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Thursday, 14 September, 2017 Page 47
Extraordinary win to ’Rays By Nick Creely TAC CUP REVIEW - ELIMINATION FINAL On famous Victoria Park, a ground that is iconic in the landscape of Australian Rules football, the Dandenong Stingrays pulled off a comeback for the ages on Saturday afternoon to advance through to a preliminary final next week. Against arch rivals Eastern Ranges, the ‘Rays came from the clouds to clinch a famous 13-point victory after being down by as much as 51-points early in the third quarter. In a truly forgettable first half, in which the ‘Rays were made to look second rate, the Ranges punished their highly fancied opponents with potency in attack, destroying them on the outside to almost put the contest to bed. Star midfielder Hunter Clark didn’t mince words when describing his side’s first half, but said in the rooms during the long break there was a steely resolve about the group. “Heading into half time we were a bit down because we knew we were playing some pretty weak footy and not playing for each other, but the coaches and the players were full of encouragement and belief for one another,” he said. The comeback show began with the brilliance of Luke Davies-Uniacke, who roved a contest 35 out from goal, before steadying to kick a team-lifting goal. Davies-Uniacke - combined with Clark and Mitch Cotter in the guts lifted their rating, and Bailey Williams in the ruck started to win some crucial contests against Sam Hayes as the
Jai Nanscawen booted two clutch goals late for the 'Rays on Saturday. 168489
Picture: STEWART CHAMBERS
With the game on the line, the last half of stars such as Davies-Uniacke and Darcy were inspirational - Clark certainly agreed. “Lukey was huge all day and just kept playing for his team-mates and showed everyone why he is one of the best players in the country with his dominant game today. “Darc was also huge using his physical pressure and being a real presence and leader in the forward line for the younger boys down there and got his reward that he deserved. “They were both awesome for us.” The Stingrays were also well served by Oscar Clavarino, Josh Bateman and over-age pair Bailey Morrish and Mason De Wit.
TAC CUP game shifted in momentum. Despite dominating the territorial battle in the third term - kicking five goals to just one - the ‘Rays still needed to chase down a 23-point deficit in the final quarter. Davies-Uniacke once again got the ball rolling in the opening minute of the final term, chopping off a scrambled kick out of defence to set up a clever soccer goal from Jai Nanscawen in the square, and suddenly the margin was slashed to just 17-points. A relatively simple miss to Ranges youngster Jamieson Rossiter directly in front, only 15 seconds later, opened the door once again, and the ‘Rays
made them pay with another Nanscawen snap only five minutes later as a result of some fanatical forward line pressure. The ‘Rays didn’t stop there, with Jamie Plumridge eventually putting his side in front after some sublime evasion work from Davies-Uniacke in the pocket to set the goal up. And with powerful forward Riley D’Arcy (three goals) - who turned heads the most with a brilliant second half in the forward line - looking ominous in attack and with the midfield well and truly on top of the game, the ‘Rays kicked another two goals to ice an extraordinary victory that will go
down in folklore at Shepley Oval. Clark - who was once again outstanding through the midfield - said the turnaround came down to the simple things in what was a huge momentum builder coming into the prelim. “Not too much changed structurally (but) a few players were moved around but we just knew we needed to play as a team more and keep to our structure to give ourselves a chance going into the last,” he said. “It’s huge for our confidence because we rated Eastern as one of the top teams all year and to come back from 50 odd points just gives us belief against anyone.”
DANDENONG STINGRAYS 1.0 2.1 7.5 14.7(91) EASTERN RANGES 4.4 9.9 10.10 11.12(78) DANDENONG STINGRAYS GOALS: R. D’Arcy 3, W. Hamill 2, J. Nanscawen 2, A. Bonar, F. Bayne, B. Williams, C. Hustwaite, L. DaviesUniacke, J. Plumridge, R. Bowman. BEST: L. Davies-Uniacke, O. Clavarino, H. Clark, J. Davies, J. Bateman, R. Bowman. EASTERN RANGES GOALS: J. Ross 2, J. Rouget 2, T. Mynott 2, T. Brown, J. Garner, M. Doreian, J. Stephenson, C. Hirst. BEST: J. Stephenson, M. Doreian, D. Moore, J. Garner, J. Lynch, T. Brown.
