New Norfolk v Claremont at Boyer Oval
NEW Norfolk confirmed its tag as favourite for the 2013 SFL Season with a 92-point demolition of Claremont at Boyer Oval on Saturday, which included a seven-goal haul from spearhead Michael Thompson who was playing his 150th senior game for the club.
The Eagles destroyed the Pies 20.18 (138) to 7.4 (46), but it was almost a line-ball game after the first quarter, with the Eagles holding only a six-point buffer at the break after Claremont banged on three goals pin three minutes midway through the term.
The Eagles' use of the ball was more fluent than the Magpies' and that was evident in the second quarter as the Pies had difficulty entering their forward 50. The home team began each quarter as if it was their last and managed the opening goal in all four. A scuffle in front of the main grandstand kept the local crowd vocal as the Eagles headed into the long break with a 29-point advantage.
Eagles captain Luke Joseph, playing in his 200th game, was instrumental in the third quarter, as was forward Brett Booth, who booted four goals in the term and narrowly missed a fifth. The Eagles totally dominated their opposition, although the Magpies managed three quick goals before the three-quarter time siren.
The home team started the final stanza brilliantly, with early goals to Zeke Gardam and Michael Thompson who booted four in that quarter. Claremont seemed to run out of legs, remaining goalless in the final term as New Norfolk stamped its authority to move a game clear on top of the ladder.
Eagles coach Jon Murray spoke to the Mercury newspaper after the game and said: "Our boys in the back line didn't shirk their task at all during the day and I'm proud of all the boys. We made a big emphasis on sticking to our game plan and we managed to do that."
Last season's William Leitch Medallist Michael Thompson along with Kurt Styles, Rohan Heron, Sam Hall, Roger Belcher and Brett Booth were named among the best for the winners while Ashton Arnold, Dave Kamaric and Brayden Barwick contributed for the Pies.
Huon News best player award votes: Michael Thompson (NN) 3, Zeke Gardam (NN) 2, Sam Hall (NN) 1.
In the reserves game Claremont were the victors by 11 points and in the Under 18s match New Norfolk took the points by a three-point margin.
Report provided for publication by Ben Harrison
SFL Football Operations Management
New Norfolk 4.1 4.1 9.5 9.5 (59)
Claremont 1.1 4.3 6.6 8.8 (56)
Goals - New Norfolk: B. Ransley 2, B. Hodge, D. Pearce, C. Neads, B. Chaplin, A. Triffitt, J. Foster, J. Banks-Smith; Claremont: J. Nichols 3, D. Arnold 2, M. Baker, B. Lockley, Z. Graham.
Best - New Norfolk: J. Whitford-Marriott, D. Pearce, B. King, B. Chaplin, J. Banks-Smith, B. Kaye; Claremont: J. Young, Z. Graham, M. Baker, D. Strong, J. Nichols, J. Gadd.
New Norfolk 3.0 4.8 6.9 8.12 (60)
Claremont 4.1 5.2 8.3 11.5 (71)
Goals - New Norfolk: M. Cashion 3, P. Jelkic 2, C. Watson 2, N. Lester; Claremont: S. Bennett 4, M. Bird 3, C. Cairnduff, T. Cockshutt, M. Carr, B. Britton.
Best - New Norfolk: J. Papera, N. Lester, J. Papera, S. Crane, M. Cashion, T. Triffett; Claremont: N. Burdon, M. Carr, K. Jones, M. Siely, C. Bennett, J. McCulloch.
New Norfolk 4.2 8.7 14.11 20.18 (138)
Claremont 3.2 4.2 7.3 7.4 (46)
Goals - New Norfolk: M. Thompson 7, B. Booth 4, Z. Gardam 3, J. Hall 2, N. Ross, J. Murray, A. Tonks, B. Wardlaw; Claremont: A. Arnold 2, J. Fazackerley 2, S. Jones, T. Arnold, N. Brown.
Best - New Norfolk: M. Thompson, K. Styles, S. Hall, R. Heron, B. Booth, R. Belcher; Claremont: P. Bedford, A. Arnold, D. Kamaric.