Finals footy is about rising to the occasion. Despite a four quarter effort and a never say die attitude, our EAGALS could not pull out the victory against an aggressive Inner Wests Magpies outfit.
After a slim loss to Manly last week in the first Grand Final Qualifier, East Coast ventured to Henson Park for their final bite of the cherry. It was do or die footy, with a spot in the big dance on the line. There was no tommorow for the loser.
Adding even more gravitas to the narrative, Inner Wests Magpies was one of only two sides to beat our EAGALS in the home and away season, back in Round 1.
The Magpies play a bruising style of footy. They really throw their weight around, and seek to use momentum to their advantage. We had to counter that if we wanted to secure a Grand Final berth.
The first quarter was a tough affair, both sides had plenty of the footy yet neither could kick a goal. The EAGALS struggled with forward 50 entries, despite their strong ability to earn clearances.
With a score of just 2-1 at Quarter-Time, we were only just behind in this stalemate.
Both sides returned to the field fired up, and after Inner Wests worked their way towards their goal, our defence faltered for only a second, as the Magpies scrambled to kick the first goal of the day.
Never fear EAGAL fans, as it wasn’t too long until we got one back through Shannon Smit. Smit was able to capitalize on a fortunate 50 metre free kick, before roosting one from 30 out straight through the sticks at the carpark end, before launching into a fired up celebration to pump up the side.
A stalemate resumed after this, and the scores were locked at 8-8 going into half-time.
The old saying in footy goes: The 3rd Quarter is the Premiership Quarter. Boy how this was proven true on Saturday.
Inner Wests came out of the blocks determined to make their move. As they won the clearance battle and made few mistakes with their skills, the Magpies began to run away with the game. The EAGALS lost key players to injuries, and it began to unravel for us. Down 40-8 at 3QT, we needed a response and quick.
Kicking with the wind in the final quarter, we had to go straight away; and we did. Skipper Sarah Ford went to her danger zone, and led her side back into the battle in an inspired effort. Ford, Georgia Garnett and Em Hurley kicked three rapid goals in a flurry to bring the game back to life.
Inner Wests were flustered but they regained footing, and played a very defensive game from here on out. They were hanging by a thread, all they could do was try and hold on.
It was a fantastic game of footy for the final 10 minutes, but time was fast running out.
We never gave up, our hearts were always in it, but alas the siren sounded and the EAGALS were still behind.
Inner Wests got the job done, and ran out 14 point winners, booking their spot in an intriguing 2020 Grand Final against Manly.
As mentioned Sarah Ford and Shannon Smit were unbelievable, with both throwing themselves into every contest with incredible desire for the footy, especially when Smit became the makeshift Ruckman late. Ally Dallaway and Georgia Garnett were additionally tremendous, showcasing a strong skill set and hunger for the footy all over the ground.
It wasn’t to be in 2020, but wow what a year it has been.
The entire East Coast Eagles family commend and applaud our EAGALS on their achievements this season, as they continue to show why they are one of the best endorsement for women’s sport in our community.
|East Coast Eagles||0.1-1||1.2-8||1.2-8||4.3-27|
|Inner West Magpies||0.2-2||1.2-8||6.4-40||6.5-41|
East Coast Eagles
Best Players: G. Garnett, A. Dallaway, C. Arndt, S. Ford, S. Smit, B. Hourigan
Inner West Magpies
Best Players: L. Kassem, E. Heads, M. Convery, R. Privitelli, M. Montgomerie, L. Lodge
It had the potential to be one of the greatest games ever seen at Kanebridge Oval. Although difficult conditions, namely frustrating winds, prevented the contest from reaching its apex, this Grand Final Qualifier was still an outstanding battle between two sides desperate for a win.
The EAGALS had the ball in their court. A home semi-final against Minor Premiers Manly, and a returning EAGAL in Em Goodsir, where the winner would launch into a Grand Final.
“We Never Lose At Home” was the message of motivation for the EAGALS in the sheds prior to the game, a true fact, since our Premier Division Women had yet to be beaten at home in 2020. There was a job to do, and it was up to our EAGALS to complete their mission.
