Eels enjoy payback time

IT may not have been on the same stage as last season's grand final, but Eels have erased some demons from the loss, smashing Brothers United 11-6 on Saturday.

Last year's premiers were helpless as Eels fought back from an early deficit to take the game by the scruff of the neck.

Sensible batting allowed the yellow and black to regularly tick the scoreboard over, while Brothers' six runs were all scored in the early stages of the showdown.

“I was really happy with our performance,” Eels coach Mike Shanhun said.

“United can be a daunting team.

“They can just smother you, but we knuckled down and kept their offence at bay.

“It was a good effort and sets up our season well.

“It shows us what we're capable of.”

He said that although he was ecstatic with the result, it was a case of “taking it one step at a time” to ensure they do not get carried away.

The measured approach to the season is being reflected in their play, and it seems to be working.

“It's a little step in the journey. That's how we are looking at it for now,” he said. “It was great to claw back like we did, on the back of doing the same thing against Sluggers the week before.

“That is what is most pleasing.”

The head coach's return to the sidelines after being away on representative duties last week definitely helped his girls' confidence heading into the big rematch.

His approach was sorely missed when they were flogged by the same side early this season.

His influence from the dugout seems imperative for Eels to put in a good performance.

“It probably does make a difference being back here, but I do encourage them to play spontaneously,” he said.

“It's not all set in stone.

“Let's hope we can carry that form through the season.”

In the other women's first-grade game South Sluggers demolished Wests Panthers 18-6, continuing the new-look team's horror start to the 2009-10 season.

United forfeited to Western Suburbs Lynx in the men's A-grade, while South Sluggers beat ATW 10-2.

Western Suburbs Sabretooth continued to improve, putting up a brave fight but going down to United 10-5.

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