Eagles show improvement at Sorell


ON Saturday the NNDFC Senior and Reserves teams were on the road to Pembroke Park to test themselves against the Sorell Eagles. The Senior Women were also on the road to Pembroke Park to tangle with the South East Suns on Sunday (Mother’s Day).

As the Colts had a bye, some of their players lined up for the Reserves. The Seniors were also slightly depleted and had to call up some Reserves players to give them a full complement of players. Both teams were in for a tough day, particularly the Seniors as fourth-placed Sorell was coming off a good win on the road against Claremont and pumped for a percentage-boosting victory against our young and inexperienced team.

Following a couple of tough games against University and Lauderdale, the women were looking to get back in the winners list against the South East Suns who are yet to get a win a game this season.

Senior Report by Wayne Walker

The New Norfolk Eagles took some giant steps forward and showed genuine improvement as they came from a 37-point deficit in the last term to reduce the Sorell Eagles’ lead to just seven points at the 20-minute mark of the last quarter. The fightback sent a scare through the Sorell camp before it regained some composure in the dying stages of the contest to run out the 21-point winner at Pembroke Park on Saturday.

Sorell utility/forward Connor Smith bagged two late goals (five for the game) to get his team over the line from the fast-finishing Eagles to grab the four premiership points. New Norfolk coach Matthew Smith told his charges at three quarter time to take the game on and take risks which paid dividends in what was a great last quarter by the Eagles.

Sorell jumped out to an early lead in the first quarter, booting three goals before New Norfolk registered its first major through Jordan Eiszele, who marked at centre-half-forward and kicked truly. The visitors suffered an early blow with an injury to swingman Jordan Banks-Smith which kept him out for the remainder of the game. Sorell had the footy in its attacking zone for major periods in the term, but the New Norfolk backline held firm, led by some great defensive work from captain Josh Farrow. Eagle on-baller Tyson Eiszele was also busy on the outer wing and big forward Jason Laycock was providing a contest up forward, but New Norfolk could not mop up at ground level to finish off their good work as they entered their forward 50. Quarter-time scores were Sorell 4.1 (25) points to New Norfolk 1.1 (7).

New Norfolk’s tackling pressure and contested work around the packs in the second quarter was the best we have seen so far this season. The visitors pushed forward to find full-forward Laycock who took a strong grab to convert for their second goal. Sorell got its game going, finding the loose man and was more superior overhead, out-marking New Norfolk on numerous occasions. This resulted in a goal to Smith and another to playing coach Tim Castle to give the home side a 24-point lead. Sorell missed a few set shots but was also hunted down by New Norfolk which applied a huge amount of pressure in the contest. Coaching staff Matthew Smith, Hedley Thompson, Adrian Burdon and Nigel Hay were pleased with the effort around the contest which had been lacking in previous weeks. Scores at the main break were Sorell 6.6 (42) to New Norfolk 2.1 (13).

Sorell maintained the game on its terms in the third quarter, but New Norfolk was still showing positive signs in general play. Josh Clifford dragged down a spectacular high mark in the goal square against two bigger opponents to kick his first for the game. Corey Ransley followed with another, but the visitors were still trailing by 37 points at the three-quarter time break in what was a three goal to two quarter. It looked like the game may have been out of reach for New Norfolk with the scores at 64 points to 27.

New Norfolk rallied in the last term, outscoring Sorell five goals to two, and at one stage looked like it could snatch the four points but just falling short in the dying minutes. It was a team effort by the New Norfolk Eagles and they showed what they can produce when they support each other in numbers around the contest. Farrow continued his good form and showed his usual leadership among the group along with experienced campaigners Clifford and Ben Lovell. Youngster Tyler Benson played a great game, Brayden Butler also had plenty of the footy and showed he can be an important link player within the group. Jordan Eiszele ploughed in hard as only he knows how over four quarters and Baxter Lewis was busy throughout the game. Tyson Eiszele looks to be working into form along with Brock Triffett who showed bursts of footy smarts in the heavy traffic.

Senior coach Smith praised his players in the post-match address and said he was proud of the group and the way it fought on till the final siren. The Eagles will now face an even tougher challenge against the unbeaten Huonville
Lions at Boyer this Saturday and if they can bring the heat they showed against Sorell there is no reason why they should not go in with a positive attitude.

Final Scores
Sorell 11.12 (78)
New Norfolk 9.3 (57)
Best – Sorell:
L. Nicholls, C. Smith, B. Daniels, A. Butterworth, J. Bailey, L. Butterworth; New Norfolk: J. Farrow, T. Benson, B. Lewis, J. Eiszele, B. Butler, J. Clifford.
Goals – Sorell: C. Smith 5, J. Smith 2, L. Butterworth 2, T. Castle 2; New Norfolk: J. Laycock 2, C. Ransley 2, J. Clifford 2, J. Eiszele, T. Benson, B. Triffett.

Reserves Report by Wayne Walker

The New Norfolk Reserves played two entirely different halves of football against Sorell on Saturday at Pembroke Park. The first half was competitive, but they fell away badly in the second as the home side ran away with a comfortable 67-point victory.

