In the Sheds: Livingston emulates his father’s feat in kicking a ton for Kerang

LUKE Livingston was a full-back during his 46 games with Carlton. He also played at full-back with Port Melbourne for two years after the Blues had delisted him. But having returned this season to his home club, Kerang, the 26-year-old has found a new lease of life at full-forward. Livingston went into Saturday’s game against Central Murray league rival Lake Boga on 90 goals. At three-quarter-time he had another seven. Then he got the wobbles. “Oh, mate,” he said. “The ball was like a balloon.” After handballing off a couple of times early in the last quarter, he received some advice from the 150 or so hard-core Kerang fans who stand behind the goals in close proximity to the Can Bar. Most of them moved towards the fence to offer advice along the lines of, “Be more f…ing selfish”. “They stung me into action,” Livingston said.
LIVINGSTONG works in real estate advertising at The Age. He lives in Ascot Vale and trains with Essendon District league club Avondale Heights. Opponents from Lake Boga were not about to grant him any clemency because he drives at least 280 kilometres to play for his home club; about four opponents were stationed so as to try to stop him kicking his 10th goal and reaching his ton. Livingston twice missed with shots from 30 metres in the last quarter before finally taking a mark at the top of the goalsquare and achieving his milestone. “It was just good to get it out of the way,” he said. After the siren, Livingston discovered that he was only the second player after his father Bryan to kick 100 goals for Kerang. Bryan Livingston reached his ton by kicking 10 goals in the Northern and District league grand final in 1983.

FORMER Collingwood, Richmond and Western Bulldogs utility Aaron James, who now takes up most of the goalsquare with North Bendigo, last month became the first player in Victorian local footy to kick the ton. In the Sunraysia league, two players started Saturday’s round of matches with chances to go past the 100-goal mark. Michael Faulkhead of Red Cliffs was on 99 while Irymple’s Nick Coghlan was on 87. The unusual thing is that neither player is in a dominant team; Red Cliffs is fourth in the eight-team competition while Irymple is fifth. Faulkhead, 31, reached his ton with his first kick at home against South Mildura on Saturday, a left-foot snap from 20 metres. “It’s been a bit of a struggle,” he said of his battle to overcome an ankle injury in recent weeks.

COGHLAN is a 19-year-old whose dimensions are 176 centimetres and 76 kilograms. “His pace is unbelievable,” said Irymple president Trevor Heaft. Coghlan moved from his home town, Avica, to Mildura early this year to do an accounting course at the TAFE. In his first game with Irymple he played on a wing. At three-quarter time of the second game, he was moved to full-forward and kicked four goals. “I’ve been there ever since,” he said. At home against the winless Merbein on Saturday, Coghlan had 12 goals by early third quarter, at which point he lost momentum. “I got a bit shaky on 99,” he said. “I just wasn’t hitting them as sweet.” The teenager finally reached his ton after receiving a free-kick 20 metres out and then a 50-metre penalty that took him to the goalsquare. His final tally for the day was 17.10. No wonder he’s talking to West Adelaide about playing in the SANFL next season.

TRAVIS Ridgway of St Paul’s-East Bentleigh in Melbourne’s Southern league is another shorty, about 178 centimetres, who knows where the goals are. He started Saturday’s match against division-one rival Tooronga-Malvern on 94 goals. One of his best mates, Shane Leon, told him during the week that he’d do his best to stop him booting his 100th. As the three-quarter time siren sounded on Saturday, Ridgway lined up for his sixth of the match. No sooner had the ball sailed through the goals than the field umpire blew his whistle. The goal was declared void because Leon was shaking the life out of the posts. Supporters were unsure whether to laugh or rage as the Bulldogs headed into the huddle. Ridgway was perplexed himself.

HE MADE up for the hiccup by marking on the lead on the 45-metre arc early in the last quarter. After booting truly, with no teammates shaking the goalposts, Ridgway was mobbed by St Paul’s fans including his mother Debbie. Or he would have been congratulated by his mother if she’d been fast enough. Debbie Ridgway was halfway towards her son when an umpire stopped her and sent her from the field. “Debbie is a very good supporter of the club—and a strong supporter of Travis,” said St Paul’s secretary Ian Camfield.

