Undermanned Eagles cop pasting

Experienced midfielder Damien Johnston provided the first-quarter highlight for Beaconsfield. 402311 Pictures: ROB CAREW

By David Nagel

Beaconsfield has slipped from second to fifth on the Eastern Division One ladder after the Eagles were taught a football lesson by reigning-premier Mitcham at Holm Park Reserve on Saturday.

The Eagles matched motors with the Tigers in the first quarter; kicking two goals to one, but were then held goalless for three full quarters of football on their way to a 13.11(89) to 2.7(19) defeat.

Coach Mick Fogarty was forced to make four changes for the round-eight clash, with key pillars Jake Bowd and Brandon White absent, while Trent Stokoe and Jack Docherty were also missing in action.

Jafar Ocaa and Finn Devine returned, while Patrick Ward was joined by debutant Brady Niezgodka on the inclusion list.

With Bowd, White, Stokoe and Docherty all missing from the back half, the Eagles did well to restrict the free-flowing Tigers in the first term.

It took 14 minutes for Ocaa to open the goal-scoring; dribbling one through off his right foot to give the Eagles a six-point lead.

Jake Parente then answered for the Tigers, after receiving a bullet-pass from Jesse Uren, before Damien Johnston provided a clear first-quarter highlight.

The experienced on-baller hit a forward-50 stoppage at pace, gathering the ball and swinging onto his left foot to give the Eagles a four-point lead at quarter time.

No one knew it at the time, but that would be the last Beaconsfield six-pointer for the afternoon.

Things remained tight and compact in the second stanza, with set shots to Jesse Cherry and Parente giving the Tigers a gettable eight-point lead at the major interval.

But Mitcham then stamped its authority on the contest in the third quarter with a 6.2 to 0.3 display of powerhouse football.

Guy Laughlin started the demolition with an easy goal on the run, while Tom Lovell capped it off with the sixth goal for the quarter.

The Tigers kept their foot on the throat in the final term as the undermanned Eagles failed to raise a response.

A 4.3 to 0.0 final term saw the score blow out to a 70-point margin at the final siren.

Midfielders Johnston, Hayden Brown and Josh Mounter gave their all for the Eagles, while speedsters Sam Merrick and Myles Currie continued their strong recent run of form.

Devine did well in just his second game for the season, while defenders Declan Curran and Lachie Valentine did well to restrict the damage for as long as they did.

The Eagles head to seventh-placed Bayswater this week; before resting their legs with a much-needed league-wide rest across the King’s Birthday weekend.

Mitcham host undefeated Park Orchards in a round nine blockbuster.

BEACONSFIELD 2.1 2.4 2.7 2.7(19)

MITCHAM 1.3 3.6 9.8 13.11(89)

Beaconsfield Goals: Damien Johnston, Jafar Ocaa. Best: Sam Merrick, Myles Currie, Finn Devine, Damien Johnston, Joshua Mounter, Hayden Brown.

Mitcham Goals: Jesse Uren 3, Guy Laughlin 2, Jake Parente 2, Nathaniel Barnes, Jesse Cherry, Jack Conlan, Nathan Crampton, Tom Lovell, Lucas Marro. Best: Riley Nicholas, Nicholas Hallo, Joshua May, Jesse Cherry, Danny Baglava, Jesse Uren.

Other Games: Montrose 11.7(73) def North Ringwood (11.5(71), Park Orchards 20.15(135) def Doncaster 9.6(60), South Belgrave 13.10(88) def Bayswater 7.8(50), Wantirna South 14.5(89) def by Mooroolbark 15.10(100).

Ladder R8: Park Orchards 32, South Belgrave 24, Mitcham, Montrose, Beaconsfield 20, Mooroolbark 16, Bayswater 12, North Ringwood, Doncaster 8, Wantirna South 0.

Fixture R8: Bayswater (7) v Beaconsfield (5), Mitcham (3) v Park Orchards (1), Montrose (4) v Wantirna South (10), Mooroolbark (6) v Doncaster (9), North Ringwood (8) v South Belgrave (2).