Courtesy of John Devaney at www.fullpointsfooty.net
A. Bushby, W. Bushby, Correll, Davis, Ewers, C. Fry, J. Fry, Gardiner, Hamilton, Hills, Kempster, Le Leu, Lowe, J. McKenzie, K. McKenzie, Miers, Phillips, Stephens, Tomlin, Webb
The much talked-of match between the Norwoods and Ports for the premiership came off on the Adelaide Oval on Saturday afternoon. For weeks past both teams have been training assiduously, and they entered the field in the pink of condition. Both clubs were content to take level money, although some of the supporters - principally of the Ports - laid odds on, but when the game started the Norwoods were slightly the favourites.
The very strongest teams that could possibly be got together were selected, and the eastern club had the best combination they have had this season. Special trains from the Port brought up large numbers of spectators, and when the ball was set going there were quite 10,000 people on the ground.
The official figures show that 7,227 paid, and the balance was made up of tickets. Both pavilions were crowded to their fullest extent. The members' reserve was also filled, and the mounds in front of the buildings were packed with people.
The Norwoods entered the field first, being received with applause, and then a loud cheer greeted Mr. J.J. Trait, the crack Australian umpire. The Ports were not long following, and from t he cries that assailed them it was evident that their supporters had rallied in force. When the two teams took their places t here was little to choose between them, and it is questionable whether ever befor e any two so evenly matched clubs had assembled on the Adelaide Oval. The conditions for a good game could scarcely have been improved upon.
The ground was in splendid trim, but a fairly strong wind blew across the ground towards the bridge. No delay wa s experienced in getting to work.
The Norwoods having secured the wind at six minutes past three, J. McKenzie sent the leather down towards the north goal, and from the very first both teams went into the game at a terrific pace.
QUARTER TIME: Norwood 3.1; Port Adelaide 3.1 (behinds recorded, but not count ing towards a team's score)
All the first quarter the play had been terribly fast, every man doing good service. There was not the slightest difference bet ween the teams, both of them giving a magnificent exhibition, the marking and kicking being perfect. The Ports with the aid of the wind were the first to attack (during the second quarter), but Jackson warded off. Shaw and Roberts troubled the Ports' back line, and C. Woods receiving a free on the boundary from a very difficult angle made the Norwoods' goal total four. On kicking off, some very bad attempts at marking by the Norwoods let in Gardiner, and he sent forward.
Roberts, who was marking excellently, dispatched back to the centre, but K. McKenzie with a long kick sent it forward again, and the ball went over to the gate, remaining on that wing for some time. Ewers was prominent, and Kempster met all attacks.
Combe and Daly kept the goal out of danger on their end, and then the Ports tried the other wing, and worked the ball across to the pavilion, where Stevens who was working very hard in the ruck showed up, and after the sphere had traversed the ground, Hills tried a shot, and the ball passed just outside the post. When the welcome spell came to the men, the figures on the board read - HALF TIME: Norwood 4.1; Port Adelaide 3.3
During the first half the wind had gradually shifted around, and was blowing across the gate. After the interval the Ports were the first to open aggressive tactics. The Ports put all their power into the play, and Gardiner finished up a nice run with a good kick.
Hills placed in front of Le Leu, and a loud cheer announced that the totals were again equal. For a little the Ports prevailed, but the score was too dangerous for the Norwoods, and by a series of long marks they called upon the Ports to defend. When the final change took place the score was - THREE QUARTER TIME: Norwoods 5.3; Port Adelaide 4.7
Aroused to still greater exertions by the loud cries of their supporters the teams went into work at a great pace. The Norwoods had evidently reserved themselves for a big attempt. Being bounced, a series of marks by Rawson, Daly and McGrath gave Shaw an opportunity, and the game looked all over as the ball went right up to the goal, but it fell short, and J. Fry secured.
Taking it around the gate wing the Ports called upon the Norwoods to defend. Ha milton dispatched to Hills, who failed, and J. McKenzie had similar luck. The Norwoods played wonderfully well together, their long marking being exceedingly good. They transferred the play to the Ports' end, where Webb defended.
Sending it along the pavilion wing, Hills gave Phillips another chance, and he made amends for previous misses by equalising the score. With time rapidly drawing on the team s were urged on by their supporters and the Norwoods made a gallant effort, while the Ports defended in equal style. The red team, however, seemed to have a little bit in hand, and by some good marking Waldron forwarded to McGaffin, and his kick put the Norwoods a goal ahead.
Hamilton just previously was partly disabled by being seized by cramp. Resuming, the Norwoods again attacked and their combined play was too good for their opponents. In a scrimmage some distance from the goal C. Woods put his foot to the sphere and sent it between the uprights. The umpire thinking a Port man had kicked it did not give a decision, and nothing was registered.
By Mr. Trait's order the ball was kicked off from behind, and then some hot play ensued in the Port's quarters. K. McKenzie got away from two Norwoods, but Roachock outwitted him. Rawson, Roberts and Guster kept the ball forward and Daly missed a running shot. Then O. Bertram also tried a running shot, and a loud cheer greeted another goal.
With everything to gain the Ports started off again, but before anything serious had eventuated, the bell peeled out, and the great contest was over, leaving the Norwood team premiers of 1889. FINAL SCORE: Norwood 7. 4; Port Adelaide 5.9
There is little doubt that taking the play right through the better team won. Although the Ports had the larger number of behinds, goal kicking is a most important factor in the game, and the magenta team failed in this respect, while many of their shots were from impossible distances.
With the single exception of when Carlton beat Norwood in 1887, the game was the finest contest ever seen here. In the first quarter the play was truly magnificent; not a mark was missed or a chance between the teams, but the Norwoods lasted a trifle better, and their last charge proved irresistible.
For the first time this season the Norwoods beat their opponents in the ruck. It is impossible to say who played best, as fully fifteen men on each side were really brilliant, whilst all the others did good service. After the match was over many of the Norwoods' supporters went to the dressing room, and Waldron, the capt ain, was greeted with ringing cheers. Mr. Trait was similarly complimented, and he was personally thanked by the club. Bushby, the Ports' captain, on behalf of his team thanked Mr. Trait for the admirable way he had conducted his duties.
The Norwoods then gave three cheers for the Ports and their captain.
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