Sunbury Kangaroos Seniors - Premiers 2012

Chris Yeend

The Sunbury Kangaroos have created history in dramatic fashion with their first-ever senior premiership, defeating Romsey at Lancefield Park on Sunday. The Roos won by three points after co-coach Chris Meacham had a shot at goal that sailed through as the siren sounded. Drama unfolded after the game with supporters of both sides remonstrating with each other on the back of a questionable free kick awarded to Meacham just before the siren sounded. The Sunbury Kangaroos celebrated among the chaos of supporters, which dampened what should have been a memorable moment for the RDFL for all the right reasons. Romsey was in front all day and looked to have its second successive premiership in the bag when Mitch Farmer kicked his second goal at the six-minute mark on the run to extend the lead to 25 points. The Roos needed to be daring and they were with the remaining five goals of the game. The last three came from two free kicks and a 50-metre penalty in the final three minutes of the game, which also featured Romsey full-back Warren Kairns stretchered off the ground with a leg injury to add to the drama. 
Security was called onto the ground after spectators were caught up in the emotion of a drama-filled finish but that didn't stop the Sunbury Kangaroos celebrating an incredible moment in their history. Sunbury ruckman and 40-year-old Jamie Cuffe was awarded the Doug McIntyre award for best on ground.
The hero of the day was Meacham who kicked a goal with his final kick in senior football. He will coach the team from the sidelines next year and will do so as the reigning premiership coach. 
"I don't honestly remember the kick," Meacham said, "I've been caught up in the emotion of it all and there is nothing else that can compare to this moment."
While Meacham, co-coach Jamie Cuffe, and the rest of the team were overjoyed by the occasion, it was club president Alan Waters who celebrated the most. 
"This is just the best feeling in the world," an ecstatic Waters said.
The club has turned around its fortunes to work to a high standard on and off the field. Just 12 months earlier, Waters was a devastated president of a club that lost five grand finals across football and netball, now he can celebrate as a premiership president.
Romsey led from the opening 15 seconds when captain Steve Burlak missed a shot on the run from close range. The Redbacks intercepted a Roos clearance the ball landed in the hands of champion forward Matt Davidson who kicked a left-foot dribbling goal from close range to have his team lead by seven points less than a minute into the contest. They were awesome across the ground and kept up forward pressure. Nathan Davidson, Ash McNaughton and Mitch Brewer dominated in the middle and kept the delivery frequent to Burlak and Davidson up forward. RDFL full-back of the year Dan Gregory had his work cut out for him at times but he remained strong in his contests with Davidson and keep the forward honest. Phil Kaufmann has been known as Mr September of late and kicked the Roos' only goal of the term at the six-minute mark. The Redbacks led by 18 points.
The Redbacks dominated general play. Goals were still hard to come by and Sunbury's Jason King broke the deadlock with a great goal at the 11-minute mark after being awarded a 50-metre penalty to reduce the margin to 11 points. Chris Petroro kicked into gear and display such blitzing pace when carrying the Burley. He and Matt Davidson kicked goals from 50-metre penalties at the 14 and 16-minute mark to extend the margin before Jared Pretty kicked a pair of goals either side of time on. His opposite number one from Romsey, Cam Dawson had the last laugh with a goal after the half-time siren. The Redbacks led by 18 points.
Neither side could move an inch in this genuine arm-wrestle. Jamie and Tierone Cuffe worked tirelessly for the Roos while Brad Mitchell and McNaughton lifted for the Redbacks. The Roos were wasteful in front of the big sticks and were reduced to 3.5 for the term as opposed to Romsey's 4.1 and could have easily been ahead. The Redbacks led by 19 points.
Romsey's only goal of the term came through Mitch Farmer, before another Mitch, in the form of Streiff for Sunbury, kicked his first goal a minute later and the Roos had the momentum. The Margin was still 16 points heading into the 18-minute mark before Pretty kicked his fourth and the Redbacks' running game forced a handful of costly turnovers that kept Sunbury in the contest. The Roos won the contest with the last four goals coming in nine minutes that included a 90-second break with Kairns stretchered off the ground.
Sunbury Kangaroos 1.3, 4.6, 7.12, 12.14 (86) defeated Romsey 4.3, 7.6, 11.7, 12.11 (83)
Goals: (Sunbury Kangaroos) J Pretty 4, C Meacham 3, M Streiff 2, K Murphy, J Cuffe, R Hatty 1. (Romsey) M Davidson 3, M Farmer 2, N Davidson, S Burlak, J Mills, C Petroro, M Brewer, B Mitchell, C Dawson 1.
Best: (Sunbury Kangaroos) J Cuffe, T Cuffe, D Gregory, L Fishenden, J Pretty, J Ploog. (Romsey) P Romeril, N Blair, B Henderson, M Brewer, A McNaughton.

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