Published on: Jul 13 2018 | Author: Zac Milbank |

APY Thunder have backed up their strong win last year by defending their crown against Maralinga in the 2018 Don McSweeny Aboriginal Lands Cup at Adelaide Oval on Thursday night.

Playing as the curtain-raiser for the Adelaide v Geelong AFL match, the well-traveled foes again put on an eye-catching spectacle as the boys from the far north proved too strong by leading at every change.

Only inaccurate kicking for goal prevented the Thunder from winning by a greater margin, as the Maralinga Mob hung in the contest to trail by 23 points at three quarter-time.

But the final margin stretched to 25 points as the boys in orange were well led by Billy Cooley, who was judged to be best afield.

Former Woodville-West Torrens forward Nelson Peters received the Gordon Naley Medal, named in honour of the indigenous WW1 soldier, for displaysing great leadership, work ethic and the spirit in which the game should be played.

Les Mundy Junior could hold his head up high despite his team’s loss after winning the medal as Maralinga’s strongest performer on the night.


APY Lands  2.6  3.11  6.11  7.14 (56)

Maralinga  0.1  1.2  3.6  4.7 (31)

GORDON NALEY MEDAL – Nelson Peters (APY Thunder)

BEST PLAYER MEDAL – APY Thunder: Billy Cooley

BEST PLAYER MEDAL – Maralinga: Les Mundy Junior


APY Thunder will look to maintain its edge against Maralinga in the 2018 Don McSweeny Aboriginal Lands Cup at Adelaide Oval on Thursday night.

The boys from the far north of SA handled the slippery conditions supremely well in last year’s spectacle at the home of SA footy, holding off their rivals from the West Coast by 25 points.

This year’s clash – starting at 5.08pm – will be played as the curtain-raiser to the Adelaide v Geelong AFL game under lights.

Named in honour of late SANFL Life Member and passionate Aboriginal Ambassador Don McSweeny, the match is the culmination of more than a week of training and educational activities for the squad members of each side.

Travelling down to Adelaide on Tuesday, players have been involved in a series of team-building exercises at the Woodside Army Base as well as attending a guernsey presentation at Adelaide Oval.

Both teams will train with their respective SANFL teams they are aligned with on Wednesday night, with the APY Lands side working out with Woodville-West Torrens and Maralinga put through their paces with Norwood at The Parade.

One of the great success stories to emerge from the Don McSweeny Cup has been former Glenelg wingman Dom Barry, who has since earned an AFL lifeline with Port Adelaide.

Barry was the runner for the APY Lands side last year, having previously played with the Thunder in both of their matches, including the Don McSweeny Cup, in 2016.

Highly-skilled Barry then rekindling his professional career in the Macca’s League with the Tigers in 2017 after playing five AFL matches for Melbourne in 2014.

The Gordon Naley Medal will be awarded to the player who displays great leadership, work ethic and the spirit in which the game should be played.

Naley, the grandfather of South Adelaide Magarey Medallist Mark Naley, was an Indigenous Australian who was among the 60,000 Anzacs who fought at Gallipoli in World War I.

2018 Don McSweeny Cup

Thursday July 12 – Adelaide Oval (5.08pm)


1. Billy Cooley

2. Nason Dare

3. Myron Williams

4. O’Shea Heffernan

6. Tyrone Hart

7. Trevor Burton

8. Kailen Kelly

9. Thomas Wayne

10. Robert Woodford

11. Oscar Bridley

12. Lachlan Mitchell

13. Ringo Drover (VC)

14. Hector Raymond

15. Glen Woods

16. Isiah Egan

17. Leon Kenny

18. Nelson Peters

19. Ainsley Walker

21. Divishie Thompson

23. Travis Smith

24. Gerrad James (C)

25. Dale Lyons

COACH – Craig Woods





1. Winston Ginger

2. Ernie Windlass

3. Lyndan Williams

4. Terrance Milera

5. Glen Lyons

6. Frankie Chamberlain

7. Basso Edwards

8. Neville Bryant

9. Craig Hansen

10. Mitchell Hart

11. Liam Stewart

12. Leslie Mundy

13. Stephen Garay

14. Phillip Kugena

15. Swayne Gibson

16. Vaughan Day

17. Ethan Ingomar

18. Swayne Day

19. Tristan Koko

20. Bronte Ingomar

23. Tyrone Wingfield

24. Stuart Baker

COACH – Timmy Murragilli



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