THE TATHRA Sea Eagles took out two Sapphire Coast Australian Football League premierships on Saturday.
The Sea Eagles (9.18.72) defeated the Merimbula Diggers 6.9. 45 in the Senior grade and their unbeaten Under 12 side (5.8.38) continued its great form to defeat the Pambula Panthers (1.8.14)
In the big one the Tathra Sea Eagles, who took the direct route to the main event by defeating the Diggers by just four points their semi final clash, were too strong against a Diggers side that, as a result of their semi final loss, had to go through a tough Preliminary Final last weekend against Eden Whalers.
The Diggers strength in defence and Tathra’s free flowing, but sometimes erratic attack, had the game still wide open at end of the first quarter with the Diggers up by just four points, despite having had the benefit of the strengthened breeze.
In an arm wrestle second quarter, the Diggers defence held up sufficiently to contain Tathra to 2.6, while in attack they managed 1.1 to be well in touch at the long break.
Knowing that they needed probably about a four goal lead going into the final term, Diggers pressed hard in the third to register 3.3 for the quarter, while holding Tathra to just four points, in the process giving themselves a 10 point lead to defend in the final term.
This was always going to be a test of endurance, and in the final term the Sea Eagles’ fortnight break gave them the edge.
With the Diggers running on empty, Tathra ran away in the fourth quarter to register 5.7 in a mighty display of endurance and skill, keeping the Diggers flat out in defence and unable to make any attacking moves of note.
The Sea Eagles finished as worthy 2003 Premiers, with a final scoreline registering a 27 point win.
Their tally comprised two goals each to Andrew Nagle, Craig Nicholson and Scott Ballard, supported by three single goal scorers, while Simon Schrama kicked three for the Diggers, also with three other single goal scorers.
The Sea Eagles Michael Lay was named Best on Ground.
In the Under 12s division the Sea Eagles (5.8.38) defeated the Pambula Panthers (1.8.14) in what was a contest between the 2003 Minor Premiers and reigning 2002 season premiers.
Both sides were at full strength and including 2003 Best and Fairest in the Panthers line-up and the seasons leading goal scorer for Tathra.
Notwithstanding their week off, the Panthers started slowly, managing just 0.3 in the first half against 2.5 to the Sea Eagles/.
They were unable to recover in the second half and Tathra comfortably outscored them 3.3 to 1.5, to secure a 24 point win and the first Premiership of the day.
The season leading goalkicker, Aaron Van Den Berg, kicked for the Sea Eagles, supported by William Pope with 1, while Harley Cox registered Pambula’s only goal.
Best on Ground: Dylan Cincotta (Pambula Panthers)
In the Under 14s the Eden Whalers (8.9.57 defeated the Pambula Panthers 5.0.30)
These two teams played tag during the Home and Away season, finishing on the same points count with a draw in one of their games, and looking well matched on paper, Pambula perhaps with something of an edge by virtue of their direct route into the Final, and the game looked like going the way of the Panthers, registering 3 straight goals in the first half, for a 9 point lead.
However, the Whalers had other ideas. Revitalised in the second half, and turning on speed and skills to register 3.4 to 1 goal straight in the third quarter, giving them a handy 7 point lead going into the final quarter, during which they continued to build on their lead, running out 27 point winners, and worthy 2003 Premiers. Eden had 6 goal scorers, with 2 each to Darren Granger and Matt Owen, while Pambula had 5 separate single goal kickers.
Best on Ground: Kai Allison (Eden Whalers)
Batemans Bay Seahawks (6.10.46) def Merimbula Diggers (4.2.26)
This was the Seahawks only game of the day, and Diggers first of three outings. Both teams were all manned up, and with the breeze beginning to be a factor.
Kicking with the breeze, Diggers took the early lead, much to the delight of the building home crowd, finishing the first quarter 18 points in front.
The Seahawks reigned this lead in during the second quarter and then end the half four points in front.
The Diggers then failed to make best use of the breeze in the third, kicking just 1.1 while conceding 1.2 to the Seahawks and with their defence tiring, were not able to hold the Seahawks in the final term, giving up 2.3 without registering any further score on their own account.
The Seahawks went on to win by 20 points and ensure at least one Premiership going to the League’s northern most Club, thanks to three goals by Sam Millynn, two by Pat Moore and one by Hayden Ward, while Arleen Nusbaum and Tully Wollaston kicked two each for the Diggers.
Best on Ground: David Harvey (Merimbula Diggers)
In the Reserve grade the Merimbula Diggers (8.4.52) defeated the Pambula Panthers (2.9.21)
This clash was the Diggers club’s second outing of the day, and the Panthers last chance for a Flag, but from the opening bounce the Diggers always looked like taking this one.
Registering two goals per quarter, against the Panthers two goals for the entire game, both in the second, while the Diggers built their lead at each interval.
In the end it was accuracy in front of goals that told the story – Diggers, 12 attempts for 8.4, Pambula 11 attempts for 2.9, and a 31 point winning margin for the first flag to a Merimbula based team.
Glenn Boyd kicked two for the Diggers, with six other goal scorers, while Shane Garrett kicked the Panther’s only two goals.
Best on Ground: Simon Byrne (Merimbula Diggers)
Planning is already underway for next season’s program.
The Elevens Carnival is scheduled to be played at Mallacoota, Victoria, under management of the Eden Whalers and the Home and Away season will commence sometime in April, so don’t get the boots too far back in the cupboard!
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.