Eagles caught in Shark frenzy at Boyer Oval


IT was another big day at Boyer Oval last Saturday with four games of football on the agenda. The Senior Women were were first up against Hutchins, while the three men’s teams followed against Dodges Ferry. The Colts followed for their fifth game of the season against the fifth-placed Dodges Ferry in what shaped as another tough encounter. The undermanned Reserves were again going to struggle against the top-of-the-table Sharks. The young Senior team also faced a difficult task against an older and stronger outfit.


Senior Report by Wayne Walker

THE Dodges Ferry Sharks made their way to the big Boyer Oval on Saturday to take on the New Norfolk Eagles and found themselves under siege in the first term, trailing by 27 points. However, they turned up the heat on the home team in the second term and dominated the second half booting 16 goals to the Eagles solitary major to run out big winners by 115 points.

The Sharks smelt blood in the water after half-time and ran away with a big win. They had too many big guns up forward led by Campbell Hooker (six goals) along with Ben McGuiness (four goals) and Daniel Reimers (four goals). The Eagles played the majority of the last quarter with only 17 players on the park, which impacted the scoreboard. Captain Josh Farrow left the ground early with injury in the last term to join Tyson Eiszele and Dylan Browning who were unable to continue after half-time with niggling injuries. The situation worsened with Rowan Thomason and Will Banks having to leave the ground early in the last term which left the Eagles with no-one on the pine as the Sharks feasted on the footy for most of the last half. The Eagles sorely missed utility players Ben Lovell and Jordan Banks-Smith, who were also missing from the regular line up due to injury.

The Sharks were like a fish out of water in the first term as the Eagles pulled a surprise move with regular back man Jaidyn Fisher-Cooley lining up on the forward line to boot the first goal of the game. The Eagles were winning the footy out of the middle and found Fisher-Cooley once again who passed to Eagle giant Jason Laycock who kicked truly. The Sharks answered through Daniel Reimers for their first goal, but the Eagles bounced back as young Brayden Butler passed to Laycock on the lead who handpassed to Fisher-Cooley for his second.

The Eagles pushed forward through midfielder Dylan Browning who found Laycock who was proving to be a handful for Shark full back Jake Murphy. Unfortunately, he was off target with a minor score. Moments later Eagle stalwart Josh Clifford found Laycock once again who kicked his second goal. The home side had all the momentum as Nathan Eiszele worked his way through two Shark opponents and found another Eagle youngster, Hayden Davis, who passed to Tyron Bailey for the Eagles’ fifth goal. Big Eagle utility Corey Ransley was moved into the ruck which enabled Bailey to go forward as he kicked his second and it looked as if an upset could be likely as the Eagles had a 33-point lead in what was their best quarter of football for the season. The Sharks managed to kick a late goal as quarter time scores showed New Norfolk 6.3 (39) to Dodges Ferry 2.0 (12).

The Sharks worked their way back into the game during the second term. Symon Kennedy and Riley Hooker were instrumental gaining many possessions and Sharks forwards Campbell Hooker, Ben McGuiness and Daniel Reimers were getting on top of the Eagle backline as they hit the lead at the 15-minute mark of the quarter (40 points to 39). The Sharks slammed on seven goals for the term while the home side could only manage two behinds. Half-time scores were Dodges Ferry 9.5 (59) to New Norfolk 6.5 (41).

The Sharks took over in the third term booting eight goals with Riley Hooker, Symon Kennedy and Jonathan Bullock combining well in the centre area bounces and around the ground as the Sharks extended their lead to 59 points at three-quarter time when the scores were Dodges Ferry 17.6 (108) to New Norfolk 7.7 (49). The Sharks took full advantage in the last term slamming on another eight goals as the Eagles had no personnel on the bench to rest any on-field players as Dodges Ferry ran away with a big percentage-boosting win by 115 points.

New Norfolk’s tough onballer Jordan Eiszele worked hard over four quarters, winning the hard ball on many occasions. Zeb Graham was one of the Eagles’ best in the heavy traffic and his precise field kicking to position is really a feature of his game. Corey Ransley battled hard up forward and in the ruck contests against the Sharks seasoned campaigner Jack Siggins. Tyron Bailey also performed well in the ruck and up forward with two goals
while Jason Laycock provided a target up forward with three goals. Josh Clifford had plenty of the footy and continued to pressure the opposition for a full 120 minutes with his gut running and never give up attituded week-in week-out.

The Eagles must march on regardless and look to the future bearing in mind almost every club has to go through
a rebuilding stage.

