By Tricia Mifsud
WHITTLESEA found itself once again on the bottom of the Northern Football Netball League division one ladder after a 46-point road loss to North Heidelberg on Saturday.
Despite the Eagles leading by one-point at quarter time, a determined North Heidelberg took charge and led comfortably for the remainder of the match to win 19.13 (127) to 12.9 (81) at Shelley Reserve.
Eagles captain Xavier Dimasi said the first quarter reflected his side’s efforts, but that North Heidelberg simply outplayed the visitors.
“We just got reward for effort in front of goal and that reflected on the scoreboard. Both sides were working hard, and it was an even contest at the start,” he said.
“We knew we could match it with them, but they played out the game better than what we did, especially after half time. They wanted it a bit more than we did.
“It was a disappointing performance we put in and the boys really felt it after the game.”
Up forward, Paul Higgins and Jaron Murphy led the Eagles’ goalkicking with three apiece, while North Heidelberg’s Billy Hogan was best in front of goal for the day with six.
Dimasi also commended the efforts of Eagles youngsters Deakin Tennant and Luke Duffy.
“We had a lot of good efforts from Deakin Tennant and Luke Duffy. Luke is an off-season recruit who is starting to find his feet in the side, and he’s getting reward for those little efforts he puts in around the ground,” he said.
Positivity was key for Dimasi who said despite the emotions at the game’s conclusion, the Eagles needed to remain focused on the challenges ahead.
“We just have to stay positive and stick together as tough as it is now. The boys are really positive and Saturday night at the club’s Man O Man event, it eased the pain of what we’re going through at the moment,” he said.
“We were down in the dumps but the boys are staying positive which is great, it’ll turn and it’ll come … we’re not far away from it.
“I don’t think how we’re playing really represents 2-6 on the ladder. And our mistake with North Heidelberg was seeing them as 1-5 and we thought maybe it was a bit of an easy win.
“It’s a real tight competition, super tight, and now we just have to rock up.”
Whittlesea again hits the road this weekend to play a tough opponent in Montmorency.
A win for the Eagles would see them rise from last place on the division one ladder, while second-placed Montmorency will eye off a position atop of the table.
Kilmore’s unexpected loss
Kilmore’s reign as division three ladder leaders lasted a mere week after a surprising road loss to Mernda.
The visitors failed to lead at any point in their 26-point loss, feeling the repercussions of a goalless first term.
Grant Paxton again led the way up forward, kicking an equal game-best of three goals, Bailey Taylor-Egan had two majors to his name, while Mason Webb and Max Lacorcia were the only other Blues to kick any goals with one apiece.
The 7.11 (53) to 10.19 (79) loss bumps Kilmore down to third and wipes 60 off its percentage, which now sits at 229 per cent.
This weekend, Kilmore again plays away to square-off against new ladder leader Laurimar.