Late last year there were three things you could have got very long odds for over at Kanebridge Oval in Rouse Hill. Yeah I know. Bet responsibly and all that relevant advice. But if you’d ignored all those “good judges” telling you what they thought and placed your hard earned on the East Coast Eagles playing in the Grand Final of the AFL Sydney Women’s Premier Division, then you would have cleaned up big time last Saturday.
And, if you also placed a bet on the Eagles’ ladies Reserve Grade team, who were put into Division Two, also playing off in their Grand Final, then your bookie would be reeling. And to top it all off, if you took the trifecta that a father and son combination would coach the two teams, then you’re probably collecting from the bookie’s estate right at this moment.
In what may well go down as one of the most remarkable stories of season 2019, all of the above came true last Saturday at Blacktown when Peter Steer coached his Premier Division team into next Saturday’s Grand Final. Whilst at the same time, 50 kilometres away, son Damon was getting his side over the line at Henson Park.
The AFL had only promoted East Coast to the Premier Division in December last year following a considered submission by the Eagles which had defeated others from rival clubs. The admission of the Eagles was controversial at the time, but throughout the season Steer progressively gathered together a group of girls who had the will to go all the way. They had come from a variety of different backgrounds to be nurtured and ‘steered’ into a set of players who Peter describes as “quite possibly the most committed group I’ve ever coached.”
In that Premier Division team which played last Saturday, seven girls are in their first ever season of AFL footy, eight came from previous homegrown teams at East Coast, two from other Division One clubs, three from AFLW club the GWS Giants and the last girl came from feeder junior club the Kellyville Magpies.
“All the girls just want to get better”, said Steer. “They actually take the feedback given to them and act on it. The improvement since Round 1 is exponential. Damon and I are overawed by their attitude and enthusiasm at training where they work as a group, not as separate teams.”
The Div Two girls have been even more miraculous. After Round 7 they were second bottom on the ladder. By the end of the home and away season they had scraped into the final five at Round 18. They have just won their last six matches to secure the Grand Final spot. “I’m so proud of Damo. And the girls love him” proclaimed his delighted Dad. “He’s done an awesome job”.
Steer says that both teams are in good shape and morale is high for their respective Grand Finals this coming weekend. Macquarie University are the opponents in both games and even in the short history of Women’s football at East Coast, a real rivalry has developed between Eagles and the Warriors and there’s no doubt it will be continued this weekend.
Saturday September 14th – Premier Division
East Coast v Macquarie Uni at 1.30pm
Sunday September 15th – Division Two
East Coast v Macquarie Uni at 3.50pm
Grand Finals are hard to get into, let alone win. Why not show your support for both teams and get to Blacktown International Sportspark Oval
Rooty Hill NSW 2766
One step short in 2018, yet one step further than 2017 for the East Coast EaGALs.
Following a heartbreaking loss on Saturday to minor premiers Wollongong: 9.7.61 to 4.4.28, a margin which hardly reflects the contest mind you, heads were down and tears flowed.
That is until the women were reminded or their emergence this season.
Sure 2018 had officially come to an end, but it came after the side defeated every foe at least once throughout the season.
And on top of that, 2018 was year which went a long way in proving a Premier Division Women’s team deserves to be running around Kanebridge Oval in 2019.
Finishing 5th in 2017 before rising to 3rd this season, the Eagals made considerable improvements in 2018, completely enhancing ball movement, attack on the footy and most importantly their all round club-commitment and dedication.
The future sure is bright.
With a battle against Western Magic in the Grand Final on the line in a Preliminary Final this past Saturday, Wollongong overcame the Eagals fortunate home ground advantage, starting strong and winning the mental battle early despite both sides aiming up psychically with a multitude of destructive tackles.
The Saints led by 2 goals at 1/4 time, challenging the Eagals to bite back.
That they did, as captain Sarah Ford stood up whilst taking charge of the midfield alongside League Best and Fairest contender Em Goodsir, both breaking the game open to lead the side to within 3 points of the Saints at half-time.
There were only inches in it throughout the 3rd quarter, a period which featured one of the best moments for the club in 2018.
Devoted player and clubwoman Dana Polverino made her long-awaited return from a nasty shoulder injury, to kick a welcomed and crucial goal in the Premiership 3rd quarter.
It lifted the crowd, and sure lifted the women’s intensity for the remainder of the quarter, trailing by only a goal at the final break.
