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(By Brian Perryman)

Ovens and Murray's failure against South-West in the Caltex country championship match at Albury on Saturday can be summed up simply as: O. and M. played behind and stayed behind.

With a few notable exceptions players made little attempt to get in front of their men and were reluctant to go in and get the ball.

The shock of seeing South-West race to a lead of 2.2 to nil was one of which O. and M. never really recovered.

On only a couple of occasions was there noticeable enthusiasm and determination in the O. and M. team.

South-West held the initiative at all times. Showing superior and sustained determination, they out-marked, outpaced, out-bumped and out-thought O. and M.

O. and M. had few winners, Alby Dunn and Alan Forrester were in control on the wings for most of the game and Curly Hanlon at least broke even with Peter Box in the centre.

But elsewhere South-West were on top. With limited opportunities in the first half, half forwards Lionel Ryan, Frank Hodgkin and Max Urquhart kept O. and M. in the game.

But after centre half-back John Cornish was switched to the flank on to Urquhart and Bob Spears was moved on to Hodgkin, South-West effectively closed off the O. and M. avenue of attack.

Roving to a beaten ruck, Ken Bennett and Kevin Seccull battled against opposition. They never really got into the game.

Bennett, deadly accurate, made the most of every chance he got on the forward line and kicked five goals.

Stan Sargeant, out-manoeuvred most of the time by the experienced Max Kruse, also made the most of his limited chances and kicked five goals. Jim Sandral was no match for the taller and heavier Ian Gillett.

In the last term Sandral was thrown into the ruck and Des Dower given the task of quelling Gillett.

However, Dower fared no better than Sandral and left the ground half-way through the quarter, to be replaced by Bernie Killeen.

Two other switches in the last term also failed to pay off. Urquhart went to full forward, Sargeant to the flank; Lionel Ryan went into the centre and Curly Hanlon out to the flank.

South-West always looked the better side. O. and M. got within points of the lead in the third quarter and again looked a possibility in the last when two goals by Bennett brought them within two goals of South West and O. and M. rallied momentarily. But any optimism about an O. and M. victory was short-lived.


O & M supporters who are used to seeing Jim Sandral crashing his way through packs were treated to the unusual sight of Sandral being beaten. Big Ian Gillett was too heavy for Sandral, who beats most opponents in club games with his vigorous tactics.

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Ganmain defender Bill McCaig was one of the happiest men in Albury after the South-West's win. Earlier this year Bill had been bowled for a "duck" in the Matterson Shield final on the sportsground by Albury all-rounder Stan Sargeant, who was full forward for the O&M on Saturday. Bill played a grand game on a half-back flank and was one of the best afield.

* * *

Marks of the day: A fingertip effort by Des Lyons which brought up the eight major for South-West early in the third quarter and the brilliant diving, sliding mark by blonde-haired Yarrawonga rover Kevin Seccull in the second quarter, which deserved better results than one flag.

* * *

The unexpected result brought some humorous aftermaths. Several O&M officials were forced to review their plans for today, while others still could not realise their team had lost. South West representatives were busy finding out mileages and routes from their centres to Shepparton. Some will travel 270 miles and the closest at Wagga, face a journey of just on 200 miles.

* * *

The South West were probably the biggest football team ever to appear on the Albury Sportsground. Starting with the huge ruckman Des Lyons, the visitors had four other players - Max Kruse, Ian Gillett, Rex Burge and Martin Bourke - all heavier than anyone in the O&M side.

* * *

There was a confident note in the address of South West captain Peter Box to players before the game. "You saw that the O&M could be beaten two years ago at Narrandera," he told the players, "and today could be our day. I want no individual efforts but teamwork; I want no player to try and play the field, but to pass the ball to a teammate, use handball to a player in a better position and, above all, talk to one another." The team took his advice.

(Border Morning Mail - Monday June 10, 1963)

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