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Hot Lightning Cup

Saturday, 25th March, 2017

New Magpies captain Matt Sullivan will lead his side for the first time today in the Lightning Cup. PICTURE: Tyler Hannigan New Magpies captain Matt Sullivan will lead his side for the first time today in the Lightning Cup. PICTURE: Tyler Hannigan

By Tyler Hannigan

Football is back! Today the four clubs take part in the annual Broken Hill Community Credit Union Lightning Cup at the Jubilee Oval.

Clubs will use today’s games as their final warm up before the season proper starts next weekend.

This year’s format differs from previous years in that it will be a straight knockout competition between the teams in both women’s and men’s.

The women kick things off at 9am with South taking on North before West play Central at 9.45am.

The losers of the first two games will then play off immediately while the winners will play in the final at 11.15am. 

They’ll play 15 minute halves with a five-minute break and have the advantage of playing in the morning on what will be a very warm day.

Central and North will get the men’s side started at 12.15pm with South versus West to take place at 1.20pm. Just like the women’s format, the losers of the opening games will then play off and then the winners clash in the grand final at 3.30pm.

Given the expected temperature, the men’s games have been reduced to 20 minute halves with a 10 minute break in which teams can use the change rooms.

The League have also purchased two large mist fans that will be set up near the interchange benches and teams will be permitted to play 25 players (18 on field, seven interchange).

This format sees all teams play two games whilst also allowing them to play for a prize which should raise the intensity levels, giving teams the best preparation for the upcoming season.

Supporters will get their first real look at some of the new recruits and it will also be the first hit out for the new coaches, three of which are coaching at the top level in Broken Hill for the first time.

David Bearman at Central, Chris Jones at North and Phil Bell at the Robins join South’s Craig Thomas who had a year out of the job last season. 

While the weather will be warm, today is sure to attract a decent number of spectators if the crowd at the West v South trial game is anything to go by.

Admission will be $10 for adults, $6 for concession and children under the age of 17 free. 

With double headers now gone from the draw, this is the only chance for spectators to see all teams playing at the one ground on the same day and while the players are sure to be a little rusty and the teams not quite at full strength, it still promises to be a nice appetiser to the season’s main course. 

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