As mentioned, frustrating winds kept both teams at bay early, making it increasingly challenging to hit targets with the boot and put together too many strong passages of play. Straight out of the gate, it became clear that this contest would be a grind for four quarters, with goals coming at a premium.
Despite the conditions, Manly were able to win the first clearance and quickly enter Inside 50, before kicking the first goal of the game. The EAGALS looked for a response all quarter, with midfielder Ally Dallaway impressing with her run and speed through the middle part of the ground to provide her forwards with scoring opportunities. Shannon Smit was also playing a massive role, throwing herself at every contest and becoming a real strong marking presence up front. Unfortunately, still we couldn’t find a goal and went into Quarter-Time down by 5 points.
We went into the next term determined to get back on top. Em Hurley was awarded a free kick and slotted our first goal of the day, before Manly countered with a major of their own. It was tough going for our EAGALS, with unfortunate injuries beginning to affect structures, making it a challenge to keep focused and switched on at times. Nevertheless, we were right in the game at half-time as Manly kept their 5 point lead.
The 3rd quarter had to be our best, as this is the time where the big games are won and lost. We gained first momentum, and were on song defensively, becoming a fortress with Renee Tomkins running the show and destroying anyone who came near. Manly defended well themselves, but after a build-up of untidy errors from the opposition, Georgina Fowler took advantage and kicked our second goal. Still, Manly kept the lead at 3QT, 6 points up.
The final term took an age, with multiple Manly injuries causing a halt in play, and even the boundary umpire unfortunately going down injured. Therefore, it was hard to get any real rhythm going, but the ball started moving faster than it had all game. The game saw plenty of stoppages late, with both teams looking for a crucial goal. However, it never came and after a scoreless final quarter, Manly did enough to win by 6 points and book themselves a Grand Final spot.
We stayed in the fight for four quarters, but could just never cling to a lead long enough to get us over the line. It was a heartbreaker, but we have no time for moping because we thankfully get a second bite of the cherry next week.
Henson Park will be the scene, 1:10 the time.
It will the EAGALS vs Inner Wests Magpies in a Preliminary Final Showdown. Winner goes to the big dance, loser goes home empty handed.
It’ll be an intriguing battle considering Inner Wests won the previous matchup in Round 1 earlier this season.
If you bleed Blue and Gold like our EAGALS, then make sure you’re there in support.
|Manly Warringah Wolves||1.0-6||2.1-13||3.2-20||3.2-20|
|East Coast Eagles||0.1-1||1.2-8||2.2-14||2.2-14|
Manly Warringah Wolves
Best Players: C. Johnson, A. Roditis, J. Layton, H. Graham, E. Goodsir , E. Graham
East Coast Eagles
Best Players: A. Dallaway, S. Ford, B. Tarrant, B. Parker, R. Tomkins, B. Hourigan
Can you smell it in the air?
Finals Footy baby, it’s here.
There is no better month in footy, then when the finals series rolls around, and in this year’s Sydney AFL Women’s Premier Division Competition, five teams headed into finals all looking to make an impact.
For our EAGALS the task was simple:
- Beat Southern Power, and go on to book a date with Manly at home in a Grand Final Qualifier.
- Lose to Southern Power, and face either Inner Wests Magpies or North Shore Bombers (the only two sides we did not beat in the Home and Away season) in an Elimination Semi-Final.
With the added occasion of finals, there was an enhanced degree of pressure imposed on East Coast approaching the game, knowing full well they were meeting a fired up Power army from the South.
However, I firmly believe that finals footy it is not about the skill.
If you weren’t a skilful footy side, you wouldn’t be in finals. To win finals footy, you have to want it more than your opponent in every facet of the game. You’ve got to find that extra effort to go all the way.
In all the drama and excitement of finals footy, we also welcomed an EAGAL debutant, with athletic forward Abbey Martin earning her first Prems Jersey. Hell bent on kicking off her Prems Career in style, Martin kicked the first goal of the game, letting Southern Power know she was here to make a statement.
Elsewhere, East Coast looked to play a physical brand of footy and intimidate their opponents. To see proof of this, look no further then EAGAL Ruckman Em Hurley’s brutal hip and shoulder to one poor Southern Power soul. The poor girl was rattled, but this didn’t led to EAGAL domination straight away.
