By ZAC MILBANK
Maralinga celebrated hard after claiming their first Don McSweeny Aboriginal Lands Cup title in three years at the Adelaide Oval on Friday night.
Playing in the curtain-raiser to the Adelaide v Essendon AFL match, the guys from the Far West blew away the APY Thunder from the first bounce to record a a comfortable 60-point win.
Banging on three goals in the first term, the Bombers held the Thunder goalless until 40 seconds before half-time.
And by then, the damage had well and truly been done as Maralinga’s Juran Lebois claimed the Gordon Naley Medal as the player who displayed great leadership, work ethic and the spirit in which the game should be played.
Kaya Scott was another significant contributor for Maralinga, who also were quick to gather around forward Gavin Peel, who took a huge overhead mark in the final term.
APY Thunder tried hard to work into the contest after the first change but found the going tough as it was best served by Michael Drover.
MARALINGA 3.4 6.7 11.8 14.11 (95)
APY THUNDER 0.0 1.1 3.2 5.5 (35)
GORDON NALEY MEDAL – Juran Lebois (Maralinga)
MARALINGA BEST – Kaya Scott
APY THUNDER BEST – Michael Drover
PREVIEW By ZAC MILBANK
APY Thunder will look to string together three wins in succession against Maralinga in the 2019 Don McSweeny Aboriginal Lands Cup at Adelaide Oval on Friday night.
The guys from the far north of SA led at every change last year before prevailing by 25 points despite being plagued by inaccurate kicking for goal.
This year’s clash – starting at 5.05pm – will be played as the curtain-raiser to the Adelaide v Essendon 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 will be based at the Woodhouse Activity Centre as well as attending a guernsey presentation at Adelaide Oval.
Both teams will train with their respective SANFL teams they are aligned with on Thursday afternoon, 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 and Port Adelaide wingman Dom Barry, who is now playing in the SANFL Statewide Super League with Norwood.
Barry was the runner for the APY Lands side in 2017, having previously played with the Thunder in the 2016 Don McSweeny Cup.
Highly-skilled Barry then rekindled his professional career in the SANFL 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.
2. Milton Rupert
3. Aaron Badenoch
4. Simon Taylor
5. Troy Coulthard
6. O’Shae Heffernan
7. Victor Dunnett
8. Jontae Dare
9. Bruce Lewis
10. Kevin Woodforde
11. Nason Dare
16. Thomas Wayne
17. Dudley Robinson – Vice Captain
18. Tyrone Hart – Captain
19. Lloyd Miller
20. Otis Ken
21. Michael Drover
22. Albert Lennon
23. Leon Kenny
Coach – Craig Woods
Assistant Coach – Kupa Henry
Team Manager – Anthony Anno
Runner – Mitch Vanson
1. Winston Ginger – Captain
3. Tjerhy Coleman
4. Tyson Edwards
5. Lionel Stewart
6. Juran Lebois – Vice Captain
7. Kaya Scott
9. Basso Edwards
10. Kaden Peters
12. Wes Tshuna
13. Malakai O’Loughlin
14. Clinton Ginger
15. Linden Queens
16. Les Mundy
17. Chase Scott
18. Ashlin Miller
19. Gavin Peel
20. Neville Chamberlain
21. Isaac Kugena
22. Kevin Penny
23. Joel Peter
24. Ryan Murragilli
25. Tyson Edwards
26. Isiah Bridley
Coach – Tim Murragilli
Assistant Coach – Jeremy Edwards
Team Managers – Roy Day and Richard Peel
Runner – Trevor Peel
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