I went to two? football matches in Adelaide on the weekend. One was great football and the other was Port Adelaide v  Crows.

Give me a SANFL game any time. Last Friday night at Norwood we witnessed not only a great game of football but football in all its glory.

A crowd of over 8,000 rabid Redlegs (Norwood) and Tiger (Glenelg) fans witnessed what I would term a classic game of SANFL football.  Glenelg took control mid-way through the second term and were never headed after that.  Norwood battled hard but could not bridge the gap after the long interval.

What was great? Well it was what I grew up with when I was playing football – a patriotic crowd divided fantastically in the Sir Edwin Smith stand (glad he still has one stand) that is of course it is the same man who was “bowled out” at the Adelaide oval.

The Umpires were in white for heaven’s sake! Obviously the SANFL hierarchy believe in tradition.  You found your seat in the stand – well it’s not actually a seat they still have the long benches with sloping backs that were only found in the old members stand at the “G”.

For the record Glenelg 10 – 16 – 76   defeated Norwood 8 – 7 – 55

Former Footscray and Richmond player Jordan McMahon was best on the ground with a display that clearly showed he had played more than 100 games of AFL.

Some of his 57.5 yard passes were inch perfect and his bullet like hand passes were so much quicker than team mates and opposition players. Whatever he is earning in pounds he certainly was well worth it on Friday night.  Former AFL players Luke Jericho (5 goals) and Bryce Campbell were best for the Redlegs.

The crowd of 8,000 was staggering for a club match and we all queued up for tickets after we had spent a long time prowling the streets looking for a spot to park the car.

What we loved most about the game was at the minor breaks. We were all allowed to go on to the ground. I have never worked this out but we all love it.  You can never hear the coach’s speeches. Nowadays they create a wall between you and the teams but you do get to speak with all your mates who you stand with during the match anyway! Figure that out.

I attended the game with 32, 13, and 4 and we were probably last off the ground at quarter time. Must have annoyed the local Redleggers because I heard one middle aged gentleman (I use the word gentleman wisely in this case) said “get off the ground you f……. Crows lot you ain’t even Norwood.  A lovely welcome indeed. He fortunately was a lone voice as we had the Norwood (or should that read GWS) young gun  with us and that probably saved our bacon.

I think the trio must have had “all their kicks” on Friday night as their respective efforts on Saturday didn’t amount to much.  I suggest that they forget about going to the real footy the night before a “big” game.

In passing Port won the other “event”.

Might even go back to watch another real footy match  in the next few weeks.

About Bob Utber

At 80 years of age Citrus Bob is doing what he wanted to do as a 14 year-old living on the farm at Lang Lang. Talking, writing, watching sport. Now into his third book on sports history he lives in Mildura with his very considerate wife (Jenny ) and a groodle named "Chloe On Flinders". How good is that.


  1. Bob,
    I love going to SANFL games. Terrific footy. Plenty of contests, the umpires let it go a bit more, and usually a hanger or two also. Great mix of hopefuls, stalwarts and listed players. I’m disappointed at their night footy obsession which is just a quick profit but a blow to the tradition…their market likes to know the footy is on (mostly) Saturday arvo. Good to see Norwood getting rolled…they are the one side i can’t stomach. Surprised there’s no game on Easter Sunday??? Go Bays!

  2. Nik Stace says

    Friday night games at Norwood Oval under lights are what footy should be all about. Real, old fashioned, man on man football – a passionite knowledgable crowd evenly split between supporters of the two teams. The roar from Coopers Hill can be spine tingling. The banter from the crowd can be hillarious! Flew home from Perth to Adelaide a couple of years ago to see the Friday night season opener between Norwood and Port – comment of the night from a Port supporter directed at Norwood Captain (and former Crow) James Gallagher was along the lines of “If you play any wider of the ball Gallagher you can open a hot dog stand on the hill!” Classic!

    Gee I miss it – there’s nothing like it in the AFL!

  3. Nik,
    Thanks for the reminder of the good old days. Do they still have red behind posts, if not why not? Do the goal umpires still wave the flags differently? I have been back to see a few odd games over the past decade but always forget to check the important things. Do they put the race fields in the “Budget” and the results on the scoreboard?
    I do remember going out at quarter time (circa 1969) and (make-shift) Glenelg centre half-forward Darrel Moss was choking back on a fag! Don’t think he was the only one either- no energy drinks back then! Might explain why he got dropped when the Bays had to fit Royce Hart into their GF team back then.

  4. But he memorably thrashed Robran one day!

  5. Who? Royce or the big number 30?

  6. P.C. Dazzling Darrel

  7. Nik Stace says

    Last time I was there they still had the red behind posts. Being a goal umpire myself I didn’t notice any difference in the flag waving these days – its pretty standard across the board now.

    Not sure about race fields in the budget – but the scoreboard at Norwood oval still had the area to put up the afternoon’s race results! Having grown up with “The Bugdet” I’m still trying to get used to “The Football Record”!

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