Southern Football League - Round 1
Claremont v New Norfolk at Abbotsfield Park
THE Claremont Magpies may have pulled off the upset of the season in the first round with a pulsating come-from-behind win over reigning premier New Norfolk at Abbotsfield Park on Saturday. The Magpies had the Claremont supporters in fits of joy as Justin Wood kicked the final goal of the game to put the home side a point up. From the next centre bounce, Magpie Ashley Bennett took a mark from a quick kick, and kicked a behind to give Claremont a roaring two-point victory, 12.24 (96) to 14.10 (94). Even though New Norfolk had led for most of the day, it was almost appropriate that Claremont kept battling away and took the points.
Claremont had dominated the majority of the general play but suffered from poor goal-kicking, having 36 scoring shots to 24. Magpies coach Kim Excell told the Mercury the win was not the result of one tough preseason, but a much greater commitment. "We've worked for 18 months to get to this position and to be playing the best team in the competition - they are well coached and well drilled - we just persisted all day," a delighted Excell said. "We missed a few and bad kicking and bad footy but we just had to believe and we got over the line because 22 guys had a bit of a go. You start to wonder but I said to the guys I believe we were meant to win because they worked so hard."
In the third term, the Eagles led by as much as 21 points and seemed on track for a win, but despite kicking 7.18 after half time, the Magpies never lost faith. Justin Wood finished with three goals, including two in the final term, while Scott Jones kicked two majors playing on the ball. 2011 William Leitch medallist Nathan Ross didn't take long to stamp his authority on the game for New Norfolk, kicking the first of the day and finishing with four for the match. New Norfolk senior coach Jon Murray's first game in charge might have ended in defeat, but he can take heart from the fact the Eagles lost the season opener last year before going on to win the flag.
But for Claremont, Excell told the Mercury this win was worth more than just the four points. "There is more to it than just this game today, there are some good people around this club," he said. "This club will be around for many years where it looked like it was going to fold. We - everyone of us - has had that little input and made sure that the future is secure."
In the Reserves New Norfolk were victorious by 15 points and in the Colts it was again the Eagles coming out on top by 36 points.
Report provided for publication by Ben Harrison
SFL Football Operations Management
Claremont 4.4, 5.6, 9.15, 12.24 (96)
New Norfolk 3.4, 6.6, 12.6, 14.10 (94)
Goals - Claremont: J. Wood 3, S. Jones 2, M. Martin 2, S. Salter, N. Brown, D. Ross, J. Gillie, D. Fewkes; New Norfolk: N. Ross 4, J. Clifford 2, B. Booth 2, C. Curtain 2, M. Thompson 2, A. Tonks, N. Clayton.
Best - Claremont: J. Price, B. Barwick, S. Jones, N. Brown, A. Lockley, J. Wood; New Norfolk: J. Clifford, N. Ross, R. Heron, L. Post, R. Belcher, S. Hall.
New Norfolk 4.3, 5.5, 10.6, 14.7 (91)
Claremont 4.1, 9.2, 10.3, 12.4 (76)
Goals - New Norfolk: K. Cashion 5, J. Horne 2, T. Triffett, J. Hall, M. Cashion, N. Lester, C. Watson, A. Papera, J. Kelly; Claremont: T. Cockshutt 4, A. Arnold 3, J. Sweeney 2, T. Pennicott 2, D. Woodcock.
Best - New Norfolk: J. Hall, S. Bonnitcha, A. Papera, J. Horne, K. Cashion, J. Adams; Claremont: A. Arnold, N. Burdon, S. Ladic, J. Atkin, T. Cockshutt, J. Sweeney.
New Norfolk 2.4, 6.5, 9.8, 14.8 (92)
Claremont 2.1, 5.4, 7.4, 8.8 (56)
Goals - New Norfolk: T. Purdon 4, D. Pearce 3, B. Chaplin 2, N. Wakefield, J. Daley, D. Adams, M. Thurston, J. Whitford-Marriott; Claremont: Z. Graham 4, D. Jetson 2, J. Young, J. Young.
Best - New Norfolk: J. Whitford-Marriott, D. Coppleman, H. Bielleman, B. Hodge, B. Kaye, B. Chaplin; Claremont: D. Jetson, Z. Graham, Z. Barisic, J. Young, A. Kaye, A. Smith.