Eagles no match for Lions

ROUND 7 – NEW NORFOLK v HUONVILLE

FOOTBALL returned to Boyer Oval last Saturday with four games against the Huonville Lions. The weather was overcast and cold, but the rain held off for most of the day. The Lady Eagles were first cab off the rank with an 8.50am start. The Colts followed for only their fourth game of the season. The undermanned Reserves were
always going to struggle against the strong Huonville Lions while the young Seniors faced a massive task against the top of the ladder and undefeated Lions. While it was expected that all men’s teams would struggle, the Women looked to be well matched against the Lions and were in with a real chance of victory.

Melinda Green walks through her guard of honour after reaching her 300th goal milestone.

Senior Report by Wayne Walker

The New Norfolk Eagles suffered a heavy loss against a hungry Huonville Lions outfit by a massive 116 points on the big Boyer Oval on Saturday. The Lions were led by big key forward and boom recruit Daniel Archer who bagged 10 goals for the afternoon.

The Lions took over completely after half time, booting 10 majors while keeping the Eagles scoreless. The end result could have been much worse with the Lions wasting many opportunities in front of the goals. The Lions midfield of Rhys Douglas, Brady Jones, and Liam Ward supplied their forwards with many opportunities inside the 50m zone throughout the contest, creating heaps of pressure for the Eagle backs. New Norfolk had a few changes to last week’s side with Jason Laycock, Zeb Graham and youngster Jacob Goodsell all unavailable along with the injured Jordan Banks-Smith. The Eagles elevated Brandon King, Brad Ransley, Jake Campbell and Andrew Higgins for their first Senior games this season.

Match-ups early in the contest had Eagle backman Rohan Thomason on big Lion Mitch Walker. Eagle Brandon King was elevated to the Senior squad and had the big task on Lion key forward Archer. Huonville’s Tyler Clark lined up on Eagle centre half forward Ben Lovell. The midfield battle had Eagles Tyron Bailey, Josh Clifford, Brock Triffett and Will Banks against the experienced Lions quartet of Rhys Ward, Rhys Douglas, Brady Jones and Liam Ward.

The Eagles once again started well in the first term and were matching the Lions in and around the contested ball as Eagle onballer Brayden Butler short-passed to the in-form Tyron Bailey who kicked truly for the first goal of the match. The Lions won the ball from the next centre bounce but Eagle captain Josh Farrow rebounded the footy from half-back with a booming drop punt that found Corey Ransley who converted for the Eagles’ second with the Eagles leading 13 points to two.

The Lions quickly answered with goals to Archer and Douglas which put the visitors in front by one point, but Eagle young gun Butler found Nathan Eiszele to put the home side back in the lead by five points (19 to 14). The Eagles had a number of setbacks in the quarter with King coming off the ground with a knee injury along with key players Lovell and Bailey also in trouble with niggling injuries. The Lions wrestled back the lead with goals to Rhys Ward and Archer to give the Lions a 15-point buffer at quarter time. The scores were Lions 5.4 (34) to the Eagles 3.1 (19).

Light rain fell during the second term as the Lions gained momentum and started to control the game, adding five goals for the term while the Eagles struggled to get on the scoreboard, kicking only one behind. Half-time scores were Lions 10.8 (68) to the Eagles’ 3.2 (20). New Norfolk senior coach Matthew Smith addressed his players during the half-time break and made them aware that their decision making was poor when they had possession, which put their team mates under pressure leading to poor skill errors. Smith also demanded that his players put their head over the footy and go forward at all costs.

During the third term the Lions consistently found their big key forward Archer who kicked another four for the term as the Lions added six in total for the quarter to go out to a commanding 81-point lead. The only highlight for the Eagles was two goals kicked by the talented Tyron Bailey. Three-quarter time scores were Lions 16.17 (113) to the Eagles 5.2 (32).

Luckily for the Eagles the Lions only managed 4.11 in the last term as they wasted many opportunities in front of the goals, which could have made the final margin even greater. The Eagles must somehow find the same intensity and pressure that they applied early in the game and carry that into the last half regardless of what the scoreboard shows, which is easier said than done with a young side. The other factor in the game was the difference in physical size between the two sides, which shows where the Eagles are at with their development.

