced away only to rest on their laurels. This allowed the Blues to find momentum and challenge. Realising their opponents ability, the Legs again pressed the accelerator to steam ahead.

    But Sturt were not done and, sensing Norwood were running low on petrol again floored the pedal. In a most exciting game, Norwood (the hare) finally over came Sturt (the tortoise).

    For all that, I believe the Legs were the better side on the day with Sturt remaining in the hunt because of their better goal kicking. Norwood had 8 more scoring shots but also many shots that went out on the full. I don’t like the last kick out of play rule either being classed as deliberate. How is missing a shot at goal deliberately kicking out of bounds?

    Malcolm, your view on the umpiring was spot on – as per usual. Should the Power or Crows seconds become premiers the League should hang their head in shame. If these 2 must be allowed to compete in the SANFL, they should begin the season similar to the way North did this year with, say minus 8 or 10 points. They then get their practice but are behind the 8 ball to qualify for the finals. Just a thought..

  10. Enjoyed the read. Keep the flow going Norwood. You can do this.

  11. PS Rulebook, I forgot to mention how much I enjoyed you photos of the players etc – fantastic. Not only do i look forward to your great articles but also really enjoy the comments from fellow Redleg supporters.

  12. Willow Wilson says

    Nice work Rulebook, lets hope we can get a Norwood v Glenelg grand final!

  13. Kasey van Puijenbroek says

    It would be novel and wonderful to see the de facto national governing body for Australian Rules Football( the AFL) actually governed for the good of the game at all levels rather than just for the good of one the sole full time professional league that it governs.

  14. Luke Reynolds says

    Nothing better than a Justin Staritski photo in a Rulebook article. But also especially enjoyed seeing the photo of you with the Redlegs on the hallowed Adelaide Oval turf.

    Great to read of Norwood’s win, hope they can go deep into the finals.

  15. Cameron Glenn says

    A really great game on Saturday with it being high scoring and exciting. Having been to all 10 Norwood home games, getting free tickets from the SANFL to each week of the finals is a huge bonus. Norwood played really well and can only hope go all the way. Brady Dawe should finish up his career with another premiership. Have a feeling winning the comp from the elimination final is more likely this year as both Crows and Port are out of the AFL finals thus having weaker SANFL teams and Glenelg do not have the finals experience and being minor premiers, the last 5 failed to go all the way. Still have to get through the next final against the Crows first. Go Legs!

  16. Great write up Malcolm. Was a great tuff game for both sides. Onwards to next week.

  17. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Dean thank you and v much so.Bill I wasn’t confident before the game happy to have been proven wrong.
    Peter I am firmly of the belief that the highest placed side hosts a home final and that we are forced to have been these bloody afl sides in our competition that they both should be on the same footing no home games.
    Brenton thank you.Milts well put.Martin I just feel that the teams have earnt the home advantage and revenue
    The atmosphere for our game was ok huge percentage left before the 2nd game totally agree re the lack of attention payed to Dom he was just about the deciding factor the way we are treated re prices of food and drinks is a disgrace my money stays in my wallet.Ray Cam wasn’t picked a injury picked up in the 18s carnival hasn’t helped his form has tapered off unfortunately.Fisho good analogy re the hare and tortoise.I detest the last touch rule changed a basic fabric of the game,ridiculous that both the crows and power aren’t treated equally no home games for starters.Jan and Fisho thank you I admit my I pad was nearly flat but just got there.Willow hope so and thank you.Kasey to say I agree with you is a massive understatement.Luke I even said cmon,Bart a photo for,Luke he was happy to oblige he says that,Luke Reynolds is a v good judge.i admit it was a huge buzz to be on the hallowed turf and in the roomsCameron it was a high standard game and hope so ! Malcolm thank you appreciated folks

  18. Malcolm, next season, assuming the Crows and Power seconds are still in the SANFL, when these 2 clash why don’t they play as a curtain raiser before each SHOWDOWN at Adelaide Oval. Like you, I still can’t believe that the League is still pampering Port Adelaide by allowing them to play on a home ground whereas all Crows games are played away. NO MORE GAMES AT ALBERTON please.

    What do you think of my idea of both their seconds sides starting the season on negative points?

    I’ve got my fingers and toes crossed for another Norwood Flag. If it’s not to be then the Bays are my next choice (obviously). UP THE REDLEGS as my dad always said.

  19. Good write up Rulebook. Reckon that game was a reasonable representation of where both clubs are at. Dom Barry was the difference and it was only him putting three balls out on the full midway through the last quarter that stopped the Redlegs breaking Sturt’s back. I also support a national reserves comp but it will never happen. Participating in it would send Port broker than they already are. That was a great leap by Sutcliffe in the last quarter but never a mark, nowhere near ever controlling the ball. I can understand Baulderstone’s frustration with the umpiring, although think his expression of it works against him. He repeatedly gets held and blocked with no call and then they pick out a random free kick to him in the marking contest. Happily take it of course but would rather he gets a fair go in the ruck.

  20. Can it be successive years of sides coming from the elimination final?

  21. Michael Rehn says

    An accurate summary of a pleasing performance in a game where the prize is another do or die encounter this week with the Camry Crows seconds !!!

  22. Excellent review Rulebook. Thought our midfield found another gear post halftime. Matthew Panos second half was elite. Brady Dawe showed he still has got “it”. Our young guns are not frightened to take the game on and if they stuff up they get it back and finish off. Cam Ball, Josh Richards and Dylan Stephens continue to thrive at this level.

  23. Glyn Hopkins says

    Good hard fought game to watch,shame we didn’t kick for goal straighter would have led to a few less anxious moments.

  24. Solid piece “Rulebook.” Norwood just about own that Elimination Final, now they face teams coming off a FINALS loss and as they gain momentum are always dangerous this time of year.

  25. Hope we can avoid the apocalypse by getting a Glenelg and Norwood grand final, Rulebook. Good job on this report.

  26. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Fisho yes definitely curtain raisers and know it must be a national reserves competition.Dave the cost of the afl to support a nat res comp is nothing compared to what they pump in to GWS and GC would love to know what happened when it was a fait compli several years ago.Dave as I have said countless times the lack of understanding re ruck rules infuriates me at every elite level there must be a umpires ruck coach.Raj while I doubt it geez we both would love it to happen.Michael thank you and geez I hate,Adelaide being in the Sanfl as much as you hate,Sturt.Baldy thank you and every touch re nos was elite bizarre how he is not at least a 100 game afl player,our youth continue to develop ( personally wish we had played some others as well during the year) Brady Dawe as we know is a great bloke we all wish him well in his last finals series.Cam Ball assured loved his,2nd efforts,Dylan massive character to blast a last quarter apart as a kid and Josh Richards at this time last year was playing for Payneham Norwood Union rapt for him.Glyn likewise.Lachy happy birthday and bloody hope so,Mickey long way to go yet thanks folks ( some impressive highlights )

  27. Good summary Rulebook. Interesting comment about Jacobs not playing. Go legs!

  28. Rulebook, you must be pleased as punch that NORWOOD’S JED SPENCE has been declared winner of the seconds MAGAREY MEDAL

  29. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Raf thank you.Fisho rapt for,Jed a Payneham Norwood Union junior and to his immense credit didn’t get picked on a couple of occasions earlier in the year back to PNU and worked bloody hard

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