Maddie Ferguson, Brenna Tarrant and Laura Moran continued impressive gameday displays in the 3rd term as well.
Here we go and Game on.
Down to the final quarter, both sides desperate and hungry for victory.
A Grand Final berth beckons
It became clear however in this quarter, that the Eagals couldn’t contain and ultimately fell victim to Wollongong’s powerplay.
All day inside 50, the Wollongong forwards were a headache for Eagal defenders, taking plenty of marks and solidifying dominance.
The ball may go up, but the Saints players knew they’d mark it in front of goal.
The blue and gold charges never gave up, but the Saints eventually ran away with the result, pushing the scoreline out to a 5 goal victory, that as aforementioned did not reflect East Coast’s fight across the four quarters.
But certainly in the last of these 4 quarters, in which Wollongong demanded another shot at the Premiership Cup.
The Eagals’ season was sent packing, but boy are the club proud of their efforts in 2018.
As the most successful team inside Season BM18 at East Coast, the women set the standard and wrote the blueprint for long-term success.
You turn up and train then you rip in on the weekend, together, for each other, with the drive and determination to be successful in finals.
One step short, but one step further in 2018.
One more step towards a maiden grand-final seems inevitable in 2019.
A magnificent one for the EagALS.
More than anyone in the club, they embodied BM – BENCHMARK/BESTMATES – 18.
A sensational endorsement for women’s footy at East Coast.
Wollongong Saints 2.4-16 3.4-22 5.4-34 9.7-61
East Coast Eagles 1.0-6 3.1-19 4.4-28 4.4-28
Goal Kickers: E. Morris 3, R. McGartland 2, P. Davis 2, C. Stanton, L. Donnelly
Best Players: L. Donnelly, J. Stanton, A. Anderson, K. Chan, S. O”Donoghue, P. Davis
East Coast Eagles
Goal Kickers: C. Arndt, E. Goodsir , B. Hourigan, D. Polverino
Best Players: S. Ford, E. Goodsir , M. Ferguson, B. Tarrant, A. Dallaway, L. Moran
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.
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.
The Eagles have one week until finals, therefore only one week to prove whether this past weekend result was a MAJOR or MINOR slip up.
In a game which likely would decide outright second place on the Sydney AFL Premier Division ladder heading into finals, East Coast travelled to Henson Park in Round 17 to meet a ready and willing UNSW Bulldogs outfit who absolutely took advantage of chances inside 50, on they’re way to a strong 20 point victory 11.9.75 to 8.7.55.
With this, the Eagles did indeed drop to 3rd place, as the Bulldogs now hold 2nd spot.
Add on the fact that this result snapped East Coast’s six game winning streak, and the enormity of the win is huge for UNSW.
Some would argue the damage in this game was done in the first quarter, with the Doggies kicking 5 goals to 1, and displaying relentless forward pressure.
The Eagles just couldn’t match them.
Clawing back slowly in the second term, had supporters hoping East Coast would play with more consistency in the second half.
However, these hopes were dashed in the 3rd quarter, as key defender Kieran Emery went down with an ugly injury that left the Eagles CAGE without its greatest champion.
Throughout this quarter, a stronghold became a strangle as the Eagles became overwhelmed and could not contain the Doggies attack at the carpark end, in yet another 5 to 1 goal quarter.
With a six-goal lead heading into the final term, Henson Park became a danger zone for all that wore Blue and Gold, as further key players Trent Stubbs and Karl Merson also ended the game with ice strapped to the lower body, gone for the game.
Despite their best footy played in this 4th quarter, it was too little too late for the Eagles, doubling their goals total to narrow the margin to a far more encouraging 3 goal loss.
Aaron Drinkwater was a bull in defence laying plenty of crushing tackles on his opponents, and Jamie Vlatko continued his outstanding second half of the season form kicking 3 goals.
Returning home, East Coast have the game’s toughest challenge waiting in the form of competition heavyweights North Shore in what is sure to be the perfect finals warm up slash wake up call.
Ladder positions will be on the line, and the importance of this clash will be massive for East Coast coming off the weekend’s loss.
Finals is where the gladiators rise and the heroes stand, the period where you have to play your best footabll.
Yet, if the Eagles step into finals on the back of a disappointing forntight, it shall be immensely difficult to move out of second gear.
Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4
UNSW Eastern Suburbs Bulldogs 5.4-34 5.4-34 10.8-68 11.9-75
East Coast Eagles 1.0-6 3.5-23 4.5-29 8.7-55
UNSW Eastern Suburbs Bulldogs
Goal Kickers: T. Dickson 3, S. Pollock 2, T. Banuelos 2, T. Redden, D. Pfeiffer, M. Rawlinson, J. Pascoe
Best Players: D. Pfeiffer, L. Essenstam, J. Blair, M. Thompson, J. McKinlay, T. Dickson
East Coast Eagles
Goal Kickers: J. Vlatko 3, D. Visser, R. Haupt, A. Drinkwater, M. Weekes, T. Stubbs
Best Players: A. Drinkwater, J. Vlatko, A. Browning, B. Clark, K. Merson, R. Haupt
2018 Sydney AFL Premier Division Ladder after 17 Rounds
POS TEAM P W L D F A % PTS
1 North Shore Bombers 17 15 2 0 1909 996 191.67 60
2 UNSW Eastern Suburbs Bulldogs 17 12 5 0 1425 1027 138.75 48
3 East Coast Eagles 17 11 6 0 1169 970 120.52 44
4 Sydney University 17 10 7 0 1507 1108 136.01 40
5 Manly Warringah Wolves 17 10 7 0 1388 1109 125.16 40
6 Pennant Hills Demons 17 10 7 0 1476 1243 118.74 40
7 St George Dragons 17 6 11 0 1189 1552 76.61 24
8 Camden Cats 17 5 12 0 1171 1491 78.54 20
9 UTS Bats 17 4 13 0 983 1616 60.83 16
10 Western Suburbs Magpies 17 2 15 0 844 1949 43.30 8
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.
Well it has come and gone, but we already want to go back.
That is the occasion Back to Baulko produces for the East Coast Eagles community.
Plenty flocked from all around the country for the club’s biggest day of the year, and witnessed the famous maroon and gold Baulkham Hills Falcons strip done proud, as the Prems boys produced their biggest result of the year in Round 16.
In the Premier Division match of the year, the Eagles defeated cross-town arch rivals Pennant Hills by 8 points: 8.15.63 to 8.7.55, a win that will go along way to cementing a crucial finals spot for Lindsay Scown’s troops in 2018.
Everything was on the line in this do or die battle.
Local supremacy, bragging rights, and all-important top 5 ladder placings.
The importance of the result from a competition perspective was huge as East Coast remain en route to a finals berth currently sitting 3rd (equal 2nd on percentage), but the Demons were not so fortunate, slipping outside the top 5 as a consequence of the loss.
Battle lines were drawn early in a colossal and intense opening quarter, only a point the difference in favour of Pennant Hills at two goals a-piece.
In fact, at every quarter break the Demons led, the largest being just 3 points at half-time, yet no footy expert, and there were certainly a few of them on show Saturday, could claim they knew the impending result with any level of confidence.
The tit for tat showcase had the large home crowed glued to they’re seats, every possession so important.
Both teams had to make every chance count.
The final confrontation in the last quarter would define a season, so much on the line for both sides.
But on this day, Back to Baulko Day, the Eagles had too much pride and passion and were not going to let down the proud club’s long legacy. This was their day, no Demon would steal the victory.
The Eagles marched hard to a strong multiple goal lead in the final quarter and didnt let it go, closing out the match 8 point winners.
Stuart Turner was again excellent in this fixture, winning a ton of hard ball at ground level and using his penetrating right boot to full effect across Kanebridge Oval.
The better players on the day for East Coast were amongst the goals, with Trent Stubbs carrying his historic club name sensationally in a commanding two goal performance.
Karl Merson also had a pair of goals, as KOUTA continued to prove his vital role as the huge acquisition he returned to the club as. Dominance and power defined his Back to Baulko game.
Everyone played there role, all day, too many superstar performances to make mention, and the maturity of football on show by the Eagles in this nail biter is proof we have the side to make a huge statement come finals time in 2 weeks.
East Coast have massive games incoming up against UNSW and North Shore, with the three sides just mentioned making up the top 3 as the ladder currently stands.
Back to Baulko day in 2018 was an absolutely phenomenal event for the football club, one that everyone from the field to the HILL wishes could last a lifetime, East Coast Eagles stand up and applaud.
A brilliant day, a brilliant result, can’t wait for next year.
