SANFL Round 11 – Norwood v Glenelg and around the grounds

I was transcribing a Graham Cornes interview during the week for Matt Zurbo. While I’ll leave the contents for Matt’s book, it really brought home the years of misery that have accompanied life at the Glenelg Football Club. I moved to Adelaide in 1986, living less than three kilometres from Glenelg Oval. It was smack bang in the middle of Glenelg’s back-to-back premierships and they were a powerhouse.

Little did I know at the time that their only premiership before that had come in 1934. The club lost its first 56 (that’s right) games in the league – people talk about GWS getting off to a slow start. And even in its period of comparative success since the late 1960s, Glenelg has won 3 of around 15 grand finals. There’s a lot of pain at that club and that probably hurt a little more today.

So what exactly does either team take out of a 118 point hiding, Norwood’s 17th highest winning margin in its 136 year history? My initial thoughts are not much (in both senses of the sentence). That game was so easy for the Redlegs that it frequently seemed like a training run – they dominated the midfield, caused turnovers frequently and hit chests in the forward line far too easily. Norwood’s keys, Newton and Davis kicked 10 between them and Bartlett happily sat at their feet to get five of his own. With a team on the improve you hope that the young players don’t take that as the intensity required to win games of senior football. What Norwood took out of it was the points and a huge wad of percentage that, thanks to a number of favourable results, sees the Redlegs in fourth spot at the end of the round – within reach of third.

What do Glenelg take out of it? Another aggregated 21 games in their squad – I’m not sure it goes beyond that.While Norwood’s team is relatively inexperienced, this Glenelg squad today had an average of 18.5 SANFL senior games per player, compared to Norwood’s 54.4. Their oldest player is 27 in Sam Lonergan while their most experienced SANFL player, in co-captain Andrew Bradley, has 68 games under his belt. Norwood had eight players with more senior experience than Bradley on the day.

I, however, took a great deal out of the day. Halfway through the season, Norwood’s first game on a Saturday afternoon at 2.10pm gave me the opportunity to live how I imagine football winters to be. Starting off the day with Auskick and then getting to take both kids down to the Parade to watch the Redlegs win, I suspect, will occur a lot more often in my imagination than reality – but it happened today. Furthermore, my six-year-old son had a series of footballing epiphanies today, himself. After going in with the medium-sized kids at Auskick at the Modbury Hawks and barely touching the thing (usually a recipe for disaster) he did not drop his bundle. He even encouraged his temporary team mates when they did something good.

Then on the way to the Parade, in the back with his sister, he picks up the discarded Footy Budget from Round 1 and examines the numbers on offer in the team lists. It ends up being a quiz, where he describes a player’s characteristics (age, height, weight, games, goals) and I have to guess who it is. We have a numbers man – brilliant! I’m hoping I’ll be able to show him the beauty of football numbers beyond their utility in fantasy football.

This continues throughout the game. ‘Dad, Number 18 for us is the tallest person on the ground, he’s 200cm’. Yep, Sam Baulderstone showed it too, with 21 touches, 38 hit outs and 5 clearances. When Anthony Wilson pins a brilliant tackle on Warrick McGinty for a free kick, I point out to the lad that the smallest bloke on the field just took down the biggest. He corrects me because although Wilson (61kg) is the smallest, McGinty is actually 5kg lighter than Baulderstone.

Midway through the last quarter he says ‘dad, this must be the Redlegs’ highest score ever’ which gives me the opportunity to regale him with that day in 1987 when I saw Norwood kick 32 goals against Sturt – I sat right near Super Sid and thought he was the funniest person I had ever met. For the record, Norwood’s highest score is 33.21 against the Roosters in 1977.

Even better, the lad has started to mark the ball. At the end of each quarter he runs out on the ground and starts to track the ball through the air and takes quite a few chest marks. This is amazing from the boy who, a week ago, was too afraid of the ball to want to catch the thing. So while I don’t think the teams took much from the Parade, I certainly did and I think my lad did too. In her second game, my almost three-year-old daughter also discovered that the bouncy castle is located somewhere other than on the ground on game day.

Norwood 25.16 – 166 d. Glenelg 7.6 – 48

Around the grounds

Noarlunga Oval – Central Districts 13.6 – 84 d. South Adelaide 11.8 – 74
The Bulldogs ran over the top of the Panthers in one of the longest road trips in suburban footy with a five goals to one last quarter. South could not convert midfield dominance into a match winning lead with Gilbee and Retzlaff finishing the job for the visitors in the last. Five goals for Eddy for South, while Hill took four for the Dogs. After such a promising start, South drops to fifth on the ladder while Centrals is two games from the bottom and fifth spot at the same time.

Woodville Oval – Sturt 15.12 – 102 d. Woodville West Torrens 9.8 – 62
Sturt kicked 15 goals to four after quarter time to comfortably beat the Eagles away from home. With 192cm Tom Whittlesea as the Eagles’ backup ruckman, Sturt’s Kurtze, Kirkwood, Tambling and Greenslade were able to exploit the Eagles’ lack of height in the middle. Four goals to Hansen for Sturt and three to Wundke for the Eagles, while Kirkwood had 28 touches and 14 clearances. Sturt move a game clear in second while the Eagles’ third place is now under threat by Norwood.

Prospect Oval – Adelaide Crows 15.4 – 94 d. North Adelaide 13.12 – 90
The Roosters must hate that this game was played on Sunday. With the average performance from the Crows on Saturday night a few of their reserves players, no doubt, saw the opportunity for a showdown gig. A tight game all day, the biggest margin was 18 points, and there were four lead changes in the last quarter. Angus Graham kicked the match winner extremely late into the last. In the end North should have won that game, but didn’t. Matt Crouch responded to Sando with 35 possessions and 9 clearances. Crows in seventh with the best percentage of West and Centrals while North drops to sixth – one game and percentage ahead.

Richmond Oval – West Adelaide 15.8 – 98 d. Port Adelaide 12.9 – 81
The Bloods pull off the upset of the round as, perhaps, the Power’s lengthening injury list takes its toll. Port went in without a ruckman, 190cm Mitch Harvey doing much of the work, and paid for it as West Adelaide dominated the clearances. Particularly when, as my son pointed out, West have the tallest player listed in the Budget (Peter Nelson at 202cm). With scores level at three-quarter time, West kicked five to two in the last. Four goals for Fielke (three in the last), while Shaw kicked three for the Magpies. The Magpies now only one game clear on top while the scent of fifth stays in the nostrils of the Bloods.

About Dave Brown

Upholding the honour of the colony. "Play up Norwoods!"


  1. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Good summary DB yes Glenelg are a good side just having a bad , Millennium geez they would lose a internal at the moment but a great week end of results for the legs .Well done to , Ad Uni FC man in Will Paynter ( son of Jack ) who kicked a vital goal in the last q

  2. rabid dog says

    Dogs won!
    Regarding the Glenelg premiership situation, heard a tremendous sledge at the Dogs v Bays game at Glenelg a couple of weeks ago. Right in front of the member’s stand, Dogs captain Paul Thomas was pushed off the ball by a Glenelg opponent. A Dogs supporter yelled:
    ” Show him some respect – he’s got more premierships than your Club!”
    Brought the house down!
    Rabs out.

  3. Dave Brown says

    Thanks gents, yep Paynter did well when it mattered for the Crows, Malcolm.

    Quality sledge, Rabs! Dogs are on the up. Hopefully a cracking game on Friday night. Apparently the SANFL has decided to trust Legs and Dogs fans at the Parade on a Friday night again. Will keep an eye on the hill nonetheless.

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