League Match Report - Round 19 - South Adelaide vs Norwood
League Match Report
South Adelaide vs Norwood
Round 19 - Hickinbotham Oval - 25/08/18
Goals: Haren 4, Szust, Rankine, Fitt 2, Heaslip, Davis, Overall, Brooksby, Fields, Kreuger
Best: Davis, Haines, Brooksby, Cailotto, Haren, Fields
Injuries: Brown (concussion)
South Adelaide snapped Norwood's 13-game winning streak with a gutsy win over the Redlegs at Hickinbotham Oval on Sunday afternoon.
The win did come at a cost as running defender Tyson Brown was taken to hospital after a sickening head clash in the third quarter.
There were scary scenes in Noarlunga as Brown was left laying motionless in the scoreboard pocket after putting his head over the football and copping a high shoulder as Norwood's Will Abbott also put his body on the line.
Play was delayed for nearly 30 minutes as an ambulance was called to the scene, as the third term clocked up an astounding 57 minutes and 59 seconds.
Thankfully, Brown was cleared of any structural damage and released from hospital later Sunday evening.
Brown's teammates put in an impressively determined effort once play restarted.
Norwood twice closed within a single kick, but South responded in inspired fashion as a three goal term to Ben Haren broke the game open and established a 26-point margin at the final break in play.
The Redlegs would get within three goals in the final term, but steely set shots to Tom Fields and Nathan Kreuger would put the icing on a confidence boosting win.
Abe Davis was the Panthers prime mover, gathering a game-high 34 touches and driving the ball into attack nine times.
Dashing defender Joseph Haines (28 touches and six rebound 50s) and Keegan Brooksby (28 hit-outs and a goal) were also influential in defence and the ruck respectively.
The contest was somewhat of a dead rubber in terms of ladder position, with Norwood having already secured the minor premiership and South unable to jump higher than fourth and a place in the Elimination Final next weekend.
However, it is a win that should fill the Panthers with confidence heading into September as Jarrad Wright's men now head into finals with at least one win over each other finals combatant.
As the weather blessed those in attendance with an unfamiliar pleasant day, both sides revelled in the sunny conditions and engaged in somewhat of a shootout in the first term.
Ben Heaslip opened the scoring as he capitalised on a Norwood error at halfback, before big Luke Surman clunked two strong marks and finished for the Redlegs at the other end.
Liam Fitt and Cody Szust dribbled in fantastic goals from opposite pockets at the Northern End and a booming snapped goal from Davis gave his side a one point advantage at the first change.
While both sides were scoring freely, Alex Cailotto stood tall in defence for South, claiming 10 marks in defence and cutting off many Redleg attacks.
The Panthers worked increased their advantage in the second, with Sam Overall playing on from a free kick to get on the board in his return to League level.
Meanwhile, Szust notched his second, Matt Rankine showed some toe to get on the board and Haren kicked his first after a deft pass from Nick Liddle.
Brown's injury occurred only two minutes after the restart and it took some time for the Panthers to settle once play began again.
Goals to the dangerous Simon Phillips and Mitch Grigg brought the margin back to just two points.
However, South soon got their groove back and Haren stood tall with three goals for the term, including two in two minutes to close the quarter and push the lead to a game-high 32.
The Panthers again held their composure in the final term to keep the often free scoring Redlegs at bay and secure an impressive victory.
South now turn their attention to the Elimination Final against North Adelaide this Sunday, September 2. First bounce is at 12:15pm.
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