Hawks Ruffle Eagles Feathers

Augusta Margaret River have stunned the Collie Eagles with a 37 point win at Gloucester Park on Saturday afternoon, in the opening match of round fifteen.

Officials turned the lights on at Gloucester Park, with the sun beating down, suggesting maybe inclement weather was on the way, but the only dark clouds would hang over the Eagles, after they were comprehensively beaten in the final quarter.   To compound the Eagles loss, they ended up also as the walking wounded, with Matt Michael leaving the ground with a groin injury, Blair Malatesta with a hamstring injury, while Teke Vernon suffered rib injuries, amongst six players who suffered injuries in the loss.

The Eagles started the match in a blaze of glory kicking the opening two goals, and soon after had a third, kicked by Blair Malatesta, as the Eagles led by twelve points.  The margin was extended further when Kyle Shanahan kicked a long range goal.  The Hawks then retaliated with three goals including a goal to Mitch Lynn, to have scores level at the first change.

The second quarter would see the Hawks dominate, but they couldn’t put scoreboard pressure on the Eagles.  When Blair Malatesta kicked a goal from 50m at the 15 minute mark, the Hawks led by one point.   Mitch Gerrans would then snap a goal, but Malatesta replied again, before two late goals saw the home side lead by thirteen points at the main break.

Collie needed a fast start in the third quarter, but the Hawks goaled within 20 seconds, and it was then evident the Eagles were going to struggle to get back into the match.  Matt Michael kicked his second, and then Malatesta goaled again, and the margin was then back to seven points.  The Eagles had several opportunities to take back the lead late in the quarter, but some strong defence, and some wayward kicking saw the Green and Golds take a four point margin into the final quarter.

Jacob Oakes replicated the home teams start to the third quarter, when he goaled at the start of the fourth, and at the seven minute mark with a further goal, the Hawks had moved to a 16 point margin.  Mitch Payne goaled from the goal line, as the Collie backline started to succumb to the barrage of forward movements.  Jacob Payne kicked another, as the home team ran away with a critical victory.

Jacob and Steven Payne were dominant for the Hawks, while Blair Malatesta was a standout in attack for the Eagles, kicking five goals.

The win means that Augusta Margaret River will remain in the five at the end of the round, and will now look forward to another home match next Saturday night against the Harvey Bulls.  For the Collie Eagles, the opportunity to finish on top at the end of round 18 seems all but lost, unless Harvey Brunswick Leschenault lose twice in the final three rounds, and now face the prospect of possibly finishing third at the end of the home and away rounds, such is the closeness at the top of the ladder.

Match Centre

Aug Marg River  4.2.26  8.5.53  10.5.65  16.9.105
Collie Eagles  4.2.26  6.4.40  9.7.61  10.8.68

Goals:  Augusta Margaret River – M Fokkema, B Kevill, M Payne, J Oakes, B Gerrans, M Lynn, S Payne, M Gerrans, J Payne, J Price.  Collie Eagles – B Malatesta 5, M Michael 2, B Kent 1, P Rinder 1, K Shanahan.
Best:  Augusta Margaret River – J Payne, S Payne, B Gerrans, J Price, C Melvin, J Oakes. Collie Eagles – K Shanahan, P Rinder, T Cleggett, B Malatesta, B Shanahan, M Michael.
Umpires: Matthew Stewart, Adam Hauswirth
Reports: Z Faries (Collie Eagles)
Ground: Gloucester Park, Margaret River