New Norfolk football senior game report

Brighton retained Browning shield after late surge

By WAYNE WALKER
| The New Norfolk Eagles showed their opponents and supporters that they are becoming a threat to any of the SFL finals contenders by pushing the Brighton Robins deep into the final quarter before going down by 21 points after leading by six points at the three-quarter time break.

The match was played in strong windy conditions at Pontville with 16 of the 18 goals kicked to the highway end of the ground. The Eagles went into the game without Jake Harris, Rowan Thomason and Jake Campbell (all injured) and Liam Lowe (omitted). They brought in tall forwards Tyler Ford and Ben Lovell along with utility player Josh Eyles and half-back Hayden Burns.

At the opening bounce, Eagle Jordan Eiszele had the task of looking after the Robins’ goal-kicking ace Max Lamb. Eagle Jye County was going head-to-head with Brighton’s Jacob Young in the ruck duals and Eagle captain Josh Farrow lined up against Brighton ball magnet Darcy Gardner.

The Eagles had the advantage of kicking with a four to five goal breeze in the first quarter. They hit the scoreboard early through County who took a great mark to convert for their first goal. The Robins were also on the attack, but the Eagles were defending well and using the footy to their advantage with short-kicking to position gaining a number of forward entries. They found Jye Bearman who received a free kick in front of goal 40m out and bagged the Eagles’ second major.

Half-forward Tyler Ford took a strong mark moments later and kicked truly as the Eagles went into the quarter-time break with a 19-point lead: New Norfolk 3.3 (210 to Brighton 0.2 (20).

It was the Robins’ turn to kick with the breeze in the second term as on-baller Darcy Gardner broke away from the centre and passed to full-forward Lamb who played on and goaled. Brighton added another major which came from big Caleb Triffett as the Robins trailed by only seven points. The home team was working its way back into the contest as forward Riley Best kicked another major to put Brighton in front by one point at the halfway mark of the quarter.

The Robins gained momentum with goals to Gardner and another to Lamb on the half-time siren, giving the home side a 16-point buffer at the main break. The Eagles had not added to their quarter-time score but still managed to defend well in the conditions. Half-time scores: Brighton 5.7 (37) to New Norfolk 3.3 (21).

The Eagles needed to take full advantage of the breeze in the third term to get a considerable lead by three quarter time as the Robins would be coming home with the wind in the last. Big ruckman/forward Corey Ransley pulled down a strong grab and goaled and moments later Jye Bearman passed to Josh Farrow for another six pointer.

Both Jake and Jye Bearman looked dangerous getting plenty of the footy and got the Eagles going. The Robins were under pressure in the next passage of play rebounding from half back, but Tyron Bailey chipped in front of his opponent with a great intercept mark and played on booting a great goal from 50m out to put the Eagles back in front by two points.

Onballer Josh Eyles gathered the ball on the run at half-forward and snapped a clever goal and, when veteran utility Josh Clifford passed to Josh Farrow who marked 35m out on a tight angle to put through another goal, it looked like there could be an upset looming.

The Robins hit back at a crucial stage late in the third term with Gardner and Lamb kicking one goal each, which were the only goals kicked for the entire match to the scoreboard end. The Robins were trailing by only six points at three-quarter time which raised the question of whether the Eagles applied enough scoreboard pressure on the Robins leading into the vital last quarter. Three quarter time scores: New Norfolk 8.7 (55) to Brighton 7.7 (49).

The home side looked to be in the box seat, kicking with a strong breeze in the last term while the Eagles faced the tough task of holding the opposition at bay, hopefully trying to bag a goal or two in the tough conditions. The Robins came home with the breeze, finishing the game with three goals and 10 behinds in the last term to the Eagles’ single behind to record the win, but the Eagles fought the game out which was a positive for the group.

The Eagles finished the game with a bare 18 players, with four interchange players unable to go back on due to injury which made the task more difficult. The group will be looking to get back on the winners list next weekend when they take on the Hobart Tigers at the TCA Ground in Hobart.

Final Scores
Brighton 10.17 (77) d New Norfolk 8.8 (56)
Best – New Norfolk:
Jake Bearman, Jye Bearman, J. Farrow, J. Eiszele, B. Lewis, B. Wheeler; Brighton: J. Tremayne, J. Young, A. Waller, D. Gardner, M. Lamb, R. Davie.
Goals – New Norfolk: J. Farrow 2, T. Bailey, J. County, Jye Bearman, T. Ford, J. Eyles, C. Ransley; Brighton: M. Lamb 4, D, Gardner 2, C. Triffett. 2, R. Best, J. Tremayne.

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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