The Eagles managed to get the jump on Claremont early in the opening quarter with Michael Thompson booting the first two goals as the home team dominated the centre clearances for the first 10 minutes. Claremont captain Nathan Brown gave the Pies a much needed lift at the 11-minute mark, but it was the relentless running by the Eagles that saw the home side lead by eight points at the first break. It took almost the entire quarter before the Magpies posted their first goal for the term as New Norfolk flicked the switch, kicking seven goals for a 44-point lead at the main break.
Claremont forward Sean Salter gave the Pies his all in the third term, taking strong overhead marks and drilling two goals. The Pies got the first five goals and midway through the third term were within 14 points of the Eagles, who seemed out of sorts. But the premiership favourites scored three unanswered goals late in the term to lead by 32 points at three-quarter-time.
Claremont outscored New Norfolk four goals to three in the final quarter, but it was the Magpies second-term loss of concentration that cost them any chance of an early spot in the grand final. New Norfolk playing coach Jon Murray was rapt with his team’s commitment and will now lead the Eagles into another grand final chasing back-to-back SFL flags.
“We are into the grand final and that’s a pretty special feeling,” Murray told the Mercury newspaper. “They (Claremont) had a fair-dinkum crack at us today and we stood up. We were able to dig deep when we needed to and that’s the type of hit-out we needed. It will be training as usual this week and we won’t be doing anything different, we need to get our bodies right. That was a pretty physical game of footy today.”
Claremont coach Kim Excell was impressed with his team’s second half, but not so much with the opening two terms. “I was really happy with our second half but we need to work on improving certain areas of our game,” Excell told the Mercury. “When all 22 players contribute, we are a pretty good side and I was proud of the boys’ effort today.”
Eagles defender Rohan Heron was named among the best, along with Thompson, Zeke Gardham, Nic Clayton, Roger Belcher and Josh Clifford. Claremont’s best were Daniel Fox, Braden Barwick, Patrick Bedford, Ashley Bennett, Dave Kamaric and Scott Webster.
In the reserves 1st Semi-Final, New Norfolk defeated Lindisfarne by 39 points while in the Under 18 Colts Sorell defeated New Norfolk by seven points.
- New Norfolk will play in two preliminary finals this Saturday, meeting Claremont in the reserves at noon and Kingborough in the colts at 10am. Grounds to be confirmed.
SCORES - UNDER 18s
Sorell 1.1 (7) 2.2 (14) 6.5 (41) 7.9 (51)
New Norfolk 1.2 (8) 3.4 (22) 6.4 (40) 6.8 (44)
Goals - Sorell: S. Russell 2, B. Pace 2, M. Beven, J. Johnstone, W. Lyon; New Norfolk: J. Banks-Smith 2, J. Foster, A. Triffitt, B. Ransley, B. Kaye.
Best - Sorell: J. Williams, M. Johnson, E. Nichols, D. Chapman, J. Chynoweth, J. Johnstone; New Norfolk: J. Daley, B. Chaplin, B. Kaye, J. Foster, H. Bielleman, R. Wakefield.
New Norfolk 1.2 (8) 7.6 (48) 10.6 (66) 13.8 (86)
Lindisfarne 3.1 (19) 4.2 (26) 6.5 (41) 7.5 (47)
Goals - New Norfolk: K. Cashion 6, M. Cashion 3, A. Tonks 2, D. Wall, A. Minchin; Lindisfarne: P. Bass 3, J. Anning 2, A. Hutchinson, S. Halliday.
Best - New Norfolk: T. Triffett, D. Wall, K. Cashion, S. Fenton, A. Minchin, A. Tonks; Lindisfarne: A. Clarke, M. Hutchinson, S. Halliday, J. Anning, D. Bertoldo, N. Grubb.
New Norfolk 4.4 (28) 11.7 (73) 14.8 (92) 17.14 (116)
Claremont 3.2 (20) 4.5 (29) 9.6 (60) 13.8 (86)
Goals - New Norfolk: Z. Gardam 4, J. McCulloch 3, M. Thompson 3, B. Booth 2, J. Hall 2, J. Clifford, R. Belcher, N. Ross; Claremont: A. Arnold 3, S. Salter 2, N. Brown 2, J. Gillie 2, A. Bennett, T. Arnold, J. Fazackerley, J. Price.
Best - New Norfolk: R. Heron, M. Thompson, Z. Gardam, N. Clayton, R. Belcher, J. Clifford; Claremont: D. Fox, B. Barwick, P. Bedford, A. Bennett, D. Kamaric, S. Webster.