Mixed results from three games at Boyer Oval

ROUND 15 – NEW NORFOLK v SORELL – JULY 22

IT was a mixed day for the New Norfolk District Football Club at Boyer Oval last Saturday with three games played in sunny conditions with a good crowds in attendance. The Senior Women had a good win against the South East Suns and the Senior Men and Reserve teams showed improvement with competitive games against Sorell. The Colts had another bye.

The Women kicked off the day with an entertaining match against the Sorell-based South East Suns. The Eagles were strong 55-point victors the last time the two teams met and were expected to win again on their home turf. To their credit, the Suns came ready to play and took the game right up to the home team. It was good to see a number of junior players in the Eagles side which bodes well for the future. A well-earned 15-point victory keeps the Eagles in finals contention.

Topped-up with retired players who wanted to play with Michael Thompson in his 200th club game, the Reserves side was in the hunt until midway through the last quarter in a tough low scoring encounter. Congratulations to Michael on an outstanding career.

The Seniors – with the inclusion of classy midfielders Nathan Blowfield, Blake Waight (grandson of past Eagle great Harold Wilton) and forward Isaac Manson from Glenorchy via permit – were more than competitive with Sorell in an exciting encounter. With better accuracy in the final term the result could have been reversed. It is pleasing to note that the young Eagle team is on the right track, and the inclusion of three or four quality players to the talented young group will make a huge difference next season.

Senior Report – Wayne Walker

New Norfolk squandered some last quarter opportunities in front of goal which proved costly in the final washup, with five scoring shots all producing minor scores as Sorell managed to hold on for an 18-point victory at the big Boyer Oval last Saturday.

The home team had the benefit of bringing in some talent from Glenorchy via permit, with classy midfielders Nathan Blowfield, Blake Waight and forward Isaac Manson all pulling on the red, white and black guernsey of the home side. Early one-on-one contests saw Sorell backman Will Poland taking on New Norfolk full-forward Jason Laycock, while New Norfolk ruckman was Ben Lovell pitted against Sorell big man Connor Barry and local onballers Blowfield, Tyson Eiszele and Will Banks took on the visitors’ Connor Smith, Alex Harrison, and Corey Murfet.

Sorell looked to be switched on early in the contest with many forward entries putting the New Norfolk defenders under extreme pressure with early goals to Tom Bennett and Myles Sawford, but the home team steadied through Will Banks kicking its first major followed by another goal from the very talented Rowan Thomason as New Norfolk started to get the game going on its terms. The home team won the ball from the next centre bounce contest and found Blowfield who marked the footy on a quick lead at half-forward to slot another six pointer as New Norfolk was looking more dangerous by the minute.

The very skillful Blowfield broke away from the next centre bounce and executed a bullet-like pass straight on the chest of Laycock to register New Norfolk’s fourth goal. Elusive Sorell forward Tom Bennett quickly replied with an answering goal but moments later the home team pushed forward once again as Jacob Goodsell snatched the Sherrin from a boundary throw-in close to goal to boot New Norfolk’s Eagles fifth for the quarter. Quarter time scores were Sorell 8.2 (50) to New Norfolk 5.4 (34).

Early in the second term Blowfield featured once again, marking 40m out and kicking truly for his second goal. New Norfolk was fighting hard and growing in confidence as experienced campaigner Josh Clifford passed to Jordan Eiszele who in turn found Goodsell close to the big sticks for another major. Sorell utility Brock Daniels was busy for the visiting side as he threaded one through close to the half-time siren in what was an even quarter to go into the main break with a 17-point lead: Sorell 10.5 (65) to New Norfolk 7.6 (48).

