TUMUT Eagles coach Matt Lopez was “ecstatic” with his team’s 5-2 win over Junee at Burns Park in Junee on Sunday.
“It has been a couple of years since we beat them and it was an almost dominant performance,” he said.
The Eagles slammed in four goals in the first 25 minutes to leave Junee in shock.
“We started strongly,” Lopez said.
“We wanted to bounce back from last week (a 4-0 loss to South Wagga) and return to the intensity of the week before. We wanted to out-enthuse them, to want to win more, and we did.”
Lopez was not disappointed that the early scoring rate didn’t continue, believing it was a matter of Junee responding to the challenge.
“It was a combination of us easing off and Junee stepping up and slowing down our intensity,” he said.
“They got a couple of chances and scored goals; they weren’t easybeats by any stretch of the imagination.”
Lopez was especially pleased with the speed of the Eagles’ attack, which left Junee dazzled.
“Daniel French, Tim Dixon, Murray Barrett and Flynn Piper-Bye were really good and scored goals,” he said. French scored twice.
The Eagles are in a far better position than they were at this point last year, but the road ahead is steep.
“We are in sixth position, but it is very tight between positions three and seven,” Lopez said.
“We never really talked about the finals at the start of the year. If we make it, it will be awesome, but if not the season has been great anyway.”
The Eagles’ remaining three opponents in the season proper are all top four sides, including Leeton United, who they take on this Sunday. “It’s going to be a real challenge from now on,” Lopez said.
“Leeton beat us 6-0 last time we played them, so we will have to be at our best.”