Seven days after reaching the SANFL grand final with the help of a 19th man, North Adelaide have defeated Norwood – by 19 points – to win their first premiership since 1991.
The Roosters qualified for the decider with a stirring come-from-behind win over the Woodville-West Torrens Eagles last Sunday.
It was later confirmed that they had a 19th man on the field for nearly four minutes at the start of the fourth quarter, sparking a five-hour tribunal hearing to debate which team should progress to the grand final.
The retired Supreme Court judge Michael David QC eventually declared a reversal of the result “too savage a penalty” and sent North Adelaide through.
However, North were fined $10,000, the maximum amount under league rules, and also docked the club four premiership points – the equivalent of two wins – to start next season.
That will all be forgotten now after North Adelaide won 19.10 (124) to 15.15 (105) in front of 40,355 at Adelaide Oval – the biggest crowd since 1998.
The Roosters kicked the first goal after just 40 seconds and finished the opening quarter ahead in part due to their own accuracy and Norwood’s profligacy in front of goal – a trend that continued throughout the game.
The Redlegs’ Mitch Grigg put in a remarkable shift to kick six goals and keep his side in it, but North Adelaide held on to take the flag.
The victory was revenge for the 2013 decider, when Norwood defeated the Roosters by 40 points, but the premiership did not go down well with football fans:
Well done SANFL. Premiership forever tainted because you didn’t have the balls to make the right decision. https://t.co/1VW1mTihIx
— Vince Rugari (@VinceRugari) September 23, 2018
— John Whistler (@johnawhistler) September 23, 2018
What a stain this is on the fine history of the #SANFL
— Nicholas ⚓️ (@ohgeethanksmate) September 23, 2018
— Giuseppe (@pangallo_) September 23, 2018
— Matthew Jenkinson (@Mattyjenkos) September 23, 2018
SANFL can’t help thinking that’s a tarnished premiership, should North really be there, coupled with the VAR debacle in the A league grand final not a great year for the right decisions in major Australian comps
— John (@jgkk05) September 23, 2018
The SANFL letting cheats prosper. What a tainted competition.
— ya boy rog (@rogerisokay) September 23, 2018
Melbourne’s misery continues in VFL grand final
Box Hill have made it a dirty weekend for Melbourne, with the Hawks coming from behind to win the VFL grand final against Casey by 10 points at Etihad Stadium.
A day after the Demons were humiliated by West Coast in their AFL preliminary final in Perth, their VFL affiliate led by 25 points in the first quarter on Sunday before falling to a 10.12 (72) to 8.14 (62) defeat in front of 12,884 fans.
After making his AFL debut and playing seven games this season, Hawks mature-age rookie David Mirra capped his year with the Norm Goss Medal for best player on the ground.
Just more than a week after Melbourne knocked Hawthorn out of the AFL finals, ruckman Marc Pittonet was also outstanding as the Hawks exacted some small measure of revenge.
In his last game for the Demons, Bernie Vince gathered 19 possessions playing mostly off a wing.
But the veteran hit the post in the dramatic final minutes when a goal would have cut the deficit to four points.
Box Hill trailed by nine points at three-quarter time but hit the front for the first time when rookie-listed forward Kieran Lovell kicked a goal on the run 13 minutes into the final term.
The win made it a double delight for Hawthorn, whose VFLW team defeated Geelong in the grand final curtain-raiser.