The Cambodian Eagles will turn their sights to the Indochina Cup on November 12 in Yangon, where they will face off against Laos, Thailand, Vietnam and Myanmar, after a much improved Myanmar Fighting Cocks defeated the Phnom Penh-based Aussie rules team 44-26 in the Division II preliminary final at the 2016 Asian Championships in Ho Chi Minh City at the weekend.
The Eagles had beaten the Mynamar side in July when they hosted them in Phnom Penh, but the Fighting Cocks proved a much different proposition this time round.
On the way to the final, the Eagles lost the opener 24-19 to Singapore B but came out all guns blazing against a solid Japanese outfit, winning 30-26.
To make the final, the Eagles had to win their third game convincingly against a fit and agile Indonesia Garudas side who had been impressive in their previous matches. The Cambodian side rose to the occassion by beating the Garudas 53-23.
Led by captain Grant Fitzgerald, who was dominant all over the ground, the Garudas found it hard to defend against the taller Eagles, which allowed David Bryce and Mark Illott to mark everything that came their way.
In the final, the Eagles threw everything at the in-form Myanmar side and managed to stay within striking distance, but the Eagles’ inaccuracy in front of the goal allowed Mynamar to kick away.
Despite having more scoring shots, the Eagles’ wayward kicking proved costly as they went down by 18 points.Meanwhile, four Cambodian players, two locals and two expats, also took part in the first ever women’s AFL match at the Championships.
Although three of the girls had only attended one training session in preparation for the game, they all showed great enthusiasm and played very well, earning praise from their respective teams.
The other Cambodian representative, Hannah Slaughter, dominated in the match and was awarded the medal for being Best on Ground.