Lady Eagles cap off historic year

THE Lady Eagles added a new chapter to the illustrious history of the New Norfolk District Football Club last Sunday when they won the club’s first women’s premiership. Following a fantastic home and away season in which they only lost one game, the Lady Eagles lined up as firm favourites against St. Virgil’s in the Grand Final at the traditional home of football, North Hobart Oval.

The first five minutes saw scrambly, congested football with both sides displaying a lack of composure. St. Virgil’s were in attack for a few minutes before they managed a scrambled behind for the first score of the match. The Lady Eagles started to show some composure as they pushed forward for Natalie Smedley to score their first major with a kick off the ground at the eight-minute mark.

Olivia Harriss, Gracie Kube, Sophie Farrow, and Zoie Crawford were prominent for the Eagles as they pressed forward again for Zoie Crawford to mark strongly at the 11-minute mark. She kicked truly from 35m to give the Eagles a two-goal lead. Mel Green then took a strong mark 20m out at the 17-minute mark to record the third goal for the Eagles to give them a good three-goal lead at the first break.

Quarter-time scores: New Norfolk 3G 1B 19 points to St. Virgil’s 0G 1B 1 point.

The Lady Eagles started the second quarter strongly and pressed forward for a strong Mel Green mark in the goal square. Uncharacteristically. she missed a sitter. Chloe Ford scored a goal from the goal square at the eight-minute mark before St. Virgil’s managed their first goal at the 11-minute mark. The Eagles were well on top and looking the better side. The Eagles had the chance to put the game beyond the reach of St. Virgil’s, but inaccuracy (1 goal 5 behinds) left the door ajar.

Half-time scores: New Norfolk 4G 6B 30 points to St. Virgil’s 1G 1B 7 points

The early stages of the third quarter were a repeat of the first as both sides were struggling for dominance. St. Virgil’s managed the first goal of the quarter at the seven-minute mark from an Eagle’s kick out on the full. The Eagles steadied and pushed forward for Mel Green to mark strongly and goal from 20m out to restore the margin. St. Virgil’s scored a goal off the ground from the goal square to keep their slim hopes alive. Three-quarter-time scores: New Norfolk 5G 6B 36 points to St. Virgil’s 3G 1B 19 points.

The last quarter belonged to Chloe Ford. The Lady Eagles pushed forward early for Chloe Ford to goal after six minutes as she played on around the mark and slotted a great goal. She followed up at the nine-minute mark with another goal to give the Eagles a match-winning lead. To top it off, she repeated the dose with another great goal at the 16-minute mark to put the icing on the cake. St. Virgil’s kept trying and managed a goal at the 17-minute mark to reduce the winning margin to 32-points.

The Lady Eagles were too good on the day and had winners all over the ground. It was another even performance by the Lady Eagles with Olivia Harriss, Sophie Farrow, Zoie Crawford dominant all game. Maddison Devine was strong in the ruck and around the ground. Chloe Ford was dangerous on the forward line and the Eagles backline performed well when under pressure. History was also created as Mel Green and her daughter Maddison Devine became the first mother/daughter combination to play together in a grand final. Coach Dean King and Assistant Coach Zoie Crawford have done a great job with the ladies this season.

Congratulations to them both as we celebrate the team’s great achievement and look forward to next season with anticipation.