Eagles struggle to take off in wild winds

Whalers Kate and Mel MItchell pair up through the middle to keep the ball out of Tathra's possession during their hard-fought win on Saturday.

Whalers Kate and Mel MItchell pair up through the middle to keep the ball out of Tathra's possession during their hard-fought win on Saturday.

For the fourth year in a row, the Eden Whalers have dismissed the Eaglettes from finals play after one of the comp's lowest scoring semi-final knockout rounds in challenging conditions at Pambula on Saturday.

It was likely both clubs were lamenting the conditions more than their opposition as howling cross-field winds flung the ball sideways and diminished kicking range greatly.

When Nicole Crowe took a neat mark and slotted a goal for Eden in the second quarter, no one could have realised it would be a winning score.

The Eaglettes had been the first on the board, but the option faded wide and earned the third place squad a behind rather than a goal with Eden going on to win 1-0-6 to 0-2-2.

With very few options to kick for, play became something of a rolling scrum with a cluster of players chasing each other around the field in an endless ball contest.

The wind howled from the south providing some degree of benefit at the northern end, but it also swirled deceptively and sometimes swung back on those hoping to float a kick with the gusts.

Play became desperate in the late stages for the Eaglettes who managed to battle their way to Eden's goal square numerous times in the final quarter despite charging headlong into the howling southerly.

However, the Whalers' defence stood firm in the dying stages to fend off a number of forward options from Tathra and hold on to the lead, winning by a solitary goal.

The result means the Eaglettes finish their season, while the Whalers will advance to a preliminary final against the loser of Narooma and Bermagui.

Earlier, Tathra had won the reserve grade contest with a similarly low-scoring encounter against the Merimbula Diggers.

The Sea Eagles kicked clear of their Merimbula rivals to win 4-9-33 to 3-2-20.

Doug Stubbs provided a best on ground display to lead the scoring with two goals for the Eagles in a match where the weather had prevented play reaching any great heights.

Ground officials even remarked about the weather conditions and said it was a very cold reception on the day, joking that fire pits should be installed for return bouts.

The Eagles reserves now advance to face the loser of the major semi between the Giants and Bermagui.

The Panthers narrowly defeated the Narooma Lions on Saturday to advance through the seniors clash with a 8-5-53 to 6-6-42 result.

The major semi-finals will be held in Merimbula on Saturday with the preliminary finals to run next week.