Reliving the glory days

Thirty years on and the Blyth footballers and netballers came together at the Blyth Oval on Saturday, August 12, to reminisce of their glorious victories when winning the 1987 premierships in the A Grade football and A1, A2, B1 and B2 netball.

The 1987 Grand Final was held at Redhill with a very strong and gusty northerly blowing which made conditions extremely difficult to kick truly, with the final score line Blyth 9-19 to North Clare 8-7.

Blyth went into the game as underdogs, having not beaten North Clare all season.

The Plainsmen handled the conditions much better than the opposing Roosters and Blyth’s playing coach Geoff Brereton masterminded a great win.

At three-quarter time North were ahead by 10 points but in the last quarter Blyth blitzed North kicking with the strong wind and keeping it in their forward lines kicking 3-11 to North’s one point. And the rest is history!

Over at the netball courts the players were kept on their toes as the wind sandblasted their legs from the sand of the newly surfaced Redhill courts.

Blyth fielded five of the six teams in the Grand Final and came home with the top four premierships.

Goal throwing was difficult but the Blyth goalies coped the best and applied great defence throughout the court.

A1 won by six, A2 won by five, B1 had a close win, and B2 had the biggest win of the day by 23.

From the 1987 teams 13 A grade footballers and 18 netballers enjoyed the memorabilia boards and spent time remembering the stories which got bigger and better as the afternoon went on.

A few spoke of the year it was with ‘A’ coach Geoff Brereton as modest as ever.

A1 and A2 netball coach Denby Wandel spoke of the great feat of Blyth to win the top four netball premierships and most likely will never having again, and why?

“We were just too good and ahead of our time!”

Also attending the reunion were the 10 of the 1997 Blyth Snowtown Senior Colts Premiership team.

The Cats colts defeated BBH with some straight kicking BS 8-3 to BBH 6-11.

Margy Stringer spoke of her involvement with the Cats colts and it was a great time at the club.

Players, life members and supporters enjoyed a gourmet lunch and hamburger dinner before sitting down and watching a DVD of the 1987 celebrations, “Mad Monday” in Clare Main Street and Hotels, painting of the windmill blades in Brook’s paddock, football and netball windups.

While many things have changed in the last 30 years such as the shape of the players bodies, the girls’ perms and styling, and a little less hair up top, but one thing that has not changed, is the boys’ and girls’ form

Plains know how to celebrate!

Well done to David and Sue Pratt for getting the ball rolling and organising the reunion for both the 1987 and 1997 premiership teams.