Suns too hot for Eagles
By BRAD GREENSHIELDS
REDEMPTION for the last two grand final losses is what many members of the victorious Southern Suns team, including coach Barry Jackson were chasing in yesterday's mens 20's final at the Australian National Touch League titles.
The Suns gained that with a heart-stopping 7-5 victory over hometown heroes the Northern Eagles in a classic exhibition of touch football.
Although being the highest scoring team throughout the tournament, it was defence that got the Suns over the line, often scrambling to cover the Eagles players, who time and time again tried to exploit the Suns' defensive line by using their extreme pace.
Put simply the Suns 'worked their arses off,' according to coach Jackson.
"We spent three months training together prior to these titles, and all the hard work paid off today."
The last 10 minutes of the match were tension filled, as the Eagles were trailing by only the one touchdown, and were constantly forcing the Suns onto the backfoot.
The Eagles actually thought they had scored the equaliser inside the last five minutes.
But the referee disagreed and then penalised the local side for an incorrect play the ball after the impromptu celebrations saw the ball flying through the air amid the euphoria.
It wasn't until the game was in its death throes that the Southern team finally put the game to bed when a brilliant dummy half run by captain and player of the match Scott Naughton resulted in a touchdown to Alyd Owen.
Jackson had nothing but praise for the local Eagles outfit.
"They were quick, very quick and they took it up to us," he added.
But as much praise as the Suns coach had for the opposition, he was gushing about the efforts of his young charges.
"They're just a great bunch of young blokes,"
And then without even batting an eyelid he finished with "I'll definitely be back next year."