On a whole, the first quarter saw a lack of consistent connection amongst the EAGALS, with Southern Power winning tons of hard footy right under our noses to apply forward pressure. Brenna Tarrant, Bailee Hourgian and Renee Tomkins were outstanding in defence nonetheless, collecting plenty of crucial intercept and rebounding possessions.
7 all at QT.
It was an arm wrestle going forward, with momentum so hard to capture for long periods. Both sides looked to use their speed through the midfield to gain an advantage, and East Coast took the bogey lead into half-time by just 13 points. It would take some strong leadership from senior EAGALS to get the W.
The Premiership 3rd Quarter was a tantalizing contest, personifying the back and forth notion that so often appears in finals footy. Southern Power looked to make their move, kicking three goals to East Coast’s two, but their inaccuracy in front of goal let the EAGALS off the hook as we tired defensively. With a 5 point lead at 3QT, it was there for the taking for both sides.
As bodies began to cramp up, we gritted our teeth and pulled together for one final surge. We knew what lay ahead, and what a victory would mean. We had that added desire, determination and dedication and we would not let this game slip. We powered home against a Southern Power side who lacked power late, winning by 23 points.
Georgina Fowler played her best game of the season, as the wiry young speedster kicked two goals whilst wreaking havoc in the forward line. Sarah Ford played a real captains knock, and debutant Abbey Martin starred with 3 goals.
As mentioned above, we now face Manly at our Kanebridge Oval home next week with the winner going through to the Grand Final, and the loser getting one more bite of the cherry. Believe me, we could be about to bear witness to one of the best games of footy Kanebridge Oval has ever seen. Make sure you get down there, to witness our EAGALS play for a spot in the big dance.
|East Coast Eagles||1.1-7||3.2-20||5.4-34||8.6-54|
East Coast Eagles
Best Players: G. Fowler, S. Ford, R. Tomkins, A. Martin, A. Dallaway, B. Tarrant
Best Players: N. Murray, R. Sargent-Wilson, B. Mowbray, J. Whelan, B. McGuire, M. Smith
When finals footy arrives, you need to be ready.
You need to have that hunger and desire.
You gotta want it more than your opponent.
Unfortunately for our young guns in the Under 19s, we matched up against a rampaging Manly side who wanted it a lot more on the day.
Manly started hot, willing to hit hard and display two-way running, getting on top early with a three goal lead at quarter time.
East Coast needed to respond, but we just could not find any answers. We looked to expose Manly through the corridor, but poor skill execution continuously let us down. Heading into half-time six goals down, the challenge ahead of us was tough and we had to return to the field a new side.
It just was not our day however, with Manly sMelling blood in the water and were merciless in their pressure, piling on the pain throughout the second half.
In the end, we could not kick a goal, and were comfortably beaten by 80 points.
Despite a thumping loss in finals footy, we need to look at the positives.
Reaching finals in a tough year all things considered, is a mighty achievement, and credit needs to go to the coaching staff and players for having great commitment throughout this unique season.
|Manly Warringah Wolves||3.0-18||6.3-39||13.8-86||13.8-86|
|East Coast Eagles||0.1-1||0.3-3||0.3-3||0.6-6|
Manly Warringah Wolves
Best Players: C. McPhee, T. Wright, T. Trevaskis, J. McLachlan, R. Laws, Z. Youlten
East Coast Eagles
The EAGALS are flying the flag for East Coast in 2020, and we could not be more proud.
Coming into their Round 9 game, a top two finals spot was on the line, but they had to win big. They had to win big, and they had to play for four quarters, in what was a dry run of sorts for finals next week.
UTS were always going to come to play, but East Coast stamped their authority from the moment the siren sounded.
Saturday Night Footy was on!
It looked like a completely different side on Saturday night. Sure the personnel was largely similar to usual, however there was a fire in the eyes across the team, you could just tell we had that desire and determination to dominate.
We were doing the 1%’s, spoiling, smothering and most notably tackling with furious aggression around the ground. UTS had some chances to go forward, but Georgia Garnett and Renee Tomkins led a repelling backline marvelously, as UTS only managed three shots on goal all evening.
