Photo and words by Wayde Petersen
After 31 years the mighty Murchison Grasshoppers broke their premiership drought with a 31 point win over Stanhope at Tatura.
Murchison, despite some wayward kicking, seemed to have Stanhope’s measure throughout the game, and the 31 point margin was flattering to the Lions after being out -played on the big day.
In the 2nd Semi Final at Avenel the Grasshoppers wreaked havoc over the Merrigum Bulldogs, winning by 72 points. Merrigum didn’t recover from that thrashing, beaten easily by Stanhope the following week. It was a pity because the Bulldogs, like Murchison, spent a lot of years in the cellar and a Murchison v Merrigum Grand Final would’ve been really great for the league, as the Doggies hadn’t won a flag since 1986.
Wayde is a goal umpire, Murchison supporter and also Scoreboard Pressure’s Goulburn Valley correspondent. His previous contributions have been about Avenel, Longwood, Murchison, Mooroopna, Nagambie and Wunghnu.
Wayde had some anxious moments at the tense ending of a Reserves game between Stanhope and Lancaster this year, where Stanhope won with seconds to go on the clock. All the action was at his end during those last few seconds. “When the Stanhope forward kicked the ball I was thinking ‘Jesus, don’t shank it and kick it over the posts! Kick it straight, or at the very least shank it badly so it’s an easy call.’ I was more nervous than the bloke with the footy.” The Stanhope forward kicked truly.