Player milestones lift Eagles on tough day at the office

IT was a long day at Boyer Oval on Saturday with four games on the program. The women kicked the dew off the ground with an early start at 9am against the undefeated Hutchins women. All three men’s teams followed against the Huonville Lions.

The Colts faced a tough assignment against a strong Huonville, and the Reserves were attempting to reverse a disappointing loss to the Lions on their home ground in their first encounter this season. The Seniors had it all to play for in a game which saw milestones to Blair Wardlaw, Ben Lovell , Jacob Wigg and Jordan Banks-Smith. A win for the Seniors would put them in third place on the SFL ladder.

A good crowd was in attendance to support the players in their milestone games, including many retired players. Congratulations to Blair Wardlaw (pictured) on playing 150 senior games and achieving life membership of the New Norfolk District Football Club. Blair played his first senior game in 2011 and has won senior premierships in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2017. He won the senior best and fairest award in 2016.

Congratulations also to Ben Lovell on reaching 200 club games (181 senior and 19 reserve). He played his first senior game in 2010 and won a colts premiership in 2010 and senior premierships in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2017. Ben was runner-up in the senior best and fairest award in 2018 and 2020. Club captain Jacob Wigg is congratulated on reaching 100 senior games having played his first senior game in 2015 and won a senior premiership in 2017. The 100-game milestone was also reached by Jordan Banks-Smith (76 senior and 24 reserve). He played his first senior game in 2013.

Well done to these four men on reaching these milestones. They are all highly-valued and well-regarded within the club and we hope they have many more games to come for the mighty Eagles.

All teams are on the road this weekend. Our three men’s teams travel to Anzac Park for games against Lindisfarne while the women return to Abbotsfield Park on Friday for a night game against Claremont White:

  • Friday, July 23 at Abbotsfield Park: New Norfolk women v Claremont White at Abbotsfield Park at 6.30pm.
  • Saturday, July 24 games at Anzac Park: Colts v Lindisfarne at 10am, Reserves v Lindisfarne at noon, and Seniors v Lindisfarne at 2pm.

CHRIS LOVELL

MATCH REPORTS

Senior Report – Wayne Walker
The Huonville Lions took advantage of the vast open spaces of the big Boyer Oval with plenty of short passing and using the loose man to perfection to run out comfortable 44-point winners over a determined Eagle outfit on Saturday afternoon. After an even first half, the Lions slowly got on top of the home side in the third quarter and then increased their lead in the final term. They were led by key onballer Brady Jones who was instrumental throughout the game creating many forward entries and bagging four goals.

Just 30 seconds after the opening bounce the Lions pinpointed Jack Philp, who kicked truly, followed by many more forward entries. However, the visitors wasted many opportunities trying to find their key forwards. In-form Eagle ruck man Ashley Burgess tangled with Lion Rhys Ward at the centre bounces. Eagle onballers Jacob Wigg, Jamie Sokolski and Jye Bearman were pitted against Lion trio Brady Jones, Jack Howarth and Jack Philp. There were many midfield rotations over the four quarters. Lion back-man Daniel Golding was on Eagle goal-kicking ace Jack Crossin and Huonville playing coach Tim Lamprill manned-up on Eagle ruck/half forward Ben Lovell.

The Eagles suffered a major blow early in the term when in form back man Josh Farrow suffered a thigh injury, which upset the home side’s structure. The Eagle coaching panel was forced to reshuffle and make positional changes. The Lions were doing most of the early attacking by moving the ball quickly and putting the Eagle back six under huge pressure. This resulted in a second goal to Liam Ward. The home side steadied but struggled to hit the scoreboard until late in the quarter through Crossin just before the siren. Quarter-time scores were Huonville 2.3. (15) to New Norfolk 1.2 (8)

Star Eagle Blair Wardlaw, playing his first senior game for season 2021, intercepted a Lions kick-in from full-back and snapped a major. However, the visitors answered quickly through the talented hard running Brady and Aaron Grubb. Eagle hard-man Josh Van Lierop laid a great tackle on an opponent in the centre of the ground and found Lovell 45 metres out on a 45-degree angle. He kicked truly in what was a tight, low-scoring quarter with the Lions holding an 8-point lead at half time: Lions 4.7 (31) to the Eagles’ 3.5 (23).

The all-important third term belonged to the Lions with an opening goal to Rhys Douglas. The Eagles answered following a free to Van Lierop moments later. Small forward Bevan Roberts snapped a six pointer for the Lions followed by another from Mitch Walker to give the visitors a 25-point lead. Eagle young gun Rowan Thomason passed to Crossin for his third, but strong marking James McIndoe replied for the Lions as they retained a handy 25-point break at three quarter time: Huonville 9.13 (67) to New Norfolk 6.6 (42).

