Magpies dominated Eagles in season opener


THE Southern Football League (SFL) 2023 Season kicked off on Good Friday at the Boyer Oval under cloudy skies and drizzly conditions. The New Norfolk District Football Club welcomed the Claremont Magpies to their home ground for three matches featuring Colts, Reserves and Senior teams.

There was a good crowd in attendance for the first roster games of the 2023 season. Unfortunately for the Eagles it was not the best of results as all teams were defeated on the day. Returning Senior doach Matthew Smith will have a task on his hands this season with a young and inexperienced group of players. His focus will be to build confidence and experience in our younger players and develop structures and game plans that will enable them to be competitive in games for longer periods.


Senior Report by Wayne Walker

THE Eagles had a horror start in their opening encounter for season 2023 against a more committed Claremont Magpie outfit on an overcast day with light rain periods at the big Boyer Oval on Saturday. The Magpies dominated the second half of the contest, booting 13 last-half goals to the home side’s solitary major. Claremont had clear winners in the centre of the ground with captain Martyn Allison and Luke Adams racking up many possessions along with new recruit and ex-New Norfolk speed machine Jye Bearman who bagged six goals for the match. The Magpies had more avenues to goal through centre-half-forward Zachary Evans-Fenton, ex-Hobart recruit and key forward Dylan Huxley along with SFL veteran Clint Curtain.

The opening 10 minutes of the first term was an even affair with both sides entering their forward 50 on a number of occasions without success until big Magpie forward Evans-Fenton kicked the first major. This was followed by another by Jake Harris to give the visitors a 15-point lead at quarter time. Key match-ups saw big Eagle Ben Lovell in the ruck contests against Magpie Jye County; Eagles Jake Bearman and Mark Horne (who returned from Queensland for one game) were pitted against Magpies Luke Adams and Martyn Allison; young Eagle defender Jaidyn Fisher-Cooley picked up Claremont full forward Clint Curtain and Magpie back man Bayley Bester lined up on dangerous Eagle small forward Josh Clifford. The quarter-time score was Claremont 2.5 (17) to New Norfolk 0.0 (2).

The Eagles played their best football for the game early to mid-way through the second term. They started to gain some momentum with a great snap for goal from Tyron Bailey followed by another from the busy Jayden Wilton who has returned to the club. The Eagles were trailing by only three points (14 to 17) at the eight-minute mark of the second term. The Magpies answered through forward Clint Curtain who bagged his first goal, but Eagle youngster Jacob Goodsell replied from 35 metres out . The Eagles were now just five points behind. The home side was right in the contest with the only blemish being a number of kicking skill errors not finding their lead-up targets and some bad decision-making which coach Matthew Smith touched on at the quarter-time break. Unfortunately, the Eagles lost their way midway through the quarter by giving away a number of undisciplined free kicks and 50m penalties. This resulted in three key players being sent from the ground for time penalties which resulted in four quick goals for the Magpies to give them a 29-point lead at the main break. Half-time scores were Claremont 7.7 (49) to New Norfolk 3.2 (20).

The Eagles copped a few home truths from coach Smith at half-time, highlighting what they spoke about before the game in his pre-match address and where they let themselves down in the heat of the contest. After half-time the Magpies dominated the contested ball and had more run in their legs, finding more avenues to goal as they busted the game wide open to go out to a 60-point margin. Three-quarter-time scores were Claremont 13.9 (87) to New Norfolk 4.3 (27). The Magpies piled on another seven goals in the last term to run out big winners by 106 points in what was a disappointing afternoon for the home side.

Eagle Captain Josh Farrow could hold his head high with a solid four quarter performance. Mark Horne was tireless all day and was in everything, providing plenty of run being the Eagles best contested ball player. Youngster Blake Ward showed he has what it takes at senior level showing his footy smarts. Jaidyn Fisher-Cooley was a clear winner over the experienced veteran Clint Curtain until he left the ground with an ankle injury during the third term. Speed machine Will Banks and forward Jayden Wilton also performed well throughout the afternoon.

It may be a tough year ahead for the Eagles but with senior coach Matthew Smith and assistant coaches Adrian Burdon, Nigel Hay and the ever reliable club legend/stalwart Hedley Thomson behind the scenes they will endeavor to aim for general improvement on skills, attitude and commitment along with structure and game plans which takes time and patience with such a young group. The Eagles now need to regroup and bring their best for the contest against the Brighton Robins at Boyer Oval this Saturday.

Final Scores
New Norfolk 4.4 (28)
Claremont 20.14 (134)
Best – New Norfolk:
J. Farrow, B. Ward, W. Banks, M. Horne, J. Fisher-Cooley, J. Wilton; Claremont: Z. Evans-Fenton, J. Bearman, K. Phillips, L. Adams, D. Huxley, M. Baker.
Goals – New Norfolk: T. Bailey 2, J. Goodsell, J. Wilton; Claremont: J. Bearman 6, C. Curtain 3 ,L. Adams 2, Z. Evans-Fenton 2, D. Huxley 2, J. Adams, J. Harris, M. Baker.

