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Lizards pipped in the Mount

Tuesday, 21st June, 2011

Mark McHenry Mark McHenry

By Thinlizzie

The local AFL masters team tasted victory and defeat all in the same day in Mt Gambier during their recent trip.

After the overnight bus ride to the Mount, the boys checked into the "old gaol" which was, as expected, not five-star accommodation.

On Saturday afternoon the team watched a very high class A-Grade game between West and South Gambier, whilst having a bet on just about every race in Australia.

Most of the touring party hit the wall after getting very little sleep on the bus, and were in bed by 10pm preparing for Super Sunday.

At 1pm Sunday, after Captain Klingy gave the team his traditional "rev up" on the bus, the Shinglebacks were up against the touring Adelaide representative team.

Due to unavailability two players were rushed into the squad: Mick Grady (Peter Jackson's son in law from Naracoorte) and Chris Ford (retired West thirds player of the mid 70s, picked up at Mildura McDonalds Drive-Thru.) 

The Shinglebacks started with Steven Groves, Garry Sandy, Jay Robins and Brad Pressler in the middle, Jarrod Burke at CHF and the 'thirsty' Mark McHenry at full forward. Despite kicking against the wind the Lizards dominated the middle to score 4-2 to just 1-1. In defence Brett Morris was dominating with great support from Dave Kuerschner and Des Klingbiel across half back. Mason Kumm was given the task on the reps' big gun at full forward and did a great job. McHenry had a blinder scoring three goals for the half whilst Pressler capped off a BOG game with a 'sausage roll' after Peter Nash had bounced the ball out of defence in a run similar to that of Phil Manassa in the 70s (well, two bounces and a shocking kick that somehow got to Press!). On the wing Jimmy Hinton was dominating, as Morris continually looked for the little man, who proudly stated he now knows how Chris Judd feels racking up the possessions at will. 
In the second half McHenry goaled again, with Lawrence and Robins joining the party, with great running goals also. The reps kicked three late goals but it was party time for the Lizards: 7-5 (47) to Reps 3-4 (27).

The crowd roared when Richard "Strauchnie" McLean entered the arena and he didn't disappoint with several hard ball gets, whilst ensuring the wig didn't fall off!

Best Players: Pressler, Morris, Sandy, Robins, McHenry, Lawrence, Hinton and Groves in a great team effort.

The Mt Gambier boys then flogged the Adelaide Rep team about 11 goals to four to set up the big finale. The wood choppers won the toss and kicked with the gale and immediately had the Lizards defending grimly.

Thankfully the wind and some desperate defence led by Jason Cox, Terry Anderson, Morris and Nash held them to just 1-11 (17) to Shinglebacks 1-0 (6), with Pressler again scoring a major. The Shinglebacks were again well served by Robins and Sandy in the middle but struggled to clear the defensive 50.

The locals had done their homework and were tagging Morris at half back and this helped prevent some run and overlap. Clearly the younger team, the wood choppers weren't about to lose on their home patch!

Two early goals to Mt Gambier had the game safely in their keeping before Nash scored a very dubious goal after a brilliant pass from Morris set up a shot from deep in the pocket.

Whilst most were preparing for the full back to kick in the honest umpire raised the two flags. The free beer Nash was seen buying the ump later was just a coincidence!

President Anderson pushed forward to mark 20 metres out after Klingy burst through half forward to spot up the kick ....or was it a shot from 35 that fell 20 metres short!

Final scores: Mt Gambier 3-12 (30) to Shinglebacks 3-1 (19)

Best Players: Pressler, Robins, Sandy, Kumm, Klingbiel, Kuerschner, Morris in a great team effort.

Presentations of Longnecks were made by Coach Brett Morris to Pressler and Sandy for their nonstop efforts in the midfield. Whilst Masters is a tad slower the midfield still does a power of running and the tough in and under work. Morris also made special mention to Jason Cox who is a novice at Aussie Rules but is demonstrating that even at our age you can learn the game ....and have plenty of fun doing it!

The trip was a great success and we thank our drivers Kevin Edwards and Peter McManus who patiently waited for the stragglers and got us home safe to all our fans.

Our attention now turns to a match in Broken Hill on August 6, when two Adelaide Masters Clubs (Souths and Easts) will join up to play the Shinglebacks.

Checkout more pictures on the "Shingleback" Facebook page.

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