Sea Ea­gles dom­i­nate to make fi­nals his­tory

Whitsunday Times - - SPORT - Ja­cob Wil­son ja­cob.wil­son@whit­sun­day­times.com.au

AFL: Whit­sun­day Sea Ea­gles pres­i­dent Daniel Thomas can’t re­mem­ber a time where the club had been in a stronger po­si­tion head­ing into grand fi­nal week.

With the Un­der-14 side de­feat­ing Mo­ran­bah this af­ter­noon with a tight 12-point mar­gin - the ju­niors will join the Un­der-17 and se­nior sides in the pur­suit of grand fi­nal glory.

The Sea Ea­gles had a slow start in their game, trail­ing Mo­ran­bah in the first quar­ter of the game.

The sec­ond and third quar­ters saw the Sea Ea­gles spread their wings and soar to the lead.

De­spite a fi­nal quar­ter come back from the Mo­ran­bah Bull­dogs, the Sea Ea­gles still ce­mented their lead af­ter kick­ing what was de­scribed as the “goal of the day” at a cru­cial mo­ment.

The fi­nal score was 9.7.61 to 8.1.49 in the Sea Ea­gles favour with Rhys Ward, Max Steel, Cooper Og­den, Ai­den Allen-Fanke and Josh Ek­ert do­ing the heavy lift­ing for the vic­to­ri­ous Sea Ea­gles.

If the U14 side comes out of the Grand Fi­nal vic­to­ri­ous, it would be the third year in a row where they have staked their claim to the ti­tle.

Thomas said this im­pres­sive achieve­ment was po­ten­tially his­tory in the mak­ing.

“We were try­ing to work that the last time all th­ese teams were in the fi­nals to­gether, I have been in the club for five years and its the first time since I have been here where we have had all the teams make it. I couldn’t say on record last time it hap­pened,” he said.

Ahead of the big­gest week­end of the AFL sea­son, Thomas said the big­gest chal­lenge would be mak­ing the most of the ex­ten­sive range of tal­ent avail­able.

“We have blokes knock­ing on the door but some of them will be missing out come the Grand Fi­nal,” he said.

“It is a good po­si­tion to be in to have 25 fit play­ers to squeeze into 22 spots, it will be the same with the U17s, with so many good play­ers ready to go it will be a hard de­ci­sion for the coach.”

“It is a game that doesn’t come around very of­ten so the boys will wear their jumper with pride, they need to put in 110%, we can’t ask for any more than that and if they can do they then we will walk away with the win.”

It has been a strong year of achieve­ment for the club with 2017 mark­ing the in­cep­tion of the Sea Ea­gles women’s side.

While the girls were not able to reach the Grand Fi­nals - there is plenty of room for growth and devel­op­ment in the fu­ture.

The Whit­sun­day Sea Ea­gles will be run­ning two sup­porter buses on Septem­ber 9 for any­one who wants to cheer the Sea Ea­gles on in their fi­nal clashes of the AFL sea­son.

Tick­ets will cost $10 for re­turn trips, with the bus leav­ing at 9am from Whit­sun­day Sportspark.

To re­serve a ticket you can con­tact Cabe Ay­ton on 0427427612. PARKRUN: A blis­ter­ing pace set by new­comer to the Air­lie Beach parkrun, Ai­den Smith, knocked usual front run­ner Peter Moore from his perch at the head of the 5km event on Satur­day.

Smith ran a 18.23 not faster than Moore’s per­sonal best of 18:07 but enough to cross the line first.

Justin Helsham and Chris Mur­phy claimed third and fourth re­spec­tively.

A top tus­sle for the best placed woman saw Aimee Sulzberger and Riana Young Cashinella bat­tle it out .

Sulzberger with a new PB of 22.11 crossed ahead of Young Cashinella and first-timer Emma Win­ter­flood rounded out the top three.

A big thank you to all the vol­un­teers in­clud­ing race direc­tor Shane Bellert who helped make the #95 of the Air­lie Beach parkrun pos­si­ble.

PHOTO: JA­COB WIL­SON

GRAND FI­NAL­ISTS: Back Row (left to right): Josh Nor­ris, Jay­den Clark, Nick Roach, Luke Som­merville and Front Row: Mick Jarvis, Max Steel and Alan McMurdo are pumped for Grand Fi­nals in Mackay this week­end.

UP AND RUN­NING: Air­lie Beach parkun on Satur­day.

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