New Norfolk football senior game report

Improving Eagles fell short against Dodges Ferry

By WAYNE WALKER
THE New Norfolk Eagles staged a promising last quarter fightback against the Dodges Ferry Sharks at the big Boyer Oval on Saturday. Scoring four goals to one in the last term, the Eagles fell short by 23 points after the Sharks held a comfortable 43-point lead at three-quarter time. The Eagles edged closer in the last term to get within 18 points of the Sharks.

The Eagles were well led by captain Josh Farrow who was outstanding for the entire game. Farrow did everything he could to lead his side to victory and lifted a number of his team mates, but the visitors managed to hold on for the four points.

The Sharks were doing all the attacking early in the first term, winning the centre clearances and were cleaner with their ball use, finding lead-up targets around the ground. Shark forward Sam Russell booted the first for the visitors and they quickly added another two majors while the Eagles posted two minor scores from new recruit
Tyler Ford who previously played with the Eagles a few seasons ago. The Eagles started to get their game going half-way through the term as Tyler Ford booted the Eagles’ first at the 14-minute mark. Shark forward Nathan Fuller snapped another for the visitors, but the Eagles hit back through tough on baller Jake Bearman who slammed through another six pointer. Big Brayden Drake was competing well against the Sharks’ giant ruckman Matthew Young as the Eagles started to win their fair share of the ball in the centre clearances and stoppages around the ground. The Eagles again entered their forward 50 as Tyler Ford passed to young gun Tyler Benson who goaled on the run. Quarter-time scores showed the Sharks leading by six points: Dodges Ferry 4.5 (29) to New Norfolk 3.5 (23).

The Sharks lifted their work rate in the second term which was the turning point of the game. They slammed on six goals while the Eagles could only manage one behind. The Sharks’ Ben Richmond, Corey Laoumtzis and Brad Joseph were instrumental in many forward entries while Sam Russell and Zac Clark provided key targets up forward. Half-time scores: Dodges Ferry 10.9 (69) to New Norfolk 3.6 (24).

After the main break, the Eagles worked their way back into the game and held the Sharks to just one goal for the term. The Eagles had plenty of the ball but could not turn some of their good work into goals as Jordan Eiszele, Rowan Thomason and Brayden Drake all missed a string of important set shots at goal which proved costly. Three-quarter time scores: Dodges Ferry 11.12 (78) to New Norfolk 4.11 (35).

The Eagles continued to work hard in the early stages of the last term with Farrow leading the way and kicking a great goal from 40m out. Eagle veteran Josh Clifford and big ruckman/forward Hayden Moss were working hard around the ground, along with the hard running Rowan Thomason. Small forward Mitchell Hay was doing some great defensive work in the Eagle forward line by keeping the ball close to goal as he grubbed the Sherrin along the turf to Tyler Ford who kicked truly as scores tightened with the Sharks leading, 78 points to the Eagles’ 47.

New Norfolk seemed to be running out the game better than their opponents as Tyler Ford presented once again, kicking his third major. Momentum had shifted to the home side as Tyler Ford figured in another forward entry finding Farrow who also kicked his third goal as the Eagles trailed by only 18 points. Unfortunately, the clock was against the Eagles as moments later the Sharks quickly transferred the ball from their half-back line down the ground to kick the sealer, running out winners by 23 points.

Eagle fans can look forward to some upsides within the group and as coach Dylan Ford stated last week it may take a month or so before they may have some success. Ford continues to address his team before each encounter, strengthening the message that the Eagles need to gain respect within the competition with no setbacks along the way. The Eagles face off against the improving Brighton this weekend at Boyer Oval, hoping to record a first-up win for season 2024.

Final scores
Dodges Ferry 12.12 (84)
New Norfolk 8.13 (61)
Best- New Norfolk:
J. Farrow, H. Moss, R. Thomason, J. Clifford, T. Ford, T. Benson; Dodges Ferry: A. Addicoat, M. Young, B. Joseph, S. Russell, B. Richmond, C. Laoumtzis.
Goals – New Norfolk: T. Ford, 3, J. Farrow 3, J. Bearman, T. Benson; Dodges Ferry: S. Russell 3, Z. Clark 3, A. Addicoat, B. Joseph, B. Richmond, N. Fuller, J. Oates, C. Howlett.

Next games – Round 3 – Boyer Oval – April 20
Women v Brighton at 10 am.
Reserves v Brighton at noon.
Seniors v Brighton at 2pm.

New Norfolk and Derwent Valley News is a sponsor of the New Norfolk District Football Club.

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

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