Eagles fade against Port after improved effort

SFL – ROUND 11 – CYGNET v NEW NORFOLK
MATCH REPORTS

Senior Report – Wayne Walker


IT was a long road trip last Saturday to Cygnet in what looked to be another tough assignment ahead for the young Eagles side searching for their second win for the season over last year’s reigning premier. The Eagles have suffered many defeats by big margins over past weeks but showed plenty of improvement on Saturday.

However, it was still not enough to get over the line as Cygnet got its game in motion after half time with a big six-goal third term to run out comfortable 52-point victors. The on-ball brigade of Jakob Lister, Toby Cowen, Josh Coad and Lachlan Watt were instrumental in lifting Port in the second half along with ruck man Will Polley, James
Zeitzen and big forward Joe Direen with five goals.

Key matchups at the start of the contest had Eagle captain Josh Farrow lining up on Port’s big forward Joe Direen. In-form Eagle Tyron Bailey was flying high in the ruck duels with Cygnet’s Will Polly and the Eagle on ball unit of Jake Bearman, Brock Triffett and Will Banks were pitted against Toby Cowen, Jakob Lister and Lachlan Watt. As in past weeks the Eagles were more than competitive and hard at the contested ball in the first term and surprised the opposition as they applied plenty of pressure which resulted in a number of forward entries. Ben Lovell opened the Eagles’ account with a strong mark and goal in the opening minutes of the game.

The Eagles were hungry for the footy in the early stages with Eagle youngster Riley Higgins hunting the footy across half forward outpointing his Cygnet opponent and then finding Josh Clifford who kicked the Eagles second major for the afternoon. Port answered through Zac Curtain who kicked truly but from the next centre bounce the
Eagles went forward through Jordan Banks-Smith playing on and showing great pace as he passed to key forward Ben Lovell on the lead for his second major. Port struck back, but the Eagles went in to quarter time with a narrow lead in what was a good opening quarter for the. Quarter time scores were New Norfolk 3.1 (19) points to Cygnet 2.2 (14).

The second term got under way as the enthusiastic Eagles continued to apply pressure and found Lovell once again up forward to boot his third. The contest was locked in an even battle until halfway through the quarter until Port just edged ahead with goals to James Webb and key forward Joe Direen to give the home side a 14-point advantage at the half-time break. It was a highly competitive tight contest with the Eagles full of confidence as they looked ahead to the second half. Eagle defenders Rohan Heron, captain Josh Farrow and Jaidyn Fisher-Cooley were steady in defence as they held up many Port forward entries rebounding the footy a number of times to keep the Eagles in touch. Half time scores were Cygnet 6.3 (39) to New Norfolk 4.1 (25).

Unfortunately for the Eagles it was a carbon copy of past weeks and has been a similar pattern in the third quarter with a drop off in pressure and intensity around the ball as Cygnet slammed on six goals through Lucas Ford, Rhys Jennings, Zac Curtain, James Zeitzen, and two to Joe Direen as they jumped out to a 49-point lead at three quarter time: Cygnet 12.5 (77) to New Norfolk 4.4 (28).

To the Eagles’ credit they fought their way back into the game in the last term holding Port to just two goals while they booted 2 through Tyron Bailey and a great set shot from 40 metres out with a wet heavy ball from Cody Neads as Port ran out 52-point victors. A major highlight of the last term was a magnificent “hanger” taken by young Eagle
Zayden Kelly at centre half back which drew a big reaction from the good crowd in attendance.

Although the rain stayed away for the afternoon the contest was played in damp boggy conditions which made handling the footy difficult throughout the game. The home side was superior in the marking contests around the ground as they worked hard for the win against a competitive Eagles unit and both sides were missing a number of key players at this stage of the season.

Eagle veteran Rohan Heron was solid for the entire game across the backline, Jaidyn Fisher-Cooley continues to drag down five or six intercept marks every week and is certainly having a great season. Benny Lovell again presented well up forward with three majors and Tyron Bailey is the in-form player and contributing well each week. Jake Bearman and Brayden Chaplin worked hard over four quarters. The question now is whether the Eagles can grab their second victory for the season against the Hobart Tigers in this week’s game at the big Boyer Oval. It should be an enthralling contest

