Wayne Walker and Zoie Crawford give us the low-down on this weeks Footy in the Valley.
New Norfolk 5, 4, 34
Cygnet 19, 11, 125
New Norfolk: B. Lovell 3, J. Clifford, R. Higgins.
Cygnet: J. Dance 5, T. Boscott 2, J. Direen 2, T. Cowen 2, J. Zeitzen 2, J. Brereton 2, L. Carmichael, B. Livingston, J. Tammens, C. Rawnsley.
New Norfolk: J. Clifford, J. Daley, C. Morgan, Z. Kelly, B. Lovell, Jake Bearman, B. Butler.
Cygnet: J. Brereton, C. Rawnsley, T. Cowen, L. Watt, J. Lister, J. Dance.
LAST year’s reigning SFL premier Cygnet proved to be too powerful for the New Norfolk Eagles running out massive 89-point winners in perfect conditions at the big Boyer Oval on Saturday.
Port played their usual short-kicking style of footy, setting up play from the backline with precise passing by foot finding the loose man.
This resulted in many entries into their forward 50 setting up their mix of small and tall forwards throughout the four quarters.
Port simply had many more scoring options with 10 individual goalkickers.
Tall key forwards Joe Direen, James Zeitzen, Jack Tammens and Jacob Brereton booted two goals each, along with dangerous small forward Jake Dance who kicked five goals.
The Eagles had fewer options with the only standout being Ben Lovell who battled hard all day for three goals.
First quarter action saw Port quickly go forward in the first minute with playing coach Thor Boscott converting for the first six pointer of the game.
The visitors again pushed forward finding Toby Cowen who also kicked truly.
The Eagles answered through Riley Higgins who received a free kick 30 metres out directly in front for New Norfolk’s first major.
Current Eagle ruck man Jacob Daley had his hands full with Port’s ruck duo of Joe Direen and the giant-size Jacob Brereton.
This duo enabled the Cygnet on ball brigade to be on top for most of the contest.
Other key matchups had Eagle back man Rohan Heron on Port forward Jack Tammens, Jordan Banks-Smith was beside James Zeitzen and Josh Farrow picked up Thor Boscott.
The Eagles answered from the centre bounce with Daley tapping the footy to running machine Jye Bearman who passed to Josh Clifford who then found Benny Lovell on the lead.
Lovell sealed an outstanding piece of play by registering the Eagles second from 25 metres out.
Port quickly found their groove with goals to Direen and Dance to go into the quarter time break with a 19-point lead
(Cygnet 5G.1B.31 points to New Norfolk 2G.0B.12 points).
Port jumped further ahead early in the second term with goals to Zeitzen and Boscott to advance to a 32-point lead. The Eagle backline was under enormous pressure.
Young Eagle recruit Brayden Butler gathered the footy and delivered a lace-out pass to Lovell for his second major.
Moments later Sam Webb missed two crucial set shots which could have had the Eagles in contact with the Port on the scoreboard.
Port gained momentum in the latter part of the quarter with goals to Direen, Livingston and Dance which enabled them to skip away to a 36-point lead at the main break
(Cygnet 9G.2B.56 points to New Norfolk 3G.2B.20 points).
Cygnet slammed on three quick goals in the first six minutes of the third term with dangerous small forward Jake Dance causing the Eagles plenty of headaches up forward.
Young recruit Brayden Butler once again featured in a passage of play with a kick into the Eagle forward line that found Josh Clifford who took a spectacular mark in the goal square for a much-needed Eagle goal.
At this point of the contest Cygnet were more physical and stronger around the contested ball and when clear used the football to their advantage.
(Three-quarter-time scores Cygnet 13G.6B.84 points to New Norfolk 5G.2B.32 points)
It was all one-way traffic in the last term as the visitors controlled most of the play adding another six goals for the quarter while the Eagles could only manage two behinds.
The two sides are at either end of the scale with Cygnet being a bigger, stronger and more experienced unit while the Eagles are in a development stage with many new faces finding their way in SFL senior footy.
For the Eagles, no one tried harder than former coach Josh Clifford.
Jacob Daley performed well over four quarters against the Cygnet twin-tower ruck duo of Direen and Brereton.
Ben Lovell was a shining light up forward scoring three majors and Jake Bearman battled hard for the contested ball. Brayden Butler showed skill and poise when handling the footy.
The Eagles now head to the city to take on the Hobart Tigers at the historic TCA ground in Round 3 on Easter Friday.
This game will be a crucial encounter for both clubs as they look for their first win for the season.
Special note: Make sure you grab a copy of the Footy Record on home match days as it has plenty of great information on not only the current player lists and profiles but also some interesting.
Lady Eagles sparkle as Sun fail to shine
New Norfolk 9, 14, 128
South East Sun 0, 0, 0
New Norfolk: T. Tangata 5, M. Green 4, C. Ford 3, M. Percey 3, Z. Crawford 2, L. Wigg, J. Hay.
New Norfolk: T. Tangata, S. Farrow, M. Percey, M. Tomkinson, O. Harris, C. Ford. South East Suns: M. Monks, C. Byrne, J. Roy, R. Sharman, A. Johnson, B. Foale.
BRIGHT and early on Saturday morning our new look lady Eagles ran out for their season opener against South East Suns at Boyer Oval.
In a little chilly and dewy conditions, the girls showed what they were capable of and made a big statement in the opening quarter by piling on seven goals.
It was a fast-paced and highly skillful display all over the ground.
The second quarter tightened up and the midfield group had to work hard to get some outside run.
The backline generals of Dannielle Clifford, Nat Bearman and Laura Wigg stood tall and were absolutely impenetrable, thwarting many South East Suns forward line entries.
The third quarter opened up again for the lady Eagles as the pure pace of Olivia Harris through the middle and Mia Temple and Gracie Kube on the wings began to open up the forward 50.
The class shown by the strong-leading and marking of Melinda Green and Taylah Tangata up forward began to give the home side plenty of scoring options.
We also got our first taste of showtime by Montana “Monty” Percy who kicked three goals in a quarter in her first game of footy. In an extremely powerful performance, the girls ran out 128-point winners.
Unfortunately, as they kept the visitors scoreless, they failed to record any percentage, which kept them out of top spot.
With 14 club debutants (four new to footy all together), to say coach Dean King was a happy man after the game would be an understatement.
Do yourself a favour and get around this exciting group as they strive for the ultimate reward in 2022.