IT WAS an idea fraught with danger when the Wonthaggi premiership players of 2008, seniors and reserves, took the field last Saturday to take on the Power reserves of today.
Bairnsdale doesn’t have a reserves team and the match was seen as the ideal curtain-raiser for the main game and chance for the present-day players to have a training run.
Thankfully, all of the retired players should be able to turn up for work this week as they appeared to come through the match relatively unscathed.
In fact, the match was a big hit with not only the Power supporters watching on with interest but also the Bairnsdale players keen to see how the old guys would fare against the youngsters.
They did pretty well, leading right up until the final siren when Andrew Sorensen took a kick after the siren, for the reserves boys, to make the scores level at full time 4.4.28 a piece after two 20-minute halves.
Aaron Ware showed he hasn’t lost it, running the ball away from the stoppages at will. Ryan Birkett ‘torped’ a long bomb out of defence and Jarrod Hill kicked a couple of early goals for the reunion team.
Mitch Davey was an early goal kicker for the reserves boys and Rod Tack helped even it up in the second half.
Glenn Duscher and Sam Kaposvari were also goal kickers on the day.
At one stage in the last quarter the runner came out with an emergency pack of six cans, but he was waved away with the players enjoying themselves too much.
They didn’t hold back on the tackles but huddled together at half time and trudged off together at the end after a highly successful match.
The players returning to celebrate the 30-year reunion of the 1988 Bass Valley premiership gathered in the rooms and watched a replay of the game, some of them seeing it for the first time in 30 years.
There were remarks about key goals and turning points in the game and delight on the faces of all as the 1988 Bass Valley Premiership Cup was presented on the screen and players went for a lap of honour, sharing the cup between them.
Newspaper coverage of the day describes how Wonthaggi and their opponents Dalyston were within a kick of each other right through the last quarter with the Blues ultimately winning by four points.
Dalyston’s Charlie Ware had a chance late in the game, from a long way out on a wet day, with a waterlogged ball to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat for the Maggies but a point was the result and that, they say, is history.