Eagles win inaugural Browning Memorial Game

FOLLOWING a disappointing day at Boyer Oval against Dodges Ferry the week before, the New Norfolk Seniors and Reserves were on the road to Pontville Oval last Saturday. The Reserves were looking to get back on the winners list, while our injury-depleted Senior team was lining up against the improving Brighton Robins for the inaugural Barwick/Browning Shield.

The game was named the Brendon Browning Memorial Game in honor of the late Brendon Browning, who was a great player with both clubs. “Horse” Browning was an outstanding ruckman and stood out as a great player. His record reads:
1991 – New Norfolk Thirds – won Best & Fairest
1992 – 12 games with New Norfolk Reserves
1993 – 2 Senior and 12 Reserve games with New Norfolk
1994 – Runner-up Best & Fairest New Norfolk (injured)
1995 & 96 – played with Hobart
1997 – 19 Senior games with New Norfolk
1998–99 played with Brighton
2000 – Brighton – won club and SFL Best & Fairest
2001 – Brighton – won club Best & Fairest

The New Norfolk District Football Club was proud to be involved in this fantastic day. Congratulations to the Brighton Football Club for organizing such a great event. The Senior team was honored and humbled to win the inaugural Barwick/Browning Shield, particularly as it was played in honor of such a great player with the mighty Eagles.

The Reserves managed to get back on the winners list with a good 34-point victory. The win was impressive as there were six Colts players required to step up due to injuries to the Senior and Reserve teams. All performed well on the day. Unfortunately, the Colts had to forfeit their match against Southern Storm as several players were required to backfill the Reserves and Seniors due to the number of injuries the club is currently suffering. The women travelled to Sorell on Sunday for their final roster match of the season against South East Suns Grey.

All three men’s teams are back home this Saturday with the Colts playing the Hobart Tigers at 10am. The Reserves and Seniors play Cygnet afterwards. The Women’s roster is now complete and will commence finals. It is expected that the New Norfolk Women’s team will be participating in finals, however, at the time of writing it was unknown when and where they will be playing.

Chris Lovell

Senior Report – Wayne Walker

The Senior side took a short trip down the road last Saturday to take on the Brighton Robins in an all-important game for the club for two reasons. They wanted to perform well in the Brendon Browning memorial game with the winner taking the inaugural Barwick/Browning shield, and to hold on to fifth position on the SFL ladder to have a crack at the finals. After a tight first half the Eagles slowly got on top to record a good 20-point victory. The Eagles are wo games clear on the SFL ladder from the Hobart Tigers with one home and away round to play and have earned a spot in finals.

Conditions were not ideal for football with strong gusty winds favouring the highway end of the ground to which the Eagles were kicking in the first term, although goals were difficult to bag due to a cross breeze. The Robins were kicking against a strong breeze at the dressing room end. The Eagles entered their forward fifty several times early in the first term registering only minor scores and hitting the post on three occasions. Key defender Josh Farrow launched a long ball from half back to half forward with the footy finding Ben Lovell close to goal on a tight angle who kicked truly for the visitors first major. The Robins had minimal entries up forward working against the wind but answered through Zac Webb minutes later.

Match ups at this time had big Eagle Ashley Burgess pitted against Ryan Bailey in the ruck duels and Josh Farrow had the task on Robins captain and key forward Connor Salter. Rohan Heron picked up Robins tall Nicholas Barker and Robins back man Brad Shaw was on Eagle centre half forward Ben Lovell. A surprise move was Jordan Banks Smith moving from the back half to the forward line for the Eagles. The Eagles continued to push forward and found the busy Jye Bearman, who bagged his first goal from a set shot from 35 metres followed by another just minutes later with a long kick to the goal square which bounced through the big sticks. Eagle strongman Nathan Eiszele goaled just before quarter time to see the Eagles lead by 25 points. Scores: Eagles 4.7 (31) points to the Robins 1.0 (6).

The Robins needed to use the wind to their advantage in the second term by kicking the footy long into their forward line. An opening goal to forward Dean Jetson followed by another from big forward Connor Salter put the Robins back in the game. The Robins booted 4 goals for the quarter with Ryan Bailey, Brady Hayden, and Joel Millhouse all instrumental in lifting the home side’s work rate in and around the stoppages. The Eagles struggled into the wind with only 2 behinds. The Eagles held on to an 8-point lead at the main break. Scores: Eagles 4.9 (33) to the Robins 4.1 (25).

The Eagles would have to boost their lead in the third term as the Robins would be coming home with a 4 to 5 goal breeze in the last term. They found it hard to hit the scoreboard until the 13-minute mark with some great evasive play from livewire Jye Bearman as he weaved his way around a few opponents and goaled to give the visitors a 17 point break. The Eagles kicked into gear as Ben Lovell passed to coach Josh Clifford for a goal followed by another from the high marking Tyler Ford which gave them a game high 32-point lead going into three quarter time. Scores: Eagles 7.16 (58) to the Robins 4.2 (26).

The big question was whether a 32-point lead was going to be enough for the Eagles going in to the last term. The Robins knew that they had a chance with the aid of the breeze and kicked an early goal. The Eagles steadied and controlled the footy in the first 8 to 10 minutes of the quarter until young Eagle Brayden Chaplin took a great mark and kicked a vital goal from 40 metres out against the wind. The Robins booted another 2 majors late in the term, but the Eagles were home in a tough hard-fought battle in difficult conditions. They deserved the 20-point win.

