Hand­ful of sup­port­ers fly­ing high af­ter win

Southern Riverina news - - NEWS - ~ James Ben­nett

The ea­gles which soar over the South­ern Rive­rina were not the only ones fly­ing high on Satur­day, with lo­cal West Coast Ea­gles fans cel­e­brat­ing an AFL grand fi­nal vic­tory.

Liv­ing in an area more than 3000km from Perth, there are only a hand­ful of West Coast sup­port­ers in the re­gion.

Fin­ley lo­cals Sasha Wood and Paul Mass­ing­ham were both in full voice cheer­ing on the West Coast Ea­gles, who beat Colling­wood in a thrilling grand fi­nal by five points at the MCG.

Go­ing into Satur­day both Ms Wood and Mr Mass­ing­ham were in en­emy ter­ri­tory watch­ing the game with op­po­si­tion sup­port­ers, or in Ms Wood’s case a few peo­ple go­ing for any­one but Colling­wood.

The loss now means Colling­wood sup­port­ers in­clud­ing Ber­ri­gan Shire Mayor Matt Han­nan face the prospect of a re­turn of the dreaded ‘Col­ly­wob­bles’, af­ter the Pies blew nu­mer­ous chances to win the big match.

Mr Mass­ing­ham said he knew with 12 sec­onds to go the game was won.

‘‘The high­light was prob­a­bly Dom Sheed’s game Mass­ing­ham said.

‘‘I was pretty ner­vous when Jack Dar­ling dropped the ball be­cause there was plenty of time for Colling­wood to get the ball back up the other end and kick a goal.

‘‘I had to cel­e­brate by my­self be­cause my mate Grant Martin left; he was a big an­gry.’’

The win was the first time since 2006 the West Coast Ea­gles have won an AFL premier­ship. It brings their to­tal to four flags, with oth­ers com­ing in 1992 and 1994.

Ms Wood said it was an im­pres­sive vic­tory for the un­der­manned team.

‘‘We didn’t have (An­drew) Gaff and (Nic) Nai­tanui, where in 2006 it was pretty much a full strength side,’’ she said.

‘‘I can’t tell my work col­leagues un­til we get back to school in two weeks how good the win was,’’ the Fin­ley Pub­lic School staff mem­ber said.

So why sup­port a West­ern Aus­tralian team? Ms Wood lived in Perth un­til she was 18, and Mr Mass­ing­ham said he sim­ply liked the colours at the age of four. win­ning goal,’’ Mr

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