University v Lockyer Valley

by Scott Sowerby


The University Cougars inconsistent form continued last Saturday at the Gatton Showgrounds when they returned to the winners’ list, falling over the line against the Demons of Lockyer Valley by 208 points.

In a major surprise, the 33-17-215 to 1-1-7 triumph was played on a green playing surface, mostly devoid of the usual craters created by horse and cattle hooves.

The first quarter began with a University goal and was quickly followed by another. However if the visitors had any premonitions this was to be a cakewalk then they were soon shelved, as the club which formerly flew under the banner of the Magpie halved the deficit, and in doing so, threatened to take the game by the very scruff of the neck. However the Cougars were able to steady and withstand the hellish onslaught of the Demons with 11 more goals of their own before the bell. Good work in the centre by the likes of Ash Harley and Geoff Dodds was capitalised on by the twin towers of jumpin’ Joel Yosh and the skip Alan Reilly, for whom the game was a nostalgic homecoming. Heath Gniel also bobbed up now and again down forward and turned it on at will as the scoreboard attendants developed calluses, with the Valley not quite attaining an electronic scoreboard as yet. Not that Caleb Reynolds could read it anyway.

With the side over revving, coach Bolton worked wonders and relaxed his team right down, so that they were only able to average half of what they’d been able to roll out in the frenetic opening act. The highlights of the second quarter were without doubt the Dees double their tally of scoring shots and Barry Janetzki being called for a travel when steaming in for his first goal of the season. The nudie run beckons. Based on my sketchy recall of events there is a distinct possibility Lockyer Valley trailed by 121 points as the players retreated from battle.

As all University players sat down in the shade of the only grey goalposts in the southern hemisphere, talk was of the pre Gatton bypass days when the road over the back fence carried the hopes, dreams and often the odd sack of potatoes of many a traveller heading west. The lads ran their eyes to the south east and reminisced about the days they’d made par on the 5th at Gatton.

All good things had to come to an end though and the players retook the field in the stifling conditions. Josh Timmer provided plenty of thrust from the backline, Jarryd McCarthy waltzed around at will and showing that he could be the speedy winger to fill the boots of Alex Canavan or the booties of Matt Smith was Alex Schoenfisch, no longer a fish out of water in this territory. Ryan Hopalong Hopkins was right in the midst of the action as per usual and the grandstand was rocking in the third term as the Demons closed in to within 167 points as the players huddled.

The last quarter was a celebration for the team which had made the long trek down the mountainside. Not only were young fellows like Beer and Bodker going down well giving the spectators plenty of Choice, but Jiving Jimmy Gibson nailed his first goal for the side which brought the team to crescendo. The returns to the park of Luke Brumley and Chris Davis after various incapacitations also was a marvellous sight. Lockyer Valley too had some tremendous players in Bear Wallin, Craig Jervies, Jason Job and Julian Ghoulash, but that was going back a decade or two. On another day in time, if Yosh, Gniel and Timmer hadn’t played, it is fair to say the Demons would’ve been a shoo-in.

LOCKYER VALLEY       1-0-6          1-1-7           1-1-7             1-1-7
UNIVERSITY              13-3-81    20-8-128    27-12-174     33-17-215

UNIVERSITY : Heath Gniel 10, Joel Yosh 7, Alan Reilly 6, Ash Harley 4, Alex Schoenfisch 2, Ryan Hopkins, Jarryd McCarthy, Garry Wade, Jimmy Gibson.

BEST : LOCKYER VALLEY : Donna Bowers, Tony Bowers, Scoreboard Attendants, Groundsman.
UNIVERSITY : Heath Gniel, Ashley Harley, Alan Reilly, Joel Yosh, Joshua Timmer, Geoffrey Dodds.

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