Eagles tumble out of contention as the Wolves howl

A season which birthed a new era at the East Coast Eagles began with a wave of promise.

A new coach.

A set of new recruits.

A motto which to play and live by. BM18.

It most certainly had its ups and downs, and on the weekend, the most significant down proved to be the final nail in the coffin in season BM2018.

East Coast fought hard, but could not keep up and fell via an 11 point loss to Manly Warringah in an Elimination Final at Blacktown International Sports Park 4.16.40 to 4.5.29.

The old adage in football, especially at this time of year, that games are one in the Premiership (3rd) quarter.

Coach Lindsay Scown made it clear that it was in this period, is that the game was won and lost as the Wolves achieved critical second half momentum.

Overcast conditions met both teams from the first bounce, and clearly hampered goal kicking execution for Manly, kicking 0.4 as opposed to the Eagles two goals straight in the opening quarter.

The Eagles extended their lead in the second quarter, albeit slim, to lead by 10 after a competitive term.

After a half of finals football, all seemed on queue with script, when you consider that…..

– Manly may have finished above the Eagles on the ladder, yet it is well known that the Wolves struggle away from home ground Weldon Oval, winning only 2 games on the road throughout the home and away season.

– The Eagles played relatively consistent and often sensational football in the season’s second half.

– Manly were much better than East Coast at Weldon earlier this year, winning by 5 goals, whereas later this season, at a windy Kanebridge, the Eagles dominated proceedings to the tune of a 7 goal thrashing.

So, to take this all into account on paper, a 10 point lead at half-time seemed suffice for the Eagles, with an accelerated second half scoring pace expected.

But it didn’t follow, East Coast halted, and could not answer Manly’s forward pressure.

All was lost in the Premiership Quarter and the dying stages.

In fact, the Eagles were lucky Manly could not kick straight, AT ALL, as both sides at full time had converted 4 goals each, yet Manly tripled East Coast’s behinds on route to an 11 point win, swiftly eliminating the East Coast Eagles from season BM2018.

Within this disappointment a new superstar continued to blossom and emerge for the Eagles, as rising star Lewis Waters was best on ground for his side, displaying an outstanding improvement across half-back, becoming one of the toughest men to play against inside the East Coast CAGE.

Veteran Eugene Kruger was additionally fantastic on this day, finding plenty of the footy along with a welcomed goal.

Manly Warringah Wolves 0.4-4 2.6-18 2.10-22 4.16-40
East Coast Eagles 2.0-12 4.4-28 4.5-29 4.5-29

Manly Warringah Wolves
Goal Kickers: J. Field, A. Robertson, J. Brain, H. Ellem
Best Players: J. Weir, A. Fraser, G. Benbow, L. Behagg, A. Robertson, A. Butler
East Coast Eagles
Goal Kickers: Z. Johns 2, E. Kruger, D. Saywell
Best Players: L. Waters, E. Kruger, B. Clark, S. Turner, A. Browning, B. BourkE

Season BM2018 is officially over for the East Coast Prems, as it is for the Eagle Reserves.

In an Elimination Final, the Reserves could not match the North Shore side who they ironically faced just a week prior in Round 18 of the home and away season. Despite a standing 2-0 record against the Bombers in 2018, the Eagle Reserves alike the Prems found themselves chasing the tails of an inaccurate Bombers, who couldn’t convert the majority of opportunities on goal. Scott Pierce was dominant in the forward line for the Eagles kicking 3 and claiming BOG honours, whilst small midfielders Lucas O’Connor and Josh Large shined in the 7 point loss – 7.13.55 to 7.6.48. An improved season for the Reserves, one that coach Matt O’Connor is disappointed to see end, yet holds plenty of optimism and excitement for an even better 2019.

And that brings us to the last team standing at East Coast.

It is without any surprise that in 2018, the story at the Eagles is: Last Women Standing.

The Women’s Division One side, were again brutal, poised and courageous against their arch Pennant Hills rivals, in a 3 goal victory which sees them through to a Preliminary Final against Minor Premiers Wollongong. On a damp Sunday afternoon at Kanebridge Oval, the women were convinced and determined to prove they had the Demons number. After a slow start in yet the clubs third Elimination Final for the weekend, the EagALS proved this, and did not concede another goal after quarter time, kicking away in the third term before full time struck with scores reading: 6.3.39 to 3.3.21. The Superstars stood up for the Eagals, with captain Sarah Ford, Em Goodsir and Brenna Tarrant playing great games, whilst Chloe Arndt, Laura Moran and Courtney Torpy were also among the best.

