Bush Premiership: One Step Closer

It’s only taken me 29 years but I’ve finally played in my first winning footy final.  Last Saturday on a pretty warm day at Jervois the Imperial reserves toughed it out and prevailed in a game where we had everything thrown at us by a big, strong, mean outfit.

Pre game nerves were at an all time high.  The last time I suited up in a final was for Crib Point back in 2004.  I was also worried cos my bloody right hammy has been pretty tight for the last few weeks.  I had two massages during the week and it was still giving me grief.  Lucky it was on my non-kicking leg.  Yep I’m one of those ‘graceful’ left footers.

There’s something different about finals footy.  The weather always turns it on, the crowds are bigger and there’s something in the air- not the steak sandwiches- it’s something else that makes it different.  You can’t beat it and I was about to experience it again.

The day didn’t get off to the best of starts.  After making the 20km drive down to Jervois, I remembered I had a case of wine back there which was to be delivered to a work colleague.  Security guards popped the boot and confiscated it.  I tried to explain that under no circumstances I was going to be drinking red wine out of the bottle on a 22 degree day in the sun when I had to play footy but my protests fell on deaf ears.  I could come back and collect it at 3pm.

We got ready and warmed up and I actually felt pretty good.  I could feel the hammy but had loosened it up heaps and I was ready to play.  Firstquarter was an arm wrestle went into the opening break 1.4 to 1.2 in front.  The only goal Jervois kicked was from a fluffed kick in.  Signs were good and we had the better of them just but it wasn’t translating on the scoreboard.  We jumped out to a 4 goal lead with some early 2nd quarter goals but were pegged back to a 2 goal half time lead after Jervois finished the half a bit stronger.

Throughout the first half we had lost our bench.  One bloke was down with concussion, another twinged a hammy and another did his ankle.  At half time we were 14 points up without a bench playing a side on their home ground who had really hit us hard.  To win this game was going to be difficult.

If there’s one thing to love about the Imperial ressies is they’re a tough resilient bunch.  Despite the lack of a bench we powered away kicking 7 goals to 2 in the 2nd half and finished all over them.  12.14 (86) to 5.5 (35), victors by 51 points.  The win was my first winning final as a footballer as we kept our double chance intact for a 2nd semi showdown against Meningie.  To overrun a side in the sun without a bench to rotate in a final against a side on their home turf has to go down as a memorable victory.

The game wasn’t without its downsides, two of our blokes spent the night in hospital with concussion (I wasn’t kidding when I said they hit us hard) and the injuries, whilst not season ending might be one weekers.  We’ll find out this week if they come up.  All of them are required players.

I played a pretty solid game without being spectacular, used it reasonably well aside from one suicide pass to a team-mate I got away with.  Rucking against 3 opponents isn’t easy but at a guess I’d say I shaded them with a 55/45 ruck split.  The hammy held up but it’s still sore, ice bath after the game, absolutely no alcohol Saturday night, a walk in the Murray River Sunday morning and copious amounts of stretching andlimbering up saw it pull up OK.

After the game I managed to salvage the case of wine, left unattended with hoards of other confiscated alcohol, and smuggled it into the boot of my car and in further good news the seniors got the job done against Mannum as well in what was a close hard fought contest all day.  They kept their cool, stuck to the task and delivered a win.  12.10 (82) to 8.8 (56).

This Saturday sees our Under 15s, Under 17s, Reserves and Seniors all suit up for the 2nd semi final this week.  It’ll be a big day for the club. Apparently my old man is driving all the way over to come and have a look so I better look after myself, keep looking after that hammy and put ina blinder for him this week and hopefully secure that spot in the GF.



  1. Congrats Jared. Seems like all the good guys won on the weekend – Eagles, Bloods and Imperials. I was certainly one of hundreds of Almanackers who sent you a little ‘wind beneath your wings’ on Saturday morning. Keep it going.

  2. Pamela Sherpa says

    Well done Jared and good luck next week.

  3. Matt Zurbo says

    Good stuff! Top work, Jared. I was in my 28th year of senior footy before I won my first flag. Really hope you have the same luck! It CAN be done! Barracking for you.
    Hey, is that the Maningie Yabbies?

  4. Jared Newton says

    Meningie are the Bears and they have the old Brisbane Bears uniform. Not sure, they may have been the Yabbies back in the day.

  5. John Butler says

    PB, you obviously haven’t heard about the Almanac’s ‘no Bette Midler’ policy.

    Consider this a warning. :)

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