Eagles Go Down In Heartbreaker Against Bats

Time flies when you’re having fun, and after a long pre-season came and went, the 2021 Season kicked into gear with a ton of excitement.

Fast forward 6 weeks, and our footy club finds itself in a number of different lanes.

For our Premier Division Men’s side, they headed into Round 6 desperate for a W, facing a much improved UTS Bats side at Waverly Oval in Bondi. This weekend was another big day for the club, and a win was the only thing on our minds once the siren sounded.

It was a cool day, with plenty of wind around in typical winter beach fashion, therefore getting to the footy first and winning the hunt would have a massive impact on the outcome. With a number of key players returning to the fold this week, as well as GWS Giants Academy and VFL gun Marshall Poynter debuting, there was a ton of confidence amongst the group that we could get the job done.

Unfortunately, as has been our run of luck of late, injuries struck and they hit hard.

In the eyes of Coach Damien Truslove, our ball movement was sharp and very impressive. This gave us a leg up early, as we were on top in the contested possessions and Inside 50 counts, so much so that we gained a good lead at Quarter-Time, up by 16 points.

The second term was not as positive for us, as this is when injuries started to rear their ugly head.We lost 5 of our most important players to either game-ending injuries or niggling knocks in the first half, which significantly hurt our ability to impact the flow of the game. UTS took advantage during this period, piling on 5 goals to 1 in the second quarter, retaking the lead in the process to the sound of 11 points at half-time.

We needed to change our game-plan, and get our fittest players around the ball to make an impact. UTS were controlling the momentum in the third term, as we had the double challenge of narrowing the margin, but also adapting to the personnel changes. As a club, it is our mission to be hard to play against, and we kept up this drive in this quarter, not letting UTS have it all their own way. Needless to say our tackling pressure was still there, we weren’t giving up in the slightest.

Down by 18 at 3QT, it was go time. We had to make our move in this last term or risk being washed away. Every player stood up, and took the bull by the horns, entering the last quarter with fire in their eyes and victory in their sights. We were the dominant side in the last quarter, on the comeback trail, and with no intentions to slow down at any moment. Not only were we chasing down UTS lead on the scoreboard, but we were also racing against the clock. We kicked 4 goals to 1 in the last quarter, but it wasn’t enough. When the final siren sounded, UTS were up by 2 points. They just did enough. We were shattered.

A hard loss to take no doubt, but boy was everyone proud of our side. Battling through all the injury issues, and still staying in the game for four quarters of footy. The positives are there for all to see, and we will keep working at training to get better as a squad.

Poynter was magnificent on debut. Required to play Full-Back after stalwart Ben Bourke went down injured in the first half, Poynter competed like a veteran, never looking out of place at this level. Bailey Stewart was again BOG for us, ripping UTS to shreds on many occasions. Tim Organ and Brandon Clark also had standout games, whilst Karl Merson impressed up front with 3 goals.

Will Cashmore

FINAL SCORE

UTS Australian Football Club 1.0-6 6.4-40 8.7-55 9.9-63
East Coast Eagles 3.4-22 4.5-29 5.7-37 9.7-61
UTS Australian Football Club
Goal Kickers: S. Williams 4, A. Backlund 2, T. Bevan-Shannon 2, A. Pretto
Best Players: H. Anstey, M. Titsha, A. Backlund, A. Pretto, H. Hayward, S. Williams
East Coast Eagles
Goal Kickers: K. Merson 3, Z. Johns, B. Stewart, N. Coxall, J. Rapley, K. Spencer, C. Edwards
Best Players: B. Stewart, T. Organ, B. Clark, M. Poynter, K. Merson, J. Cutting
2021 Sydney AFL Men’s Premier Division Ladder After Round 6
POS TEAM P W L D F A % PTS
1 North Shore Bombers 6 6 0 0 582 235 247.66 24
2 UNSW Eastern Suburbs Bulldogs 6 5 1 0 631 253 249.41 20
3 Pennant Hills Demons 6 4 2 0 504 347 145.24 16
4 UTS Australian Football Club 6 4 2 0 502 425 118.12 16
5 Inner West Magpies 6 3 2 1 449 377 119.10 14
6 Sydney University 6 3 2 1 434 387 112.14 14
7 St George Dragons 6 2 4 0 457 495 92.32 8
8 East Coast Eagles 6 1 5 0 341 453 75.28 4
9 Manly Warringah Wolves 6 1 5 0 291 513 56.73 4
10 Camden Cats 6 0 6 0 201 907 22.16 0