Eagles struggle to deal with Demons’ heat at McCorquindale Park

Brock Egan Crop Dsc 171520190622  TBW Newsgroup
TOUGH DAY: Brock Egan looks for an option on a tough day for Penola, as the Eagles were comprehensively defeated by Naracoorte. Pictures: KATIE JACKSON

Brock Egan Crop Dsc 171520190622 TBW Newsgroup
TOUGH DAY: Brock Egan looks for an option on a tough day for Penola, as the Eagles were comprehensively defeated by Naracoorte.

SENIORS – NARACOORTE 12.12 (84) d PENOLA 8.11 (59)

PENOLA suffered another blow to its 2019 Kowree Naracoorte Tatiara A Grade football campaign with a 25-point loss to Naracoorte on Saturday.

The round 10 clash saw the Eagles at home, but a second-quarter burst by the Demons put the game to bed.

The opening term saw an even affair, but after the first break the Demons banged on six major scores to Penola’s one.

That provided a 29-point advantage and the Eagles were on the back foot for the rest of the day.

Penola pulled back the deficit somewhat in the third term, with a 20-point margin still favouring the visitors at the final change, but the Demons lifted again in the last quarter to finish the game off.

Penola coach Matt Tilby said it was a disappointing end to the first term, where he said the Eagles had the weight of possession.

“We started the game exceptionally well in the first 15-20 minutes, like we did against Padthaway, but we could not get the score on the board,” he said.

“Had we got he score on the board early we may have created some momentum and got ourselves going, but it was not to be.

“To Naracoorte’s credit they fought really hard and we went in at quarter time even.

“We had probably been on top for more of that quarter but we were not able to capitalise.

“We had 16 inside-50s in the first quarter, so there were plenty of opportunities.”

That all changed in the second term, where Naracoorte took the upper hand around the ground.

The Demons’ hard work around the contested ball was transferred to the scoreboard, which resulted in a game-winning quarter.

“They were definitely on the hunt,” Tilby said.

“They came to play and once they got a sniff they were very hard to stop.

“In the second quarter they ran all over the top of us and ultimately I guess it cost us the game.

“But I do not want to take too much away from those guys – they played a pretty tough brand of football.”

The third term saw the Eagles lift once again, but the same problem reared its head.

“We had another 13 inside-50s in the third quarter, but again we could not get the score on the board,” Tilby said.

“We certainly lifted our work rate and got ourselves back into the contest, but could not capitalise.

“We ran fairly even in the last quarter, but the last 10 minutes of the first quarter and the second quarter really cost us in the end.”

The Eagles were missing some key personnel, with Adam Merrett out with a hamstring, Matt Berkefeld still injured, Brad Maney out and Brad Merrett suffering an injury early in the game which dulled his effect on the contest.

However, Tilby said he was not making excuses.

He said with the extra depth in the roster this year he expected other players to lift.

“We have an expectation we have good depth and like to think we can cover the losses,” Tilby said.

“We all just need to dig a bit deeper.”

Despite the final result there were several good performances Tilby made note of.

“Scott Merrett played really well,” he said.

“He is a ferocious competitor and led from the front.

“Young Harry Porter down back played his usual tight role – he has been exceptional for us.

“We had Gerry Merrett come in and play his first A Grade game.

“He kicked a goal and did not look out of place.”

Tilby said another disappointing aspect of the game was not getting a result for two stalwarts of the club who both reached big milestones on Saturday.

“Alex Moore played his 150th game and Phil Lambert his 350th game for the club,” he said.

“It was disappointing not to get a result for those guys.”
Tilby’s focus now turns to Saturday, where the Eagles travel to Lucindale.

“Lucindale will be another challenge,” he said.

“They have some very good players through their ranks and we will have our work cut out.

“We will look forward to another challenge and will be keen to bounce back.”

Penola still remains at the top of the Kowree Naracoorte Tatiara Football League A Grade ladder, with a slim

percentage margin over Mundulla, who had a nail-biting one-point victory over Kybybolite on the weekend.

RESERVES – PENOLA 23.11 (149) d NARACOORTE 2.4 (16)

THE Kowree Naracoorte Tatiara Reserves competition continues to be dominated by Penola, with the Eagles claiming yet another convincing victory in Saturday’s round 10 meeting with Naracoorte.

Played at McCorquindale Park, the hosts wasted no time setting up what would eventuate to a 133-point thrashing, with six opening term goals to lead by 36 at the first change.

Another solid quarter followed and by half time the Eagles sat a comfortable 80 points ahead.

The premiership quarter followed and Penola hit hard to score eight goals and properly break the Demons’ back.

The Eagles held a 130-point advantage heading into the last change.

It was not until the final stanza the Demons were able to find the big sticks, having kicked just a behind each quarter in the first three terms.

They added 2.1 in the fourth to gain some respectability, but with another two goals from Penola it did nothing to lessen the margin.

Jonathon Copping had a field day in front of goals for the Eagles, booting eight majors in a standout performance.

He was joined by Allan McIntyre who slotted five goals, while Tom Clayfield and Simon Merrett banged through three each.

However, it was the efforts of Sam Gartner which earned the best-on-ground honours.

He was joined by Josh Doyle and Copping as top performers, while Will Clayfield, Simon Zadow and Jason Nysten rounded out the Eagles’ best.

This week will see Penola travel to Lucindale for what should be another solid win for the ladder leaders.


PENOLA’S Senior Colts claimed their seventh win of the Kowree Naracoorte Tatiara football season on Saturday when they hosted Naracoorte for round 10.

The Eagles secured a workman-like victory against the fourth-placed Demons, which saw a final margin of 45 points.

The win cements the Eagles in the top two of the competition – only percentage separating them with first and third – and with some winnable games remaining, they could swoop on the top spot in the coming weeks.

The first half of the match was a scrappy affair with skill errors from both sides.

Once again Penola’s conversion rate was not up to scratch, scoring 2.9 in the opening half of the game.

As a result the half-time margin was just 14 points and Naracoorte was still in touch.

However, the Eagles lifted in the third term to pile on five goals to the Demons’ one and set up a solid lead heading into the final break.

Coach Brad Maney has his players playing with plenty of self belief and will be more than hoping this continues for the remained of the year.

Darcy Porter and Jacob Robbie (three goals) were influential and both won plenty of possessions.

Porter’s efforts saw him named as best-on-ground, while Robbie was also among the top players.

Jack Kain played his best game for season, taking many marks around the ground, while Kane Whitehouse continued to dominant the ruck.

Caleb Lythgo, Jake Klemm and Aaron Zerk were all important players for the victors, as was Brad Gartner, who chipped in with two goals.

The Eagles have the bye this week before they face third-placed Kingston the following week.

The only game Penola has lost this year is to the Saints, so it will be a good test for both teams.


IN the Junior Colt competition, Penola was unable to match Naracoorte in the battle between third and fourth on the ladder.

The Eagles remain comfortable in fourth place, but would be disappointed with the 38-point deficit at the final siren.

A scoreless opening half did not help Penola’s case and by the main break the Demons had already won, up by 39 points heading into the third quarter.

To the Eagles’ credit, they lifted in the second half to outscore their opponent three goals to two, but it was too little, too late for the hosts.

Anders McShane was the highlight of the match, as he kicked two goals to earn the best-on-ground mantle, while Ozzy Morton scored a single.

Lochlan Neale, Brock Summerhayes and Alex Merrett were also among the best on the day.

Penola should face an easier contest this weekend when it travels to Lucindale to face the joint Padthaway Lucindale side.