It was a huge day at John Foord Oval when the Roos played host to Myrtleford with one of the largest crowds of the season.
The day combined competitive football and netball across all grades with the High Tea Fundraiser for the McGrath Foundation taking centre stage.
The rooms were dressed up to impress and packed to the rafters with 160 ladies attending the High Tea who enjoyed some bubbly and plenty of chit chat.
Myrtleford players and supporters were praised by club president Graham ‘Kiwi’ Hosier for their strong showing at the post-game presentations and fundraiser.
He later shaved off his mo’ for the first time in 34 years in support of the fundraiser which raised more than $6,500 on the day.
A huge thankyou goes out to everyone for their generosity.
The night didn’t end there with popular Melbourne DJ Skye Burgess entertaining the throng until the wee hours of the morning.
The seniors continued with their emphasis on player development bringing into the team two more thirds players for their debut.
Tyler Spencer and Nash Kusen have been in tremendous form throughout the year and fully deserved their opportunity.
But with only three players over the age of twenty-one, including Matt Mahon who received a heavy knock and left the game quite early in the piece, it was going to be a huge challenge against the finals bound Saints.
Two promising young talls in Jack Bates and Will Robinson were also missing from action and also worthy of note, both Nash Kusen and Matt Wilson had already played a full game with the thirds.
Bill Hansen was on fire early with a clever snap for goal, followed up shortly after with his well measured second through a clever pass from Joel Barkley.
Unfortunately the Saints piled on the next four goals and all the early good work had been undone in the blink of an eye.
A goal apiece early in the second quarter but costly turnovers, especially when not under pressure, started to hurt as the Saints eased out to a thirty point lead at half time.
Coach Terry Burgess made a number of changes at the main break moving Kade Kuschert up the field and Hansen into defence.
Players such as Nash Kusen, Sam Harvey, Brett Goyne and Fletcher Stewart that were down in the first half, started to rally and the Roos dominated attacking forays early in the third capped off by a Hayden Filliponi goal.
A strong grab in the goal square by Tyson Logie in the last, and a fine shot by Brady Johnson, were not enough for the Roos to reduce the half time margin.
Strong performances in defence by Jy Lane (Club 1) and Jordan Lavis (Club 2) for the second week running demonstrates their coming of age at senior level.
Lee Schmidt (Club 3) committed himself for the entire four quarters while Hayden Filliponi and Jay O’Donoghue got more than their fair share of the footy in the midfield.
Attention now moves on to next season and there is no question that every player is a wanted player.
The club has a great group of talented young players, but history tells us that a few will move on due to alternative life-changing opportunities such as work commitments or university studies.
The club wishes them all well in their endeavors and hope they return to the Roos in the years to come.
In the meantime, the recruiting team is working flat out behind the scenes to add depth to the list in all grades, with the focus on young local talent.
The club will also be strengthened next year with the younger players having senior experience under their belts and the return of players from long-term injuries including vice captains Joe Hansen and Jimmy Svarc who were sadly missed.
Corowa Rutherglen 6.5.41 def by Myrtleford 11.12.78.
Goals: B Hansen (2), T Logie, L Schmidt, H Filliponi, B Johnson (1).
Awards: J Lane (Club 1), J Lavis (Club 2), L Schmidt (Club 3), H Filliponi (Brunch and Lunch), J O’Donoghue (Chocolate Factory), K Kuschert (Newmarket Hotel).
The Roos welcomed back a number of players with the evergreen Cade Mills, Josh Oster and Sam Keating the most notable.
The Roos won plenty of the ball in the first quarter but were a little wasteful with the ball when going forward.
The backline held strong however, restricting the Saints to just ten points at the first break.
Rob Carnovale, who had been really busy, posted the first of the home team’s two goals in the second quarter, but with showers pending and a goal on the siren for the Saints, it was going to be tough for the Roos to claw their way back from a twenty-eight point deficit at the main break.
Goals to Cade Mills and Brock Kusen in the third gave the boys a sniff, but the men from the mountains refused to go away with the victory putting themselves above the Roos at the tail end of the ladder.
Legendary Matt Witherden, Trey Barlow and Josh Oster were standouts with Matt Clohessy, Beau Damm, Pete Whyte and Lincoln Ash providing strong support.
Although it has been a really tough year for this group, they have faced the challenge week after week and created a mutual respect for each other and genuine bond for all to see.
Corowa Rutherglen 5.0.30 def by Myrtleford 12.10.82.
Goals: B Kusen, R Carnovale, C Mills, R Clohessy, M Witherden (1).
Awards: M Witherden (Club 1), J Fountain (Club 2), T Barlow (Club 3), B Kusen (Hotel Australia), S Keating (Newmarket Hotel), R Carnovale (Chocolate Factory).
The rooms erupted with the club song at the close of the thirds game as the boys celebrated a gutsy and well-deserved victory to close their season.
The win took on greater significance when you consider that yet another of their top-end talent in Tyler Spencer had been elevated to the seniors and Matt Wilson and Nash Kusen were to double up in the seniors on the same day.
Matt and Nash didn’t hold back in their endeavors however, as they gave their all for their team mates.
The Roos hit the ball hard and tackled like there was no tomorrow to open up a convincing twelve point lead at half time, despite being challenged on a number of occasions by a determined Saints outfit.
The game tightened up in the third quarter after a high scoring first half, and with goals at a premium, majors to Jy Goyne, Mitch Oneill and Will Chandler gave the Roos an unassailable lead at the last change.
The Roos went into game saving mode in the final quarter, and although they didn’t goal themselves, they restricted the Saints to a losing score.
Although they didn’t feature in the awards, Will Chandler’s three goals were invaluable and the sheer determination of ball magnet Jed Griffen had a major influence on the result.
Kane Mills and Dylan Cornell were outstanding once again while Harley Ralph put in his best performance of the year, dominating the midfield.
But it was the defensive game of Tom Black that stole everyone’s hearts with his determined attack on the ball.
Tom has had a tough year restricting his availability, so for him to finish off the season on a high was a delight.
There were many good players on the day in a great team effort and it was a tough choice to sort out the award winners.
Everyone should be proud of their efforts, not just for the win, but for sticking together throughout the season.
One can only imagine how far this team could have gone with their best twenty-one players available on a regular basis.
Corowa Rutherglen 10.8.68 def Myrtleford 7.7.49.
Goals: W Chandler (3), J Goyne (2), K Bradtke, D Cornell, M Wilson, M Oneill, N Kershaw (1).
Awards: K Mills (Border Natural Therapies), N Kusen (Origin Clothing), T Black (Stewart’s Automotive), W Maclean (Ricky D’s), D Cornell (Guy Street Store), H Ralph (Ladies Committee), J Holmes (Sportspower).
An evening not to miss will be the counting of the votes and Presentation Night, for both netball and football, which will be held at the clubrooms on the evening of Friday, September 16.
An opportunity for everyone to dress to impress and celebrate the unity of this great community club.
Artie Warhurst and Gary Cook were presented with this week’s Kinross Woolshed Volunteers’ Award.
Artie has been a stalwart of the club for many years and continues to help out in the timekeeper’s box.
Gary returned to the club to assist the trainers this year, a role that he has experienced in years gone by.
On a final note, a huge thankyou to all sponsors, committee, members, supporters and of course players who have stuck with the club through thick and thin in what has been a very challenging 2016 season.
Bring on 2017.