Eagles bounce back

IT was a big day at Boyer Oval last Saturday with four games of football played. The New Norfolk District Football Club men’s teams hosted the Lindisfarne Two Blues and the women hosted Claremont White in their first home game of the season.

The day started in relatively good conditions with our Colts up against a strong Lindisfarne outfit. The boys were looking to atone after a 54-point loss to Huonville the previous weekend. Unfortunately, the boys were well beaten by 91 points.

The women’s team then ran out in front of a large home-town crowd to see if it could make it back-to-back wins against Claremont White. In a low-scoring, but strongly contested game, the girls fell short by an agonising three points.

Next up were the Reserves, who were keen to recover from a loss to Huonville the week before. Once again, it was an interesting encounter, with both sides playing good football at various stages of the match. In the end, an inaccurate Lindisfarne managed to hold on from a fast-finishing home side to record a narrow 13-point win.

The final match of the day saw the Senior side looking to regroup after a very disappointing loss to Huonville the week before. It was never going to be an easy task against a strong Lindisfarne Two Blues outfit. In an entertaining, high-class encounter, the Eagles boys put up their best performance of the season to out-muscle Lindisfarne by nine points. It was fantastic effort by the players and a credit to the coaching staff for getting them back on track.

It was great to see a big crowd et Boyer and I am sure the players appreciated the huge support they received. After those tough games last weekend the men’s teams will appreciate the bye this weekend, before preparing for another tough game against Dodges Ferry on May 22. Meanwhile the women’s team is at home again this Saturday against St Virgil’s. The game starts at 11am so please get along to Boyer Oval to support them.

CHRIS LOVELL

MATCH REPORTS
Senior Report – Wayne Walker

THE New Norfolk Eagles bounced back to form after being well beaten by the Huonville Lions in Round 5, holding on for a nine-point win over a highly-rated Lindisfarne Two Blues on Saturday. It was a high-scoring and entertaining game at the big Boyer Oval in front of a large crowd.

It was a courageous effort by the home team, with key players having to leave the ground due to injury over the course of the game. This left the Eagles short, with only two players on the bench for the last half. The coaching staff were forced to make key positional changes to their structures. Most of the game saw both sides go goal-for-goal throughout the afternoon. This kept a good crowd on its toes for the entire game.

The Eagles kicked to the dressing-room end of the ground in the first term, with the aid of a 2-to-3 goal breeze. They missed a few early shots going forward through Caden Wilson and Jack Crossin. Lindisfarne quickly moved the footy to the other end of the ground, with Michael Cassidy passing to Jayden Harris for the Two Blues’ first major. Key matchups early in the contest had Eagle fill in ruck man Tyron Bailey up against Luke Polanowski and Two Blues Mathew Hutchison on running machine Jye Bearman. Eagle Captain Josh Farrow lined up on Two Blues coach Michael Cassidy, while Jordan Banks-Smith was on big Josh Grant and Jacob Daley had the task of looking after Two Blues goal kicking ace Michael Blackburn.

Lindisfarne recruit Zac Mastracola picked up in-form Eagle Caden Wilson. The Eagles hit the scoreboard for their first goal at the 14-minute mark with a great pass from Josh Hills to the dangerous Jye Bearman. The Two Blues were on the attack and were always looking for their key forward Michael Blackburn, who quickly slammed on two goals. Jack Crossin answered for the Eagles and Jake Bearman applied a great tackle and passed to the busy Josh Hills, who slotted through the Eagles third goal for the term. It was an even first quarter with the visitors holding onto a two-point lead at the first break.

The Eagles started the second term well as they applied plenty of forward pressure on the Two Blues backline. This pressure resulted in a great goal from Tyler Ford on a tight angle and Caden Wilson wrapped up his opponent in a holding the ball decision to boot the Eagles fifth. Two Blues onballers Tom and Jordan Roberts, along with captain Kieren Rogers continued to hit up leading forward Michael Blackburn, who kicked three goals for the quarter. Blackburn was causing the Eagles heaps of trouble, as his opponent Jacob Daley left the ground with an ankle injury. The home team was also busy up forward thanks to some great work around the ground by Jake and Jye Bearman, Jamie Sokolski and Josh Hills. Josh Van Lierop, in his first senior game for the season, added some extra grunt around the stoppages. This enabled the Eagles to enter their forward 50 with goals to Crossin, Wilson and a great snap at the 29-minute mark from Tyron Bailey. The Eagles held a narrow two-point lead at the main break.

