Norwood returned to the winners list in some style on the weekend, notching wins in all 3 senior grades to secure a much needed and very well received ‘Wooders Day’ against Rowville.  The Colts started things with a gripping win, a goal after the final siren securing a 4 point victory.  The Development side trailed at half-time but kept Rowville goalless in the 2nd half to record a meritorious 22 point win, and the seniors finished off the day in style, leading from post to post to win comfortably by 30 points.  The wins from the Colts and Development squad keep this sides in the top5, while the seniors win has them sitting 7th, poised to go on a long charge to secure a finals berth.

The senior game started very well for the home side, Gouldy hitting the post before Leroy went off the ground cleverly for our first. Rowville replied but Leroy juggled one in the square for our second soon after. After Rowville posted their 2nd the game evened up for a while until a long ball from Trent Shinners saw Skave heading back towards goal quickest.  He marked and played on to slot our 3rd from close range. Skave was up and about early, marking again on 50, but his shot was slightly off to the right.  Leroy sniffed out his own 3rd soon after, skirting around the back of the pack before tapping cleverly to himself and snapping from the goal square.  At 1/4T we held a handy 15pt lead 4.3 – 2.0.

The 2nd term started slowly, Leory with a couple of tough chances from tight on the boundary but unable to convert.  From the 2nd of these an errant defensive kick was picked off by Gouldy who centred for Shinners to mark and goal from 30m. From the next centre clearance Darin Stewart kicked high where Skave took an excellent contested mark and slotted home from 45m as we began to move away from Rowville.  The rest of the quarter saw few clear chances, Rowville managed 1 goal but we took a handy 23 point lead into HT 6.6 – 3.1

We put the game seemingly to bed in the first 12 minutes of the 3rd quarter, kicking 4 unanswered goal to extend the lead to 49 points. Josh Buceto was instrumental in the first, going back with the flight courageously to mark in defence, starting off a chain of play featuring good line-breaking dash from Sam Blease and a neat pass from Krousser which hit Shinners lace out.  His conversion from 35m was unerring.  Soon after it was Krousser with a strong mark running with the flight that set up Rej to Leroy to Jake Christie deep in the dead pocket.  His drop punt from 25m split the middle.  More good play from Krousser set up Leroy for his 2nd chance of the quarter, but he pulled them both left for just the minor scores. At the 12m mark we went long with another blistering passage of play where Rej marked between goal and point post.  Playing on to improve the angle he then laid the ball across his boot for a quality check-side goal, followed by the customary celebration from the man we call “The Celebrator”.  This was the “one fist-raised-above-the head variety”, as always well received by the Norwood faithful.  Sam Blease kicked the last of the four, a great tackle from Skave forcing the ball loose for Leroy.  His handball to the square enabled Sam to snap over his shoulder.  At this stage with a lead of 49 points the game looked done and dusted, Rowville having scored just 3.1 for the game to this stage.   The last 15 minutes of the quarter was very poor form our boys however as Rowville slammed on 4 goals.  Thankfully, immediately following the last of these, Trent Shinners was able to stem the tide with a very handy goal just before 3/4T marking 35m out and converting with no trouble.  At the last change we led 11.9 – 7.3 by 30 points.

The coach was understandably displeased with the last half of the quarter, and he would have been even less happy after some defensive bloopers gifted Rowville the first of the quarter at just the 2 minute mark.  With the margin now at just 24, the game was no longer safe.  5 minutes later Norwood minds were eased when Leroy snapped a beauty from 35m out after a dashing clearance from half-back by Fingers, good work up the field from Krousser, a neat tap-on by Stewart and a sharp handball from Rej.  At the 10m mark Jake Christie appeared to have iced the game with a clever piece of roving and  a long bouncing goal from outside 50, but the central umpire contentiously called touched to reduce the play to just a point.  It mattered little however as soon after Blair Hudson flashed in for a ‘goal of the day’ contender. Jordan Gysberts had fought hard to force a stoppage at CHF where Skave, substituting in the ruck tapped beautifully into Hudson’s path.  He set sail with pace and scored effortlessly from 50m to take the lead out to 36 points.  The game was iced now, but there was still time for Fingers to win a free at half-forward, play on immediately and kick to full-forward where Leroy took a trade-mark contested grab and slotted his 5th from 20m.  Soon after the siren rang with Norwood running out very convincing winners 14.10.94(Leroy 5 Shinners 3, Skave 2, Christie, Hudson Blease Jordon 1) def. Rowville 10.6.66

The win completed the much needed ‘Wooders Day’ and took the seniors record to 4-6.  Best on the day was undoubtedly Skave, back from his two week suspension and enjoying the added responsibility of a roaming, rucking, on-ball role in the absence of a recognised ruckman.  Rej played a great game switching between half-forward and on-ball, while Matty Aver and Newmo were the best defensively.  Krousser and Fingers and some classy moments on-ball and Leroy finished with 5 majors and it could have been 8 or 9.  The boys are still just in touch with the top 5 but will need to win 7 of their last 8 to have a chance at playing finals.  Next weeks its Doncaster, there’s no doubt we owe them one – we are in fact YET to beat them at this level.  Its overdue time to remedy that!!!

Go Wooders