Men’s Premier Division Match of the Round Review – East Coast Eagles vs. Sydney University
Written By Lucas Holmes
The East Coast Eagles were looking to bounce back in round 9 following a 62-point defeat at the hands of Pennant Hills. Whilst Sydney University defeated Camden by 130 points in round 8.
Despite the margin, the Eagles impressed in patches of this match not allowing University to further extend the margin. Their endeavour and willingness to take the game on was on display early.
However, Sydney University proved too strong. After a slow start to the season, some impressive results in recent weeks sees them within touching distance of the top two.
From the opening bounce, a big fist from Andrew Browning found Zachary Johns in stride. His deep forward 50 entry was intercepted as University looked to attack the centre corridor.
Issac Hughes had an opportunity to add Sydney University’s first goal a few minutes later. However, he pulled his snap only to register a minor score.
Following an East Coast turnover on their half-back flank, University again attacked the corridor. A short kick found Samuel Gilfedder adjacent to the centre circles, his pass connected with a teammate on the half-forward flank. A well-weighted kick inside the forward 50 allowed Cameron Williams to drift in to take a mark. After an earlier shot on goal, Williams didn’t make a mistake with his second. Sydney University had the first goal of the afternoon.
Cooper Searle added his first two minutes later before goals to Gilfedder, Austin Lucy and Allister Clarke finished off a strong first quarter for Sydney University.
Quarter time East Coast Eagles 0.1.1 Sydney University 5.3.33.
University wasted little time to begin the second quarter. Following a high inside 50 entry from Stevenson, Hughes used his body perfectly to out-muscle his direct opponent and took a strong mark. Hughes nursed the ball through for University’s sixth.
The Eagles answered back within two minutes. Browning once again gave the East Coast first use, a short kick found Nathan Coxall on the half-forward flank. His penetrating kick located Baylee Jones going back with the flight of the football. Jones after appearing to play on was called back and slotted the set shot from 25 metres out.
We waited 13 minutes for Hughes to kick his second goal. Before the game came alive, Lewis Stevenson kicked two (including a long set shot) and Thomas Zdrilic added two of his own for East Coast.
Half time East Coast Eagles 3.3.21 Sydney University 9.6.60.
Sydney University again had a fast start to the third quarter. Following a boundary throw in just outside the forward 50, a short handball from Samuel Bennett found Jack Hiscox in stride who kicked on the run from 45 metres.
This would be the first of three consecutive goals for University before one of East Coast’s best Bailey Stewart found himself on the scoreboard.
After Brandon Clark won the centre clearance sending the Eagles inside the forward 50, Stewart was awarded a free kick for high contact. Stewart, after initially looking to pass, went back and kicked the Eagles fourth.
Jack Dimmery made it five of the last seven goals for University. Before Zdrilic intercepted an attempted switch by the Sydney University defence to kick his third goal before his fourth came late in the quarter.
Three quarter time East Coast Eagles 6.4.40 Sydney University 13.7.85.
After a stoppage-laden start to the final quarter, Sydney University added their first goal of the quarter eight and a half minutes in.
From a stoppage on the centre wing, Bennett drove the ball to centre half forward where Hughes was able to get a handball away into the path of Searle. He had an option over the top but instead took the shot on which squeezed just inside the left goal post.
Luke Gallen would add what would turn out to be University’s last major before two goals to Brendan Coxall rounded out the match.
Full-time East Coast Eagles 8.4.52 Sydney University 15.11.101.
It was a well-rounded performance by Sydney University. Aaron Day was ever-present at centre half back, Bennett was impactful at times and Williams was impressive not only in the ruck but around the ground.
Despite the defeat, East Coast had several players impress. Stewart was impactful around the ground, Zdrilic was important kicking four goals and Brandon Clark was one of the better players on the ground.
East Coast Eagles 8.4.52
Goal kickers: T. Zdrilic 4, B. Coxall 2, B. Stewart, B. Jones
Best: A. Foxall, T. Zdrilic, B. Stewart, B. Clark, W. Mitchell , D. Costello
Sydney University 15.11.101
Goal kickers: I. Hughes 3, C. Searle 2, S. Gilfedder 2, L. Stevenson 2, J. Hiscox, A. Lucy, A. Clarke, C. Williams, L. Gallen, J. Dimery
Best: L. Stevenson, A. Day, N. Tsindos, J. Dimery, A. Clarke, I. Hughes
Premier Division Men’s – Match of the Round on June 19;
Sydney University vs. UNSW-ES Bulldogs – 1:50pm Sydney Univesity Oval No.1, Camperdown.
Photo by Merrillie Redden