New Norfolk on-baller Jamie Sokolski, who was in everything, left the ground just before half time with a nasty shin injury which was a big loss for the Eagles. The all-important third term continued to be goal-for-goal, as both sides managed to score when in attack, chalking up four majors each. Captain Josh Farrow was continuing to do some great clearance and spoiling work across the backline, along with the ever-reliable Rhys Heald, who was playing a great game. Jordan Banks-Smith was moved onto the dangerous Michael Blackburn. The Two Blues continued to gain drive from Tom Roberts, Kase Miller and Jayden Harris and were deep in attack late in the quarter. The Eagles rebounded from defence, due to some fine work from young Eagle Brock Triffitt. The stage was set for a great last quarter, with the Two Blues kicking with what looked like a 2-to-3 goal breeze. Three-quarter time saw the Eagles six points ahead.

Coach Josh Clifford demanded extra effort and run from his charges in a rousing three-quarter-time address. The Eagles were full of run at the start of the last term. They looked to have all the momentum with big Ben Lovell dominating around the ground and taking control in the air with his strong marking and ruck-work. The explosive Jye Bearman was using his pace and ball skills around the stoppages. Tyler Ford booted a quick major, followed by Brock Triffett, who once again figured in the play with a sensational goal from a tight angle, 30m out in the forward pocket. This lifted the home team and was followed by another from Caden Wilson from a tight angle, which gave the Eagles a 22-point lead. The Two Blues answered with a goal at the 17-minute mark through playing coach Cassidy, who had been well held for most of the game by Josh Farrow, to reduce the lead to 16 points. New Norfolk hit back with Benny Lovell taking a strong mark 40m out. He put it straight through the middle to give the home side some breathing space. However, the Two Blues were not to be denied. as they finished strongly with a flurry of goals, falling short by nine points.

It was a gutsy win, over a quality side, by the Eagles and a mighty jump back to form after the previous week’s big loss. No one was more pleased than playing coach Josh Clifford, who set the scene throughout the game with his leadership, hard running and bone-crunching bumps over four quarters. Another pleasing feature of the game was the spread of goal kickers for the Eagles (10 in total). Caden Wilson, Tyler Ford and Jack Crossin worked well as a forward unit collecting 10 goals between them. Talented on-baller and forward Jye Bearman was outstanding. Will Banks continues to show skills and calmness under pressure for such a young player. Hayden Bielleman worked hard and was handy at ground level throughout the game. Brayden Chaplin was important and saved the Eagles many times across half back and Josh Van Lierop made his presence felt in heavy traffic.

The Eagles now have a break, with the representative game taking place this weekend. They will need a little time to overcome some injury problems, before they travel down to Shark Park at Dodges Ferry for an important clash in Round 7 (May 22), to see who holds down fourth position on the SFL ladder. Make sure all you Eagle supporters are there, Go Eagles!

New Norfolk 18.9 (117)
Lindisfarne 17.6 (108)

Best – New Norfolk: Jye Bearman, B. Lovell, B. Chaplin, J. Farrow, R. Heald, Jake Bearman; Lindisfarne: T. Jaynes, K. Miller, J. Young, M. Hutchinson, Z. Mastracola, A. Webster.
Goals – New Norfolk: C. Wilson 4, T. Ford 3, J. Crossin 3, J. Van Lierop, B. Triffitt, Jye Bearman, T. Bailey, B. Lovell, C. Jetson, W. Burgess, J. Hills; Lindisfarne: M. Blackburn 5, T. Westbury 2, T. Roberts 2, J. Harris 2, J. Roberts, K. Miller, D. Zantuck, M. Cassidy, J. Grant, L. Polanowski.

Reserves Report – Wayne Walker
THE New Norfolk Reserves fell short by 13 points after a third quarter comeback against Lindisfarne, in a high standard game that went down to the wire late in the contest. The Two Blues jumped the Eagles in the first quarter, which proved to be a major factor in the game. The visitors held a 21-point lead at the first change.