GET DOWN TO KANEBRIDGE TO WATCH THE WOMEN VIE FOR A GRAND FINAL SPOT THIS SATURDAY 10:50 @KANEBRIDGEOVAL, vs WOLLONGONG.

Heartstopper in the Hills as Eagles fall short but cling to the last finals spot

Well knock me down and call me Russell, what a thriller. WHAT A GAME.

The most poetic initiation to finals football you will ever come across in AFL football.

It was absolute scenes in the final regular season Round 18 at Kanebridge Oval on Saturday afternoon, amidst windy conditions East Coast fell agonizingly short of an upset victory over table topping North Shore, 8.6.54 to 8.5.53.

The Eagles required victory against the competition heavyweight Bombers to ensure a welcomed finals berth, yet defeat and they leave their fate in the control of fierce local rivals Pennant Hills who faced their own challenge against UNSW.

For 3 quarters, it seemed like East Coast would pull off the victory, be the smarter and most adaptive side in the tricky gameday conditions.

East Coast led at every break, determined and dogged to fulfill the first step in achieving their BM18 goal.

The writing was on the wall for North Shore.

The Eagles were soaring, displaying magnificent will and strength at the contest, pulled the trigger and controlled the pace throughout, but stumbled at the final hurdle of the very last line.

2 goals down and time ticking, the Bombers dug deep to scratch and claw down the deficit.

That they did, with a plucky late behind, North Shore won the match, by just one point.

The final siren, was luck a gun shot to the heavens dispatching of innocent eagles who flew above, such was the silence and heartbreak in the hearts of East Coast Eagle players.

Then came the news Pennant Hills were up on their opponents, a dagger to the soul.

Pennant Hills did indeed win, but not by enough and the Eagles survived the regular season by just 0.46% on the ladder.

Oh what a mess.

What a horror story.

Its no laughing matter, but boy you gotta smile.

What a relief and what a chance East Coast have earnt.

The challenge is now to become the 2nd side in two years, to climb the mountain and win the Premiership from 5th place.

Arguably the best performance of the year before finals. That is exactly the message the Eagles want to be sending their finals competition.

Aaron Drinkwater was remarkable again on Saturday, hitting peak form at the right time, as is terrier Brandon Clark, the most consistent warrior in East Coast’s clutches. Youngster Lewis Waters had his best game as well, proving his worth as a backline CAGE mainstay.

The story of the finals is shaping as a maze of possibilities.

All sides 2nd-5th have had such similar seasons results wise. UNSW, Syndey Uni, Manly and East Coast can beat any of each other on any day.

I firmly believe the tagline throughout the finals series will be ‘Who can catch North Shore?’, and after the weekends result, whose to say it won’t be East Coast despite only holidng 5th spot.

Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4
East Coast Eagles 3.2-20 4.2-26 7.4-46 8.5-53
North Shore Bombers 1.1-7 3.3-21 5.4-34 8.6-54

East Coast Eagles
Goal Kickers: J. Vlatko 2, D. Costello, B. Clark, R. Haupt, D. Visser, M. Weekes, A. Drinkwater
Best Players: A. Drinkwater, B. Clark, L. Waters, J. Vlatko, R. Haupt, A. Browning
North Shore Bombers
Goal Kickers: M. Wilson 2, W. Blackburne 2, B. Plug, M. Thomas, K. Devlin, Z. Fyffe
Best Players: C. Parsons, N. Campbell, S. Crane, K. Devlin, M. Wilson, C. Murphy


Final 2018 Sydney AFL Home and Away Season Ladder
POS TEAM P W L D F A % PTS
1 North Shore Bombers 18 16 2 0 1963 1049 187.13 64
2 UNSW Eastern Suburbs Bulldogs 18 12 6 0 1480 1094 135.28 48
3 Sydney University 18 11 7 0 1648 1161 141.95 44
4 Manly Warringah Wolves 18 11 7 0 1485 1153 128.79 44
5 East Coast Eagles 18 11 7 0 1222 1024 119.34 44
6 Pennant Hills Demons 18 11 7 0 1543 1298 118.88 44
7 St George Dragons 18 7 11 0 1260 1594 79.05 28
8 Camden Cats 18 5 13 0 1224 1632 75.00 20
9 UTS Bats 18 4 14 0 1027 1713 59.95 16
10 Western Suburbs Magpies 18 2 16 0 886 2020 43.86 8

Elsewhere at East Coast, Matt O’Connor’s Prems Reserves side officially qualified for finals footy, beating Week 1 opponents North Shore by 4 goals on Saturday. Reserves finished 4th and look forward to an exciting blockbuster of a finals series.

