Under 14s win first semi-final

Joshua Berry

THE New Norfolk Under 14s are just one win away from playing in the grand final after defeating North Hobart in the first semi-final on Sunday. With the game moved from KGV to the twin ovals at Kingston, the young Eagles were sluggish in the first quarter but managed to kick two goals. The Demons keep with them and at the first change the Eagles lead by a mere two points.

In the second term New Norfolk was beaten all over the ground by a more determined North Hobart. The Eagles were flat and looked like a side that had barely won a game all season. The Eagles couldn’t add to the scoreboard as the Demons managed one goal and lead by five points at the main break.

The New Norfolk coaching staff gave the players a real rev up during the break, with coach Josh Clifford speaking about the lack of commitment and teamwork. The team rose to the challenge, kicking three goals and three behinds to North Hobart’s solitary point. The Eagles were again up and about and by three-quarter time led by a handy 15 points.

The final term saw both teams give it their all, but New Norfolk refused to give in and ran away victors by 14 points. The hard running Josh Berry played a terrific game, taking many telling marks in the backline when it mattered most and was damaging when up forward. Nathan Wakefield played his best game for the season. His last quarter was just something. His courage, skill and determination was noted by all.

Josh Whitford-Marriott continued with his great form. Captains Jordan Eiszele and Brayden Chaplin both led from the front. These two continue to play well, week in week out. Quiet achiever Daniel Cooley showed great poise over the four quarters, his role up forward proving to be very handy. Mention must also go to the ever-reliable Josh Challenger. His cool head under pressure was a real factor in the team’s victory. Aaron Thorpe and Brodie Gleeson made a welcome return from injury and will be better for the run.

New Norfolk will now play Sorell in the preliminary final. This should be a big tussle, with New Norfolk wanting to make amends for their five point lost to Sorell a few weeks back. The winner will go on to play Brighton in the big one the following week. Congratulations to Hayden Bielleman, Hayden Smith and Josh Berry on their invitation to the STJFL best and fairest this Friday night. Best of luck boys.

WADE GLEESON

New Norfolk 6.8 (44) d North Hobart 4.6 (30)
Goals – New Norfolk: Hayden Bielleman 2, Joshua Berry, Brayden Chaplin, Hayden Lester, Nicholas Wakefield; Best – New Norfolk: Josh Berry, Nathan Wakefield, Joshua Whitford-Marriott, Jordan Eiszele, Brayden Chaplin, Daniel Cooley.

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