The first quarter was a brutal affair, both on the field and scoreboard. The EAGALS led by 30 points at Quarter-Time, and showed no signs of slowing down.
We were hell bent on winning the footy, displaying multiple second and third efforts at the contest. Not to mention, our skills were elite all over the park. It was just smooth viewing from the stands, as onlookers noticed how well the pieces seemed to be coming together for this side. 52 points up with a half to play, and were were keen to keep that margin ticking over.
East Coast sent more pain UTS’s way in the third, booting home four more goals, before rounding out the 90 point victory with a classy final quarter which saw UTS held to zero.
Brenna Tarrant was again strong, kicking 3 majors, demonstrating an important forward presence. Additionally, four players kicked 2 each – Georgina Fowler, Liz Wilson, Sarah Ford, and Chloe Arndt, who showed a handy ability to play a role up forward, alongside her typically trusty form on ball and down back.
This win sets up an epic showdown with Southern Power next week in the first week of finals. Our EAGALS have now gained a top two spot in back-to-back seasons, securing a double bite of the cherry in the finals series. The EAGALS could take one more giant leap towards another Grand Final with victory here, making this contest even more intriguing.
We are on raging fire at the perfect time of year, but we should not and will not rest on our laurels. The job is well and truly not done.
Coach Peter Steer will need too keep his side focused and ready for this coming weekend.
Get down to Henson Park this Saturday afternoon at 1pm. There will be plenty of fireworks and passion as our EAGALS face off against Southern Power in finals footy. Good luck team.
|East Coast Eagles||5.1-31||9.5-59||13.7-85||15.13-103|
|UTS Australian Football Club||0.1-1||1.1-7||2.1-13||2.1-13|
East Coast Eagles
Best Players:S. Ford, G. Garnett, A. Dallaway, G. Fowler, B. Tarrant, R. Tomkins
UTS Australian Football Club
Best Players: M. Lindsay , C. Gunjaca, A. Amberg, G. Hill, S. Goldrick, E. Donnelly
|1||Manly Warringah Wolves||9||8||1||0||0||0||0||445||154||288.96||88.89|
|2||East Coast Eagles||9||7||2||0||0||0||0||472||180||262.22||77.78|
|4||North Shore Bombers||9||6||3||0||0||0||0||375||147||255.10||66.67|
|5||Inner West Magpies||9||6||3||0||0||0||0||443||222||199.55||66.67|
|7||Pennant Hills Demons||9||2||7||0||0||0||0||228||412||55.34||22.22|
|8||UTS Australian Football Club||9||1||7||1||0||0||0||162||474||34.18||16.67|
|10||UNSW Eastern Suburbs Bulldogs||9||1||8||0||0||0||0||113||589||19.19||11.1|
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|
Premier Division Reserves – Magoos Win Big As Ressies Send UTS Packing
Despite falling out of finals contention, the Magoos were on a mission to finish the season on a strong note. With plenty to play for, including Josh Duncan playing his final game of footy before hanging up the boots, East Coast were not willing to slip up against a winless UTS. It was a Duncan showcase throughout much of the game, with Josh playing down forward contributing 4.8 on the scoreboard, and younger brother Aaron producing elite run and service out of the midfield whilst kicking 3 goals himself. With victory looking like a formality after not even a quarter, the Eagles enjoyed themselves by experimenting with the footy and developing some silky passages in attack. Leading by 66 at half-time, there was a chance to really put on a score late, and with seven goals in the final term the Magoos crunched their opponents, winning by 113 points. Finally, in one of the moments of the year, key defender Nick Johns kicked his first goal of 2020, with the last kick of the day. A truly great way to finish a much improved Magoos season.
FINAL SCORE: ECE 18.18.126 to UTS 1.7.13
Under 19’s Division 1 – BYE
Our Under 19’s side had the bye in Round 9, however, with a victory over Pennant Hills on Back to Baulko day last week they had qualified for finals. Finishing 5th, we will face Manly in a grudge match at Henson Park this Saturday at 9am.
