Match report. Game #1 Eagles v Cougars April 28th/07
The first game for the NWPAFL Senior season turned out to be an exciting encounter. With a beautiful blue sky the players and supporters were eager to get out and baste their white winter coats with some UV rays.
On arrival the players were greeted with a ground surface reminiscent of a spring SCG – A little wet and boggy with a lovely green surface.
The cougars looked intimidating in their warm up session with their dominant size obvious over the much smaller Eagles that were wondering what they had gotten themselves into. The inclusion into the cougars lineup of many experienced Irish footballers gave a huge boost in numbers, size and football expertise compared to a line-up that had undergone drastic changes since last year. However their larger opponents did not daunt the Eagles who had been preparing themselves for many cold months.
Moments prior to the bounce a Bald Eagle circled the ground in what can only be seen as a sign from the football Gods that this was going to be the Eagles day. A strong and hardly fought first 5 minute struggle opened with a Goal to Eagles goal sneak Dale Wakefield strongly assisted by a pack busting Dale Hanley who worked tirelessly all day in the ruck. The centre line of Hanley, Freeman, Sully and new recruit Will suppressed the vocal cougars crowd with their repeated efforts to win the ball and push it forward at all costs.
Half forwards Ryan, Colin, Dale, Mike, Chay, Wiz and Coops provided endless targets for the skillful Eagles midfielders.
The Eagles defense was outstanding against their taller opponents and dominated the play once the ball hit the ground. The hard running and constant support of each other could not be questioned.
The surprise of the day to the Eagles coaching panel was first gamer Benny Lomas. Recruited this year from Perth and on a 1 year contract, Lomas wasted no time showing why the Eagles had targeted him. Coach Freeman was asked what he thought of Lomas’s first game – “He’s obviously not the most conventional footballer and he doesn’t look as graceful as I do in full flight, but gee that Benny Lomas knows how to play footy”. Ben Lomas was last seen drinking beer from the “Magic Mug” – Congratulations Benny.
Across halfback Young Gun Adam Cole showed why he is an Eagle – spreading his wings on more than one occasion and flying over packs of cougars. Cole proved he also possess great ground skills recovering from altitude sickness to gather the ball and dispose of it with direct ease.
Defensive coach Belly had the backline working as a well drilled unit as they did not give an inch to their opponents all day. A testament to the great defensive efforts was last years NWPAFL leading goal scorer D. Vargo who was held goalless for the entire game but is certainly still happy his name was mentioned in this report.
All in all it was a great team win for the Eagles made possible by a fantastic strategic running game.
The Cougars were contacted for their opinion of the match but refused to make a statement instead saying that they were to busy working on their website that apparently contains streaming media, photo galleries, and archives.
Fly high Eagles, fly high.