Final Scores
Cygnet 14. 9 (93)
New Norfolk 6. 5 (41)
Best – New Norfolk:
J. Fisher-Cooley, J. Farrow, J. Bearman, R. Heron, T. Bailey, B. Chaplin; Cygnet: J. Coad, J. Lister, L. Watt, L. Ashlin, P. Kelly, T. Cowen.
Goals – New Norfolk: B. Lovell 3, J. Clifford, C. Neads, T. Bailey; Cygnet: J. Direen 5, Z. Curtain 2, J. Zeitzen 2, L. Ford 2, R. Jennings, J. Webb, T. Cowen

Reserves Report – by Wayne Walker


THE Eagle Reserve squad suffered a costly loss to Cygnet by 44 points after a big loss to Lindisfarne in the previous round which now places them sixth on the ladder at a crucial stage of the season. The Eagles now need to regroup and get back on the winners list for their upcoming game against the Hobart Tigers this Saturday.

Port had the footy in their forward half for almost all of the first quarter but the Eagle defence held up well with Brett Hodge leading the way along with Tyler Purdon as they kept Port to just one goal for the quarter. The contest had a senior matchup which had big Eagle Caleb Triffitt lining up at full forward against Port back man Adam Duggan in what would be a key contest on the outcome of the game. Triffett took advantage of a free kick to boot the Eagles first goal which kept them in the contest as Port looked to waste a number of opportunities while having the footy in their forward half for the majority of the quarter. Quarter-time scores: Cygnet 1.4 (10) to New Norfolk 1.0 (6).

The Eagles did all the attacking in the second term with big Brayden Drake performing well in the ruck along with Andrew Minchin and Jake Foster taking over at the centre bounces and around the ground as the Eagles looked to be getting on top of Port. Busy wingman Kyle Walker struggled to grab hold of the footy in the boggy conditions but kept control of the ball by tapping it forward as a Port player infringed which gained Walker a free kick as he kicked truly for the Eagles second. The visitors followed up moments later with Nathan Eiszele passing to Thomas Lovell who kicked another goal for the Eagles which gave them an 8-point lead. Port answered with a goal to Cooper Eaves which levelled the scores and followed up quickly with another as Mitchell Direen found Matt Direen for another major which gave the home side a 5-point lead at the half time break: Cygnet 3.7 (25) to New Norfolk 3.2 (20).

Port added another three goals in the all-important third term while the Eagles booted one to give the home side a 21-point break at three quarter time with captain Mitchell Direen and Cameron Wheatley dominating for Port. The home side had more run in their legs and looked to be fitter as they handled the heavy conditions better than the Eagles. Three quarter time scores were Cygnet 6.11 (47) to New Norfolk 4.2 (26).

Port continued to run and gain control of the contest as they used the footy better in the conditions to go on and boot another 5 goals for the quarter to run out 44-point victors. No one tried harder for the Eagles than on-baller Jake Foster who gained many possessions over four quarters. Kyle Walker and Andrew Minchin were busy all day and Nathan Eiszele was strong in the contests and gave the Eagles a target up forward. Brett Hodge was great on the backline and big Corey Ransley battled hard at every contest. The Reserves now need to bounce back and get back on the winners list against the Hobart Tigers in what is an all-important game for the Eagles.

Final Scores
Cygnet 11.12 (78)
New Norfolk 5.4 (34)
Best – New Norfolk:
J. Foster, K. Walker, A. Minchin, N. Eiszele, B. Hodge, C. Ransley; Cygnet: A. Duggan, B. Penney, M. Direen, C. Wheatley, B. McDermott, C. Eaves.
Goals – New Norfolk: N. Eiszele, C. Triffett, K. Walker, T. Lovell; Cygnet: C. Eaves 3, C. Walter 2, B. Lawless, C. Shaw, M. Direen, D. Webster, D. Bantick, C. Wheatley,

Colts Report – No Report
Final Scores
Southern Storm 7. 5 (47)
New Norfolk 6.7 (43)
Best – New Norfolk:
H. Burns, H. Morgan, J. Holbrook, R. Blackaby, Z. Lester, J. Goodsell; Southern Storm: M. Polley, N. Denny, S. Kelly, M. Direen, O. Salter, B. Lawless.
Goals – New Norfolk: J. Miller 3, D. Branch, H. Morgan, J. Graham; Southern Storm: M. Polley 2, B. Lawless, R. Coulson, C. Eaves, A. Cutcliffe, N. Scott.

Senior Women: Bye

Next Games – Saturday, June 25:
Women v Brighton at Boyer Oval at 9am
Colts v Lindisfarne at Boyer Oval at 11am
Reserves v Hobart at Boyer Oval at 1pm
Seniors v Hobart at Boyer Oval at 3pm

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