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Edgeworth back it up

EAGLES coach Damian Zane said “it got my back up” when there was talkthe Northern NSW National Premier League title was headed to Hamilton after a 2-1 loss in round five.
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FREE RUNNING: Edgeworth’s Keanu Moore was a standout for the Eagles on Sunday against Maitland. Picture: Simone De Peak

And he didn’t think much ofopinions that Edgeworth’s2015 premiership double came in a “down year” for other teams.

On Sunday, after a 2-1 win over Maitland gave Edgeworth back-to-back minor premierships, Zane said “now people, whether they like Edgeworth or not, they have to respect what we’ve done.”

The victoryand a dramatic 2-2 draw between Hamilton and Valentine at Darling Street Oval gave Edgeworth the title with a round to play and proved Zane’s dream debut as coach in 2015 was no fluke.

“Once we drew with Magic and lost to Hamilton, there was talk around town that the trophy was going to Darling Street, and I thought that was a bit premature,” Zane said. “That got my back up a bitand we fed off that.From some circles too, it was that 2015 was just a down year for other teams.Well, no, and I think we’ve built on thatnow.”

The Eagles, who led Hamilton by a point heading into round 17, trailed Maitland in the 21stminute at Jack McLaughlan Oval whenLiam Thornton scored with a header off a free kick.

CHAMPIONS: Edgeworth celebrate Dylan Holz’s goal on Sunday. Picture: Simone De Peak

But the Eagles had been dominantwithout finding the finishing touchand that came when Dylan Holz equalised in the 38thminute off a Bren Hammel cross. Edgeworth got the winner they deserved whenDaniel McBreen scored with a runaway one-on-one chance on 67 minutes.

As Maitland threatened late, news filtered through that Hamilton had given up a 2-0 lead in the dying minutes to draw with Valentine.

Hamilton led through goals to Tom Spencer (41stminute)and Kane Goodchild (62nd) butMatt Paul put Valentine in the contest with a goal in the 86thminute. Goodchild then had a penalty saved by Perry Budden, who later went to hospital with concussion suffered early in the second half,and the visitors equalised moments later through Brenton Olzomer in injury time.

In other games, Weston had their first win of the year, 4-1 over Adamstown at home, andCharlestown beat Broadmeadow 3-2 at Magic Park with a late goal from Rene Ferguson. The Jets Youth beat Lambton Jaffas 3-0 on Saturday at Edden Oval.

Zane, meanwhile, said his players deserved their success again this year.

“I told the boys a few weeks ago, you start to be special and remembered in your club when you start winning consecutive premierships,” Zane said.

“That’s something I’m jealous of because I didn’t get that as a player, and it doesn’t happen that often.

“They are lucky but they work hard for their luck and I think the difference is the way we approach games.

“It’s not luck that we don’t draw, and we win games. We go out to win and dominate, and that’s how we play.

“And that’s acommon denominator across the two years.There’s not many draws. We’re never looking to just hold on, we push forward.”

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