Women’s Division One – EAGALS Stay In Fight Early But Go Down Swinging Against Saints
Coming up against a strong Randwick City Saints side to close out 2020, you would not be in the minority for thinking our EAGALS might have another slow start in the first quarter. However, it was the complete opposite, with our EAGALS playing one of their best quarters of the season, shutting the Saints completely out in the first term. We added a goal early through Casey Haydon, and our trademark ferocity at the footy had us set for an upset victory. Randwick countered hard in the second quarter, adjusting their strategy to work around our battle hardened defensive structures, finding numerous avenues on goal to lead by 10 at half-time. The Saints continued to press, and we could not keep with them, with Randwick showing why they will be a dangerous side in the finals, eventually winning by 36 points. Not the result we wanted, but it capped off a fantastic season for the EAGALS, as Damon Steer’s side competed tremendously well in a higher division. We were very proud each and every week of our EAGALS and can’t wait to see what they offer in 2021.
FINAL SCORE: RSC 6.8.44 to ECE 1.2.8
Men’s Division Two – Bombers Rack Up A Score Against Eagles
Backing up from a long Back to Baulko day last week was going too be difficult for East Coast. They put everything into knocking off Penno to give themselves a sniff at playing finals footy. Alas, it wasn’t to be and with very little energy in the tank, matching up against the red hot North Shore Bombers was always going to be a tall task. We competed well early, restricting North Shore to three goals, however the floodgates opened from there. We never took a backwards step or let our opponents run freely, but North Shore were the clear better side. Piling 8 goals to nil on in the second quarter was enough to solidify the win, and they continued their form throughout the second half. East Coast kicked their lone goal in the third term through Matt Hall, but it was tough goings down forward in a 127 point loss. Skippers Jake Mindham and Stephen Tumminello was typically classy and always tough to play against in real highlights. That wraps up another season in Div 2, one which has been a gigantic step forward compared to previous season. We have a clear vision going forward, and will continue to improve as we look to secure a finals spot in 2021.
FINAL SCORE: NSB 20.14.134 to ECE 1.1.7
Nothing AND I MEAN NOTHING, was going to stand in the East Coast EAGALS way on Back to Baulko day this past weekend.
East Coast were ready for war, but it quickly became apparent that they were going to be the better side, giving Pennant Hills a bath in a thumping 59 point victory.
Looking for back-to-back wins, it was crucial that we kept focused and our eyes on the prize. With finals footy beckoning, there is no room for complacency, and despite going into the game as favourites we still had to get the job done.
Pennant Hills love to bring the fight to the Eagles and gals, no matter which division, and there is always plenty of tension at bay when these matchups occur.
Whilst there were plenty of big hits and fiery contests throughout the match, the real damage was done on the scoreboard, and the EAGALS started the party early.
Kicking away in the first term, East Coast worked hard to win the footy out of the middle and put pressure on Demon defenders, as our Inside 50 count grew very quickly. Our pattern of play was outstanding at times, but it was our defence which once again proved to be the backbone, as Pennant Hills were held to nil in the first quarter.
The second term soon became a case of: Different quarter, Same Story, as our backline were ruthless in keeping their rivals to no shots on goal for a half of footy, whilst our forwards extended the lead. Only inaccurate kicking kept Penno in the game, albeit slightly, as the EAGALS led 34-0 at half-time.
East Coast had all the momentum however, and there was no way we were going to give the Demons a sniff, and with better execution on goal, we continued the dominance.
The party started early for East Coast, and rolled on for four quarters, as we had plenty to celebrate after a 60-1 win over our greatest rivals.
I must sound like a broken record, but Georgia Garnett was once again at the top of her game, not letting the occasion get to her, as skipper Sarah Ford was as inspirational as always. Em Hurley deserves a mention for her 2 goal performance, whilst Bailee Hourigan was on fire down back, taking vital intercept marks which kept Penno on the back foot.
Well done EAGALS, finals are coming and with one last game next week against UTS before we get down to business, we seem to be peaking at the perfect time.
