Graham Broad, Rhett Ballard, Chris Allen, Shaun McKay, Wade Angwin, Grady Francis, Kendall Ballard, Bradley Staphorst, Matthew Corner, Steve Sexton, Dale Batt, Dougall Haslam, Andrew Bairstow, Steven Durell, Sam Broad, Shawn Heil and Bevan George of the winning division one team.UPPER Great Southern (UGS) achieved some outstanding results at the CBH Men’s Country Championships held in Perth from June 2-4.
UGS were well represented with a division one and division two team, which were both undefeated during the first two days of the competition.
In the hotly contested division one competition, the UGS team had a lot to prove after missing out on last year’s grand final.
The team was well drilled by coach Matthew Corner, who possibly had one of the more impressive team lists in recent history with the likes of youngsters Steven Durell (All Blacks), Shaun McKay (Riffs) and Wade Angwin (Riffs) matching it with the best throughout the competition.
As was predicted going on form over the weekend, UGS faced Geraldton in the highly anticipated grand final.
Both teams were undefeated coming into the game and Geraldton were able to capitalise on some early chances and run away with a 3-0 lead just before half-time.
When a short corner goal to UGS was disallowed, the local lads were looking slightly overwhelmed with the task ahead.
A half-time rev up from Corner seemed to do the trick, with some strong attacking work resulting in a penalty stroke and goal to ex-Kookaburra Bevan George (Olympics).
Durell’s pace and skill was then rewarded when a Geraldton defender decided to go for the legs and not the ball, with a short corner awarded and UGS were able to draw the score at 3-3 through Kendall Ballard.
The game had certainly seen a shift in momentum, with the UGS boys kept under wraps through the experience of George and Steve Sexton (Olympics).
In a super human effort, UGS were able to put two more goals away and run away with one of the most astonishing wins ever witnessed by many in the crowd.
George and Ballard ended with two goals each while Durell chipped in with one.
UGS were well represented in the All Stars team with George, Sexton, Durell and Chris Allen (Warriors) selected.
The division two team, ably coached by Steve Lynham, drew with Esperance and defeated Margeret River on the first day of the competition, before defeating Peel and then Geraldton in the cross over games on Sunday.
This resulted in a re-match against Esperance in the grand final on Monday.
Despite the best efforts of the UGS boys, including a late goal to draw the game, they were unable to stop an Esperance counter attack which saw them take the lead and hold onto a 2-1 win.
UGS were also awarded the Singapore Cup for the association with the best overall results from the championships.