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Medals for local Lizards

Thursday, 10th October, 2013

By By Peter Nash

Three Shinglebacks who played for SA last week in the National Carnival in Darwin have returned home with premiers medals.
Garry Sandy, Peter Nash and Jimmy Hinton all played in the SA 50s team that won all three games in Division 2.

The Carnival, which attracts around 700 players, swells to 1200 when you add coaches, trainers, managers, partners and families and proves a financial windfall for the host city, especially in the hospitality sector.

The “massage rehab” industry also proves to be popular the longer the week goes.

Round one was on Sunday and the SA boys had a big win over Victoria Country. Led by former local Kerry Jay the South Australia team had three big talls and they all played well.
Sandy eased his way into the game coming off a recent hamstring strain, but by half time he was in the middle in the thick of the action.
Hinton started in attack but would be banished to defence after his set shot from 12 metres sailed out on the full!
Nash started across half forward and quickly raised a sweat (due to a lack of fitness) but did manage a trademark running goal from the boundary on the left!
The final score was SA 10-9 (69) to Vic Country 2-4 (16).
Monday was a “massage day” while on Tuesday the locals headed to the Litchfield National Park about 150km south of Darwin for a day visiting the falls and swimming in the croc-free water holes.
On Wednesday the crunch game was against Vic Metro at 2pm. It was hot and steamy and the SA boys had another solid win overcoming a tough (read: we don’t like losing) Vic team that stretched the meaning of “footy for fun” to the limit.
Sandy again had a solid game rotating through the middle with his knee now giving him more grief than the hammy. Hinton was fresh from spending his days off on the massage table while Nash was contemplating retirement when the coach uttered the word “fullback” after halftime.
Final score: SA 12-3 (75) to Vic Metro 6-5 (41).
Thursday was another rest day to take in all that the Top End has to offer before a 6pm storm demonstrated what this wet season is all about.
Friday was another lay day for the 50s team as we were into the grand finals on Saturday. The morning was spent supporting the SA 40s, who were having a tough week. They finished with a 0-3 scoreline, but the camaraderie between all the players and families from all SA teams is what makes the week so enjoyable.
Hinton had found a visiting North Melbourne physio and had an urge to give him $200 to stick 5 needles in his hammy that he strained running so fast in the 55s sprint race on Wednesday.
Saturday rolled around and the 12noon final game v NSW was to be played on the main Darwin ground at TIO Stadium. A big ground and with temps well into the mid 30s and a higher humidity level we finally experienced just how tough NT football can be.
NSW needed a huge win to steal the medal and they played with plenty of determination early getting the first major before SA stepped up several gears to rattle on the next 9 goals on their way to a 9-3 to 2-4 win.
Nash had half a game at CHB and then was set loose on the wing in the second half and, in his words. “carved them up”>
Hinton was more back than forward but had everyone amazed when one of his soccer kicks travelled 50 metres and straight to a teammate! Sandy had another excellent game playing half forward and on ball and given his pre carnival injury, was delighted to have been able to play every minute of every game.
In typical Sandy fashion he was at the bottom of every pack doing the hard stuff, and was the only on baller who would sit back and help the back six.
Ultimately he missed All Australian selection with just 4 SA players selected but he was most definitely in our best 6, which is a fabulous achievement.
The SA side had surprised everyone winning all three games by big margins as half the team was actually eligible to play in the 55s division.
The finale, attended by 1,000 on Saturday night, announced Adelaide as the hosts for 2014 with the carnival to start the day after the AFL grand final.
The location will be at Westminster (Marion) and SA is expecting up to 7 teams to represent the State rather than the two teams in Darwin and Townsville last year.
SA is really keen and needs an influx of players in the 35, 40 and 45 year old age groups (and the Shinglebacks have plenty) so in 2014 hopefully we have 15-plus players playing. It will make for a great week!

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