The Masters competition has continued to grow under the leadership, drive and vision of Ian Barker. As a consequence the competition has become tougher and the players younger except for those who played with the Unquenchables. We simply get older.
Our team has been nurtured and coached by Octogenarian Bryan Burdett of the straightforward playing mantra,”Don’t kick the f*****g ball!” The team to its credit totally ignored this advice but nevertheless managed to win a handful of games. We had 3 guys in their 60s who regularly played during the season Colin Read, Glenn Hill and Dennis Collard. Brian played a cameo against the Melbourne Chargers and was on the receiving end of the tackle of the day. He bounced back onto his feet and continued playing. On the other had flighty winger Carlo Fogale sustained a foot injury tripping over his own feet and was lost for the second half of the season. It was noted that Fast Eddie once one of our once scorching wingers is now Slow Eddie.
At the recent inaugural Masters Rugby Festival Harry Harrison played 3 games then did his leg. Burdett,80 and Doug Hughes, 76, played their last competitive games and Ross Parker made a comeback but did his hammy 20 metres out thus avoiding shouting a slab. Kevin Tuson was prominent during the day and has become a key member of the Unquenchables backline. Cameo performance were recorded by Andy Ellis, Ross Saunders and Steve Merchant.
Ric Makin played a few games this season and scored a couple of tries with his bustling runs while Dominic Lewis was a strong running centre. Nick Reid, Frank Tuimaka, Andy Munro, Heath Priestly, Francois Darcas, Craig Findlay, Grant Fleet and Ant Bolocca provided our backline with drive we haven’t seen for quite a few seasons. Pete Collins continued to annoy our referees, while Paul Holden and Geoff Reilly provided stability at flyhalf. Steve Solly appeared to get faster each game. Rumours circulated that he was taking substances to improve performance.
Our forwards were our strength with Cam Gardner, Wilf Van Schaaik, Ken Langers, Nico Vlok, Tony Tennent, Chris Swaine, Paul Ramage, Carl Ramage, and Pete Fuller providing stability and drive to the pack. Morne De Villiers had an outstanding season in the forwards demonstrating surprising speed agility for his size. Frankie Tuimaka was always dangerous playing in the centres and the backs. Adrian Hewerdine, a new recruit will be a real asset next year. Stuart Ramsden was slowed down considerably by his growing a full beard. He was more then and adequately covered by Jim Halls, Mick Crowe and Chris Andrews. Grant Mahoney had an outstanding season and seems to get better year by year albeit slower year by year. Kevin Walsh refused to play a game until the grounds were soft. Consequently, he had a very short season.
Short season players due to work commitments or injury were Jay Fernando, Kevin Sandells, Mark Sowden and Chris Pratt.
Special thanks to our tireless President Tilly and Barman Nico. Well done. You have looked after us extremely well through the season and through the whole of the year when we are playing touch.
Mick Headberry Award (over 35) Craig Findlay
Doug McDermott Award (over 45) Francis Darcas
Prick of the Year Kevin Sandells
Jock Strap Kevin Walsh
Bryan Burdett Trophy Nico Vlok
39th 50s tie Paul Holden
2nd 70s tie Dennis Collard
Lots of authors over the years!