Footy detour cheers Eagles women on to finals' victory
AUSSIE RULES: It's the mark of a spirited club when the men detour after their latest game to cheer on their women's side in the finals.
That was the case on Saturday when a group of Eagles senior footballers stopped in at Pine Rivers on their way home from Moreton Bay.
The trip was extra rewarding with the Eagles women advancing to the QFAW Division 2 North semi-final after beating the home side 40-11.
The Eagles play Hinterland away in their next match, chasing a historic spot in the grand final.
"They are pretty excited,'' Eagles men's head coach Kym Mansell said, pleased he was able to see the second half of the women's qualifying final.
"They were a bit more even across the field.''
Last year, the Eagles women's team had half a dozen good players with the standard dropping off dramatically after that.
Under the guidance of exp-erienced coach Rex Watts, this year's Eagles women have closed that gap "from six to 20'', resulting in their success.
But while thrilled for the Eagles women's team, which includes his daughter Taylor, Mansell was left pondering his side's latest hot and cold performance.
The Eagles men retained third spot on the QFA Division 3 ladder despite their second loss of the season to competition leaders Moreton Bay.
The home side won 12.12-84 to 11.6-72 after the Eagles led 26-19 at the first break.
"We know what we did wrong,'' Mansell said, reflecting on the second and third quarter where the Eagles only booted one goal in each period.
"We stopped running and they got a lot of momentum, and the boys were just under the pump.''
Although the Eagles outkicked Moreton Bay five goals to two in the final quarter, it came too late to complete a remarkable comeback.
"If we can put four quarters together against them, they wouldn't come near us,'' Mansell said, looking for a more consistent Ipswich effort in the finals.
Nick Barling was outstanding again in the ruck, producing one of the best games Mansell has seen him play.
Other strong Eagles performers included co-captain Matt Sheridan, Keith Brick and Nick Kennedy.
The Eagles men have another away game against Redcliffe this weekend.
State of play
QFA Division 3: Moreton Bay 12.12-84 def Ipswich Eagles 11.6-72.
Reserves: Moreton Bay 15.13-103 def Ipswich Eagles 3.5-23.
QFAW Division 2 North qualifying final: Ipswich Eagles 6.4-40 def Pine Rivers 1.5-11.