Reserves Report by Wayne Walker

THE Eagles Reserves side is currently struggling for numbers and hopefully over the coming weeks a few more players may come out of the woodwork to bolster numbers to help the side be competitive. To their credit they fielded a side with a little help from the Colts side and we must give a special mention to Ryan Bartels, Riley Blackaby, Jude Holbrook, Jack Miller, Riley Triffett and Tyron Triffett who fronted up to give their best for the club.

The Magpies held a handy 16-point lead at quarter time and stretched it out to a 35-point margin at the main break. After half-time the Magpies took over and added a further 10 goals to run out 90-point victors. The Eagles were outgunned for most of the contest and lacked forward options but on the positive side Sam Holloway put in a strong four quarter performance along with reliable defender Luke Crosswell. Jordan Eiszele played his usual hard at the contest style of game along with youngster Riley Triffett who also performed well. Eagle veteran and Colts coach Tristan Triffett pulled the boots on once again and showed he still has what it takes along with brother Damien Triffett who added much needed experience to the group. Let’s see what the Rezzies can bring this weekend against the Robins.

Final Scores
New Norfolk 2.6 (18 )
Claremont 16.12 (108)
Best – New Norfolk:
S. Holloway, L. Crosswell, R. Triffett, J. Holbrook, J. Eiszele, T. Triffett; Claremont: J. Brown, H. Bielleman, J. Bradshaw, J. Del Carmen, M. Stocks, C. Johnstone.
Goals – New Norfolk: T. Triffett, R. Blackaby; Claremont: C. Johnstone 3, J. Bradshaw 2, A. Smith 2, J. Fewkes 2, H. Bielleman, J. Nikel, B. McMaster, T. Channell, J. Conway, M. Stocks, J. Del Carmen.

Colts Report by Chris Lovell

THE first game of the 2023 season was played in overcast and misty conditions on the big Boyer Oval. The New Norfolk Colts kicked to the clubrooms end of the ground in the first quarter. The young Claremont Magpies outplayed the Eagles early and but for inaccuracy could have been further in front at half-time. Half-time scores were Claremont 3.10 (28) to New Norfolk 0.1 (1).

The young Eagles picked up their game in the third quarter after a stern talk by coach Tristan Triffett and put much more pressure on their opponents and began to attack the goals. Three quarter time scores were Claremont 4.12 (36) to New Norfolk 2.3 (15). The Eagles put in a strong last quarter to fall 21 points short at the final siren. It was a much better performance, and the young group will improve as the season progresses.

Final Scores
New Norfolk 4.3 (27)
Claremont 5.18 (48)
Best – New Norfolk:
Z. Holloway, R. Triffett, J. George, H. Morgan, C. Triffett, W. Jones; Claremont: K. Curtain, T. Cooper, J. Greenwood, B. Fisher, B. Phillips, C. Greenwood.
Goals – New Norfolk: R. Triffett, T. Triffett, J. Miller, C. Blackaby; Claremont: J. Graham 2, B. Phillips 2, S. Hine,

Women’s Report – Chris Lovell

THE New Norfolk senior women play their first game of the season this Saturday against the Brighton Robins in a rematch of last season’s Division 3 Grand Final. The game starts at 9am with the premiership flag being presented to New Norfolk after the game.

After last season’s success, both teams were promoted to Division 2, so it will be interesting to see how they perform this season. Saturday’s game will give us some indication of what the season promises as the new look Eagles, under new coach Melinda Green unveil some new recruits against the Brighton Robins on the big Boyer

Players missing from last season include Zoie Crawford, Olivia Harris and Chloe Ford (Glenorchy), Annie Robilliard (Victoria), Natalie Smedley (Claremont) and Carolyn Mart (retired). New players to the team this season include Ellie Hendricks, Jaz Bartels and Amber Rainbird (NNJFC) Mousey Jacobs (Claremont) Jade Honner and Amy Hoskinson (Lauderdale), Sid Skelly, Ashlee Green and Taylah Squires (Claremont JFC), Hayley James (NNJFC & Glenorchy), Nem Skelly, Kiarne Stocks and Hayley Roberts (first year).

The 2023 season promises to be another step in the development of the women’s team, and we look forward to another successful campaign.

NEXT GAMES – Saturday, April 15, at Boyer Oval

  • Women v Brighton at 9am.
  • Colts v Brighton at 10.30am.
  • Reserves v Brighton at 12.30pm
  • Seniors v Brighton at 2.30pm

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