Men’s Premier Division MOTW: Eagles nosedive against Bombers
Written by Michael Shillito.
North Shore Bombers vs. East Coast Eagles – Gore Hill Oval on Saturday, May 4.
We’re four rounds into the season. Now is the time that teams are looking to build some momentum and get themselves established in a prime position on the ladder. When two undefeated teams face off, there’s a chance to not only gain four points but gain a key psychological advantage over a potential finals rival.
The stakes were high at Gore Hill Oval on Saturday afternoon when North Shore Bombers took on East Coast Eagles. The last meeting between the two sides, in the
final round of last season, was decided by just one-point. This one would not be as close.
That game in the final round in 2018 had been at Kanebridge, which was also a home away from home for North Shore last year. But this time around the Bombers were back on their own pitch, and wasted no time in making a statement that the new-look home ground was a fortress they would defend to the death.
Bursting out of the blocks in the opening term, the Bombers set up a match-winning lead early on. Pouncing on the loose ball, laying the tackles and hitting their targets with pinpoint accuracy, the scoreboard was ticking over in the Bombers’ favour. Five goals to the home side, while the Eagles were unable to score. It was North Shore at their brilliant best as they surged to a 32-point lead at quarter time, and there would be no way back for the Eagles.
The Eagles would break their duck in the second term, and manage two goals for the quarter. But for much of the quarter the Bombers continued to look in control. Goals were harder to come by, but the home side were continuing to enjoy the lion’s share of possession and deny the Eagles any opportunity to work their way back into the contest. Three goals to the Bombers for the quarter would extend their lead to 37 points at the long break.
The shadows of the clubhouse were stretching over the western end, the wind chime xylophone in the playground beyond tolled a ring of desperation for the Eagles. They knew they had to tighten the game up to stop the rot, and had some success in achieving that during the third term. For much of the quarter, the game looked to drifting into stalemate, with a succession of ball-ups, throw-ins and little football to inspire. This was to the Bombers’ advantage, as they already had a handy lead. But for the Eagles, it was a quarter to minimise the damage, and there would be no salvage operation. The Bombers scored the only goal of the quarter, stretching the margin out to 45 points at the last change.
The Eagles would win the last quarter, but it mattered little. Even with a return of two goals to one in the final term, the visitors would have just four goals to show for their efforts on the day. In all material aspects of the game, the Bombers had thoroughly outplayed their opponents. The message rang out loud and clear that the Bombers will be a team to beat in 2019.
Christian Loone, Kyle Devlin and Zac Fyffe were best for North Shore, but it had been a solid team effort by a North Shore team who were relentless in their drive to deny their opponents a sniff of the action. For the third time this season they had more than doubled their opponents’ score, building an imposing percentage to maintain top spot.
On a day when they were thirsting for possessions, Aaron Drinkwater, Stuart Turner and Jamie Vlatko toiled hard for the Eagles. But it wasn’t their day. The Eagles remain in third place, but they were found wanting, unable to conjure up a competitive score against one this season’s heavyweights.
Other results on Saturday saw Sydney University also remain undefeated in 2019 after a convincing 79-point win over Manly at Sydney University. The Inner West Magpies took out their second win on the trot with a 40-point win over UTS at Picken Oval. Pennant Hills celebrated a rare appearance at their former home at Ern Holmes Oval with a 31-point win over St George. Lastly, twilight encounter at Fairfax Reserve saw UNSW-ES play their best match so far this season to record a dominant 90-point win over Camden.
North Shore – 5.2 8.4 9.7 10.11 (71)
East Coast Eagles – 0.0 2.3 2.4 4.5 (29)
North Shore goals – K Devlin 2, C Barker 2, B Cunningham 2, E Sertbas, M Thomas, A McConnell, M Buskariol
East Coast goals – J Vlatko 3, J Battistella
North Shore best – C Loone, K Devlin, Z Fyffe, E Sertbas, C Barker, J Schumack
East Coast best – A Drinkwater, S Turner, J Vlatko, E Kruger, J Battistella, J Large