There really is nothing sweeter then beating Penno!
|East Coast Eagles||2.4-16||4.10-34||6.11-47||8.12-60|
|Pennant Hills Demons||0.0||0.0||0.1-1||0.1-1|
East Coast Eagles
Best Players: G. Garnett, S. Ford, B. Hourigan, A. Dallaway, B. Parker, B. Tarrant
Pennant Hills Demons
|1||Manly Warringah Wolves||8||7||1||0||0||0||0||382||134||285.07||87.50|
|3||Inner West Magpies||8||6||2||0||0||0||0||416||186||223.66||75.00|
|4||East Coast Eagles||8||6||2||0||0||0||0||369||167||220.96||75.00|
|5||North Shore Bombers||8||5||3||0||0||0||0||344||129||266.67||62.50|
|7||Pennant Hills Demons||8||2||6||0||0||0||0||208||349||59.60||25.00|
|8||UTS Australian Football Club||8||1||6||1||0||0||0||149||371||40.16||18.75|
|9||UNSW Eastern Suburbs Bulldogs||8||1||7||0||0||0||0||100||561||17.83||12.50|
It was one of the great days in the history of our club.
Sure not all the results went our way, but in the face of the COVID-19 Pandemic that is still having a tremendous impact on society, we were still able to celebrate our traditional Back to Baulko Day in style.
With club stalwart Tim Physick playing game number 434 in the early morning Division Two match, a new record in the history of the Baulkham Hills/East Coast Eagles football clubs, it was building up to be a special day.
Unfortunately, our Men’s Premier Division couldn’t get the job done, facing off against a red-hot Pennant Hills side that are always dangerous towards the back end of a season.
There was plenty of fire and passion across the two sides, as there often is when they meet on this day. Back to Baulko is no joke, and neither is this rivalry. Both sides were out to make a statement, and flex their muscle.
The first quarter was a dogged affair, as the Demons looked to get on top early, but were unable to maintain momentum for long patches. East Coast stayed in the fight but were ruing skill errors, which hindered their ability to put on any real scoreboard pressure.
East Coast had a young side on the park, and with no less than 9 players who donned the heritage Baulkham Hills Falcons jersey under the age of 21, producing a consistent four-quarter performance was going to tough. As more mistakes creeped into East Coast’s game, Pennant Hills began to smell blood in the water, and took a 19 point lead into the half-time break.
Coming into a feisty Kanebridge Oval environment as the enemy, must place plenty of pressure on a footy team as hated as the Demons are in Eagle territory. Lucky for them however, the Pennant Hills army weathered the storm perfectly, and piled on the pain in the second half. The Eagles never gave up chase, the cue was never put in the rack, but Penno were the clear better side in the Premiership quarter, leading by 43 points at 3QT.
The Demons finished off their win, kicking 6 more goals to East Coast’s zero in the final term. Pennant Hills showcased why they are always a threat as finals footy approaches, and cleaned up on Back to Baulko day, running away with the result by 80 points.
Cam Edwards and Eddie Cole were magnificent in a losing side, priding themselves on using their quick speed and silky skills to put their team on the front foot, whilst Josh Cutting played a very useful utility role. Debutant Kyle Spencer also played well, proving once again the future is bright for East Coast, with more debuts likely to come next week.
It wasn’t to be for our Eagles on this Back to Baulko day, and with one more hitout next week at home against UTS, we will need a big effort to get another victory.
