A NEW-LOOK Eagle outfit struggled after the half-time break in the season opener for the 2022 season against the Lindisfarne Two Blues to go down by 67 points at Boyer Oval on Saturday afternoon.
The Eagles presented several new young players for their first Senior games at the club who provided the home crowd with some exciting passages of play during the contest.
The Eagles were busy early in the first term kicking to the dressing room end of the big Boyer Oval and were doing most of the attacking in their forward half as the experienced Ben Lovell pulled down a big strong grab in front of goal at the eight-minute mark for the Eagles first major.
The home side continued to go on the attack as Brayden Chaplin crumbed the footy beneath a marking contest with a clever snap for the Eagles second followed by another six pointer from Josh Clifford which gave the eagles a 17-point lead.
The Two Blues took a while to settle into the contest but answered through ruck man/forward Oliver Rand and backed it up with another from full forward Sam Adams late in the quarter with quarter-time scores reading New Norfolk 3.0.18 to Lindisfarne 2.3.15.
Big Eagle Jacob Daley was dominant in the ruck and around the ground, on-ballers Brock Triffett and Josh Hills gathered several possessions in heavy traffic and young recruit Riley Higgins also chimed in and looked classy with ball in hand.
Early in the second term both sides had opportunities to score early with the Two Blues inaccurate in front of goal missing some crucial shots while pacy Eagle onballer Jye Bearman snapped a classy goal on the run from 35 metres out to keep the home side in front on the scoreboard.
The visitors answered quickly through Sam Adams and the hard running Kase Miller as the Two Blues started to look dangerous with quick ball movement by using the footy more efficiently than they did in the first term.
The Eagles bounced back with a strong mark from the returning big key forward Caleb Triffett as he booted the Eagles fifth from 45 metres out.
The Two Blues had other ideas taking the lead by five points at the 19-minute mark and in a quick burst of team football they found key forward Sam Adams who slammed on three quick goals by leading into the open spaces of the Boyer Oval to go into the main break with a 24-point margin.
(Lindisfarne 8.6.54 to New Norfolk 5.0.30)
Unfortunately for the Eagles the Two Blues dominated the play in the second half of the game kicking 10 last half goals through the likes of veteran Michael Cassidy, Sam Adams, Teege Westbury and Jack Gleason among other contributors.
The Eagles were held scoreless in the third term but bounced back with a four-goal last quarter which featured some exciting moments from Eagle young gun Riley Higgins booting a goal on the run by eluding two Lindisfarne opponents and another goal some moments later which involved Higgins to Bailey Chaplin to Caleb Triffett who finished with a goal in what was a great chain of play and a sign of what supporters can look forward to in season 2022.
Eagle ruck man and utility player Jacob Daley played a great game for the Eagles along with Josh Hills, Brock Triffett, Josh Farrow and Josh Clifford.
Young players such as Bailey Chaplin, Brayden Butler, Riley Higgins, Jaythan Poulson and Zayden Kelly all showed their potential at different stages of the game and supporters can look forward to what they can bring to the club in coming weeks.
New coach Tim Butterworth was reasonably happy with his side’s performance in the first half but disappointed with the way the Eagles faded in the last half and said after the game that there will be highs and lows with a developing list of young players, but he is keen for the challenge ahead.
The Eagles face another big challenge this week against last year’s reigning premier in Cygnet at Boyer.