GAA Ned Kelly Cup – April 18 at 12pm

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  A Great Comeback for the Ned Kelly Cup

There was a great turnout for the first hit out of the season against an actual opposing side, albeit at Gaelic and International Rules Footy. We had 19 guys turn up to the Gaelic Association’s Irish Sports Day with most competing in both the Gaelic Tournament and the Ned Kelly Cup in a mixed rules game against the Irish Lads.
The Gaelic football games were mixed between the Irish and the Aussies with a captain from both codes heading each team. The primary school method of taking turns to pick players was used to decide the teams. In the end, the teams were quite evenly matched and though there was a winner, it was fair to say that the game of Gaelic Footy was the winner on the day.
In the main event – The Ned Kelly Cup – the Goannas had a huge squad to choose from with nearly 20 guys turning up. Before the game, there was a lot of questions on the rules especially from the Gaelic boys around the tackling. We used a hybrid of both games which was very similar to the International game played by the AFL and Irish every couple of years.
The addition of a couple of new “Talls” to the Goannas lineup helped with the 2 most important positions – Ruck and Goalkeeper. These spots were filled by Andy Lavender(Ex Adelaide Uni) and Andrew Goldsmith(Current Japan National Cricket Team Coach) respectively and they didn’t disappoint with goals kicked and goals saved by each. Our centerline was led again by last year’s Best and Fairest duo Josh and Carl and the switch to the round ball did not seem to bother them at all with multiple touches for both.
Up forward we had Ex Pres Ronnie and Embassy Simon providing good leading options until Ron was stretchered off after a 2nd minute clash with an Irishman. Both players took no further part in the game. The Goalkeeper factor made it difficult to score goals (in the soccer net) – but we managed to outscore the Irish 5 to 3. Their conversions for the points (or overs) were outstanding and they really gave us a lesson in how to kick the round ball straight. Down back, Nick Utting was great running out of defense and supporting his Goalkeeper. His interpretation of the “No Tackling” rule was very interesting indeed – throwing himself and the opposition around the ground willy nilly.
All in all, it was great game and the scoreboard showed us winning by 3 points although any official reports of the game will have the result as a draw to keep international relations between our 2 countries at a friendly level.
Looking forward to Osaka in a couple of weeks and avenging our loss to them last year.