THE mighty Eagles senior team took on a new-look Brighton Robins outfit last Saturday and ran out 23-point victors on a beautiful sunny afternoon at the Pontville Oval.
New Norfolk was first to hit the scoreboard as Nathan “Nugget” Eiszele wrapped up his Brighton opponent in a bear-like tackle, which resulted in a holding-the-ball decision. He
then passed to Tyron Rainbird who marked in front of goal and kicked truly. The Eagles were on the attack posting a few minor scores, until Ben Lovell marked in front of goal and posted the Eagles’ second major.
The Robins steadied and started to get their running game going and answered with a six pointer through new recruit Baxter Lewis. Brighton continued to gain more entries into the forward line with another of the Robins’ recruits, Alex Blair, marking in front of goal on two occasions late in the quarter. Fortunately, he could only register minor scores as the quarter time scoreboard showed the Eagles 2.4 (16) to the Robins 1.2 (8) points.
New Norfolk senior coach Josh Clifford was not happy with his charges and demanded his team “switch on” going into the second term. The Eagles responded and bounced back in the early stages of the second quarter with in-form back-man Josh Farrow gathering the ball across half back and to deliver a low raking 40-metre drop punt which landed on the chest of Nathan Eiszele, who kicked the Eagles’ third major.
The Robins went forward into attack but the footy was intercepted by a great individual effort again by Farrow as he spoiled two Brighton opponents to clear the ball. The Eagles gained some ascendency as key forward Marcus Parker snapped a clever goal around his body as the Eagles jumped out to a 20-point lead. The Robins replied through big Fergus Morrison, who slotted one through from 45m out.
Eagles ruckman Benny Lovell was giving away height to the Robins ruck duo of Adrian Peach and Connor Salter at the centre bounces but had the better of the match-up as he dominated around the ground with his versatility and strong marking.
The Eagles followed up with two more goals, one from Parker with a kick, off the ground in the goal-square and another from a poor kick in from the Robins full back, which was marked by Josh Clifford. This gave the Eagles a 30-point margin at half time: 7.10 (52) to 3.4 (22).
New Norfolk started the third term in good fashion but was wasteful in front of goal with Marcus Parker and Jake and Jye Bearman all missing the big sticks for minor scores. The Eagles looked dangerous but at this point there was a heavy clash across the Eagles half forward line which resulted in a head high tackle to Blair Wardlaw in a marking contest. This resulted in a 50m penalty and a goal, but Wardlaw was shaken and had to leave the ground which lead to a few fiery encounters as both sides became heated in the contest.
Brighton answered from a great high mark from Lewis to key forward Alex Blair to keep the Robins in touch. The contest went up a notch as the Eagles’ Jake Bearman shot out a great handball to brother Jye for an goal. Alex Blair was giving the Eagles backline a headache as he replied with another major for the Robins as both sides kicked only two goals each for the quarter. The Eagles held onto a handy 31-point lead 9.13 (67) to 5.6 (36).
Brighton lifted its work-rate early in the last quarter with repeated entries into their forward line which resulted in goals to Morrison and the busy Baxter Lewis. Eagle ruckman Ben Lovell was once again instrumental for the red white and black as he tapped the ball from the centre bounce to the fast running Jye Bearman, who had been moved into the engine room, who broke clear and delivered a great short pass to Parker for a goal.
The Robins kept coming and were getting great drive from Joseph Bangura and Brady Hayden from around the stoppages as the Robins scored goals through Alex Blair and Josh Nus. The game tightened up with the Eagles only 12 points ahead of the fast Robins but as we entered into the 18 minute mark of the quarter coach Josh Clifford sharked the footy off the hands of a pack of players at half forward and kicked a much
needed goal for the visitors.
This was followed by another from big Eagle forward Marcus Parker for his fourth as the Eagles ran out winners by 23 points. New recruit Jason Sokolski showed that he will be an asset for the Eagles along with
Rhys Heald who was solid in his second outing and it was great to see the return of Tyron Rainbird, Bryan Chaplin and Nathan Lester to their old club.The round three clash was a good hit out for the Eagles away from home.
Coach Josh Clifford addressed his players after the game and is looking for continued improvement from his side and a big week on the track in the lead up to this weekend’s clash against the Dodges Ferry Sharks at the big Boyer Oval. Be there…go Eagles!
Senior Team Manager