As the 2018 South West Football League approaches the midway point, the Mail takes a look at how the Collie Eagles’ season has progressed.
Round one: 33 point win over Augusta Margaret River
The Eagles started their season off on the right foot with a comfortable win on the hardest road trip in the league – Gloucester Park in Margaret River.
Joel Houghton, the league’s reigning goal leader, kicked four on the day, while Blair Malatesta and Jayce Fontana each finished with three.
Round two: 53 point win over Eaton Boomers
A dominant win over Eaton on a wet Sunday cemented the Eagles spot on top of the ladder. The Eagles’ percentage of 232 was by far the highest.
Fontana led the way with three goals, while captain Matt Blackford was strong in defence as the Boomers were limited to just two goals.
Round three: 53 point loss to Donnybrook
In what was seen as a huge upset at the time, round three saw the Eagles drop their first game to the previously winless Donnybrook.
The Dons’ midfield was way too strong on the day and Collie was hampered by a broken hand to Houghton. Despite the loss, the Eagles still sat on top of the ladder.
Round four: 58 point loss to Busselton
The biggest news of round four was the debut of former Docker Ryan Crowley for the Eagles.
While Crowley was one of the Eagles’ best, the game didn't live up to expectations as Collie recorded its second straight heavy defeat on the back of seven goals to Busselton forward Steve Cameron.
The loss knocked Collie off the top of the ladder – down to seventh position – although they were only behind third-placed Carey Park on percentage alone.
Round five: 44 point loss to South Bunbury
Ryan Crowley’s Eagles career likely came to an end after just five quarters of football due to a broken collarbone.
The Eagles weren’t in the game after quarter time in a disappointing performance that saw the team drop to ninth on the ladder with a record of 2-3.
Round six: 17 point loss to Carey Park
A poor third quarter left the Eagles with too much to do in the final term in this loss to Carey Park.
Malatesta led the way for the Eagles with three goals in the annual Indigenous Recognition game.
Round seven: nine point loss to Harvey Bulls
The Eagles looked like they were back on track at three quarter time against the Bulls, but the young team didn’t have the fitness to hold off Harvey in the final term.
Malatesta kicked another three goals, while Joel Leeson and Paul Rinder also put on strong performances.
The loss saw Collie drop to bottom of the ladder.
Round eight: 28 point loss to Harvey Brunswick Leschenault
The Eagles horror run with injury continued, with Michael Florio and Rinder both coming off before half time.
The Lions handed Collie its sixth straight loss in the heavy rain, although coach Seth White said the team had shown great effort and attitude.
The loss left the Eagles last on the ladder, behind Harvey only on percentage. However, they also sit just two games out of a finals position despite the horror start.
Eagles leading goal kickers:
- Blair Malatesta – 17 goals
- Jayce Fontana – eight goals
- Joel Houghton – six goals
- Joel Leeson – five goals
- Michael Florio – five goals