Ipswich promise highlighted in nearly beating leaders
TO come within seven points of the unbeaten competition leaders proves the Ipswich Eagles aren't far off the pace.
It's just a shame they are anchored near the bottom of this year's QAFA (A) competition.
However, after Saturday's gritty 98-91 effort at Limestone Park, the Eagles have plenty to be positive about.
"That typifies our season,'' club stalwart Chris Devlin said.
"We've drawn, we've lost by 10, we've lost by eight, we've lost by 15. Before the bye, we lost by six to Pine Rivers.
"But the whole competition has gone up a level, which is what you want.''
With a number of young players being developed in the senior team this year, Devlin knows some patience is needed.
He said having a couple of weeks off leading into Saturday's game helped freshen up the players.
The Eagles led 53-46 at halftime with Bond Uni only securing victory in the dying stages.
"Our intensity was awesome,'' Devlin said. "But we've had that all year. It's just we haven't put it in for four quarters.
"We can do it. It's just getting it done.''
Devlin praised long-time teammate Luke Konstanciak for a tenacious effort and said new player/coach Rhan Hooper was working hard with a new-look side.
"He's developing all the young blokes,'' Devlin said. "Our whole backline is very young.
"It's rewarding to watch and it just means that the club is heading in that young direction.''
The tireless midfielder said ruckman Irwin Adam and former under-18 Miners recruit Matthew Murray were examples of newcomers gaining valuable experience.
"We have seven games left,'' Devlin said, pleased to see the Eagles Reserves notch a handy 45 point win that keeps them in finals' contention.
"If we can win seven straight, that will keep our heads high rolling into next year.''
State of Play
- QAFA (A): Bond University 15.8-98 def Ipswich Eagles 13.13-91. Leading goalkickers: Rhan Hooper 5, Matthew Murray 2, Irwin Adam 2, Billy North, Mat Gordon, Jarred O'Connell, Nick Barling.
- Reserves: Ipswich Eagles 13.5-83 def Bond University 5.8-38.
- Next matches: Saturday - v Victoria Point at Limestone Park.