MRS Property Match Report First Semi Final: vs Norwood
MRS Property Match Report
South Adelaide vs Norwood
First Semi Final - Adelaide Oval - 18/09/21
Goals: Nobes 4, Cross, Wilkinson 2, Cailotto, Overall, Roberts, Schwarz
Best: Skinner, Gibbs, Nobes, Horne-Francis, Wilkinson, O'Neill
Click here for the full gallery thanks to Nick Hook Photography.
Panthers are Preliminary Final Bound: South Adelaide claims a historic hard-fought 19-point Semi-Final win over Norwood at Adelaide Oval on Saturday afternoon.
The Panthers pounced on the Redlegs during the early stages of the match before desperately holding them off in the final term to record a historic win, 12.11 (83) to 10.4 (64).
It marks the first time that the Panthers have booked themselves into consecutive Preliminary Finals since the 1964-65 seasons.
Controlling the air for the Panthers was Sam Skinner, who finished with 13 marks – of which 10 were contested.
Also impressive was Bryce Gibbs, who collected a game-high of 31 touches to go along with his 10 clearances.
Having lost to Norwood both times during the minor season, the signs looked worrying as the Redlegs opened the scoring early into the match.
However, a strong contested grab by Alex Cailotto soon had the Panthers on the scoreboard.
Then, after a holding the ball call went unrewarded, Eamon Wilkinson managed to quickly snap the lead-taking goal for the blue and white.
Meanwhile, Skinner, along with Ben Haren and 100 gamer Joe Haines, continued to help hold the Panthers back 6 together at the other end – and they would continue to do so for the majority of the match.
One of Skinner's many intercept marks, which came 15 minutes into the opening term, saw the Panthers rebound off half-back and, after a blistering run by Jason Horne-Francis, it was plucked out of the air by a soaring Daniel Nobes – who went back to kick his first of four goals.
Holding a promising 3.3 (21) to 2.1 (13) lead at the first break – the Panthers were dealt a blow with Matthew Broadbent being ruled out for the remainder of the match.
After many attempts and rebounds from both sides, it was the Panthers who got things going during the second term after Wilkinson was able to out body his opponent in the square – which handed the Panthers a handy 15-point buffer.
Continuing their impressive rebounding, the boys in the blue and white went end to end then, after some desperate play by Horne-Francis, Nic Schwarz struck truly on the run to heavily swing the momentum into South's favour.
However, the Redlegs managed to regain their footing in the match with three goals during stoppage time – which cut the Panthers' lead at halftime, 6.6 (42) to 5.1 (31).
Just a minute into the third term, the other milestone man, Sam Overall, managed to chip his kick over the Norwood defenders' heads for a major score.
After peppering the goals for many minutes, Matt Roberts was able to collect the ground ball and quickly snap a much-needed goal to help give the Panthers' newfound momentum.
Another Skinner intercept saw the Panthers rebound off halfback and, after a massive penetrating kick by Liam Fitt, Nobes was able to pluck it out of the air for his second major.
Going from the local league to Adelaide Oval within 12 months Nobes then rose to cult figure status just 3 minutes later as he struck again.
Daniel Nobes celebrates with team mates Joel Cross, Liam Fitt and Eamon Wilkinson after kicking an important third term goal. Image: Nick Hook Photography. Click here for the full gallery.
Meanwhile, Mitch O'Neill and Bailey Griffiths helped the Panthers' stay strong around the stoppages.
Yet the Redlegs were eventually able to steady with their first of the quarter midway through the term but, after a Wilkinson intercept, Cross was able to strike very late to send South into the final break holding an 11.9 (75) to 7.2 (44) lead.
The Panther faithful had to hold their breath as the Legs kicked 2 quick goals just 3 minutes into the final term.
However, with the pressure on, Horne-Francis helped set up again with a quick one-two play before setting it up high to Nobes – who completely out bodied his opponent in the square for the game-sealing goal.
Norwood continued to push late but the Panthers were able to absorb the pressure – which ultimately broke the Redlegs, handing the Panthers an impressive 12.11 (83) to 10.4 (64) win.
Winning a match like this meant that an even contribution from the 22 players was needed – and the boys rallied around each other and got the job done.
This win means the Panthers' history-making run continues.
Their Round 19 win that saw them book themselves into back-to-back finals for the first time in 31 years.
Then just a week later, their Elimination-Final win was the first over North Adelaide in 118 years, and now, their Semi-Final win sees them enter a consecutive Preliminary Final for the first time in over 50 years.
The stage is now set for the Panthers, who will face Glenelg in the Preliminary Final at Adelaide Oval under lights on Friday, September 24, from 7:15pm.