The Under 19’s finished 5th place, yet, a long way off finals footy pace. A solid year for Peter Van Vliet’s young men, plenty of positives and reason to believe 2019 can be their year.

Also, Div2 well and truly left right goodnighted their North Shore opponents on Saturday, winning a 4th game for the season to finish 9th. With that victory, they knocked the Bombers out of finals contention. A much better year for Michal Lambert’s team.

But the strongest placed side for the Eagles going into finals, are the EAGALS. Our Womens Div1 team lost to minor Premiers Wollongong on the weekend, but will return to finals footy, finishing 3rd, and setting up a Week 1 elimination clash against arch rivals Pennant Hills. Phil Bester’s women are without a doubt ready to rumble.

The good times are upon us. The best time of year.

The rollercoaster ride begins again, and everyone at East Coast Eagles cannot wait.

BM18!!!

Back to Baulko Snapshot: Around the Grounds

Back to Baulko Day was an outstanding showcase of the past, present and future of the East Coast Eagles football club in Round 16 on Saturday.

Read more on the Prems tight nail biting victory over Pennant Hills Demons @http://www.eastcoasteagles.com.au/back-to-baulko-epic-as-eagles-down-the-demons-in-famous-victory/

As for the remainder of the games on Back to Baulko Day, lets take a look around grounds….

Premier Division Reserves – Eagles defeat Demons 7.6.48 to 3.8.26

The Reserves faced must win football against a Pennant Hills side who dominated them in their last meeting back in Round 8. Entering the clash Pennant Hills sat steady with just two losses on top of the table, with the Eagles clinging onto 5th spot, one loss away from slipping out of finals contention. Important defensive inclusions in Luke Mansour, Zach Johns and Matthew Scholz became crucial in the war of attrition battle, as the Eagles undoubtedly owned their opponents in the second half, especially in the 3rd period kicking four goals to none. Martin Karafalis continued his outstanding year deservedly winning best on ground honours, and Jared Patira and James Ford continue forcing themselves as one of the strongest key forward combinations in the competition kicking 5 goals between them. The Ressies saved the best performance for Back to Baulko day gaining real momentum at the right time of year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Under 19s Division One – Eagles defeat Demons 8.14.62 to 2.8.20
Club Legend Trevor Hangan called for someone to produce something special for the 19s on Back to Baulko day, and there were plenty of special performances to choose from. Skipper Ryan Van Vliet was tremendous taking countless intercept marks in defence. Bailey Sims and Matt McVey were clinical and speedy up the ground in both attack and defence. Jesse Foxall was brutal at full back and forward pocket star Nipper Adams busted his nose early in the second quarter and returned, continuing his outstanding 2018 form. The Under 19s have fallen out of games too many times in 2018 to achieve finals football, but on Back to Baulko day there was far too much to play for and they would not fall in the same trap. They played their most promising four quarter game of football and inspired a successful day on the field for the club, gaining the first win of the day for the Eagles.

 

 

 

 

 

Women’s Division One – EaGals defeat Demons 6.6.42 to 5.0.30

Only a month removed from they’re previous fiery clash, the EaGals closed out Back to Baulko day with a barnstorming win over rivals Pennant Hills, to write another chapter in this slow burning rivalry that continues to get hotter every time they meet. The EaGals fought off early injury concerns to dominate the first half, leading by 3 goals at the main interval, as Sarah Ford was absolutely lethal in front of the sticks, nailing four crucial goals. Youngster and NSW Rams representative Brenna Tarrant was massive on Saturday as well, proving her unparalleled utility value and leading her side to back-to-back wins over the Demons enemy. The EaGals were met with resistance in the second half, but not willing to go down on the biggest day of the year, they pulled through and put Pennant Hills to the sword in the final quarter. Midfielders Chloe Arndt, Em Goodsir and Caiti Rogers were fantastic, whilst Full-Back Jess Britton controlled the backline superbly. Currently sitting 3rd, the EaGals will look to finish the year strong with one eye on finals footy for the second consecutive year.

Division Two – Demons defeat Eagles 7.5.47 to 2.7.19

First game of the day and the Div 2 boys let no one down, despite not being victorious against the rival Demons before making their presence felt on the HILL. Club stalwart Tim Physick was once again outstanding, a bull in defence, but the Eagles were made to rue some missed oppourutnities in front of goal with the game on the line. They never gave up, but the Eagles just could not match the Demons on transition, as Pennant Hills constantly threw caution to the wind towards goal and more often then not coming up trumps. The Demons were smooth, but the Eagles did not make the win easy for they’re opponents, absolutely bringing the pain and laying some massive tackles, setting the tone for the rest of the club later throughout the day.

