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Cup comes home

Monday, 25th May, 2015

The Broken Hill contingent celebrates the team’s unlikely win in the 2015 Miner’s Cup at Adelaide Oval yesterday. The Broken Hill contingent celebrates the team’s unlikely win in the 2015 Miner’s Cup at Adelaide Oval yesterday.

By Patrick Reincke

Despite being the underdog side, Broken Hill rose to the challenge and won the 2015 Miner’s Cup against Far North by three points at Adelaide Oval yesterday, squaring the series 4-4.

In what was a relatively low-scoring game, Broken Hill scored 4.14 to Far North’s 5.5.

Brett Martin scored three of his side’s four goals and was dangerous up forward.

Marc Purcell, Jayden Kelly and Jordan Johns were remarkable in midfield and racked up the possessions in an impressive midfield display.

It was back and forth throughout the opening quarter with both teams locked in a scrap heap battle.

Far North’s Ash Baxter got things underway with an accurate set shot and it was not the start Broken Hill had hoped for.

Martin chalked up his first major to put the game back on even terms as the game became a tightly contested battle for possession.

Baxter scored his second to have the game back in a deadlock as quarter time neared.

A string of behinds came from plenty of Broken Hill opportunities with Far North managing to repel and score their second through Baxter.

The first quarter came to a close and Far North were ahead by only two points.

Far North took control in the second quarter with the ball rarely venturing  into the Hill’s forward 50.

However, North could only manage one goal through young Adam Ryan and Broken Hill were off the hook.

Purcell was showing class and Jordan Tonkin was doing the same as our local boys began to find their feet.

Martin scored his second while Mitchell Henderson took some big grabs up forward.

The game began to open up with North’s Kane Zeptner and Craig Hall starting to see more of the Sherrin.

Broken Hill’s Cody Schorn managed to slot one through the big sticks and put his side in front by three points at the major break.

The third quarter saw Broken Hill score their last major for the afternoon as Martin capped off a solid performance with his third.

Both sides were inaccurate and it began to show more on Broken Hill’s side as the behind count began to rise.

Another quality goal to Baxter saw Far North hit the lead by one point going into the final quarter.

It became a battle of defenses with Broken Hill’s Heath Harris locking the defensive 50 down.

The game edged along with each behind adding a new level of atmosphere to the game.

A goal would be game-changing to either side, but it never came.

The Hill kept surging forward and again and again scored behinds.

Far North ventured forward in an attempt to steal victory in the last minute but they too scored only behinds.

Purcell was keeping up appearances as he continued to find the ball with Johns also industrious.

The game was getting too close for comfort and the thousands of early bird AFL fans found themselves involved in the game.

Luckily for the locals, the final siren sounded and Broken Hill had managed to just hang on.

Despite a multitude of changes and underdog status, they showed plenty of grit in the face of a tough opponent and have made the Miner’s Cup series 4-4 and next year’s fixture all the more important.

Team coach David Ruddock was ecstatic with the end result.

“It’s fantastic,” he said.

“It was a hard-slog affair, but when you bring 23 players who are committed to playing footy for Broken Hill, the result takes care of itself.

“The team had a lot of self belief and the team bonding has been the best it’s ever been.

“I really hope it (the Miner’s Cup) continues.

“We’ve got four great clubs who want to play in this competition.”

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