Mudcrabs turn Turtle in vets clash
Hedland’s Flatback Turtles veteran Aussie Rules players turned back the clock last weekend in a dazzling display of running footy as they handed out a 51-point thrashing to their Karratha Mudcrabs rivals.
Despite lining up on the Mudcrabs’ home turf at the Leisureplex oval, the Turtles jumped out of the blocks first and never looked back in the 11.11 (77) to 2.4 (26) victory.
Paul Box set the tone for the Turtles when he thumped his side’s first goal from nearly 50m out, despite an unnamed teammate shouting to him that he would never make the distance and why not kick it here instead.
Roused by Box’s hamstring-popping roost, the Turtles swarmed in numbers with half-backs Damien Casson and Shane Beros leading the way.
The Turtles’ onslaught meant the Mudcrabs were kept goalless going into half-time, despite the Karratha ruck pairing of Gareth Michael and Rod White, as well as Phil Arnott fighting hard for the home side.
A half-time rallying cry from Mudcrabs captain Justin Fromm saw Karratha hit the scoreboard more often in the second half, but it was not enough to stop the Turtles from continuing to kick away to victory.
Simon Dawson and Travis Gowland were important up forward and in the ruck for the Turtles, while former West Australian Football League trio Casson, Beros and Joel Cornelius provided leadership around the ground.
But perhaps more telling was the ability of the entire Turtles roster to get involved and provide run and carry options.
With the Mudcrabs handing the Turtles a spanking in both Masters AFL clashes last year, the Turtles’ two victories over Karratha this year were roundly toasted by the Hedland boys after the game.
But with Masters footy being more a social day out than about the action on the field, everyone was a winner on the day.
And with both clubs likely to continue to kick the footy around at training for a month or two yet, any interested players are welcome to join in, whether they have dodgy hamstrings, crook backs or no skills.
Check out the Hedland AFL Masters — the Flatback Turtles or Karratha Mudcrabs Facebook groups for more information.
Flatback Turtles’ Simon Dawson chases down Mudcrabs’ Mark Spence.
Flatback Turtles’ Ben Leahy gathers the ball.
Flatback Turtles’ Damien Casson looks for a teammate.