Last week in the SANFL...

The following information is provided by Phillip Monk [moustrap@camtech.net.au], and is updated here after the weekends games. All credit for this information goes to Phillip and is being used with permission.

SANFL Grand Final

Sunday 3 October - at Football Park

PORT  2.1  8.5  12.11  14.17 101
Norwood  4.2  9.6  10.8  14.9  93

(attendance - 39,135)

Congrats to Port, winners of the 1999 SANFL Premiership, their 36th overall and 9th in the last twelve seasons. Port's dominance of the competition since the advent of the AFL in South Australia continues, but this time they had to work like never before to secure their premiership. Norwood were gallant runners-up, and certainly played brilliantly in patches but a quiet third quarter and a couple of mistakes late in the game cost them victory.

Norwood kicked with a useful breeze in the first quarter but it was Port who kicked the first two goals of the game. Then Norwood settled down and dominated the remainder of the quarter. Steven Pitt and Robert Neill (not the Bob Neil) led a winning Norwood backline and the Redlegs' midfield of Ben Kemp, Roger James and James Thiessen were clearly too slick and skilful for their opponents. The 'Legs led by 13 points at quarter time which was a fair reward for their early superiority.

Norwood continued to defy expectations into the second quarter as they attacked confidently into the wind. Port's forward line still looked slow and error-prone and to make matters worse they lost their half back Stephen Carter with a fractured pelvis. Mark Clayton replaced him there and proceeded to make two horrible errors that were both punished by Norwood goals. Norwood twice led by 20 points close to half-time and non-Port supporters everywhere were rejoicing. However Clayton did redeem himself by twice floating forward for goals late in the quarter then Brett Chalmers, who has a habit of playing well in grand finals, kicked a booming goal to cut the lead to seven points at the long break.

The Magpies finally got into top gear in the third quarter. Darryl Poole had been struggling in ruck against Jon Yerbury but began to get a lot of touches at ground level and fed his wingers in Julian Wait and Simon Tregenza, who had 13 kicks between them for the quarter. Port persisted with a tactic of blasting the ball in long into the wind and saw numerous opportunities wasted, but weight of possession (104 to 62 for the quarter) eventually told as they took the lead then slowly eked the margin out to 15 points. The only Redleg highlight for the quarter was a Daicos like goal from Eugene Warrior. The ball looked as though it was about to roll over the boundary line in the Norwood forward pocket, and the Port defender closest to it seemed happy to let it go. Warrior casually trotted up to the ball and soccered it off the ground for a sausage roll. This act of brilliance couldn't inspire his teammates though, and Port spent the rest of the quarter camped in their forward lines before another late goal to Chalmers put the lead back to 15 points.

Five minutes into the last quarter and the Magpies appeared to have it sewn up when Tregenza played on after a free for out on the full and slotted from 55m. Port then led by 22 points. Despite the fact that many of them looked as though they were completely stuffed, Norwood rallied and, playing on at every opportunity, they kicked the next four goals - including two more to Warrior who was giving his opponent Tom Carr a torrid time in the back pocket. Suddenly there was less than 10 minutes to go and Norwood were in front by two points and had all the momentum. They surged forward again, the ball trapped in their forward pocket. Roger James gathered it, spun free from a tackle and speared a pass to the waiting (and unopposed) Andrew Pascoe in the goalsquare. If Pascoe had led onto the pass, with his 200cm frame he would have surely taken the mark, but he chose to let the ball come to him. Bad idea. Tom Carr ran back in time to spoil, and the ball was whisked down the other end. Port kept the ball trapped at their end while they kicked three more points to wrest back the lead by a point with about three minutes to go. From the kickout, the ball went to a contest in which Poole brought the ball to ground and dished out a quick handball to Phil McGuinness. Off one step, 55 metres out, McGuinness delivered a torpedo punt that screwed from right to left through for a six-pointer, and Port kept the ball away from Norwood's scoring zone 'til the end.

The much-maligned Poole was the Jack Oatey medallist for best on ground in his last game. Six kicks (including one goal), six marks, 24 (!) handballs and three hitouts sums up his game - try and bring the ball to ground, then dish it out. In the AFL, up against better athletes, that tactic didn't work, which is why he didn't make it there. David Brown has 25 disposals and kicked two goals in a solid captain's effort. Brian Leys and Paul Northeast had modest stats but were good in defence, especially in the second half. Chalmers (19 touches, 7 marks and 3 goals) had a very good game at CHF. Tregenza (23 disposals and 2 goals) and Julian Wait (14 kicks, 8 handpasses) were good linkmen. Phil McGuinness was fairly quiet but kicked two goals, including the all important last one. Roger James (19 kicks, 10 handballs and two goals) was Norwood's best, the architect of most of their forward thrusts. Indeed he was the player of the finals IMO. Perhaps he'll get more game time at Port Adelaide Power next year. Steven Pitt kept Paul Evans goalless as well as gathering 18 touches. Jon Yerbury had 22 hitouts though only 4 kicks and 2 handpasses, almost a complete contrast to his opponent, Poole. Eugene Warrior kicked 4.2 from 8 kicks, and almost made Port regret letting him go. Ben Kemp (32 touches and a goal) was also good in the middle. Pascoe and Scott Bassett both kicked two goals.

That's the last report for the year and from me, I've enjoyed doing this page but the demands on my time grow more not less. Thanks to everyone who's read the page, and to Darryl Harvey for letting me do it. So good luck to you all, and maybe I'll see you at an SANFL game sometime soon (I'll be the one with a little boy in a Glenelg jumper sitting on my shoulders). Cheers.

The official SANFL web site is located at: http://www.sanfl.com.au/

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Author: Phillip Monk Email: [moustrap@camtech.net.au]
Curator: Darryl Harvey email: {darryl@nospam.harvey.net.au}
Last Updated: 6 October 1999
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