B2B

BM18

 

Round 2 Snapshot

Premier Division:

After a strong Round 1 performance against St George, the East Coast Eagles Premier Division side backed up in Round 2 falling short against Sydney University by 10 points. In a closely fought battle where momentum was difficult to sustain over long periods, Uni proved clinical enough to take the points and remain undefeated, despite a wave of defensive and tackling pressure inflicted by the Eagles across four quarters. Stuart Turner was fantastic again laying 15 tackles, and gun utility Trent Stubbs dominated up forward kicking 4 goals.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read more on the Prems loss to Sydney University – http://www.eastcoasteagles.com.au/the-students-topple-the-eagles-in-a-colossal-round-2-showdown/

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Premier Division Reserves:

Alike the Prems, the Reserves despite cruising to victory in Round 1 met far greater opposition this past weekend. The Eagles were stunned in the first quarter by Sydney University, not registering a score, and it was only atrocious kicking from Uni to the tune of 2.10.22 that prevented a total whitewash before the match had barely begun. Trailing at half-time by 34 points, the Eagles fought hard with a small comeback narrowing the margin to a couple of goals at the final break. However, Uni played smart tempo footy to nullify any push the Eagles spiritedly could mount in the last quarter. Veterans Daniel Spiteri, Ryan Fitton and Jared Patira were once again tremendous in the 9.18.72 to 7.7.49 loss.

 

 

 

 

 

 

For more information on the game – http://websites.sportstg.com/round_info.cgi?a=MATCH&fixture=124992816&c=1-1047-0-477739-0&pool=1

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Under 19’s Division One:

Never in my footballing career have a returned to a changeroom with a team so deflated. The footy gods can be cruel sometimes and the East Coast 19’s side painfully learnt that against Sydney University who kicked two goals in the final minute to sink the devastated Eagles by just 4 points. Whilst an improvement on Round 1, East Coast still have a lot to work on to be considered a threat in this competition. Nevertheless, the backline were immense in this clash as Matt McVey, Cal O’Donnell and Bailey Sims dominated, repelling numerous entries into the forward line and igniting speedy passages of play up the ground. Co-Captain Will Mitchell was also outstanding, emerging as a  dynamic tackling two-way midfielder who willingly puts his body on the line. The forthcoming cheap viagra sale Round 3 clash with North Shore shapes as must-win football earlier than expected for the 19’s.

For more information on the game – http://websites.sportstg.com/round_info.cgi?a=MATCH&fixture=125053024&c=1-1047-0-477740-0&pool=1

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Women’s Division One:

How proud are we of our Eagals, the only victorious East Coast side from the weekend. A classic battle between two hungry sides, the East Coast women were pushed to their absolute limits against an injury ravaged Western Magic, scraping home by a solitary point. They knew it would be a tough game, and the Eagals promised to never say die, displaying exceptional courage and resilience in front of many happy supporters. The Eagals have hit 2018 with a purpose, reinvigorating their side with a difficult to defend run against the play style of football, however, backline exits remain an area that needs improvement. These are the sort of wins that strengthen a football side and define the potential of a playing group. To grind out a 1 point win, is a moment that will surely inspire an exciting season for the East Coast women, who are sure to go very close in 2018.

 

 

 

 

 

 

For more information on the game –  http://websites.sportstg.com/round_info.cgi?a=MATCH&fixture=125052913&c=1-1047-0-477743-0&pool=1

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Division Two:

The end scoreline of 13.9.87 to 1.6.12 did not reflect the effort and tenacity of the Eagles second division side against Sydney University, as they showed that they are clearly building something special, yet, recognizing that all great rebuilds take time. Coach Michael Lambert noted after the game that he was impressed by the run and carry provided out of the backline, communication through the midfield and second efforts in the forward line. However, clearance and forward 50 entries are areas which still must improve in order for the 2’s to start being more competitive. Troy Jones was best on in the midfield, and Dave Berger ended the game with a broken nose. It was that sort of night for the Eagles.

For more information on the game – http://websites.sportstg.com/round_info.cgi?a=MATCH&fixture=125052677&c=1-1047-0-477741-0&pool=1

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Get ready for Round 3, because we’re back at home.

Round 3 Fixtures:

Women’s Division One – vs Sydney Uni @Kanebridge Oval 9:00am
Division Two – vs Western Suburbs @Kanebridge Oval 10:40am
Premier Division Reserves – vs Western Suburbs @Kanebridge Oval 12:20pm
Premier Division – vs Western Suburbs @Kanebridge Oval 2:50pm
Under 19’s Division One – vs North Shore @Kanebridge Oval 4:50pm

BM18