Grong Grong-Matong have retained bragging rights over Ganmain with victory in the second running of the Amalgamation Ashes.
After a year off, the Amalgamation Ashes returned with a bang at Ganmain Sportsground on Saturday.
Grong Grong-Matong retained the Ashes with a 10-point victory in the football, running away with a 9.7 (61) to 7.9 (51) win.
It was a full day’s sporting extravaganza with Ganmain getting one back on Grong Grong-Matong in the netball.
The day finished with the Ganmain Cricket Club beating the footy club in a Twenty20 cricket match.
Ben Walsh was the star of the show in the football. He co-coached Grong Grong-Matong alongside Brandon Ryan, and was also named best-on-ground.
He said the boys from Grong Grong and Matong were pleased to get bragging rights over Ganmain.
“It was really good to get a win,” Walsh said.
“We got accused of taking it a bit too serious but we were out there to win it.”
Grong Grong-Matong started strongly and led before Curtis Steele inspired a Ganmain fightback.
The Maroons even hit the front in the third quarter, before the Grong Grong-Matong boys kicked away again to retain the Ashes.
“Our ball movement and the way we linked up was probably a bit better. They tried to run and take us on a lot, which in the heat of the day, probably didn’t work out too well,” Walsh said.
While Walsh was named best-on-ground after a strong performance at centre-half-back, Grong Grong-Matong were well served by a number of players.
Dan Foley performed well in the ruck, Matt Knagge was everywhere and the evergreen Ryan proved he has not lost it.
For Ganmain, Scott Hamblin was named over 35 best on ground. Steele led their comeback, while Jesse Lander and the Croziers, Jamie and Scott, were also very good.
“The game had a bit of a casual feel and in the heat, no one was running their sides into the ground,” Walsh said.
“There were some good passages of play and the skills were pretty good.”
The netball was a tight affair, but eventually it was Ganmain who edged in front and took the points.
In the cricket, the Ganmain footballers managed 100 from their 20 overs, before the Cricket Club chased the total with four overs to spare.
Justin Evans was the star with swashbuckling 46.
The day was heralded a success as Ganmain Cricket Club ended up raising more than $5000 from the fundraiser, which included an auction on the Saturday night.