The Lions roared out of the blocks in the last term with their quick ball movement resulting in goals to Douglas. Early in the term it was looking tough for the Eagles to get back into the game. Jones was prominent once again late in the quarter launching a booming 55-metre torpedo straight through the middle as the Lions banged on another five goals to the Eagles’ two, to grab a valuable win away from home.

The Eagles had a few of their prime movers down but veteran Rohan Heron was outstanding on the backline along with the ever-reliable Lovell who was solid all day. Brock Triffett continues to impress and Crossin presented well up forward. Before the game, coach Josh Clifford presented Ben Lovell, Blair Wardlaw, Jacob Wigg and Jordan Banks-Smith with awards for milestone games. All have been great players for the club and most of all great clubmen over many years.

Luckily for the Eagles, the Hobart Tigers were upset by an improving Sorell on the Tigers’ home deck. This has kept the Eagles in the five, hanging on by percentage. We now travel to Anzac Park to take on the second-placed Lindisfarne Two Blues who have steadily worked their way up the ladder and built their season. When the two teams met earlier in the season the Eagles came out on top at home with a good win, but the Two Blues will be looking to redeem themselves on their home turf.

Huonville 2.3 4.7 9.13 14.16 (100)
New Norfolk 1.2 3.5 6.6 8.8 (56)
Best – Huonville:
 B. Jones, J. McIndoe, J. Philp, C. Johns, D. Golding, R. Ward; New Norfolk: R. Heron, B. Wardlaw, B. Lovell, B. Triffett, J. Crossin, J. Sokolski.
Goals – Huonville: B. Jones 4, A. Grubb 3, R. Douglas 2, B. Roberts, J. Philp, L. Ward, M. Walker, J. McIndoe; New Norfolk: J. Crossin 3, J. Clifford 2, B. Wardlaw, J. Van lierop, B. Lovell.

Reserves Report – Wayne Walker
New Norfolk staged another last-quarter comeback to overcome the second-placed Huonville Lions by eight points and stay well in contention for top spot over the coming weeks of the 2021 season. The Eagles have made a habit of late comebacks over the last four rounds, with strong last quarter efforts to overcome opposition sides. If the Eagles can string three to four quarters together, they could well be in with a real chance to do something special
leading into the finals.

The Lions jumped the home side early with full forward Chris Stockfeld and half forward Adam Golding creating problems for the Eagle backline. They kicked three goals between them as the Lions jumped out to an 18-point lead at quarter time: Lions 4.1 to the Eagles’ 1.1.

The Eagles lifted in the second term with some great work in and around the contest by Jordan Eiszele (who has just returned to the side), in- form Andrew Minchin, Torne Tangata and Jack Hills. New Norfolk suffered a setback with a hamstring injury to key forward Corey Ransley halfway through the second term. Goals to Minchin and big forward Wade Burgess cut the Lions lead back to 8 points at the half time break: Lions 5.1 to the Eagles’ 3.5.

The Eagles opened the third term with another major to Burgess, but the Lions struck back and had control for periods of the quarter. Goals to Brayden Guy and Braeden Page resulted while Patrick Wilcox and Jamie Stanway were busy for the Lions. They took an 11-point lead into the three-quarter time break: Lions 7.5 to the Eagles’ 5.6.

The last term opened with another early goal to Burgess, who was causing the Lions defence a few problems. The Eagles lifted and went forward on many occasions but for minor scores only. Huonville were holding onto a three point lead at the four-minute mark in the last term. The home side continued to attack and looked to have more run in their legs as the footy found the returning Cody Morgan who snapped truly and put the Eagles in front by three points.

Forward Burgess was on the receiving end once again from a pass as he bagged his fourth goal for the game as the home side wrestled back the momentum. The Lions had some opportunities across half forward but failed to finish off their good work. The Eagles worked the footy forward with Tyler Heron applying a great tackle and winning a contested ball against two Lions players in what was a fantastic second effort. He followed up with a great snap from 35m out on a tight angle to give the Eagles a 14-point lead late in the term. The Lions answered with a late goal, but the Eagles were home in what was a good fightback.

Never a week passes by without mentioning the “General” of the Eagle backline Luke Browning, who played another solid game along with onballers Tangata, Minchin and Jordan Eiszele. The Eagles will now face their toughest test against top of the table Lindisfarne Two Blues at Anzac Park which should be a great clash.