The Eagles had plenty of opportunities in the last quarter to grab the four points, but just failed to finish off their good work. They found plenty of targets in the forward 50 but could not manage to convert. The margin was only six points in favour of the Two Blues in the last few minutes of the game. The Eagles were doing all the attacking and looked to have more run in their legs than the visitors, before their opponents kicked a late goal to seal the game.

Eagles Rohan Thomason and Torne Tangata performed well once again, along with Corey Ransley who was strong up forward. Nic Clayton booted three majors and it was great to see him back in the Red, White, and Black. Luke Browning continued his great form on the backline, turning back many Two Blues forward entries. Tyson Eiszele is also working himself back into fine form. It was a credit to the backline for keeping Lindisfarne to just 1 goal after half time.

New Norfolk assistant coach Brad Chaplin addressed the playing group after the game. He told his players that the game was there for the taking, but it was an improved performance over last week and there were many positives going forward. It looks like our Reserves side is certainly in the hunt for a finals berth.

Lindisfarne 10.12 (72)
New Norfolk 9.5 (59)

Best New Norfolk: R. Thomason, C. Ransley, J. Hills, T. Eiszele, T. Tangata, L. Browning. Lindisfarne: A. Clark, N. Cranfield, J. Anning, D. Johns, A. O’Meara, D. Woodham.
Goals New Norfolk: N. Clayton 3, K. Walker 2, B. Wardlaw, M. Jones, R. Thomason, R. Heron. Lindisfarne: D. Reimers 3, J. Kent 2, O. Rand 2, D. Johns, M. Paolini, J. Watson.

Colts Report – Chris Lovell
THE New Norfolk Eagles Colts once again had an early start last Saturday with their game starting at 9 am. In front of a large crowd, in good conditions at Boyer Oval, the boys faced a daunting task against a bigger and stronger Lindisfarne Two Blues team. The first quarter gave an indication of what was to come, with an inaccurate Lindisfarne wasting opportunities in front of goal to lead by 19-points at quarter time.

The boys struggled to get the ball into the forward line and only managed to kick one goal in each of the first three quarters and only one point in the final term. Lindisfarne piled on another 13 goals and seven points to run out convincing winners by 91 points.

The boys have now had two hard games in a row. They will no doubt be taking advantage of this week’s break to regroup and prepare for the rest of the season. This is a young side and the boys are learning week by week. Coach Paul Clark has plenty of talent to work with and will work to improve the boys performance as the season progresses.

Lindisfarne 16.14 (110)
New Norfolk 3.1 (19)
Best New Norfolk
: B. Wheeler, B. Scanlon, P. Blackaby, C. Keleher, T. Triffett, T. Lovell. Lindisfarne: J. Devine, D. Blazely, B. Jones, R. Hopkins, O. Holdsworth, J. Foster.
Goals New Norfolk: T. Carr 2, B. Wheeler. Lindisfarne: J. Foster 5, J. Devine 3, G. Auchterlonie 3, A. Monks 2, O. Holdsworth, A. Duggan, B. Jones.

Women’s Report – Chris Lovell
IT was great to see the New Norfolk District Football Club women run out onto Boyer Oval for their first home game of the season. A large crowd was in attendance to see the new look team, following the previous week’s historic first win. Everyone was keen to see the women test themselves against Claremont White.

The first quarter was an even contest, with both sides trying to gain the ascendancy. Quarter time saw the visitors hold a narrow lead of five points. The second quarter saw the home side start to play some good football. However, they struggled to get the ball through the big sticks. Half-time saw a four-point difference. Once again, the home side had plenty of the play, but trailed by three points at three-quarter time.

The game was there to be won by both sides in the last quarter. In a tightly contested quarter, each team gave everything and managed to kick a goal each. In the end it was a good, close game with inaccuracy in front of goal eventually costing the home side. There is no doubt all the hard work the women have put in since November last year has paid off. They are now a competitive outfit with the ability to win more games this season. Coach Ben Shaw has a lot of talent to work with and the team looks really promising.

Claremont 4.1 (25)

New Norfolk 3.4 (22)
Best – New Norfolk:
C. Pfeiffer, S. Farrow, M. Tomkinson, M. Temple, L. Wigg; Claremont: A. Abrahams, M. Ward, E. Abrahams, T. Newman, K. Canham.
Goals – New Norfolk: C. Mart 2, K. Rainbird; Claremont: S. Smith 2, A. Abrahams, E. Abrahams.

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