The young future of our footy club shined brightest on Saturday, as our young brigade played an unbelievable hand in a thumping of UTS to close out an underwhelming 2020 season.
With one eye firmly on the future in the makeup of our Round 9 side, Coach Mick Sankey placed plenty of faith in our Under 19s program picking six Under 19s eligible players, two of which – Keegan Brady and Ethan Grace making their debut.
Coming up against a UTS side which hadn’t won all season, the game was a battle of the bottom two sides, and East Coast were hell bent on putting 2020 behind them with a win. However, no side wants to go through an entire season, no matter how shortened, without a win so we expected a gallant and game UTS outfit to turn up.
We started hot, with our midfield singing early sending the footy deep inside 50, leading to four unanswered goals to kick off the game. Winning has not been a habit at East Coast this season, and we have tended to drift in and out of games at times. This happened again on Saturday, as the first quarter evened up towards the end with UTS hitting back on the scoreboard, nailing three quick goals. The Eagles needed to grab the momentum back once the second quarter resumed, to prevent a boilover.
UTS came hard, snagging the first goal of the term to hit the front, leading by 3 points. This was where the form rise stopped for the visitors.
From here it was all one-way traffic for East Coast, as we put the cleaners through our opponents to the tune of nine straight goals to lead by 54 points. The pressure was first class, and the vision Inside 50 was sensational. Finally we were seeing how damaging East Coast could be in 2020, and the Kanebridge Oval crowd were loving it.
Even more pleasing is the fact that 12 players were under the age of 22, an incredible number, further proving that despite a number of disappointing results this season, that our crop of talent has the future in good health.
Stuart Turner was in blistering form in the second half, leading the riot alongside young weapon Cam Edwards, as the damage kept coming on the scoreboard for UTS. You could not keep the ball out of our forward 50 in the second half, as the Eagles registered a further 18 scoring shots, nine goals and nine behinds each.
UTS had nothing left, yet East Coast seemed like they could have played and dominated for another two quarters. We had a spring in our step, with so much youth brings speed and agility, something UTS just could not keep up with.
As mentioned, Stu Turner was phenomenal, kicking 7 goals at Centre Half-Forward. Cam Edwards was a true best on ground, as the young midfielder/forward showed why if he stayed fit all season, he could be a real shout to win a league rising star or even greater honours in the future. Speaking of rising stars – Cam Wilson, Kyle Spencer and Ethan Grace were all magnificent, as was debuting Ruckman Jalen Timms.
Winning by 95 points is a great way to end any season, but for East Coast it comes at an even more positive time, considering the challenges presented by the uncertain COVID Pandemic, an evergrowing injury toll and a mid-season coaching change. Although when you look at the young side we put out on the weekend, and see the result, then it means something great is brewing here.
It wasn’t our year season, but Round 9 was our day. Congrats boys on a great finish to the season.
|East Coast Eagles||4.2-26||13.6-84||17.9-111||22.15-147|
|UTS Australian Football Club||3.5-23||4.6-30||4.10-34||7.10-52|
East Coast Eagles
Best Players:C. Edwards, S. Turner, A. Savage, K. Spencer, C. Wilson, E. Grace
UTS Australian Football Club
Best Players: A. Pretto, X. Barry-Murphy, K. Emley, M. Leddy, L. McIntyre, T. Bevan-Shannon
|1||North Shore Bombers||9||9||0||0||0||0||0||1073||318||337.42||100.00|
|3||UNSW Eastern Suburbs Bulldogs||9||7||2||0||0||0||0||1126||421||267.46||77.78|
|4||Pennant Hills Demons||9||5||4||0||0||0||0||889||513||173.29||55.56|
|5||St George Dragons||9||5||4||0||0||0||0||876||540||162.22||55.56|
|6||Inner West Magpies||9||5||4||0||0||0||0||620||744||83.33||55.56|
|7||East Coast Eagles||9||2||7||0||0||0||0||568||820||69.27||22.22|
|8||Manly Warringah Wolves||9||2||7||0||0||0||0||437||938||46.59||22.22|
|10||UTS Australian Football Club||9||0||9||0||0||0||0||290||1454||19.94||0.00|