Premiership to Southern Supers
Cranbourne’s Southern Supers premiership team of 2017. 172648 Pictures: ROB CAREW
Ben Disney looks to drive the ball forward on Sunday. 172648
McIntyre was best afield, while a pair of goals to Adam Biszko and John Frenken helped spur the Eagles to a monumental victory. Earlier on in the day, the Eagles also claimed the premiership in the Southern Reserves, outlasting the Dingley Dingoes by 32-points on a frosty morning, 9.13(67) to 5.5(35). Off the back of a five-goal masterclass from Brad McDon-
Shannon Deszcz celebrates one of his four goals on grand final day. 172648 ald and also a two-goal haul to Les Wooderson, the Eagles were never troubled by the Dingoes. Similar to the Southern Supers, the Eagles managed to achieve an undefeated season.
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QUIZ NUMBER 1575 1. WHAT five football codes have been played on Sydney’s Telstra (Olympic) Stadium? 2. WHO was the first Tasmanian to play 100 cricket Tests? 3. AT what time of year is the rich sprint race known as the Stawell Gift held? 4. WHICH popular Australian sport was devised to keep cricketers fit during the winter months? 5. HOW many individual gold medals did US sprinter Florence Griffith Joyner win at the 1988 Seoul Olympics? 6. WHAT unusual form of accommodation was used to house athletes at the 1948 London Olympics? 7. WHICH two record-breaking cricketers retired during the 2007 World Cup? 8. WHAT is Australia’s oldest horse racing classic? 9. WHO beat Pat Cash in the final of the 1986 Australian Open tennis championship? 10. WHICH team sport uses the largest field area? 11. WHICH famous Australian race finishes at Sydney’s Bondi Beach? 12. Who has scored the most ducks for Australia in Test cricket? 13. WHICH team won its second successive English premier league soccer title in 1993-4? 14. WHICH event was contested by women for the first time at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics? 15. WHAT sport is contested in a velodrome? 16. WHICH Australian woman dominated world ten-pin bowling in the 1980s? 17. HOW many points is the blue ball worth in snooker? 18. WHICH former world heavyweight boxing champion fought in Australia in 1975? 19. WHICH West Australian bowler took all 10 wickets in an innings in a Sheffield Shield cricket match in 1966-7? 20. WHAT sort of event is the Tour de France? ANSWERS: 1. Rugby league, rugby union, AFL, soccer and American football 2. David Boon 3. Easter 4. Australian Rules football 5. Two 6. Army barracks 7. Glenn McGrath and Brian Lara 8. The AJC St Leger 9. Stefan Edberg 10. Polo 11. The City to Surf Fun Run 12. Glenn McGrath 13. Manchester United 14. The marathon 15. Cycling 16. Jeanette Baker 17. Five 18. Joe Frazier 19. Ian Brayshaw 20. A cycling race
Cranbourne Football Club’s seniors may not have gone backto-back in 2017, but the Eagles brought home two pieces of silverware to ease the pain in Sunday’s Vic Metro Superules grand finals. With the Eagles going down to a brilliant Narre Warren lineup by 48-points the previous day in the SEFNL preliminary final, the pressure was on the old fellas to finish the season off on a high. Cranbourne’s Southern Supers met Mordialloc at Casey Fields on Sunday, looking to claim the flag with a rare, undefeated season after getting through the home-and-away season and first final flawless. Conversion was the key early for the Bloods, with the Eagles making the most of their chances in front of goal, and despite having equal the amount of scoring shots, was able to surge to a 10-point lead that couldn’t be surpassed. With star forward Shannon Deszcz (four goals) winding back the clock, the Eagles toyed with the Bloods, extending the margin at every change to claim an in the end cruisy victory, 12.15(87) to 3.8(26). The last quarter was particularly stellar - with a 35-point lead heading into the final change, the Eagles made sure there were no late scares, keeping the opposition scoreless while piling on an impressive but wayward 3.8 Apart from Deszcz, Adrian
By Nick Creely