Almanac Local Footy – MCUE v GGGM: Grassroots footy at its best!

Riverina Football Netball League
Mangoplah Cookardinia United Eastlakes v Ganmain Grong Grong Matong (MCUE v GGGM)
Mangoplah Recreation Reserve
Saturday 27th July 2019


With 68 premierships between them, the Mangoplah Cookardinia United Eastlakes and Ganmain Grong Grong Matong collectives know a thing or two about footy. As football ‘combines’ go, they are arguably the best of the best, certainly in Riverina circles anyway. Everyone who follows country footy has heard of these two great amalgamated football clubs, not to forget – mouthfuls to say!




The peaceful pastoral backdrop to the Mangoplah Recreation Reserve


At the Mangoplah home ground on Saturday 27th July, the teams met to test one another again before a probable Elimination Final meeting in a month’s time. For Mango it was also a mission of redemption after being demolished by GGGM in Round 5. GGGM (the Lions) stood fourth on the ladder, just a game and percentage above MCUE (the Goannas) after 12 rounds of matches. In the ‘two’s’, it was MCUE strongly favoured to consolidate their position in the top five against GGGM, currently in second last spot on the ladder.


Meanwhile, five games of netball were scheduled on the blue courts adjacent to the footy ground.






As we rolled into the ground, only two or three car spaces remained around the boundary fence, so the plan was to quickly grab one of those prime spots and then head to the canteen for a hot pie. The beer would have to wait until after the seniors game kicked off. The curtain raiser was evenly contested for three quarters before the Goannas pulled away in the final term to win by 18 points.


Positioned out of sight of the electronic scoreboard, we decided to amble across the ground during the break and watch from the pavilion for a while. There a welcome fire was warming the faithful spectators while inadvertently smoking the surroundings.






At 2.10 sharp the main game got underway. Immediately, the skills and fitness of the players shone out as the ball shot from one end of the ground to the other. A fast, open and strongly contested game of footy unfolded.






The Goannas had the measure of the Lions all afternoon but did not quite put the visitors away and, at the mid-way point of the third quarter, the boys from the canola country had narrowed the gap to just over a straight kick.






Coach Jeremy Rowe’s instructive and inspirational three-quarter time address uncorked a champagne final 30 minutes for the Goannas when they added eight goals to register a 52 point victory. Teenage forward George Kendall, wearing the number 23 jumper, starred for MCUE booting 7.1 which for him was a welcome return to goal kicking form after kicking 1.8 the week before. Doug Wade, Dermott Brereton and other ‘number 23 men’ would have been impressed with Kendall’s agility, marking and straight shooting.




Umpires limber-up and ponder their tasks before the start of the second half


The men in lime green gave a welcome demonstration of umpiring highlighted by sensible adjudication in allowing the game to flow while maintaining control over the contest. Their counterparts in the metropolitan games could learn a few valuable lessons from the display put on by the three Riverina umpires.



MCUE              2.3 (15)           5.7 (35)           8.8 (56)           16.11 (107)
GGGM             0.2 (2)             2.5 (17)           5.7 (37)              8.7 (55)

Major Goal kickers:

MCUE              G. Kendall 7, E. Winter 2
GGGM             M. Hamblin 3, J. Walsh 2

Best players:

MCUE              G. Kendall, D. Bunyan, L. Kendall , P. Griffin, N. McCormack, T. Cohalan
GGGM             J. Olsson, A. Proctor, M. Hamblin, J. McCaig, S. Proctor, D. Foley


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  1. Thoroughly enjoyed this, Peter. The countryside looks in fair nick – is it as good as it looks here?

    Just one thing – who won the netball?

  2. Ian, the country south of Wagga is looking quite green.It is another story the further north you go.
    In the netball MCUE won three grades (A,B,C) with GGGM winning the A Reserve grade.

  3. Mark Duffett says

    The boundary ump’s technique looks pretty sound – but it’s a good thing his colleagues look to have had a quiet word at half time to tuck his shirt in.

  4. DAN hoban says

    Definitely two of the most well-known clubs in the Riverina.
    N McCormack , in picture , is the son of the Deputy PM.

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