K rock Football

Eagles cause upset to take twos

East Geelong celebrates winning the GDFL reserve grade premiership. (Sports Media Image/Marcel Berens)

EAST Geelong has held on to crush Thomson’s dreams of going through the season undefeated in holding in for a five-point win in the GDFL reserve grade grand final, 7.5 (47) to 5.12 (42)

The Eagles, who finished second after the home-and-away season, had to overcome losing the qualifying final just to make it to grand final day.

However, it’s a situation that coach Craig Carey was confident would hold East in good stead ahead of the clash with the Tigers.

“We always thought, even though we lost our first final, it was an advantage playing four games to them having one game in four weeks,” Carey said.

“Each time we’ve played here, the conditions have been different; the wind, how you play the ground – we’d sort of worked that out.

“And we believed if we were close after half-time, at three-quarter time, we would be able to run over the top of them because our fitness, we thought, was going to be a little bit better after playing every week instead of once in four weeks on a bigger ground.”

Carey, who played in reserve grade premiership with East Geelong as a 16-year-old in 1989, was pleased with the Eagles’ effort and belief across the four quarters, as they held Thomson to its third-lowest score of the season.

“We’ve always been big since the start of the finals campaign about having belief,” he said.

“As you can see, the North Shore under-19 game went down the 79th-and-a-half minute.

“We always wanted to have that belief that if they got on top, kicked a couple of goals, we always had that belief that we would be able to bounce back, grind away, get the game back on level terms, and then push forward and, hopefully, get in front.”

Defender Alex McCann received the medal as best-on-ground, while James Vandenberg, Mitch Hoare and veteran big man Ben Bolton also impressed for East Geelong, which claimed its first reserves premiership since 2011.

Corey Normington was the lone multiple goal kicker on the ground, finishing with two majors for Thomson.

Zac Plant, Nic Allinson and Aaron Hutchinson worked hard for the Tigers.

Twitter: @tom_king79
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THOMSON  0.3, 3.5, 4.8, 5.12 (42)

EAST GEELONG  1.1, 3.3, 5.4, 7.5 (47) 

Goals; Thomson: C. Normington 2, R. Munn, L. McDonnell, J. Camm

East Geelong: J. Smith, A. Dimitropoulos, J. Vandenberg, N. Hanneysee, S. Trevaskis, R. Marino, H. Marshall

Best; Thomson: Z. Plant, N. Allison, A. Hutchinson, D. Kelly, W. Finlayson

East Geelong: A. McCann, J. Vandenberg, M. Hoare, D. Brice, B. Bolton, R. Marino