PETER BARNES – 150 GAME MILESTONE
We also take the opportunity of a home game to mark Peter Barnes 150 game milestone. This week’s Division One match against UTS Bats will in fact be No 150. 2016 is Peter’s 11th season with the Senior Club and combined with his time at Pennant Hills Juniors (9 years, 178 games), he has had 20 years and almost 350 games playing in “the red and the blue.” Barnesy is a popular figure around the Club, well known and liked, and he is the 2nd generation of a family connection that goes back 40 years. His dad, Greg Barnes, is a former player, coach and Life Member of the Club. Today’s achievement qualifies Pete for player Life Membership of the Senior Club. Congratulations Barnesy!
Since our last Club Notes in Round 5, the competition has progressed another three rounds and the results for Pennant Hills, although mixed across the divisions, are still cause for great optimism for the remainder of season 2016.
Premier Division had its best result for the season so far in Round 5 beating UNSW-ES Bulldogs by 8 goals in which our twin spearheads, Jono Gourlay and Theo Moraitis, were the best on ground, each kicking 5 majors. In Round 6, North Shore was much better opposition and jumped our boys early in the match, kicking 4.6 to Penno’s 2 behinds in the first quarter. Thereafter, Penno began to claw its way back into the match and by the final change had sneaked ahead by a point. Demon hopes were high that our boys’ momentum would roll over the top of the Bombers in the fourth quarter, however, North Shore had the best of the play and ran out deserved winners by 10 pts.
Round 7 was a bye for Pennant Hills and leaves the team in 5th place with a 3 and 3 record. St George and East Coast Eagles are equal first with 6 wins, 1 loss each. Our boys need to win more than they lose in the remainder of the season to ensure a place in the finals.
NICK EYNAUD – DEBUTANTE
Round 5 against UNSW-ES was the Premier Division debut for 17 year old Nick Eynaud. Nick graduated from the Pennant Hills Junior Club at the end of 2015, where he played 143 games over 9 seasons. In a clear indication of his footballing talent, Nick won the Best & Fairest Award in all but one of his nine seasons … that’s 8 consecutive B&Fs! Nick is the son of another Pennant Hills’ personality, Kevin Eynaud. Kev was the Demons’ Senior Coach for two seasons in 2010/11, although more recently he has been the head coach at Western Suburbs. Current Premier Division Coach, Chris Yard, now in his fifth season as senior coach, was Kev’s immediate successor back in 2012.
Nick was presented with his jumper No 13 by Club veteran, Terry Donohoe. Terry played 220 games with Pennant Hills Demons over a career spanning 16 years, 1985 – 2000. At one time he was the 2nd highest games record holder, now his total ranks around 7th. He was Captain of the Reserve Grade side in 1996, when the Ressies won their last flag. He also coached the Reserves for 4 years, 1997 – 2000 and was made a Life Member of the Club in 1995. Not only was Terry a durable and tenacious player, but he has been a great and loyal servant of both the Senior and Junior Clubs over many years. Terry has known Nick since he was an 8 year old and he expressed how much of an honour it was to be presenting Nick his jumper. Terry said “playing 1st grade as a 17 year old is a magnificent achievement and it is truly an honour to play any senior grade at this great Club. You now have 21 new loyal mates and you should all honour each other out there today.” As things turned out, the team won by 49pts … a great way for Nick to start his senior footy career!
Like Premier Division, our Division One side has had mixed results so far this season. Round 5 was a narrow 5 pt loss to Southern Power that was as much unexpected, as unwanted. This was followed by a Round 6 clash with newly promoted Western Magic (formerly Blacktown Magic), who proved they will be a title contender again this season, after taking out the Division 2 flag last season. In Round 7 our boys returned to the winner’s list with a 45 pt victory over Balmain. This leaves the team in 6th place with a record of 3 and 4. An undefeated Macquarie University leads the competition.
