In a thrilling contest, the Eagles got within two points of Tungamah midway through the final term, but three straight goals to the hosts ensured the Bears would ruin the Eagles’ illustrious run.
The Bears, who brought eight premiership players back to the club during the off-season, led from the outset after kicking six first-quarter goals in a high-scoring affair, prevailing 19.10 (124) to 16.9 (105).
Bears co-coach Jeremy O’Brien was thrilled with his side’s performance, but still believed the Eagles were the side to beat this season.
“It was great to get the win, the boys played a really good game against a good opposition,” O’Brien said.
Brent Chapman has been impressive since signing with the Bears four weeks ago, and the dangerous forward booted four goals again on the weekend.
“He is hard to match up on, he is quick, strong, tall and powerful, but can also crumb a goal,” O’Brien said.
“He is a bit of a defender’s nightmare really.”
Tungamah was 32 points ahead at three-quarter-time, but O’Brien expected the Eagles to come hard in the final term.
“Our guys were resilient, we knew they were going to come again in the final term and they did,” O’Brien said.
“Shepp East kicked five goals straight and then we were able to wrestle the game back our way.”
O’Brien, who also kicked two goals, singled out the midfield work of Bodhi Butts and Tom Wilson, who starred for the Bears.
“They were really good, we fought hard in the middle and I thought the game broke even,” O’Brien said.
“Bodhi has been sensational this year and he was again one of our better players on Saturday.”
This was the game everyone was looking forward to - the battle of the ladder leaders.
Shepparton East had strong scoring options and the planning was all about restricting them.
Dylan Chung hit the score board early followed by Josh Bozzola.
The first quarter was exactly as expected, fast and furious. Chung scored again with seconds to go in the first.
A free kick early in the second saw advantage to Josh Pettit and an early major.
Shepp’s run started to test Tungamah’s backline but they withstood the pressure and repelled many attacks and delivered to a congested forward line.
A ten point lead at the major break to Tungamah looked promising but its well known Shepp East don’t give up.
In the third quarter Shepp East’s structures and discipline put pressure on Tungamah’s scoring opportunities until Chung broke loose through the corridor and scored one on the run.
The Bears were held to that single goal in the third and at the last break Shepp East held a slim lead.
Chungy’s goal early in the last put Tungamah back in front however Shepp East kicked three straight and regained the lead.
Ben Irvine kicked two late in the last however it was not enough to beat the Shepp East outfit.
Awards to Chris Johnstone who held the leading goal kicker well, Terminus Hotel award to Shaun Hawking who was silky in defence and Crusty Loaf award to Damo Powell who was hard at it all day.
Special mention to Nick who rucked and won all day and Oliver who was in everything.
Matt Powell and Shane Thompson again led by example.
Thanks to the home grown umpires who called the game fairly.
Tungamah 8.3.51 defeated by Shepparton East 9.6.60.
Tungamah hosted Shepp East at the Bear Pit and played good team-orientated footy for four quarters.
Tungamah controlled the game from the middle led by Blayze Young-Mail, Will Sharp and Liam Connell.
The forwards combined well led by Wally Thomson, Dylan Sidebottom, Tom Lidgerwood and Lachie Elliott.
Brandon Einsporn was another good player as was Tre Johnson.
Youngster Oscar Willis stepped up from the fourths and showed class, snagging three goals.
Other notable goal kickers were Tom Lidgerwood and Wally Thomson with four each, Lachie Elliott three, Blake Adkins, Dylan Sidebottom and Will Sharp two each.
A nice effort to start building towards the finals.
Tungamah 24.16.160 defeated Shepp East 1.1.7.
Awards: Wingates Blayze Young-Mail, Yarrawonga Mulwala Golf Club Resort Wally Thomson, Crusty Loaf Liam Connell, Tungamah Store Dylan Didebottom.
Thanks again to the volunteer umpires Chris Whitelock and youngster Patrick Eales.
The fourths’ agenda for the day was to win the game to retain the Rod Stacey Shield.
The boys went out and did just that.
Following coach True’s instructions, they roved the ball well at every opportunity, won contested balls, kicked accurately and played well as a team, beating the Eagles confidently.
Tungamah 15.8.98 defeated Shep East 1.0.6.
Goals: Desi O’Kane 8, Mitch Goldman 2, Tyler True 2, Oscar Willis 2, Aaron Mills 1.
Awards: Golf Club Desi O’Kane, Crusty Loaf Ned Connell, Canteen Liam Williams, Canteen Tyler True, Tunga Shop Seth Haebich.