Ipswich Eagles reached new heights this season, just falling short in the grand final.
Ipswich Eagles reached new heights this season, just falling short in the grand final. David Nielsen

Eagles look to future success after meeting their match

IPSWICH'S dream run came to a sudden halt in their grand final loss.

However, after only expecting to win five or six senior grade games while rebuilding this season, the Eagles' Aussie rules players left Beenleigh on Saturday with plenty to be proud of.

The Eagles lost the grand final 138-59 to competition leaders Victoria Point who only suffered one defeat during the QFA Division 3 season.

"They were the benchmark the whole year and they showed why yesterday,'' club president Clint Bateman said.

"Our boys had a big crack.

"They (Victoria Point) had bigger bodies and they just were just a bit smarter with the footy.

"I think our boys were just overawed with the occasion but they are better off for the experience.

"We're looking forward to pre-season so we can hope- fully get them back to another grand final next year, or the year and the year after.''

The Eagles trailed 24-9 after the first quarter at Dauth Park and never recovered being down 62-19 at the main break.

Making the grand final came after the Eagles Reserves also had a productive season qualifying for the elimination final they lost a fortnight ago.

"Last year our Seniors finished second last and Kym (coach Kym Mansell) and I said at the start of the year we'll be happy with five or six wins and then the year after we'll try and get eight or nine,'' he said.

The Eagles Seniors achieved that this year finishing third.

"We did better than we thought we would,'' the club president said. "The boys just had a fantastic year and should all be proud of what they achieved.

"We can only move forward from here.

"That's our biggest job now. Just the retention rate to make sure we hold onto all our players and get about three or four more quality senior players.

"That will make us stronger and give us another chance to play finals next year.''

The Eagles will celebrate their season successes at their annual awards function at the Ipswich Turf Club on September 22.

State of play

QFA Division 3 grand final: Victoria Point 22.6-138 def Ipswich Eagles 8.11-59 at Beenleigh.



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