|East Coast Eagles||1.2-8||3.2-20||3.4-22||3.7-25|
|Pennant Hills Demons||1.5-11||5.9-39||9.11-65||15.15-105|
East Coast Eagles
Best Players: C. Edwards, E. Cole, J. Dimery, L. Waters, A. Drinkwater, J. Cutting
Pennant Hills Demons
Best Players: C. Allison, M. Sheather, M. Preen, J. Peatling, T. Wales, C. Owen-Auburn
|1||North Shore Bombers||8||8||0||0||0||0||0||967||252||383.73||100.00|
|3||UNSW Eastern Suburbs Bulldogs||8||6||2||0||0||0||0||1011||370||273.24||75.00|
|4||St George Dragons||8||5||3||0||0||0||0||825||425||194.12||62.50|
|5||Pennant Hills Demons||8||4||4||0||0||0||0||759||449||169.04||50.00|
|6||Inner West Magpies||8||4||4||0||0||0||0||485||696||69.68||50.00|
|7||Manly Warringah Wolves||8||2||6||0||0||0||0||373||808||46.16||25.00|
|9||East Coast Eagles||8||1||7||0||0||0||0||421||768||54.82||12.50|
|10||UTS Australian Football Club||8||0||8||0||0||0||0||238||1307||18.21||0.00|
Premier Division Reserves – Magoos Go Down But Not Without A Fight Against The Arch Enemy
It was always going to be a game with plenty of spite and rivalry fueled hatred in the air, what else could you expect when East Coast meets Pennant Hills. Our Magoos were on a mission, win here and finals footy was all but assured. Unfortunately results did not go our way, and we just could not find enough scoring chances when it counted. But this was no bloodbath, there were two teams in this fight. If you only concentrate on the scoreboard, then the Demons looked the better side early, keeping East Coast goalless in the first half. Although, the Eagles were not too far off the pace and we were still a chance, but needed to seize momentum straight away in the third term. We did just that, laying some crunching tackles and throwing Penno off their game, kicking 4 goals to 3 to trail by 19 at 3QT. It wasn’t to be in the end, unable to find another major, as the Demons were just too good and won by 31 points. Nick Johns was a popular players player, and Corey Dowle snagged his second goal of the year in true highlights.
FINAL SCORE: PHD 8.11.59 to ECE 4.3.27
Under 19’s Division 1 – East Coast Make It Count When The Pressure Is On
If there was any East Coast side under real pressure on Back to Baulko day this year, it was the Under 19s. A win and finals footy would become a reality, but a loss and finals would probably be out the window. That was the simple do or die challenge that awaited our young guns. With plenty of support behind them, they did not disappoint, and gave our fans many exciting moments to cheer. It was a competitive contest early, with there being only 8 points in the game at half-time, but after a stirring speech by coach Adam Wilson at half-time, the troops were ready. We could not let ourselves down and slip up on this day, this side had worked too hard. The second-half was arguably their best half of footy all year, the goals flowed and Penno could not find an answer. With a 5 goal to 1 final quarter, we dispatched our Demon rivals by 40 points, and earnt a place in finals footy. Congrats boys, you did the jersey proud.
FINAL SCORE: ECE 11.11.77 to PHD 5.7.37
Women’s Division One – EAGALS Finish B2B Day On A High With Awesome Win
After a long day at Kanebridge Oval, another Back to Baulko Day was coming to an end, but not without a huge win for our Div One EAGALS. Finishing the day off in style, the ladies were relentless in their pressure style of footy that has brought opposition sides undone all season, leading at every change on their way to a 13 point victory. Pennant Hills made us work, but not hard enough to control momentum for long periods. The EAGALS made it clear we owned Penno on this night. The margin was close throughout the game largely due to inaccurate kicking in front of goal from East Coast, but we always looked the better side, a positive note as finals footy still remains a possibility. Lauren Martin provided a brilliant captain’s knock in a BOG performance, and Abbey Martin was amongst the goals again scoring 2 majors. Great way to finish the day, we are always so proud of the EAGALS.
FINAL SCORE: ECE 4.10.34 to PHD 3.3.21
Men’s Division Two – Tim Physick Breaks A Record But Eagles Fall Short
In the best story of the day, club legend Tim Physick broke the games played record for the East Coast Eagles in conjunction with the Baulkham Hills footy club. Putting on the boots for his 434rd game in the Division Two side, Physick was his iconic self, never taking a backwards step and inspiring his side to stay in the hunt for four quarters. The toughest bloke I’ve ever played with, it was an honour for myself to play alongside Tim in his milestone game. The Eagles played with heart, delivering a performance that had plenty of passion and hunger, as Co-Captain Stephen Tumminello led from the front with some brutal hits on key Pennant Hills players. With just 1 point separating the sides at 3QT, the last term would be the difference maker. Unfortunately, we ran out of legs and fell away at the end, losing by just 6 points. We were disappointed, but proud of our efforts, representing the club in fine fashion.
FINAL SCORE: PHD 4.11.35 to ECE 4.5.29
Back to Baulko 2020 had its ups and downs, but it was truly one that we will never forget