Final Scores
Dodges Ferry 25.15 (165)
New Norfolk 7.8 (50)

Best – Dodges Ferry: S. Kennedy, C. Hooker, J. Siggins, C. Laoumtzis, J. Bullock, A. Tatnell-Cowen; New Norfolk: J. Eiszele, Z. Graham, C. Ransley, B. Lewis, T. Bailey, J. Clifford.
Goals – Dodges Ferry: C. Hooker 6, D. Reimers 4, B. McGuinness 4, M. Cusick 2, J. Siggins 2, J. Booth 2, R. Hooker 2, B. Jackson, J. Corbett, B. Triffett; New Norfolk: J. Laycock 3, T. Bailey 2, J. Fisher-Cooley 2.

Reserves Report by Wayne Walker

THE New Norfolk Reserves continue to struggle and search for their second win in what has been a tough year. So far this season they have battled to bed down regular personnel due to players being needed in the Senior squad covering injuries and shortage of numbers over various weeks.

The Eagle Colts must be commended as a number of their players step up each week to provide a contest. Colts players such as Ryan Bartels, Liam Kenyon, Jack Miller, Tyron Triffett and Riley Higgins continue to contribute among others. The Reserves have also had a number of past players line up to help out the club such as Michael Thompson, Shane Bonnitcha, Luke Joseph, Jake Wessing, Zeb Graham, Brad Ransley and Brandon King over a number of weeks which shows their commitment and love for the club.

The Eagles are finding it hard to hit the scoreboard each week with goals hard to find and not many forward entries per game as the footy has spent most of its time in the opposition’s forward half. However, there are always positives and things you can grasp onto for the coming weeks. Big Brayden Drake returned to the Club for his first game of the season and performed well in the ruck and around the ground battling hard all day. Utility player
Thomas Lovell played his best game for the year along with Jake Campbell who showed he has the skills to push for Senior selection.

Eagle youngster Liam Kenyon was a handy inclusion and performed well along with the experienced Mathew Jones
who battled hard all day. The number 22 was once again on display worn by Michael Thompson who provided a target up forward with limited supply and delivery but still clutched a few grabs overhead making it hard for his direct opponents to rebound from defence.

Final Scores
Dodges Ferry 17.16 (118)
New Norfolk 1.2 (8)
Best – Dodges Ferry:
P. Broad, A. Kenny, J. Wilson, J. McDermott, B. Morrisby, J. Collins; New Norfolk: M. Jones, B. Drake, L. Kenyon, T. Lovell, M. Thompson, J. Campbell.
Goals – Dodges Ferry: S. Russell 4, J. Wilson 3, A. Kenny 3, A. Press 2, S. Boxall 2, H. Davis, W. Harris; New Norfolk: T. Heron.

The New Norfolk Colts belt out the Eagles club song for the first time this season.

Colts Report by Chris Lovell

THE young Eagles lined up at Boyer Oval on Saturday for another tough assignment against Dodges Ferry on Saturday. Following a 96-point loss to Southern Storm (sixth on the ladder) the previous week, the Eagles knew that Dodges Ferry (3rd on the ladder) would be a very tough game.

The match started in cold but sunny conditions. Both teams were keen to get an early advantage and displayed good football in what was a high standard contest. Both teams had opportunities in their respective forward lines, but a slightly more accurate New Norfolk held a slight advantage at the first break. Quarter-time scores were New Norfolk 4.1 (25) to Dodges Ferry 3.3 ( 21).

The second quarter was another arm-wrestle with both sides striving for the upper hand. The young Eagles were starting to show signs of good teamwork and were attacking strongly. Unfortunately, slight inaccuracy in front of goal cost them as they scored only one major and four behinds for the quarter while a more accurate Dodges Ferry scored two goals and a behind to reduce the margin to a single point at the main break. Half-time scores were New Norfolk 5.5 (35) to Dodges Ferry 5.4 (34).

The young Eagles were starting to sense a potential victory and really started to put pressure on their opponents. They combined beautifully to gradually get on top of their opponents with all playing their role. The Eagles scored a goal and a behind while holding Dodges Ferry to two minor scores to finish the term with a six-point break. Three-quarter time scores were New Norfolk 6.6 (42) to Dodges Ferry 5.6 (36).

The scene was set for an epic last quarter with the Eagles sensing a victory was just 20 minutes away. An outstanding team effort by the Eagles saw them outplay the visitors and pull away with three goals and two behinds while keeping Dodges Ferry to one goal and behinds. The end result was fitting reward for the young Eagles as they have been working hard on their structures.

