It was Past Players’ Day down at the Foreshore on Saturday. And the array of old Neddies kit being worn by former players illustrated one thing – just how many players marked their retirement by pinching their Neddies playing jumpers. No wonder Walshy has never been able to make numbers stack up after his post-season stocktakes in the gear shed.
Anyway, while Dave Brock’s tracksuit was paying Winx-like odds in the build-up to the event, the consensus was that TJ Bradbury’s 50-odd year old playing jumper from the Neddies 1970 premiership winning team (see picture below) was best on ground. There is a story behind how the lion on that 1970 playing jumper morphed into the much different logo which now features proudly on the Neddies jumpers. We’ll save that one for next week.
On the field, Neddies hosted ARKs in glorious conditions in Round 4. And those of a similar vintage to TJ’s playing jumper might have recalled that back in 1987, ARKs caused a boil-over at The Foreshore when they defeated Neddies 18-17 in just their second season in the big league.
Stretched for numbers, ARKs battled bravely through the earlier games to record losses of 88-7 in reserve grade and 21-17 in third grade. Neddies’ fourths made it a clean sweep with a 57-0 win over Uni.
It looked like a continuation of the same trend in premier grade as Neddies flew out of the gates, with centre Teegan Minkley starting proceedings with the first of his three tries. By the time both teams sought the refuge of the shade at half time, Neddies were out to a 40-7 lead.
But the next quarter of the game belonged to ARKs, who crossed for two tries to reduce the gap to 47-21. To further complicate matters, the traditional second half action in The Third Half corner did not eventuate. This was good only for raffle ticket sales and miscellaneous small talk. Things did liven up a bit in The Third Half corner when Simon Brett came on late in the game, much to the delight of his personal cheer squad.
Finally, winger Al Momoisea finished off the game with a converted try to give Neddies a 54-21 winning margin. After the game, there was a great show of generosity from the Brain family who presented former Neddies skipper John “Mixer” O’Callaghan with a framed jumper of the 1995 Irish team Mixer played against and scored WA’s only try.
Saturday sees Neddies head across to Edinburgh Oval to play the Curtin Uni Goats for the first time in premier grade.
Be there. Ne loud. Be proud. GO NEDDIES!!