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.