By Peter Argent
In a drama-packed heart-stopping finish, Sir Thomas Seymour Hill Trophy came from 17 points down in the middle of the final quarter of the 2022 SANFL Grand Final, to snatch the Sir Thomas Seymour Hill Trophy out of the grasp of Jacob Surjan’s North Adelaide side’s hands.
Redlegs veteran Matt Panos, returning mid-season from a two-year injury layoff, became the hero, kicking the match winner with a minute to go, giving the Norwood player and supporter a premiership by the smallest margin, 8.11 (59) to 8.10 (58).
Played in inclement conditions in the first half, North Adelaide started well and led by over three goals late in the opening term, before Norwood willed themselves back into the game during the second quarter.
In this enthralling title-decider, the Redlegs refused to lie down, though conceding the lead again in the third and gifting a goal to rookie Harry Elbrow.
Norwood fell behind by 17 points when North’s 2022 Magarey Medallist Aaron Young snapped a goal at the River Torrens end of Adelaide Oval, nearly 12 minutes into the last quarter.
Against the odds, the Redlegs then kicked the next three goals in succession to win this flag by one point and secure a 31st premiership title.
When the siren sounded the difference between the euphoria of victory and the devastation of defeat was palpable.
An area where Norwood had a clear advantage was in the ruck, with Redlegs big man Boyd tremendous at the stoppages, winning a massive 64 hit outs to go with his 20 disposals, seven marks, four inside 50s and four rebound 50s.
His effort was rewarded with a Jack Oatey medal as best on ground, adding his name to that very special list.
This was only the third time the SANFL Grand Final was decided by a point, with the other decider this century being a game of attrition between Sturt and Port Adelaide in 2017, when the Double Blues won 7.8 (50) d. 7.7 (49), with upwards of 280 tackles laid.
Back in the 1978 season, Norwood also defeated the favourites that season, Jack Oatey’s inaccurate Sturt side by a single point.
That game famous because of a Phil Gallagher goal, after a dubious mark awarded by umpire Des Foster. Some 35 years later, it was confirmed that Foster paid a mark.