The Eagles next outing is a visit to the small confines of the Snug footy oval to take on Cygnet which will be another tough task ahead.

Final Scores
Huonville 20.28 (148)
New Norfolk 5.2 (32)
Best – Huonville:
D. Archer, R. Douglas, B. Jones, m. Walker, L. Ward, C. Rawson; New Norfolk: T. Bailey, B. Lewis, B. Butler, J. Clifford, A. Higgins, J. Farrow. Goals – Huonville: D. Archer 10, R. Douglas 2, T. Godfrey 2, D. Hay, M. Walker, C. Elliott, D. Thorp, B. Roberts, R. Ward; New Norfolk: T. Bailey 3, N. Eiszele, C. Ransley.

Reserves Report by Wayne Walker

In the curtain raiser to the Senior match the Eagle Reserves failed to trouble the scoreboard attendant, registering no goals and no behinds for the entire match. The Huonville Lions got their game going in the second half to run out 76-point victors. Even though the Eagles had no score on the board they were in the game up until the main break. They kept the Lions to just 2.11 (23) points but the big problem for the home side was a lack of a focal point up forward.

The Eagles had some help from club legends Luke Joseph and Shane Bonnitcha who held sway across the backline along with the in-form Luke Crosswell who kept the Lions at bay for the first two quarters. After the main break the Lions got some flow-on play and system into their game which resulted in key forward Braeden Page kicking four goals. Liam O’Neill and Michael Chivers were influential around the ground.

Eagle youngster Jack Miller was the Eagles’ best, showing his talent and skill around the contest. Samuel Holloway continues to compete well in the ruck showing great improvement in his game. Andrew Minchin tried hard all day getting plenty of the Sherrin while Luke Crosswell was good across half back. Thomas Lovell had his best hit
out for the season. Luke Joseph wound the clock back and had a great game and combined well with his old team-mate Shane Bonnitcha to keep the Eagles in the contest for a good part of the game.

The Eagles will now need to regroup and have a crack at Cygnet next weekend in downtown Snug.

Final Scores
Huonville 9.22 (76)
New Norfolk 0.0 (0)
Best – Huonville:
L. O’Neill, M. Chivers, P. Wilcox, C. Walker, B. Page, T. Hughes; New Norfolk: J. Miller, S. Holloway, A. Minchin, L. Crosswell, T. Lovell.
Goals – Huonville: B. Page 4, T. Hughes 2, N. Vincent, R. Guy, C. Walker.

Colts Report by Chris Lovell

Following another bye in the previous week, the young Eagles lined up for only their fourth game of the season on Saturday, against the undefeated top-of-the ladder Huonville Lions on the Boyer Oval. In their first game of the season the boys had recorded a narrow 21-point loss to the Claremont Magpies. However, in three games since then they have experienced massive losses to the Brighton Robins, Lindisfarne Two Blues and now the Huonville Lions.

The game started in cloudy but dry conditions with both sides keen to get an early advantage. The young Eagles were displaying signs of some good football to keep in touch with the Lions and trailed by only eight points at the first break. Quarter-time scores were Huonville 2.3 (15) to New Norfolk 1.1 (7). The second quarter saw the Lions hit their straps and completely outplay the Eagles to pile on six goals and two2 behinds while holding the home side scoreless. The Lions really showed their class and accuracy in front of goals, while the Eagles were left flat footed. Half-time scores Huonville 8.5 (53) to New Norfolk 1.1 (7).

The third quarter saw a slightly improved Eagles limit the rampaging Lions to four goals and two behinds while managing to score a goal themselves. Jordan George was performing well in the ruck for the Eagles, but the Lions were winning the ball from the stoppages. Three-quarter time scores were Huonville 12.7 (79) to New Norfolk 2.1 (13). The final quarter was a complete blowout as the Lions piled on six goals to the young Eagles’ solitary behind to record a convincing 102-point victory and keep their unbeaten record intact.

Jack Miller and Nick Ransley were the only goal scorers for the Eagles from very limited opportunities. Jordan George, Cooper Churchill, Harry Morgan, Tye Oakley, and Ryan Bartels tried hard all game for the home side.

