By Peter Booth


FINAL SCORE – VERMONT 15-16-106 def BLACKBURN 13-10-88




I don’t think I have seen a game with so many desperate smothers and spoils as this one – heaven knows how many goals they saved. There were so many cameos for Vermont. Greig’s 4 goal return – McCarthy’s magnificent spoiling especially in the last quarter – defiant defence by our backline when all looked lost early in the last term and McLure’s fighting strength in the last 5 minutes at the centre bounce. Greig and Henderson came in for McKernan and Griffiths and Bardon was playing his 100th game.  The wind blew from the north-west one minute then swung around to the east the next – both teams scored at both ends.

We had the breeze in the 1st quarter as Froud kicked our first goal after a defensive mistake. After 4 behinds Greig goaled via Henley, Ross and McCarthy. Blackburn kiced one into the wind which was priceless. When Stephen goaled we had kicked 3-8 then Papillo goaled to give us a 25 point lead at ¼ time – probably not enough. Robbie Ross had a terrific quarter. At ¼ time we led 4-8 to 1-1.

Blackburn kicked the first 2 goals of the 2nd term mainly through our poor decision making. Mendes and Mullet were getting plenty of the ball as Greig goaled via Papillo. Blackburn slammed on 3 goals in 5 minutes as scores drew level. We steadied and had a very good 8 minutes before half time - stemming the tide and picking up a late goal by Greig via Johnson. At ½ time we led 6-9 to 6-3. Better players for the half were Ross, Henley, Nummy, Mullett, Mendes and Papillo.


We had to produce a strong 3rd quarter at the scoring end. Mullett goaled within 30 seconds but again Blackburn replied upwind. Froud snapped a goal in mid air as we led by 20 points. Blackburn again looked dangerous as they moved the ball well into the wind – then came some match winning magic by our defenders – McCarthy’s smother saved a certain goal – I missed who smothered the next one but it was a goal saver. Stephen goaled via Mendes then Fyfe saved a certain goal with a wonderful smother. When Henley goaled via Stephen we led by 32 points which was probably a goal or two short with the Burners having last use of the wind. Things looked grim as Blackburn goaled then McCarthy again saved a forward thrust with a magnificent spoil. At 3/ 4 time we led by 26 points 11-15 to 8-7.

We got off to the worst possible start in the final quarter when Blackburn kicked 3 goals in 7 minutes and looked as if they would run all over us. Then came the Vermont resolve – Henley goaled via Cotchett – Stephen who had a terrific last quarte goaled via Cullen and Henley – Froud goaled via Nummy and when Cotchett goaled via Froud all of a sudden we were 30 points infront. Our backline was fantastic despite 2 belated goals by Blackburn. McCarthy figured in 2 fantastic spoils. A mighty win by 18 points and another grand final appearance. Better players for the half were – Mullett, McCarthy, Fyfe, Nummy, Stephen, Ross and Henley.


Goalkickers – Greig 4, Froud 3, Stephen 3, Henley 2  and singles to Cotchett, Mullett and Papillo.

Best Players – Mullett, Stephen, Ross. McCarthy, Fyfe, Nummy, Henley, Bardon and Mendes.

Posssessions – Fyfe 23, Stephen 22, Mullett and Bardon 20, Mendes 19, Nummy 18 and Ross 17.

1% - Mendes 15, McCarthy 14, Fyfe and Morse 9 with Stephen and Papillo 8 each.

Coach’s Comments – David Banfield praised the team effort for the week with the staff and reserves players who trained and today took stats. Thank you very much and cherish the moment.


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