Best Players: S. Turner, A. Browning, K. Merson, T. Stubbs, J. Vlatko, D. Steer
Best Players: T. Angel, M. Carroll, A. Goodall, S. Wray, R. Ediriwickrama, T. Widmer
|1||North Shore Bombers||16||14||2||0||1756||948||185.23||56|
|2||UNSW Eastern Suburbs Bulldogs||16||11||5||0||1350||972||138.89||44|
|3||East Coast Eagles||16||11||5||0||1114||895||124.47||44|
|5||Manly Warringah Wolves||16||9||7||0||1229||1087||113.06||36|
|6||Pennant Hills Demons||16||9||7||0||1364||1207||113.01||36|
|7||St George Dragons||16||6||10||0||1141||1399||81.56||24|
|10||Western Suburbs Magpies||16||2||14||0||822||1790||45.92||8|
With greater things on the horizon for East Coast, namely the 2018 Sydney AFL Premiership Match of the Year on Back to Baulko day against the Pennant Hills enemy, the Eagles brushed off a shaky start and cruise to a deserved 6 goal victory.
Whether or not it was a cursed hostile return at Picken Oval for Eagles coach Lindsay Scown in Round 15, he need not worry as birthday boy Stuart Turner continued his hot form, and forward Mark Weekes found some in a 4 goal performance that lead East Coast to a 38 point win over they’re western neighbours: 11.10.76 to 4.14.38.
Turner was excellent, and so was big bearded ruckman AB as Browning continues his love affair with the Picken Oval grass. AB was as calculating and fearsome as ever on the weekend.
Karl Merson was destructive out of the middle and constantly pushed his weight around at the stoppage, Wests struggling side had no answers.
Derrick Visser had his best game of the year, as the big fella is really starting to understand what makes him so damaging across the field and has enhanced the East Coast’s Premier Division Premiership push undoubtedly.
Former Magpies Reuben Haupt and Jordan Etto (there’s your mention mate), also got one back on the old guard, kicking a goal each at the old stomping ground.
It was a proud performance by the Eagles last Saturday, and their recent rise is epitomized by no few more than the unstoppable ‘CAGE’.
East Coast’s backline has undergone a remarkable transformation in 2018 even in the abscence of Luke Mansour and captain Ben Bourke in recent weeks, although the skippers return this past weekend was instrumental in the victory. The back 6 have repelled more opposition attacking moves than it has conceded, and continue to impact there side in attack.
After 15 competition rounds, East Coast have conceded less points then any other side, averaging only 56 points a game, 1st in the league, and 4 less points then the next best being table toppers North Shore (60 points a game).
Yet, despite enjoying a 4 game winning run, coach Lindsay Scown calls that all his players do not lose focus.
Maturity is key at the time of year, and with a very competitive top 6, the job is not done, and 2nd place could quickly and complacently become 6th of worse if the switch turns off.
IT IS A HUGE FEW WEEKS COMING UP.
BACK TO BAULKO IS HERE, THE DATE HAS BEEN SAVED, THE CLASH IS SET.
2ND VS 5TH. EAGLES VS DEMONS. CAREY VS TURNER.
OLD BOYS DAY
BACK TO BAULKO
All past, current and future players, club-people and supporters of the East Coast Eagles, Baulkham Hills Falcons and co, get down to Kanebridge Oval for all 5 games throughout the best day on the Sydney AFL calender.
WE CAN’T WAIT
Best Players: E. Cole, C. Dell, N. Eynaud, T. Blake, J. Robinson, M. Magee
Best Players: S. Turner, A. Drinkwater, A. Browning, J. Vlatko, K. Emery, D. Visser
|1||North Shore Bombers||15||13||2||0||1619||904||179.09||52|
|2||East Coast Eagles||15||10||5||0||1051||840||125.12||40|
|3||UNSW Eastern Suburbs Bulldogs||15||10||5||0||1174||943||124.50||40|
|4||Manly Warringah Wolves||15||9||6||0||1177||974||120.84||36|
|5||Pennant Hills Demons||15||9||6||0||1309||1144||114.42||36|
|7||St George Dragons||15||6||9||0||1069||1315||81.29||24|
|10||Western Suburbs Magpies||15||2||13||0||793||1614||49.13||8|
It was moving day in the Sydney AFL this past weekend, as the Round 14 clash between the East Coast Eagles and UTS Bats proved a crucial result seeing the former’s 25 point victory 11.9.75 to 6.14.50 at Trumper Park elevate them to second on the ladder just a month out from finals.