The team is struggling for numbers and lacks continuity within the group as there are a number of new faces each week. The Colts help out each week and with other players either not available or moving up for Senior duties it makes it difficult for coach Nigel Hay and assistant coach Hedley Thompson to develop consistency within the group.

New Norfolk held its own for the first half with its only goalkicker being Tyron Triffett. They visitors Sorell to just two goals on their home deck in bright sunny conditions with no wind to speak of, which is an uncommon occurrence at Pembroke Park. Half-time scores were Sorell 2.3 (15) to New Norfolk 1.1 (7).

The flood gates opened in the second half with Sorell scoring four goals in the third term and a further five in the last to run out easy victors. Former New Norfolk players Tyler Purdon and Cody Neads lined up against their old club with the elusive Neads bagging five goals for his new team.

The Eagles were well served by Mathew Jones who performed well and tackled hard on the backline. Andrew Minchin was good in the centre and around the ground, getting plenty of the footy. Luke Crosswell was also solid up back along with Riley Blackaby who battled hard all game. Brandon King is working into some good form, and it was good to see Brad Ransley back again, showing he still has class and added a bit of voice and experience on the park for the New Norfolk Reserves.

Final Scores
Sorell 11.8 (74) d New Norfolk 1.1 (7).
Best – Sorell:
R. Batchelor, C. Neads, A. Contor, L. Dance, B. Cripps, T. Banks; New Norfolk: M. Jones, A. Minchin, L. Crosswell, R. Blackaby, B. Ransley, B. King.
Goals – Sorell: C. Neads 5, T. McSwain 2, C. Reid, T. Banks, N. Thornbury, J. McKean; New Norfolk: T. Triffett.

Women’s Report by Vanessa Stevenson and Tash Farrow

The Eagles’ Senior Women celebrated Mother’s Day on the road against the South East Suns at Pembroke Park with another later start of 2.30pm. The first quarter was an arm-wrestle with both sides displaying some scrappy play. Maddie Devine was rucking beautifully as Sophie Farrow put the first goal on the board for the  Eagles. The South East Suns went into attack strongly but a great mark by Dannielle Clifford in the final line of defence saw the ball come back up the ground with a resulting gaol to Ellie Henricks. The game continued to seesaw with a lack of scoring. Hayley James, Farrow, Sid Skelly and Krystina Jacobs were playing well across the midfield. The Eagles held the Suns to a single goal for the quarter. Quarter time scores: New Norfolk 2. 2 (14) to South East Suns 1.0 (6)

The second quarter again saw Devine being superb in the ruck. Jacobs, Farrow and Sid Skelly were playing well for the Eagles. Mel Green scored her first goal of the match while Grace Kube, Siobhan Smith, Hayley James and Clifford were playing well across the backline. The ball was in attack on many occasions for the Eagles but they couldn’t capitalise, only kicking two behinds while keeping the Suns scoreless for the quarter. Half-time scores: New Norfolk 3.4 (22) to South East Suns 1.0 (6).

The Eagles played well in the third quarter with smaller players Krystina Jacobs, Kiarne Stocks and James making their mark. Devine and Nem Skelly were both playing great games in the ruck. Henricks kicked two goals for the quarter and looked dangerous. Green went on to kick another goal for the quarter. This term saw the spark back in the Eagles and their handballs and marks were spot on. The Suns were kept to two behinds. Three-quarter time scores were New Norfolk 6.4 (40) to South East Suns 1.2 (8).

The final quarter saw the Eagles kick away with Green scoring two more great goals and Jay Mansfield also chipping in for a major. Henricks, Farrow, James and Sid Skelly played well for the visitors as they came home strongly in the final term to run away winners by 55 points. The South East Suns were kept scoreless for the quarter. 

Both teams showed their support for the umpires by wearing green armbands during the game. Both teams then lined up at the end of the game and clapped the umpires off the ground in a show of appreciation for the job they do.

Final Scores
New Norfolk 9.9 (63)
South East Suns: 1.2 (8)
Best – New Norfolk:
Maddi Devine, Sophie Farrow, Krystina Jacobs, Sid Skelly, Mel Green, Ellie Henricks; Suns: Jayme Nattey, Molly Monks, Kaylee Stubbs, Makayla Bruce, Dannielle Hibberd, Jesse Cope.
Goals – New Norfolk: Mel Green 4, Ellie Henricks 3, Jaymee Mansfield, Sophie Farrow; Suns: Emily Lowe.

Next games

This weekend all teams are at home on the big Boyer Oval against the Huonville Lions. Once again, all teams will be in for a tough day as the Lions are undefeated on top of the Senior ladder. Their Reserves and Colts are sitting in equal-second position. The Huonville senior women sit in fifth position on the SFLW Division 2 ladder only percentage points above the Eagles. All supporters are encouraged to get along to the games and get behind all teams this weekend and give them much-needed support.

  • Saturday, May 20:
  • Women v Huonville at Boyer Oval at 8.50am
  • Colts v Huonville at Boyer Oval at 10.30am
  • Reserves v Huonville at Boyer Oval at 12.30pm
  • Seniors v Huonville at Boyer Oval at 2.30pm

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