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Southern NSW Carnival - May 20-21, 2006 at Maher Oval, Wagga
Riverina FL ................. 2.2 .. 5.5 .. 6.6 .. 6.6 (42)
Black Diamond FL .... 0.1 .. 0.2 .. 1.6 .. 6.7 (43)


Riverina: Ben Perkins 3, Marc Geppert, Jamie Grintell, Craig Conlan 
Black Diamond: Maurice Goolagong 4, Clint Austerberry, Mick Ryan

Riverina: Nathan McPherson, Dane Campbell, Craig Conlan, Blair Campbell, Marc Braybon, Christen McPherson. 
Black Diamond: Adam Clark, Maurice Goolagong, Clint Austerberry, Michael Krake, Adam Darling, Chris Gordon
3rd/4th Place: Hume FL 12.6 (72) d Farrer FL 8.8 (56)
Preliminary games at Maher Oval: Farrer 5.1 (31) d Hume 2.7 (19), Riverina 7.9 (51) d Hume 2.1 (13); Riverina 6.3 (39) d Farrer 3.4 (22).
At Anderson Oval: Black Diamond 5.2 (32) d Riverina 3.6 (24), Black Diamond 5.2 (32) d Farrer 3.1 (19), Black Diamond 8.3 (51) d Hume 1.1 (7).
A summary of match report, with thanks
Riverina Football League coach Matt Hard simply could not believe what had unfolded in front of him. His star-studded line-up had let a 36-point lead slip to lose the inaugural inter league carnival final to visitors Black Diamond at Maher Oval yesterday. A goal to forward Mick Ryan seconds before the final siren completed the stunning 6.7 (43) to 6.6 (42) win.

Hard was lost for words on the sideline as the Black Diamond players, coaches, officials and supporters celebrated the unlikely victory. "Really disappointing," he said. "We let them into it." Hard addressed the players on the field after the game, as the reality of the loss set in. It was simply devastating for the RFL. But the players quite simply stopped running in the last 10 minutes.

Black Diamond's last roll of the dice was to throw all the fresh legs they could onto the field. Coach Dean Wall made a number of charges, desperate to create midfield drive which the RFL had shut down throughout the final. "We have a young, fit side, so that our only hope," he said. "To create as much run as possible and just sees what happens. "It was a special win."

After being beaten in the first round by Black Diamond, the RFL came back with vengeance in the final. The Riverina surge looked ominous when Ben Perkins kicked goals before quarter time. Perkins kicked two more in the second 15-minute term, while Narrandera's Jamie Grintell also goaled as Riverina led 35-3 at half-time. Black Diamond continued to miss opportunities in the third quarter and their first major did not come until Maurice Goolagong snapped a goal just before the end of the term.

Goolagong picked up his second goal, then vice-captain Clint Austerberry kicked truly. A point to Liam Gibson appeared to have taken the wind out of Black Diamond's sails. In the end it proved the difference.

Goolagong slotted two in quick time to reduce the 29-point three-quarter time deficit to just five points. The Ryan completed the fairytale comeback inside the last 30 seconds. Black Diamond were jubilant, Hard was left speechless. (The Area News - Monday May 22, 2005).  

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