New Norfolk 1.1 3.5 5.6 9.9 (63)
Huonville 4.1 5.1 7.5 8.7 (55)
Best – New Norfolk:
 J. Eiszele, T. Tangata, J. Hills, A. Minchin, W. Burgess, L. Browning; New Norfolk: P. Wilcox, A. Golding, N. Mommers, B. Page, J. Stanway, D. Crouch.
Goals – New Norfolk: W. Burgess 4, T. Heron, J. King, A. Minchin, B. King, C. Morgan; Huonville: C. Stockfeld 4, B. Guy 2, A. Golding, B. Page.

Colts Report – Chris Lovell
The New Norfolk Colts were at home last Saturday against another strong outfit in the Huonville Lions. The Lions sit third on the SFL Colts ladder, only separated by percentage from second placed Hobart Tigers. The young Eagles were trying to improve on a 53-point loss to the Lions at their home ground earlier in the season. The game started in overcast and damp conditions underfoot. Once again it was obvious from the first bounce that the home team were in for a tough day. Unfortunately, there is a big gap between the top three sides in the competition and the rest of the teams.

The first quarter was scrambly football with the Eagles defending continuously as the visitors were in constant attack. The Lions were slightly inaccurate, kicking four goals and four behinds to the home side’s single point to lead at quarter time by 27 points. The Eagles improved their play in the second quarter and managed to get the ball forward to kick a goal and three behinds while holding the visitors to two goals four behinds, to trail by 34 points at the main break. There was a major altercation between the sides just before half time with many players involved.

The umpires spoke to both teams at half time and warned all players that bad language would not be tolerated. The third term was very disappointing for the home side as the visitors took complete control and piled on an unanswered four goals and five behinds to extend their lead to an unassailable 63 points. The final term continued the onslaught as the Lions piled on another three goals and behinds. To the young Eagles credit, they kept trying and managed to score two goals against the flow. In the end it was a 77-point loss to the Eagles, which was an increase of 24 points on their previous encounter.

It was a good, consistent four quarter effort by the visitors. While the home side tried hard all day, they were simply outclassed. Once again, a few under-16 players were rotated through the team and all performed well and will be much better for the experience. After the game, Coach Paul Clark addressed the players and told them he was disappointed with their attitude and application during the game. He stressed that it is important that the players get to training and work hard if they are to improve heading into finals.

Huonville 4.4 6.8 10.13 13.21 (99)
New Norfolk 0.1 1.4 1.40 3.4 (22)
Best – Huonville:
 S. Voss, J. Thorpe, C. Lovell, J. Bain, F. Johns, J. Richards; New Norfolk: T. Lovell, M. Hay, C. Keleher, C. Knight, H. Burns, J. George.
Goals – New Norfolk: J. George, B. Scanlon, T. Scanlon; Huonville: J. Bain 5, S. Voss 2, T. Hickey, J. Richards, W. Quarrier, S. Hopkins , C. Lovell, G. Stevenson.

Women’s Report – Chris Lovell
The New Norfolk Women faced a daunting task at home against the undefeated Hutchins women, having suffered a 98-point defeat at their previous encounter. The game commenced in overcast conditions and it was obvious from the first bounce that it was going to be a tough day for the home side as the visitors were constantly in attack. They peppered the goals to score three goals and four behinds while the Eagles did not manage to score.

The second quarter was much the same as Hutchins continued the pressure adding five goals and four behinds. The home side once again failed to get the ball into the forward line but was defending stoutly. The Eagles failed to score in the second half and were kept scoreless for the entire match. However, to their credit, they defended doggedly for the second half and kept Hutchins to two goals and eight behinds to eventually lose by 76 points. This was an improvement of 22 points over their first encounter.

Hutchins is a good side and sits undefeated on top of the SFL division 3 ladder. The Eagles have won four games for the season and have dropped to fourth on the ladder. This is a massive improvement on previous seasons and coach Ben Shaw would be pleased with the improvement shown by the ladies so far this season.

The women travel to Abbotsfield Park on Friday night to play Claremont White in a must-win game to maintain their position on the ladder. A victory would cement their place on the ladder and would almost certainly ensure finals football for the team.

Hutchins 3.4 8.8 9.14 10.16 (76)
New Norfolk 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 (0)
Best – Hutchins: 
G. Crawford, M. Purdon, G. Morris, G. Abel, M. Blackman, K. Hughes ; New Norfolk: T. Walker, S. Farrow , J. Franklin, D. Clifford, T. Tangata, M. Temple.
Goals – Hutchins: G. Abel 4, D. Murphy 2, S. Rule, M. Steyn, A. Cochrane, G. Crawford.

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