One of the key points from senior coach Matthew Smith at half time was that New Norfolk failed to use its wingers at crucial stages of the contest and that they should use the width and space of the big Boyer Oval. Both sides were finding it hard to hit the scoreboard in the third term as both back lines were on top of the opposing sides forwards, which was a contrast to the first half. Sorell suffered a major blow during the quarter losing talented onballer Connor Smith with a knee injury. Rugged New Norfolk onballer Jordan Eiszele was the only goal scorer for the home team while Sorell added two majors to extend its lead to 24 points at three-quarter time: Sorell 12.8 (80) to New Norfolk 8.8 (56).

New Norfolk reduced Sorell’s lead to 17 points early in the last term thanks to Manson kicking truly but the home team had some costly misses (five in total) in front of goal until Manson booted another goal late in the term for his second. The New Norfolk Eagles scored two goals and seven behinds for the term while the Sorell Eagles kicked two goals and a behind to hold on for an 18-point victory.

New Norfolk captain Josh Farrow stood tall on the backline, taking numerous marks and repelling many of Sorell’s forward entries. Blowfield showed his class and skill over four quarters as did Waight who provided plenty of run for the red, white and black. Tyler Benson continues to show his footy smarts for such a young player. Thomason continues his development and has become a key player in the Senior squad and is a versatile option in many positions on the field. Manson had some important moments throughout the contest.

New Norfolk has a bye this week and then takes the trip to Huonville for a tough encounter against the Huonville Lions on August 5.

Final scores
Sorell 14. 9 (93)

New Norfolk 10.15 (75)
Best – Sorell:
T. Bennett, M. Sawford, A. Jones, J. Bateman, B. Daniels, J. Smith; New Norfolk: N. Blowfield, J. Farrow, B. Waight, T. Benson, I. Manson, R. Thomason.
Goals – Sorell: T. Bennett 5, J. Sawford 4, B. Carter, B. Daniels, J. Smith, L. Butterworth, M. Sawford; New Norfolk: N. Blowfield 2, I. Manson 2, J. Goodsell 2, J. Laycock, J. Eiszele, W. Banks, R. Thomason.

Reserves Report – Wayne Walker

The New Norfolk Reserves side was searching for its third win for the season and was right in the contest midway through the last term, trailing by only three points until Sorell kicked into another gear and added three goals to go on and record a 22-point victory. In the crucial last term scores were Sorell 19 points to New Norfolk 16 points at the halfway mark of the quarter in a low scoring, hard fought contest in perfect conditions for football.

The home was scoreless at quarter-time and Sorell had only four behinds on the scoreboard. The half-time scores had Sorell at 1.5 (11) to New Norfolk 0.2 (2) and the three-quarter time scores showed Sorell with a nine-point lead, 2.6 (18) to 1.3 (9) and the final scores were Sorell 5.8 (38) to New Norfolk 2.4 (16).

Eagle stalwart Shane Bonnitcha was New Norfolk’s best player. He certainly knows how to read the play, taking many intercept marks across the half-back line. Samuel Holloway is in the best players every week and continues to have a great season. Zeb Graham was his usual tough hard self in and around the packs. Michael Thompson was a focal point up forward creating contests in the air and at ground level. Tyron Triffett continues to impress and Luke Crosswell was a good contributor.

Senior coach Matthew Smith addressed the players before the game, paying tribute to Thompson, who was playing his 200th game for the club. Thompson was a champion player in his time at the club with many premierships and awards under his belt. He also had the ability of lifting his team-mates around him by the way he would prepare for the contest, listen to his coaches and then commit to the contest when on the field. His attack on the footy was second to none. In his heartfelt speech, Smith went on to say he was his favourite player to coach. For New Norfolk supporters, it has been a privilege to watch his career. Unfortunately for “Thommo,” he suffered a calf injury in the third term and could not finish the game.

Final Scores
Sorell 5.8 (38)
New Norfolk 2.4 (16)
Best – Sorell:
R. Smith, D. Chapman, T. Purdon, N. Wherrett, W. Harris, L. Hitchens; New Norfolk: S. Bonnitcha, S. Holloway, Z. Graham, L. Crosswell, M. Thompson, T. Triffett.
Goals – Sorell: M. Beven 2, T. Banks, S. Pace, C. Harris; New Norfolk: L. Crosswell, J. Evans.