Backman Rhys Heald was a rock in defence for the Eagles and stopped the Robins going forward on numerous occasions. Jye Bearman had great impact using his pace and skills to bag 3 goals, Tyron Bailey was important in many crucial contests and played a great game and coach Josh Clifford led from the front and was busy all day with his hard running, tackling and pressure. The Eagles once again had a couple of injury concerns during the game with Will Banks and Ben Lovell suffering corked thighs which had the Eagles finishing the last half with only two interchange players available. The Eagles now face a tough challenge against Cygnet next week at the big Boyer Oval before finals action takes place in coming weeks.

New Norfolk 8.18 (66)
Brighton 7.4 (46)
Best – New Norfolk:
J. Bearman, R. Heald, J. Sokolski, J, Farrow, J. Wigg, J. Clifford; Brighton: R. Bailey, B. Hayden, B. Shaw, J. Nus, J. Millhouse, D. Robottom.
Goals – New Norfolk: J. Bearman 3, J. Clifford, B. Chaplin, N. Eiszele, T. Ford, B. Lovell. Brighton: R. Bailey 4, Z. Webb, C. Salter, D. Jetson.

Reserves Report – Wayne Walker
The Eagle Reserves continue to build toward a finals campaign with a strong 5 goal last term over the Brighton Robins to run out 34-point winners at Pontville Oval on Saturday. Tough windy conditions made handling the footy a tough assignment for both teams throughout the game. The Eagles have had to jump a few hurdles over the last month with many personnel changes within the side due to injuries to the Senior list. To their credit they have shuffled the deck when it comes to who will be available for selection and who should come to the rescue. Young Eagle colts Caden Donaghy, Mitchell Hay, Jayden Triffett, Brodie Scanlon, Thomas Lovell, and Jordan George stepped up and played their part in the Eagles’ win.

The Robins grabbed an early 13-point lead at quarter time, but the contest was tight over the second and third quarters with the Eagles holding onto a 2-point lead heading into the last term. The Eagles were coming home with the wind, and they booted 5 last quarter goals while holding the Robins scoreless for the quarter. Onballer Jordan Eiszele continued his great form and worked forward booting 3 majors. Andrew Minchin also continues to rack up possessions and is a major part of the midfield. Jaidyn Fisher-Cooley was strong overhead across half back taking several intercept marks and young Caden Donaghy was instrumental up forward booting 2 goals. The Eagles now look forward to the upcoming clash with Cygnet in the last round hit out before starting their finals campaign.

New Norfolk 11.4 (70)
Brighton 5.6 (36)
Best – New Norfolk:
J. Eiszele, A. Minchin, J. Fisher-Cooley, C. Donaghy, C. Ransley, B. Hodge; Brighton: J. Hart, C. Keates, A. McCarthy, J. Percey, B. Cockshutt, L. Phillips.
Goals – New Norfolk: J. Eiszele 3, C. Ransley 2, C. Donaghy 2, W. Burgess, M. Murray, B. Scanlon, T. Heron. Brighton: B. Cockshutt 3, T. Taylor, J. Trinder.

Colts Report – Chris Lovell
The New Norfolk Colts were rostered to play Southern Storm at Cygnet at 4.30pm last Saturday. Unfortunately, they had to forfeit the game due to injuries to our Seniors and Reserves. The situation was even more difficult as the side did not have enough support staff due to the Seniors and Reserves were playing at Brighton. It was not an easy decision to make, however it was the right decision under the circumstances.

Credit to Jack Miller who played his second Senior game last Saturday. Well done and thank you to Caden Donaghy, Mitchell Hay, Jayden Triffett, Brodie Scanlon, Thomas Lovell and Jordan George who lined up for the Reserves last Saturday. All the boys played well and were instrumental in a good win by the Reserves. The Colts will line up against the Hobart Tigers on Saturday in their final hit out before finals.

Women’s Report – Chris Lovell
The New Norfolk Women were on the road again, this time to Sorell to play South East Suns Grey last Sunday. Unfortunately, it was not a happy trip as they suffered a huge 38-point defeat at the hands of the home team. The game had no bearing on the finals as the women have finished in 4th position on the SFL Division 3 ladder and will play finals for the first time.

The game was played in extremely windy conditions. The first quarter belonged to the Suns as they kicked with the wind to pile on 4 goals and 1 behind. They kept the Eagles scoreless to put the game beyond doubt. The Eagles tried hard in the second quarter with the strong wind but could only manage to score one behind while also keeping the home side to one behind. They went into the half time break trailing by 25 points.

The third quarter saw the Eagles restrict the Suns to 2 goals 2 behinds, but once again could not manage to improve their score as they were kicking against the strong wind. They went into three-quarter time trailing by 39 points. The Eagles held the home side to one point in the final term but could only manage 2 behinds with the wind. The conditions were not conducive to good football, the Eagles had one less rotation on the bench and were without five players due to injury.

The season has been a good one for the women. They won their first-ever game, have won 4 games for the season and they will now play finals for the first time. They have a bye this week to recover from injuries prior to launching their finals campaign.

South East Suns Grey 6.5 (41)
New Norfolk 0.3 (3)
Best – Suns Grey:
K. Ollerhead, Z. Chugg, M. Davies, E. Bygrave, S. Wise; New Norfolk: not supplied.
Goals – Suns Grey: K. Ollerhead 3, Z. Chugg 2, M. Davies.

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