RICKY Ramsdale of Southern league division-three club Doveton Eagles started his match against Cerberus on Saturday on 88 goals. His quest for a ton began to look overwrought when he ran past a teammate who was lining up for goal in the goalsquare—and he was unable to accept a handball because he had so many opponents on his hammer. Ramsdale eventually notched his 12th for the match and 100th for the season halfway through the last quarter — and went straight to the bench for a rest.

DAN Jordan, the full-forward with Ballarat league club East Point, kicked more than 100 goals in 2006 and ’07 but fell two short of the ton last year after missing the early part of the season for work reasons; his job with Australian Sports Tours had required him to take a tour group to the West Indies during the Test series. Jordan last month was again forced to miss footy games when he was required him to lead a tour party in England during the Ashes series. He and his teammate Chris Banwell, also a tour guide, had a kick of the footy wherever possible, including on the historic battlefield at Somme. But when he returned to training on Thursday night, after being away for five weeks and missing three games, Jordan struggled to regain touch. “I couldn’t catch a thing,” he said.

JORDAN was still rusty early in Saturday’s match at Bacchus Marsh. Then he took a speccy during the second quarter and everything fell into place. He said that, after five weeks of a Northern European summer, it was a delight to play footy in winter in Bacchus Marsh. “It was a cracker of a day,” he said. His 10 goals took him to 80 for the season, with two home-and-away games and finals to come.

Country
119 – Aaron James (Nth Bendigo, Heathcote District FL)
109 – Grant Ewing (Penshurst, Mininera and District FL)
107 – Grant Weeks (Colbinabbin, Heathcote District FL)
105 – Michael Faulkhead (Red Cliffs, Sunraysia FL)
104 – Nick Coghlan (Irymple, Sunraysia FL)
102 – Brendan Sessions (Tarrawingee, Ovens & King FL)
102 – Christian Kelly (Maldon, Maryborough Castlemaine District FL)
100 – Luke Livingston (Kerang, Central Murray FL)

Metro
109 – Kire Talevksi (Mooroolbark, Eastern FL, div. 3)
102 – Pat Davis (Parkside, Western Region FL, div. 2)
100 – Travis Ridgway (St Paul’s-East Bentleigh, Southern FL, div. 1)
100 – Ricky Ramsdale (Doveton Eagles, Southern FL, div. 3)

Comments

  1. Steve Healy says:

    Great writing Paul,

    Some of these players’ goal kicking abilities are incredible. I think Nick Coghlan should be looked at by an AFL club, at his young age. I immediately thought of Richmond when I read this, because of Irymple’s yellow and black jumper. He seems like a guy who could go to Richmond, because he is the same height as Robin Nahas, and his surname is like Mark Coughlan’s.

    Well done to Luke Livingston as well, 2 goals in five seasons in the AFL and 100 in one for Kerang.

  2. Steve,

    Two goals in five seasons! Luke Livingston seems a really nice bloke in my limited dealings with him. I hope he kicks goals with Kerang for years to come.

    I understand you thinking that Irymple are yellow and black if you saw the back of The Age sports section today. Unfortunately the caption was wrong. (This is the bane of a reporter’s life.)

    The main pic is of Nick Coghlan; Irymple wear blue and gold. Michael Faulkhead is in the second pic; Red Cliffs wear Richmond guernseys.

    Why a club called Red Cliffs do not wear red is beyond me.

  3. Pamela Sherpa says:

    There’s no messing about when it comes to footy at Kerang .They’re hard core that’s for sure and no doubt on a mission to make up for last years grand Final loss. Interesting point re Luke Livingstone and goalkicking Steve.

  4. Daff,
    Do Country Leagues include finals in the goal tallies?

  5. pauldaffey says:

    No, they don’t. Official versions of league goalkicking tables always end after the home-and-away rounds.

    I once noted that Gavin Exell won the Kyabram and District league goalkicking award by kicking 124 goals for Stanhope and received a stern rebuke from a league official. He won the award with 104 goals. Those extra 20 were kicked in two finals.

    I saw the grand final. It was 2000: Stanhope v Nagambie. Exell kicked 11.1 at 39 years of age. He was the most metronomic shot for goal I’ve seen – a beautiful, fluid, left-foot action, swinging straight through. The ball never deviated.

    Anyway, in answer to your question, officials tallies end before the finals but your average fan takes finals into consideration.

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