Eagles finally take flight with 41-point win

A Simon Merrett Dsc 3395  TBW Newsgroup
UNDER THE PUMP: Penola's Simon Merrett avoids a Kingston player as the Eagles claim a big win in round 12 of Kowree Naracoorte Tatiara football on Saturday.

A Simon Merrett Dsc 3395 TBW Newsgroup
UNDER THE PUMP: Penola’s Simon Merrett avoids a Kingston player as the Eagles claim a big win in round 12 of Kowree Naracoorte Tatiara football on Saturday.

SENIORS – PENOLA 20.17 (137) d KINGSTON 15.6 (96)

IT was a welcome return to the winner’s list on Saturday for Penola’s A Grade footballers.

After a few losses in a row, the Eagles were impressive against Kingston in round 12 of Kowree Naracoorte Tatiara football.

They claimed the win by 41 points, despite a last-quarter surge by the visitors at McCorquindale Park.

The Eagles’ dominance did fluctuate throughout the game, but much of the success was set up with a scintillating first term.

Penola opened proceedings with seven major scores to go to the first break 40 points clear.

The second term saw the Saints come out with more intent and take the game up to the home side.

They banged on five major scores, while limiting Penola to three, plus two behinds.

However, at the long break the margin was still 30 points and the Eagles were in the box seat.

Heading into the third quarter Penola again picked up the pace, with a blistering nine-goal quarter, while holding the Saints to just two.

In fact the Eagles’ dominance was such they also added a further six behinds, with the majority of possession in their forward half of the ground.

With a 77-point lead at the final break it was fair to say the game was done and dusted.

What happened next did not affect the outcome, but certainly turned the tide.

Injuries to Brad Merrett and Simon Berkefeld in third quarter saw the Eagles down on rotations.

Penola managed just one major score in the final term, while the Saints banged on seven.

It closed the margin somewhat, but the game was well and truly over by then.

Despite his injury, Brad Merrett was at his best early, with four goals to his name, while Adam and Scott Merrett both finished with three.

Luke Walker also kicked three majors, while Josh Currie and Jordan Galpin added two each.

Brad Bryant was again in top form, named best for the Eagles, ahead of Scott Merrett, Jason Nysten, Walker, Harry Porter and Brock Egan.

Coach Matt Tilby said it was pleasing to record such a big win after a few down weeks.

“It is good to be back on the winner’s list,” he said.

“We started the game well and the boys were certainly up and about.

“I think everyone was looking for a bit of redemption for what had happened over the last few weeks.”

Tilby said the opening term was “massive” for the side, which ultimately put the game out of Kingston’s reach early.

However, he said he still did not take the Saints lightly and considered them a dangerous combination.

“They have had a reasonable season,” Tilby said.

“While they are sitting towards the bottom of the ladder, if you go back through their season they have been in basically all of their games for a long period of time.

“They have some good footballers, so it was a huge win for us really.”

If there was any doubt about the final outcome at the long break, it was put to rest in the third quarter, where the Eagles ran rampant.

Tilby said it was one of the side’s best quarters of the season.

“Simon Berkefeld and Brad Merrett were off injured early in the quarter, so we were a little bit undermanned,” he said.

“But the boys put their noses down, won the contested footy, tackled hard and finished the game off.

“It was a huge effort.”

Bryant was a prime mover for the Eagles, while Brock Egan had a big impact on the contest as well.

“Brad has been great for us,” Tilby said.

“He is spending a bit more time in the midfield and doing a fantastic job.”

“Brock Egan played a combination on the wing and through the centre,” Matt Tilby said.

“He used the ball well and it always ends up in our hands.

“Alex Moore played a great game down back for us and Harry Porter got the opportunity to go through the midfield and relished the chance.”

There was clearly a long list of individual performances throughout the game, but one in particular stands out.

Nysten joined the club after moving from his native Canada.

His background comes from the ice hockey rinks of North America, along with the basketball court.

He has managed to transfer those skills to our great game and Tilby is impressed so far.

“Jason has probably played in total maybe 25 games of Aussie Rules,” he said.

“He is a beast out on the field and his ruck work on Saturday was elite.

“We are pretty fortunate to have a guy like that roll in and play footy for us.”

Saturday sees the KNT league continue with its round games, rather than have a bye for the South Australian Country Championships in Port Pirie.

