Middlemount retain Allen Johnson Shield

GRAHAM 'STORKY' CAMPBELL

The Allen Johnson Memorial Shield was played in Middlemount on Saturday in front of a good home crowd.

Both teams started with vigour and wanted to get the first points on the board.

Springsure’s Andrew Travers and Nick Hafey ran the ball to the opposition and Ray Ebsworth at halfback was involved in everything.

He gave good direction for the team and five-eight Brendon O’Neill had a good kicking game, but Middlemount attacked better through Hone Te Paa and Jacob Cobbin and second rower Will Davidson never stopped taking the ball to the line.

Middlemount hooker Jason Randell took it to the Mountain Men line from dummy half and scored a try after 11 minutes.

Springsure hit back after 15 minutes with Ray Ebsworth on the end of the back line to score out wide, making the score 6-4 in favour of the home side.

The ‘Joel Duffy and Ryan Hansell Show’ were dominant in the first half with many raids and their kicking game was spot on.

Hansell picked up a loose carry and sprinted 50 metres before offloading to Jamie Sullivan for him to score for the Panthers.

The mistakes were creeping in for the Mountain Men and the Panthers were taking advantage of that.

The Panthers went in again after Hansell chip-kicked for Sullivan to gather and offload back to Hansell to score.

Michael Baker was having a safe game at fullback for the Panthers and chimed in on the end of a back line to score before halftime and give his team a 20-4 lead at halftime.

Emerald Star Hotel player of the match Jamie Sullivan controlled his side of the field which included danger Mountain Man Charlie Mayne who could not make any ground on the Panthers.

Centre Matthew Heidecker was having a good game on his side of the field and lock Troy Rogers was everywhere in attack and defence for the Panthers.

Could the Mountain Men come back?

The second stanza started with the Mountain Men scoring after Tom Kelbassa scooped up a chip kick and passed to Zane Gallagher to score.

The Panthers retaliated, scoring through a barging run by Jacob Cobbin. The score was 24-8 to the home side.

The Mountain Men regrouped and Ash Travers, who was having a good game, took a hit up and barged over for a try but it wasn’t enough.

The game was all but over and Jamie Sullivan capped off a good game to register his second try for the game which left the scoreboard reading 30-14 at fulltime.

The Allen Johnson Shield was presented to Middlemount following the dominant display.

Credit to both teams for a cracking game of footy played in good spirits to honour a mate who gave his all for both clubs over his time in the Central Highlands.

RIP Johnno.




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