Women’s Report – Vanessa Stevenson and Tash Farrow

THE game started in bright, sunny conditions with the South East Suns physically stronger and scoring their first goal within the first two minutes of the game. They went forward again, with Dannielle Clifford running the ball through for a point. Krystina Jacobs and Hayley James were tackling strongly for the Eagles.

Jorja Franklin attempted her first shot at goal, but the ball was touched on the line for a point. Maddison Devine was rucking well for the Eagles as Ellie Henricks ran through with speed for her first goal. The Suns went forward again with Clifford again touching it through for a point. The Eagles then missed three opportunities for goals scoring three consecutive points. Jodie Mather and Franklin were tacking well for the Eagles and the quarter-time scores were New Norfolk 1.5 (11) to South East Suns 1.2 (8).

The Eagles came out strongly in the second quarter matching the Suns physically and were quicker around the ground. Kyah Abel, playing her first senior game, was tackling hard along with Mia Temple, Henricks and Maddison Krause. Hayley James was sling tackled, which resulted in a free kick. Temple received the ball and was given a 100m penalty that resulted in her first goal for the game. The Eagles defence was working well with strong play from Jasmine Skelly, Grace Kube and Krause. Kyah Abel and Kodi Stevenson were tackling beautifully, and both have strong futures ahead. Krystina Jacobs and Brandi Sokolski were making their mark on the game with strong tackles and kicking. Half-time scores: New Norfolk 2.5 (17) to South East Suns 1.3 (9).

The third quarter seemed to belong to the Eagles’ Jacobs and Brandi Sokolski with their quickness and strong tackling which was great to watch. Hayley James kicked a beautiful pass to Mel Green which resulted in a goal. The Eagles seemed to find their legs in this quarter with everyone contributing. Their defence was working well with many great plays from Clifford, Jasmine Skelly and Kube which saw the ball being continually sent back into the forward line. Some great play from Abel resulted in Henricks kicking her second goal. Ash Green had a couple of good spoils as did Hayley James. Krystina Jacobs had twelve possessions for the quarter and Brandi Sokolski six. Three-quarter time scores were New Norfolk 4.7 (31) to South East Suns 2.4 (16).

The final quarter saw many great plays from the Eagles, especially the Junior players who had the legs to keep running and tackling beautifully. Sokolski received a free kick and passed to Jodie Mather which only resulted in a point for the Eagles. Devine rucked well all day and James, Jacobs and Henricks gave great support. A great tackle by Clifford resulted in a free kick. The free kick was marked by Krause who passed to Sokolski who passed to the pocket rocket Henricks who goaled. The Suns went into attack but a great save by Monique Brown saw the ball go over the line for a point. A nasty incident saw Franklin taken from the ground with concussion. She didn’t return for the rest of the game. Get well soon Jorja. This Eagles team was the youngest side to take the field this season. Eleven of the players were under the age of 18. What an amazing future they have.

Final Scores
New Norfolk 5.8 (38)
South East Suns 3.5 (23)
Best – New Norfolk:
B. Sokolski, K. Abel, E. Henricks, J. Skelly, M. Temple, M. Krause; South East Suns: J. Nattey, L. Featherstone, M. Monks, E. Little, F. Medhurst, L. Wallis.
Goals – New Norfolk: Ellie Henricks 3, M. Temple, M. Green; South East Suns: E. Bygrave, E. Little, A. Saunders.

Next games – July 29

ON Saturday we have only one game at Boyer Oval when the Lady Eagles line up against the top-of-the-ladder Claremont Magpies. This game will be played at 10am with a free gate. The Senior Men, Reserves and Colts have a bye.

More local sport.

See more Derwent Valley and Central Highlands news online and read our print edition every second Friday.

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