That means a few players out of the normal Penola roster, combined with some injuries, which leaves the Eagles short on numbers.

Adam Merrett will coach the SA side, while Scott Merrett and Bryant both head up to play.

However, Tilby is not concerned with the shortfall.

“I enjoy the challenge of that,” he said.

“The reserves and the Under 17s have been going along really well.

“Some opportunities will be presented to some guys this week and I’m sure they will be keen to get up and show us what they have.

“I feel we can get certainly the job done.”

RESERVES – PENOLA 18.5 (113) d KINGSTON 6.2 (38)

THE Penola Football Club Reserves remain undefeated, with another big win at McCorquindale Park on Saturday.

The round 12 Kowree Naracoorte Tatiara football clash saw the Eagles host Kingston for an eventual 75-point thrashing.

However, the Saints were not truly out of the contest until the second half, as they held their own in the opening two terms.

At the first change Penola led by just one point, while by half time the margin was four goals, but still not out of reach.

That all changed in the “premiership quarter”, as the Eagles banged through three goals and two behinds, while holding Kingston to a single minor score.

A 44-point deficit was always going to be too much to overcome with just one quarter remaining and the Eagles did not pull their punches in the final stanza.

They added six majors and two behinds to their total, while the Saints managed one of each to see the final scoreline of 113-38.

Tom Clayfield was the main target in front of the big sticks for Penola, with six goals to his name, while Simon Zadow, Tyson Murphy, Ben Gartner and Lewis March all kicked two each.

However, it was Conan Devereux who received the best-on-ground honours, while Murphy and Zadow were also among the top performers.

Will Clayfield, Josh Doyle and Tom Clayfeild rounded out the best.

For Kingston, Tyson Mills put in a stellar performance to bag four goals and be named as the Saints’ best, while Jack Hartman was also in fine form with two majors.

This week Penola makes the trip to Bordertown, in what should be another hefty win for the Eagles.

SENIOR COLTS – PENOLA 9.10 (64) d KINGSTON 4.4 (28)

PENOLA’S Senior Colts claimed their seventh consecutive win on Saturday when they hosted Kingston for a 36-point victory at McCorquindale Park.

Both teams were without important players on the day and the Saints were only able to muster up 14 players for the match.

As a result, the Eagles fielded 14 as well, which led to an open and free-flowing game.

Kingston opened the match strongly and the first major came quickly for the visitors, but the home team fired in return, with the score 12-all at the first break.

The second term saw the Eagles on top of their opponent and with Kaleb Messenger providing a focal point up forward, the hosts were away to a 16-point lead at the main break.

Penola continued to surge ahead in the third quarter and had the win in its hands at the final change, with a 28-point advantage.

Both teams were noticeably weary in the final term due to the extra running, but the Eagles finished strongly to claim a solid victory.

Penola has now defeated every team in the competition, which sets them up nicely for the second half of the season.

Darcy Porter was awarded best-on-ground for his dominant display, while Zac Currie was also a top performer, running hard all day to earn many possessions.

Messenger capped off a good game with three goals and Kane Whitehouse improved as the day went on to be named among the best, along with Dylan Morton, Caleb Lythgo and Kane Whitehouse.

Jake Klemm also did well for his team.

The Eagles now face a road trip to Bordertown for the first time this season against a team desperate to keep its finals chances alive.

JUNIOR COLTS – PENOLA 11.10 (76) d KINGSTON 4.5 (29)

ANOTHER dominant display from the Penola Junior Colts resulted in a 47-point triumph over Kingston.

By the first change the Eagles held a 21-point lead and they continued to pile on the points for the remaining three quarters.

The Saints were held scoreless in the second term, which gave Penola a buffer of 36 points at half time.

That margin was maintained in the third quarter, before a three-goal-to-one fourth term saw the scoreline reach the final 47 points.

Anders McShane and Brock Summerhayes were the Eagles’ focal points up forward, both with four goals to be named first and second best respectively.

They were joined by Lochlan Neale, Thomas Currie, Cooper Gartner and Noah Hayes among the best players for the day.

Kingston was best served by Luke Watson with three goals, while Jaxon Trinne was named best-on-ground for the Saints.

This week will see a battle between fourth and fifth on the ladder when Penola makes the journey to Bordertown for round 13.