NEW Norfolk's football teams racked up another two wins and a draw at the weekend, including a lucky 13th on the trot for the seniors. Saturday started with a draw in the colts game against Kingborough at the Twin Ovals, while the reserves had a 31-point win over Lindisfarne in their encounter at Anzac Park.
“Let’s get loud”, came a shout from the New Norfolk huddle before the opening bounce of the senior game with Lindisfarne and by half-time that shout had become a deafening roar. The Eagles bolted to a 50-point lead by the long change and with its staunch defence and control of the ball through the midfield had kept the home side to a single goal. After a half-time roasting, the Two Blues launched a promising rebuttal in the third quarter, but they eventually became roadkill for a New Norfolk juggernaut that blasted its way to a 91-point win.
Coach Jon Murray is reluctant to rate this year's side better than last year's premiership-winning Eagles. "I don't think we're a better team than last year - we're a different team to last year," he told the Mercury newspaper. "I don't like to make that judgement or comparison. We have a few new players and a new way of going about things and I think we are starting to click as a unit. But I think we can still improve," he said.
Murray was far from impressed with his side's third term when they came under pressure from a resurgent Lindisfarne. "We were undisciplined, mouthing off to the umpires, and that cost us in some ways," he told the Mercury. "We seemed to get sucked in, get influenced by some of the decisions instead of getting on with the game. It happens. To the boys' credit they came back in the last quarter and really kicked away in the end, which was good."
The Eagles had an army of contributors from the backline and through the midfield, but it was double trouble up forward that did the damage. Full-forward Michael Thompson was a powerful force with big kicks to the top of the square, hauling in some beauties and drilling five goals. Skipper Josh Hall was a different creature, working hard on the lead, moving around with purpose and this yielded him six of the best. Pocket-rocket Nathan Ross also caused chaos for the Two Blues in the front half. When he wasn't spearing the ball in to the big boys, he found time to dab four goals himself. New Norfolk's win sent an ominous warning to all of the SFL's premiership hopefuls.
"We can still build on a few things," Murray told the Mercury. "We're aiming to have a great lead-up to the finals, I think that's very important, having some strong wins and hopefully not dropping a game from here to there. We've got Kingborough next week and it's going to be very important to set our mark on them too."
Report provided for publication by Ben Harrison
SFL Football Operations Management
New Norfolk 4.2 8.3 8.5 10.7 (67)
Kingborough 2.2 5.4 9.5 10.7 (67)
Goals - New Norfolk: J. Banks-Smith 6, B. Hodge 2, C. Neads , B. King; Kingborough: J. Parker 2, T. Butters 2, A. Golding, H. Bradburn, S. Legro, J. Willoughby, J. Paul, D. Beech.
Best - New Norfolk: C. Neads, M. Thurston, J. Foster, J. Banks-Smith, B. King, J. Daley; Kingborough: S. Legro, J. Coombes, J. Willoughby, L. Watt, J. Paul, D. Beech.
New Norfolk 1.2 5.4 8.5 11.7 (73)
Lindisfarne 2.2 4.4 4.6 6.6 (42)
Goals - New Norfolk: C. Curtain 4, J. Murray 2, D. Wall 2, P. Ling, S. Fenton, A. Minchin; Lindisfarne: J. Anning 3, P. Ashlin, M. Febey, S. Halliday.
Best - New Norfolk: T. Triffett, C. Curtain, J. Papera, J. Adams, D. Wall, S. Fenton; Lindisfarne: D. Bertoldo, S. Halliday, M. Hutchinson, M. Vanbeest, M. Febey, M. Spong.
New Norfolk 2.2 8.11 13.14 22.21 (153)
Lindisfarne 0.4 1.5 6.11 8.13 (61)
Goals - New Norfolk: J. Hall 6, M. Thompson 5, N. Ross 4, K. Styles 2, R. Belcher 2, J. Clifford, B. Chaplin, B. Booth; Lindisfarne: S. Proctor, N. Grubb, N. Hobden, C. Flood, S. Bester, M. Phillips, M. McCulloch, J. Marriott.
Best - New Norfolk: S. Bonnitcha, J. McCulloch, N. Eiszele, J. Hall, K. Styles, S. Crane; Lindisfarne: C. Flood, S. Proctor, J. Marriott, M. Stevenson, R. Jackman.