After only four games so far this season the young Eagles are yet to win a game. It has been a difficult season with a compromised roster due to a number of byes. The Colts have also suffered from injuries and players filling in for the Reserves and some playing Senior football. While this is great for the young Eagles’ development for the future it is not enabling continuity in the Colts team at this stage.

This weekend they line up against Southern Storm, who have only won one game, so the young Eagles (depending
on injuries) could have a chance of recording their first win of the season.

Final Scores
Huonville 18.8 (116)
New Norfolk 2.2 (14)
Best – Huonville:
M. Henricks, B. Shaw, C. Burgess, J. Pavletich, J. Richards, T. Artyotha; New Norfolk: J. George, C. Churchill, H. Morgan, T. Oakley, R. Bartels.
Goals – Huonville: A. Cullen 6, B. Shaw 3, T. Wooley 2, A. Smith 2, S. Voss, J. Richards, T. Artyotha, R. Thorp-McCulloch; New Norfolk: J. Miller, N. Ransley.

The women’s team after the game.

Women’s Report by Vanessa Stevenson and Tash Farrow

The Lady Eagles were at home against Huonville last Saturday after a couple of road trips against University and the South East Suns. The Eagles were on fire in the first quarter. The younger brigade of Ellie Henricks, Sid Skelly, Amber Rainbird. Hayley James and Krystina Jacobs were in everything. They produced many great plays and were tackling Huonville players head on and coming out with the ball on numerous occasions.

Henricks kicked the only two goals for the quarter for the Eagles as they kept the Lions to a single behind. Jodie Mather was playing well, and Maddi Devine was working tirelessly in the ruck for the Eagles. Quarter-time scores were New Norfolk 2.1 (13) to Huonville 0.1 (1).

The Eagles got off to a good start in the second quarter, but Huonville started to make its mark on the game. At times things were quite physical but the younger Eagles kept bouncing back. This quarter saw Eagles playing coach Mel Green kick her 300th career goal to become the first woman in Tasmania to reach this milestone. The whole ground erupted in excitement and players came from all over to congratulate her. The milestone was made even more special for Mel as she was playing with her daughter Maddi and niece Monique Brown. Huonville kicked two goals for the quarter, and it was the spark they needed to get back into the match. The Eagles were again well served by Devine, Sid Skelly, Henricks, Krystina Jacob and Hayley James. Nat Bearman battled well all quarter in the backline. Half-time scores were New Norfolk 3.2 (20) to Huonville 2.2 (14).

The third quarter saw both sides desperate for the ball and engaging in good passages of football. The Eagles missed a couple of good opportunities that could have put them back in the lead. Huonville played well and seemed to have the numbers around the ground, kicking two goals to the Eagles’ solitary behind. The Eagle backline was doing well to hold the Lions to two goals for the quarter as the visitors were looking dangerous all
around the ground. For the Eagles, Mather, Devine, Jacob, Amber Rainbird, Jaz Skelly and Sophie Farrow were playing well. Three-quarter time scores were Huonville 4.3 (27) to New Norfolk 3.3 (21).

The final quarter saw both sides battling it out as the game became more physical and Huonville was playing the better football. The Eagles did their best to fight back but a stronger Huonville came away with the game, winning by 10 points. The final score showed how fierce the battle was between the two sides. The Eagles were served well in the last quarter by Sid and Jaz Skelly, Hayley James, Dannielle Clifford, Grace Kube and Nat Bearman. Krystina Jacobs was the best player for the Eagles on the day. It was great to see the New Norfolk Colts and the Huonville women join the team in a guard of honour for Mel Green as she left the oval. 

Final Scores
Huonville 5.3 (33)
New Norfolk 3. 5 (23)
Best – Huonville:
Chontelle Eggers, Emma Groves, Mollie Ford, Madeline Duggan, Nicole Vincent, Jaimie Noye;
New Norfolk: Krystina Jacobs, Haylee James, Sid Skelly, Jasmine Skelly, Ellie Henricks, Jodie Mather.
Goals – Huonville: Emma Groves 2, Demi Batchelder, Chelsea Jarvis; New Norfolk: Ellie Henricks 2, Mel Green.

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