It was hard to pick the best players as it was a great team effort with all the players contributing to a rousing victory. After the game in the changing rooms the boys sang a very loud rendition of the club song for the first
time this season. The boys now have a bye to prepare for the second half of the season.

Final Scores
New Norfolk 9.8 (62)
Dodges Ferry 6.8 (44)
Best – New Norfolk:
B. Scanlon, B. Ward, L. Kenyon, R. Triffett, T. Oakley, T. Triffett; Dodges Ferry: C, Dolliver, B. Radunz, B. Featherstone, B. Johannesen, D. Milburn, D. Beatson.
Goals – New Norfolk: J. Miller 4, B. Ward, B. Scanlon, T. George, T. Triffett, H. Morgan; Dodges Ferry: B. Bonitcha,3, E. McShane, B. Radunz, B. Johannesen.

Jaz Skelly, front row third from left, with the rest of the women’s team after playing her 50th game.

Women’s Report by Vanessa Stevenson and Tash Farrow

THE Lady Eagles took on Hutchins for the first time in Division 2 at Boyer Oval last Saturday. Both teams started well, with Hutchins kicking two goals and three behinds and the New Norfolk registered one behind. The Eagles had plenty of opportunities in the forward line but couldn’t capitalise. Maddi Devine was rucking well,and the trio of Sophie Farrow, Sid Skelly and Krystina Jacob were battling hard in the middle for the Lady Eagles. Quarter-time scores were Hutchins 2.3 (15) to New Norfolk 0.1 (1).

The second quarter saw Hutchins moving the ball quite quickly into their forward line on many occasions but could only score three behinds. The Eagles were kept scoreless for this quarter. Nat Bearman and Dannielle Clifford were working hard in defence with Hayley James and Ellie Henricks laying some great tackles. Krystina Jacobs, Sophie
Farrow and Sid Skelly worked tirelessly through the midfield. Half-time scores were Hutchins 2.6 (18) to New Norfolk 0.1 (1).

Jorja Franklin and Mia Temple started to make their mark on the game in the third quarter. Temple kicked a beautiful goal for the Eagles to give them some confidence. However, it was their only goal for the quarter, and they finished with one goal and two behinds for the term. Hutchins kicked two goals and seven behinds, missing many opportunities to put the game beyond the Eagles. Maddi Devine, Sophie Farrow and Kiarne Stocks played well for the Eagles in this quarter. Three-quarter time scores were Hutchins 4.13 (37) to New Norfolk 1.3 (9).

The final quarter was an even affair as both sides scored a goal and a point each. Ellie Henricks kicked an exciting goal for the Eagles but they couldn’t capitalise on their forward entries. The defence played well with Grace Kube and Krystina Jacobs tackling well. Jorja Franklin seemed to have the ball on a string and played an awesome last half. Hayley James, Nat Bearman, Dannielle Clifford and Jaz Skelly played a solid last quarter.

It was a hard-fought game with Hutchins taking the four points. However, the younger Eagles should all be proud of themselves for their effort. Following the game, a presentation was made to Jaz Skelly who played her 50th game for the club to become the first female to do so. Congratulations Jaz. 

The Lady Eagles played the game wearing armbands in memory of Lauderdale Football Club’s volunteer and past player Dion Mead who died in a car crash last week. A fundraising campaign has been started for his family here.

Final Scores
Hutchins 5.14 (44)
New Norfolk 2.4 (16)
Best – Hutchins:
Daisy Murphy, Rani Cavarretta, Madeline Blackman, Isabella McVilly, Georgia Crawford, Molly Garrett; New Norfolk: Krystina Jacobs, Sid Skelly, Jorja Franklin, Hayley James, Sophie Farrow, Natalie Bearman.
Goals – Hutchins: Rani Cavarretta 2, Elysse Cornford, Madeline Blackman, Daisy Murphy; New Norfolk: Ellie Henricks, Mia Temple.

Next games

ALL teams have a bye this weekend as we reach the half-way mark of the season. All players will be looking forward to the long weekend to rest and recover from injuries and reset for the balance of the season.

Whilst on paper it hasn’t been a successful season to date based on win/loss ratio, it should be noted that New Norfolk has young players throughout the teams. The average age of the Senior squad is 23 years, with the youngest being 16 years and there are 18 players aged 23 years and under. They are gaining valuable experience and learning new skills and have shown glimpses of what is in store.

The Senior team performed well against Sorell, coming from 40 points behind to get within seven points in the
last quarter before fading. Last Saturday they played a great first quarter against Dodges Ferry before fading against the bigger and more experienced bodies.

Hopefully we will see some more consistent performance in the last half of the season.

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