Eagles Sharpen Their Talons With Crushing Pre-Season Victory

VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS: In what was only their second outing for 2020, a fresh-faced Nerang Eagles have demonstrated early they possess the hallmarks of contending side after dusting Brisbane Premier League 2018 champions Grange Thistle on Saturday with a 4 goals to 1 win.

Grange Thistle — one of the oldest clubs in Queensland — came out swinging with intensity and some solid pressure from the opening whistle however it was early in the piece that Nerang’s winger Kouki Mukai fired a cross to find the back-post foot of Luke Bell, who easily finished to put Nerang a goal up.

A defensive fumble soon after by the Eagles saw a loose ball drop in front of the Nerang goal, allowing Thistle to level the scores ahead of half time however it did little to deter the Nerang attack and forward push.

Drawing on the two club’s combined 150 years of history in South East Queensland football, the game was fiery at times with players from both teams sharing some tempered moments and physical challenges.

A little communication goes a long way … Grange Thistle’s only goal came from an unforced Nerang defensive error which offered up an open goal and little chance of missing

The second half opened with the Nerang outfit again pushing forward and despite several shots at both ends of the field hitting posts and keepers’ gloves, head coach Lee Vernon’s boys were able to run away with the game after two quality strikes from Luke Marsh and Shaun Robinson escaped the Grange Thistle keeper’s reach, easily finding the netting.

Robinson finished the visitors off with a brace, registering two goals for the game after an unintentional handball gifted Nerang a penalty shot which sent the Grange keeper the wrong way.

Not only did newcomer Shaun Robinson pin down a well-deserved brace in just his second game for Nerang, he also showed solid form away from goal with some critical passes and intelligent movement off the ball

“I thought there’d be a danger of us falling apart in the back end of the second half, but we actually went over the top of them,” said Nerang Head Coach Lee Vernon shortly after the game.

“It’s a long way to go – they don’t hand out trophies in February – but one step at a time and we’re very pleased with where we are at the moment.”

In the earlier Reserves game, it was a mirror finish, with the visitors taking the spoils, 4 -1 over Nerang with a well deserved victory.

Nerang would like to again thank Grange for making the trip and putting up a solid challenge, and the club wishes them all the very best in the season ahead in Brisbane.