Wayne Walker reviews the Eagles’ twin victories


| The New Norfolk Eagles recorded a long-awaited victory over a re-building Hobart Tigers outfit by a massive 131 points at a sun-bathed Boyer Oval on Saturday. The Eagles could finally belt out the club song with gusto after a long 742-day drought since their last win on Good Friday back in season 2022. They did not win a game in the 2023 season.


After an even first quarter on Saturday, the home side had the game on their terms in the second quarter, booting 10 goals to take control of the match by half-time with a match-winning lead of 70 points. The Eagles have been begging for some firepower on their forward line for some time. With the return of the talented Tyron Bailey (5 goals) and skillful speedster Jye Bearman (5 goals) along with another massive performance from Eagle captain Josh Farrow (5 goals), it looks like the Eagles may be able to kick some bigger scores in weeks ahead.

The Eagles also included Jake Harris, who returned to the senior squad from injury, promoted ruckman/forward Corey Ransley and Jamie Devine from the reserves and former senior player Jacob Daley after a two-year absence. Veterans Josh Clifford and Ben Lovell also featured in a number of score assists bringing their younger teammates into the play.

Both sides struggled in the first term to gain any momentum and failed to find key forward targets due to scrappy congested play. The Tigers were first to hit the scoreboard with an early goal, but the Eagles answered through Tyron Bailey with a clever snap across his body from a tight angle. The Tigers worked the ball forward and added another major from Toby Cosgrove while the Eagles replied with a handpass from Ben Lovell to Jye Bearman who threaded through a great goal on the run which concluded a scrappy first term. Quarter-time scores: New Norfolk 2.6 (18) to Hobart 2.1 (13).

he second term opened with big ruckman Corey Ransley winning the centre bounce and tapping the footy to Jye Bearman who hit Josh Clifford on the chest and “Cliffy” duly slammed it through the big sticks. The home side suddenly had some spark with Tyron Bailey providing a great 50m run down the wing and on baller Jake Harris shooting for goal but only posting minor score. Bailey received a free kick moments later to kick his second major and moments later Ben Lovell did some hard work at the base of a pack and got the footy to Josh Farrow for a great goal.

Small forward Mitch Hay added another major with a reverse banana kick from the boundary line for a sensational goal. The Eagles were dominating at each contest with Lovell once again instrumental with a clever kick around the body finding Bearman who marked and goaled. Big Ben Lovell featured once again with a pass into the forward pocket to Farrow who kicked truly. The Eagles slammed through another four goals with two more each to
Bearman and Farrow as the Eagles ran riot to jump out to a 70-point lead at the main break. Half-time scores: New Norfolk 12.12 (84) to Hobart 2.2 (14).

In his half-time address to his players, New Norfolk senior coach Dylan Ford said he was pleased with the way the Eagles provided run and shared the footy and managed to turn things around in the second term after a scrappy first quarter. The Eagles continued to dominate the contest in the last half and could taste victory after such a long drought, booting a further 12 goals in the last half while the Tigers added four. Three–quarter time scores: New Norfolk 17.20 (122) to Hobart 3.2 (20).

Onballer Jordan Eiszele played his usual tough hard style of footy and was great all day. Baxter Lewis was busy in the back half and the versatile Bailey Wheeler continues to impress, able to fulfill his role wherever required. Brayden Butler is developing into an important player and is the master of the 25m pass. Farrow, Bearman, Bailey, Clifford and Lovell were instrumental in the win.

Every Eagle player contributed to the win and the Eagles really do have some firepower to work with in coming weeks. The Eagles still have Jake Bearman (suspended), Hayden Moss (injured), Brayden Drake (unavailable) and senior playing coach Dylan Ford (injured) to make their way back into the squad and have some depth in the reserves with a number of players showing promise.

Coach Ford commented a few weeks ago that his side will take shape by rounds five to six and even though there will still be a number of tough challenges ahead the Eagles will look to improve in a positive manner. It was great to see some smiles on the players and supporters faces post-match on Saturday. The Eagles will face a tougher task this weekend as they face off against the Lindisfarne Two Blues at Anzac Park.

The Hobart Football Club is to be congratulated on getting senior and reserve teams on the park this season after fielding only a reserves team last season. It is going to be a long and tough season for them, but the endeavour and guts shown on Saturday will see them improve as the season progresses. They are doing all the right things on and
off the field and if they stick together success will come their way. The New Norfolk District Football Club wishes them all the best for the season ahead.

Final Scores
New Norfolk 24.26 (170)
Hobart 6.3 (39)
Best – New Norfolk:
J. Eiszele, B. Lewis, J. Farrow, J. Bearman, J. Clifford, B. Wheeler; Hobart: J. Harvey, H. Fish, T. Cosgrove, E. Monks, D. Pulford, C. Gray.
Goals – New Norfolk: J. Farrow 5, T. Bailey 5, J. Bearman 5, J. Daley 2, J. Clifford 2, M. Hay 2, B. Lovell, J. Harris, B. Butler; Hobart: Y. Miller 2, J. Shaw, N. Howard, C. Gray, J. Harvey.


| The Eagle reserves recorded one of their biggest victories for some time over the Hobart Tigers in the midday curtain raiser at Boyer Oval on Saturday, booting 23 goals for the match in a four-quarter effort.

Th scoreline told the story. Quarter-time: New Norfolk 5.6 (36) to Hobart 0.1 (1). Half-time: New Norfolk 10.9 (69) to Hobart 0.2 (2). Three- quarter time: New Norfolk 16.12 (108) to Hobart 0.2 (2). The Eagles had 15 individual goalkickers with the return of club stalwart Rohan Heron providing a focal point up forward with seven goals, while Eagle young gun Nick Ransley also chimed in with three goals.

Eagle onballer Zane Lester had a heap of touches throughout the contest and provided plenty of headaches for his Tiger opponents. Lester won many centre clearances and also from the stoppages around the ground. Promising youngster Ryan Bartels played a major role in the ruck due to Corey Ransley being promoted to the seniors and did a sterling job.

Veteran Rohan Heron was a key target at full forward pulling down a number of great marks while bagging seven majors. On baller Tyson Eiszele showed he still has what it takes to make an impact on the contest and showed his classy kicking ability. Ethan Holden was good across half back and Riley Triffett showed his class and looks to be a player of the future.

It was great to see Jake King also line up for the Eagles showing his experience and bringing some of his younger team mates into the game. The Eagle reserves are building a promising list with a number of players pushing for
senior selection which should place both senior and reserves sides in a positive position in weeks ahead.

Final Scores
New Norfolk 23.16 (154)
Hobart 0.2 (2)
Best – New Norfolk:
Z. Lester, R. Heron, R. Bartels, T. Eiszele, R. Triffett, E, Holden; Hobart: J. Blackwell, A. Digolis, T. Farnham, A. Sharp-Paul, L. Allie, C. Sclater.
Goals – New Norfolk: R. Heron 7, N. Ransley 3, T. Eiszele, M. Ford, E. Holden, J. King, R. Triffett, Z. Lester, R. Franklin, T. Scanlon, C. Kelly-Lennox, L. Crosswell, B. Scanlon, J. Quarrell, B. Slater.

Next games – Round 5 – May 4
Women v Lindisfarne at Anzac Park at 10am.
Reserves v Lindisfarne at Anzac Park at noon.
Seniors v Lindisfarne at Anzac Park at 2pm.

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

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