Incredibly, the Eagles hold second place by the slightest of margins, 0.01% greater than the UNSW Bulldogs in 3rd place.
Respect your opponent, respect yourselves.
That was the key message out of Saturdays victory for the Eagles.
No matter the distinct difference in form guides and ladder rankings between the two sides, UTS always seem to unsettle East Coast, to the extent where they control proceedings long enough to seriously worry they’re opponents.
This indeed happened again on Saturday, as UTS controlled the pace of the first three quarters, assuming a 1 point lead at half time and only trailing the Eagles by 2 points at 3-quarter time.
The Bats demanded East Coast’s respect on this day, and the Eagles were certainly willing to comply and contest a grinding battle.
For three quarters, there was absolutely nothing in it.
But, Aussie Rules is a game of 4 quarters.
The Eagles finished this clash with soaking sails, piecing together one of their best quarters of footy for the season, not conceding a goal and kicking 5.
Jamie Vlatko turned back the clock in this one, as the clear best on ground, paving the way for forward entry that inspired a winning score whilst kicking four majors of his own.
On top of Vlatko’s magic, key players Stuart Turner and Kieran Emery were fantastic and among the Eagles’ best players.
Second Place, what an achievement.
From 5th to 2nd in the space of a week.
Its a huge move, and the challenge over the impending wet weather bye week is to stay healthy, focused and motivated, because they musn’t and cannot afford to drop the ball at this stage of the season.
|East Coast Eagles||1.0-6||2.5-17||6.6-42||11.9-75|
Best Players: N. Daniel, A. Johnson, R. Kirkhope, J. Moyle, A. Tarrant, T. Larby
Best Players: J. Vlatko, S. Turner, K. Emery, T. Stubbs, A. Drinkwater, B. Clark
|1||North Shore Bombers||14||12||2||0||1531||839||182.48||48|
|2||East Coast Eagles||14||9||5||0||975||802||121.57||36|
|3||UNSW Eastern Suburbs Bulldogs||14||9||5||0||1088||895||121.56||36|
|5||Manly Warringah Wolves||14||8||6||0||1088||888||122.52||32|
|6||Pennant Hills Demons||14||8||6||0||1165||1057||110.22||32|
|7||St George Dragons||14||6||8||0||983||1226||80.18||24|
|10||Western Suburbs Magpies||14||2||12||0||755||1538||49.09||8|
To play finals footy, the best sides don’t drop games they should win.
This clash against Camden was just that for the Eagles, and it was a task they passed with flying colours.
The East Coast Eagles continue their love affair with the Top 5 fringe, slotting back into 5th spot with a crucial 26 point victory against a gallant but feisty Camden Cats outfit at Kanebridge Oval in Round 12, 8.16.64 to 5.8.38.
After losing gun midfielder Brandon Clark to an obscure burst eardrum in the early stages of the opening quarter, veteran bearded Ruck-man Andrew ‘AB’ Browning played his best game of 2018, dominating Camden’s centre.
Easily on top in the first half, tripling the Cats’ shots on goal during this time, the Eagles’ form stalled somewhat in the Premiership quarter, yet still taking a 22 point lead into the final quarter.
However, Camden were lacking a killer blow or player to challenge a response from East Coast in the dying stages, ultimately succumbing to the crumbling defensive pressure of the Eagles back-line which has made their ‘CAGE’ so fearsome in the past months.
The challenge is and will continue to be for the Eagles to keep playing consistent footy and pick up some important victories against sides above them on the ladder, beginning next week with a grand contest against Manly Warringah again at Kanebridge.
|East Coast Eagles||3.4-22||6.9-45||7.11-53||8.16-64|
Best Players: A. Browning, A. Drinkwater, K. Emery, D. Costello, K. Merson
Best Players: K. Veerhuis, M. Edwards, N. Kenny, J. Bottin-Noonan, M. Sapiatzer, D. Leary
|1||North Shore Bombers||12||10||2||0||1260||768||164.06||40|
|2||Manly Warringah Wolves||12||8||4||0||996||730||136.44||32|
|3||Pennant Hills Demons||12||8||4||0||1069||813||131.49||32|
|4||UNSW Eastern Suburbs Bulldogs||12||8||4||0||925||738||125.34||32|
|5||East Coast Eagles||12||7||5||0||833||740||112.57||28|
|8||St George Dragons||12||4||8||0||732||1121||65.30||16|
|10||Western Suburbs Magpies||12||2||10||0||668||1288||51.86||8|