Great Flinders football
Ramblers 11-10 (76) def Cougars 7-7 (49)
RAMBLERS celebrated 100 years of football for the club against Cougars on Saturday and after three years of planning it was game on in their heritage guernseys.
Rambler president James Pedler welcomed the huge crowd and players, remarking that 100 years ago a group of men met to cross the white line and enjoy a game of sport, and 100 years later "we are here again".
He also reminded the crowd that winning was important but the camaraderie and friendships after the game were just as important.
So, with a big crowd in, the battle began.
Cougars were missing a couple of big game players and Ramblers were not quite at full strength.
Cougars drew first blood with a clever pack mark and goal to Austin Monfries early in the game.
Both teams took time to settle and although not hitting the scoreboard Ramblers looked to have the edge.
Rob Shirley and Jack Haarsama were dominating around the ground, Luke Rowe was everywhere for Ramblers and Joe Cragg-Sapsford was taking some strong marks for Cougars.
Cougars led by seven points at the first break.
Ramblers slowly took control on the scoreboard in the second quarter with a goal to James Pedler and another quick one to James Richardson who was having a great tussle with Jack Green who was not giving his cousin any favours.
Mitch Dennis was everywhere and Micky Franklin weaved his magic to get the ball to the workhorse Jack Haarsma, who converted from 30 metres out.
When George Pedler pounced on a turnover after a silly 50-metre penalty against Cougars, Ramblers suddenly had four goals in 15 minutes.
Monfries was the focal point up forward for Cougars as he once again kicked a clever goal against the tide.
Brad Hazelgrove took three telling marks to keep his Cougar team in the game.
In a sour note Dylan Wandner left the field after a heavy clash and was gone for the game. 'Dilba' is a loyal Cougar player who has had a recent run of serious injuries and his bad luck continued.
Ramblers went to the long break 14 points up.
The third quarter saw the pressure continue as both teams looked to take control.
The runners for both teams were flat out and their fitness was crucial to the coaches.
Monfries continued his good form in attack, getting an early goal for Cougars after a good mark from their young speedster Seth Dobbins.
Lachie Paech was racking up possessions in the midfield for Cougars and they looked to threaten the Rambler lead but missed a couple of gettable goals.
James Pedler and Luke Rowe were causing trouble up forward for Ramblers as the two big men led hard and gave the Rambler midfield plenty of options going into attack.
When James Pedler goaled, closely followed by Jessie Rule, Ramblers had the lead back out to 20 points.
Sam Ness and Jack Green were trying their best down back for Cougars but the Rambler boys could smell victory when George Pedler goaled after the siren.
Ramblers had a slight breeze in the last and after a big crowd cleared from both huddles the last 25 minutes began.
Tom Crettenden kicked truly for Ramblers from a tight angle after James Pedler found him in space, and when Luke Rowe converted from 50 the Rambler crowd was on its feet.
Brad Hazelgrove continued his good day out with two goals and when Brodie Laube kicked truly from 35 the Cougar boys were back with a sniff.
Harry Ford cut off two Cougar forward thrusts and when big man Jarred Hall clunked three telling pack marks in defence for Ramblers the game looked home for the Magpies.
Flynn and Lochie Paech never gave up and got plenty of the ball in the last.
Rob Shirley had five minutes that set the tough tone for the boys to be inspired to continue the pressure and when Luke Rowe goaled after another silly penalty from Cougars the game was done.
James Richardson has bragging rights over his look-a-like cousin and bagged two late goals for Ramblers to see them run out eventual winners by 28 points in a game the players and supporters from both teams will long remember.
Ramblers' best were Luke Rowe, Mitch Dennis and James Pedler. Cougars' were Lochie Paech, Jack Green and Levi Konitzka.
Times scribe votes: Luke Rowe 3; James Pedler 2; Jack Green 1.