Beechworth’s triumphant under 14 team last Saturday won the 2017 Tallangatta and District Football Netball League premiership – defeating Thurgoona 5.4 (34) to 3.3 (21) in extra time at Sandy Creek oval. The premiership is the first for Beechworth Football Netball Club since 2010 and the first for the U14s since 2008. In a year that for the rest of the Bushrangers was a long one, the U14s became the shining light for players, the club, the team’s many supporters and the Beechworth community.
IT couldn’t have been any closer at the finish.
But Beechworth under 14s have won the under 14 Tallangatta and District Football Netball League premiership for 2017.
In the last moments of the game an Adam Walker shot on goal fell short and Thurgoona quickly punched the ball away from any Beechworth hands inside a dangerous Bushranger forward line.
The ball hit the post and before it had returned to the ground the siren sounded and the game was deemed a draw.
That last point saved Beechworth, with the Bushrangers then able to fight out another two five-minute halves to determine the winner.
It was in those last 10 minutes of play that Beechworth was able to lift their standard of play and skip out to a 13-poiont win – with the final score 5.4 (34) to 3.3 (21).
“The boys knew that they hadn’t played well all game,” Beechworth coach Bill McLaughlin said.
“They weren’t as clean over the ball like they normally are and that was be- cause of the pressure that Thurgoona were applying to us.
“I knew as soon as we switched on that we would win, it took us until extra time to do it.
“But they never gave up, they moved the ball forward as much as they could; you could never question their endeavour; it is a great feeling.
“That was the best 10 minutes of football we have played at the end of the normal game, we saved our best for last.”
Harry Guthrie was awarded the best on ground medal for his role during the game.
“He played on Thurgoona’s best player and shut him down while also finding his own football,” McLaughlin said.
“He played a key role; he never stopped running.”
The premiership win is Beechworth Football Netball Club’s first since 2010 and the under 14s’ first flag since 2008 capping an awesome season.
McLaughlin said everything was a blur after the final siren sounded.
“Once we got through extra time, I can’t remember much,” he said.
“It is all a blur. I ran on to the field and lapped up the moment with the boys.”
It caps a great season for the outgo- ing coach McLaughlin.
“What a way to go out, hey?” McLaughlin said.
“I am very happy to walk away, the boys need a new voice and some new ideas, I will stick around the team but not in a full time capacity.
“I just want to thank everyone involved with the team this season, to all the businesses that dressed their shop fronts; you really made it special for the kids.
“To Dale Walker, Jeff Voight, Rob Sinclair, Paul O’Meara, Adam Fendyk and Richard Guthrie; your support during the year was sensational- thank you.”
PREMIERSHIP VICTORS: (Clockwise from top left) Coach Bill McLaughlin and assistant coach Dale Martin embrace after the siren; (inset) Harry Guthrie is called to the stage to be awarded the best on ground medal; Mason Fendyk attacks the football; Captain Lukas Jakobsson leads Angus Pronk (VC) and Henry Stephens (VC) along with his team on to the field; Jakobsson and McLaughlin receive the premiership cup and the flag.