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Who wins the Miners Cup could hold it forever

Friday, 6th May, 2016

Broken Hill’s co-captains Eddie Morgan (left) and Marc Purcell with the Miners Cup and the team’s major sponsor, Randall Ragenovich. Broken Hill’s co-captains Eddie Morgan (left) and Marc Purcell with the Miners Cup and the team’s major sponsor, Randall Ragenovich.

The ninth Miners Cup will be played on Sunday at the Adelaide Oval between Broken Hill and Roxby and the local boys will be playing it like the grand final.

Every year the AFL makes it harder to get a “curtain raiser” timeslot so while both Leagues hope the annual clash will continue, Broken Hill is treating this contest as the “decider” with the ledger at four wins apiece.

One of the challenges is to fund the Miners Cup, and this year local Toyota Dealer Randall Ragenovich has become a major sponsor.

Mr Ragenovich worked closely with the Roxby Toyota dealer and networked with Toyota Australia and Toyota Finance to jointly contribute nearly $20,000 to the expenses of both teams.

“Without this level of support AFL Broken Hill would struggle to justify the expenditure on the Miners Cup game,” said AFL BH Chairman Peter Nash.

The biggest cost is for Adelaide Oval to be opened 90 minutes earlier than usual, which last year was a combined cost to the leagues of nearly $13,000.

“That said I have yet to find a player, coach or official who does not get goosebumps at the opportunity to play at a major venue like the Adelaide Oval,” Mr Nash said.

Mr Ragenovich said he was proud to sponsor the team that represents all of Broken Hill.

“As a community we need to support each other and hopefully the Toyota sponsorship will help to give younger players the opportunity to play in a Miners Cup for many years to come.”

Justin Heath is the lone survivor of the team that first played in 2008. Heath has played in seven Miners Cups, but this will be his first on Adelaide Oval.

Coach David Ruddock was delighted that Heath made himself available this year as his form is still outstanding.

“Justin is the type of person who rises to the challenge of playing representative football and I am confident he will find and use the footy with his usual high standards,” said Ruddock.

Both Leagues this year agreed to allocate two positions to players aged under 18 years.

Broken Hill has selected Tyler McInnes and Tom Ragenovich from North BH. McInnes is the youngest brother of Central’s Jackson and West’s Rylie  McInnes and has been a revelation across half back in his first year of senior football.

“McInnes has exhilarating speed and wonderful evasive skills and used the ball well,” Ruddock said.

Ragenovich attended summer training camps with GWS and was all set for a big year until concussed early in Round 1.

“He has since returned playing mid week under 18s and senior footy with distinction,” Ruddock said.

“His game last Saturday on Cody Schorn, Broken Hill’s most dangerous forward, was excellent and he will give a good account of himself as a tall defender on Sunday.” 

Players in the Miners Cup will also be considered for selection in the SA Northern Zone team to play in the SA Country Championships in Port Lincoln in July.

Players from that carnival can earn selection in the SA Country team to play in WA later in the year.

The SA Country team then plays a match in March 2017 against a SA City Rep teams at Adelaide Oval.

Scott Brand will coach the Northern Zone team and he will be an interested spectator at the Miners Cup on Sunday. 

Community football is the grassroots of the game and the Miners Cup is something to be treasured for as long as we can possible keep it, said Mr Nash.

“Our local competition is excellent but the chance for the players from all clubs to join together to represent their city should never be undervalued,” he said.

“As a player you can learn so much from your peers and just being involved in rep training and the game itself will open your eyes to the level of professionalism our elite local players have.

“As Chairman, I love seeing our best players banding together to do their utmost for the City they live in.

“Whatever the result, I will be proud and thankful for their contribution on the day, whether as a player, coach, trainer or official.”

Radio 2BH will broadcast the game on Sunday and the BDT will also be covering it.

The cup gets underway at 1.25pm.

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