Eagles soar a game clear

June 23, 2024 10:30 am in by
East Geelong coach Ned Aulsebrook addresses his players. (Darren Phillips)

East Geelong coach Ned Aulsebrook has played down suggestions his team is GDFNL premiership favourites after overcoming a second challenger in as many weeks following victory over Belmont Lions.

The Eagles retained the Mark Lomas Shield and moved one game clear on top of the ladder with a 35-point win at Richmond Crescent, 13.13 (91) to 8.8 (56).

After overcoming Werribee Centrals last week and overcoming the Lions, East is well-placed to push for its first flag in 15 years.

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“I think Werribee would feel very unlucky last week against us,” Aulsebrook said.

“They probably had chances to win that game in the second half and we might have got away with one.

“And look at their result against Inverleigh… who are a very good football side; I think Werribee will be very, very good (come finals).

“And Belmont showed some really good signs today. They only had one on the bench in the back half of the game – they had a few injuries.

“The scoreboard probably flattered us a little bit, and last week, we might have escaped with one.”

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While Aulsebrook is happy for others to speculate about what might happen at St Albans Reserve in mid-September, he is comfortable with how the Eagles are placed.

“To be in the position we are right now means we can tweak a few things and try a few things,” he said.

“We even tried a few things today; Billy Andrew back through the middle gave us a good look.

“He’s had a limited run at it this year, but it was awesome seeing come through the middle of the ground today.

“And Benny Mulvahil back in the side was great. We had Alex McDonald back in the side, and we pushed Jayden McLauchlan up the ground.

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“We were able to throw the magnets around a little bit.”

Zac Smith was outstanding, finishing with five goals, while Caleb Ezard’s four goals earned him best-on-ground honours.

Ben McPherson kicked two goals to be the Lions’ only individual goalkicker, with Bailey Trevorrow and Nick Sherriff named their best.


In other games, Bannockburn has overcome a slow start to beat Geelong West by three points in a thriller at West Oval.

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Trailing by 32 points at quarter time, the Tigers slowly worked their way back into the contest to cut the deficit to 20 points at three-quarter time.

Ron Pilgrim’s men outscored the Giants four goals to one in the final term to snatch a 10.12 (72) to 10.9 (69) victory to consolidate their spot in the top five.

The returning Rob Maibaum kicked three goals for Bannockburn, while Western District recruit Nick Butters finished with four majors for West.

North Geelong spoiled the 50th-anniversary celebrations of arch-rival Corio with a come-from-behind 23-point win at Shell Oval.

The Magpies trailed by 39 points at half-time after being outscored ten goals to four by the Devils.

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John Fazio was best in front of goal for North with three goals, while Hershcelle Carr and Hayden Burns managed three apiece for the Devils.

However, they slowly turned the game back in their favour with a 4.5 to 1.0 third-quarter, cutting the margin to 16 points.

North then scored eight goals to one in the final term to claim a 16.9 (105) to 12.7 (79) victory and keep its slim finals hopes alive.

Werribee Centrals took another step towards locking away the double chance following a comfortable 54-point victory over Inverleigh at Morton Power Oval, 20.12 (132) to 11.12 (78)

The Centurions kicked five goals in every quarter in a consistent display that leaves the Hawks a game-and-a-half outside the top five.

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Young gun Carmelo Saliba was again a standout, finishing with five goals.

For the Hawks, who lost Dan Midolo and captain Jack Fiolet to injury, Adam Donohue (two) was their only multiple goalkicker.

Jordan Gould and Jack Symmons scored five goals to lead Winchelsea to a 72-point win over Anakie at Anakie Reserve, 17.14 (116) to 6.8 (44).

It was the first time this season the Blues had recorded consecutive victories.

Andrew Boseley kicked four goals for the Roos, who will need to wait another year to end a 25-year finals drought.

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A seven-goal to nil opening quarter proved the difference as Thomson had the better of the struggling Bell Post Hill by 46 points at Myers Reserve, 15.10 (100) to 7.12 (54).

Led by six goals from recruit Jacob Knight and five from Darcy Troop, the Tigers extended their buffer on sixth-placed Inverleigh to six points.

Josh Norman played a lone hand up forward for the Panthers with a six-goal haul.

After making his return from a six-match suspension, midfielder Boe Collins is facing another stint on the sidelines after suffering a concussion from an accidental knee to the head.