DIVISIONS THREE & FIVE
Both Division 3 and 5 remain undefeated after 8 and 7 rounds, respectively. For Division 3, Round 5 against a somewhat rough-house Nor-West outfit has been the closest result so far, a 12 point victory. A brisk breeze favoured the carpark end at MKO and, when the opposition turned into the last stretch only 6 pts in arrears, they thought they had the match in the bag. But, the Demons hung tough and out-scored the Jets by a goal, kicking 3 into the breeze and conceding only two. Rounds 6 to 8 have produced winning margins of ever increasing magnitude – 72 pts vs Campbelltown, 85 pts vs HP Goanna and 121 pts against Balmain last weekend. Fraser ‘Frog’ Nixon kicked 8 goals against HP Goannas, a career best for a player who is usually found in the mid-field but has convinced the coach to rest him on the forward line while he recovers from a niggling injury that hampers his mobility. None of the boys seem to mind Frog slumming it in the forward line, so long as he keeps kicking goals … 24 so far this season! Hot on his heels though is Josh Mott, who’s now kicked 20 goals after another bag of 5 in Round 8 against Balmain.
However, the biggest challenge still lies ahead for Division 3. While Penno has accumulated 8 straight wins, so has their nearest rival, Wollondilly, who also has an unbeaten record so far this season. These two teams meet in a week’s time and the winner will take the outright lead. I think our lads will be quietly confident that it will be the Dees.
Division 5 has also been beating all-comers and is on top of the competition ladder, one game ahead of UNSW-ES. In Round 5, our boys demolished Sydney University by 23 goals. In Round 6 Campbelltown weren’t able to field a team and forfeited. Rumour had it that the Blue’s President was getting married that day and half the Div 5 team had been invited! In Round 7, after leading Balmain by 50 pts at half time of a twilight game at Mahoney Park, Penno was awarded the game when the lights failed to come on and the game had to be abandoned!
UNDER 19 DIVISION ONE
Our Under 19s have also had a mixed start to the season, being 3 and 3 after 7 rounds; 5th on the ladder. In Round 5, they gave a great showing against Camden Cats, winning by more 40 pts but came back to earth the following match when they came up against competition front-runner, North Shore. The Bombers were Premiers in 2015 and seem to have carried that form into the new season, currently undefeated after 7 rounds.
WOMENS DIVISION ONE
Finally, our Women’s team. For their first victory to occur in only their second match was a delightful surprise and, regardless of what happened for the rest of the season, we could have said the experiment had been a success. But, lo and behold, in Round 4 our Women outplayed Campbelltown and had a 5 goal win … their second victory. Since then, they have played two of the top three teams, Penrith Ramettes and Wollongong Saints, and, although out-scored, our women have brilliantly acquitted themselves.
In Round 5, Penno went down to third-placed Penrith. Coach Fiddles said “it was the team’s best performance of the year, being only one goal down at ¾ time against an experienced women’s team.” Despite losing 66 to 14 vs Wollongong in Round 6, Club President Phil Hare noted that it was a “strong performance against a top team. Fantastic pressure and tackling in the second half kept the opposition to only 2 goals after halftime. It was a pleasure watching you. Well done to the players.”
The Women’s team has performed well beyond expectations and we now look forward to a few more wins to come. This week sees them up against second placed UTS Shamrocks … this will be another challenge, but we expect our girls will give the Shamrocks a good contest. Pennant Hills is currently 7th place out of 11. Looking ahead, there are several games where our Women will now start as favourites and who knows, they might even give one or more of the top teams a scare before the season’s end? Go Girls!
THIS WEEK ROUND 8
This week Premier Division takes on UTS Bats at MKO. The Bats have had a good start to the season winning four of six games so far and are one game ahead of Penno in 4th place on the competition ladder. Up until Round 16 last season, the Bats had never beaten Pennant Hills in Premier Division. That changed last season with the Bats winning a close encounter by 3 pts, despite our home ground advantage and a relative ladder position that suggested Penno should have had an easy win. Just goes to show, that, as in life, nothing can be taken for granted in football! The record is now 7 wins, 1 loss from 8 matches played since UTS’s elevation to Premier Division in 2011. Our boys will need a strong start and to play out the full four quarters.
Division One also takes on UTS and will be hoping their good form from Round 7 stays with them as they battle it out with the second placed Bats. Division 3 and 5 take on Penrith and Camden, respectively, and both should continue their unbeaten runs. The Under 19s play third placed Sydney University for the second time. In their Round 2 encounter earlier this season, the Students had a 40 pt victory and our boys will need to be on their game if they are to turn this result around.
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