TBFC Indigenous Day was celebrated on Saturday at the home of the Eagles.
The day has become a real focal point of the Eagles home and away season and Saturday showed the day has gone from strength to strength in terms of the emphasis placed on these celebrations.
The Club had Indigenous themed jumpers for the League and Reserve teams and staged a ceremony involving a welcome to country by Tailem Bend player Greg Karpany.
Tailem and Meningie approached the game full of confidence and expectations from both camps were high. Unfortunately, the game, especially the first half, was full of skill errors and poor decision making.
Meningie’s Brodie Martin, Brian Fenton and Myles Warmington dominance was obvious, but the class of Michael Sumner, Daniel Bartlett and the Westhoff brothers Nick and Harry was not far behind and their best cut the Bears to ribbons.
Martin, epitomised Meningie’s dedication to the task with his nonstop running and attack on the ball.
Fenton had plenty of the ball, but even his customary silky skills were off and a lot of his hard running was undone by continually coughing up the ball at the point of execution.
He was no Robinson Crusoe though, players from both sides continually turned the ball over only to see the opposition goal from these mistakes.
The game continued to degenerate and it was a welcome relief when mercifully the siren sounded to end the first half, giving the players, umpires and spectators a chance to regroup.
At the main break the scoreboard showed Meningie in front by 10 points.
The second half was much of the same with Martin continuing his good work, creating plenty of run and setting up opportunities for his team mates.
His ability to read the ball and be at the contest was a telling factor and one Tailem was never able to completely control.
Fenton and Warmington along with Ben Halliday who had been dangerous players all day were still proving to be a handful for the Tailem defense.
Tailem not to be denied were still going forward through the efforts of Bartlett, Sumner and Jack Marino.
Sumner, was proving to be a real thorn in the Bears’ side with his toughness on the ball and along with Bartlett and Nick Westhoff, Tailem had players that were prepared to provide a contest. Scott Welsh always looked dangerous at full forward and when the opportunity presented itself he grabbed it with both hands.
The last quarter saw the Eagles’ have plenty of forays in to their forward line, and at times seemed to be gaining the ascendency, but a couple of wrong options let Meningie back in the game and at the final siren the Bears’ were home by 21 points.
The inaugural Wilson/Hartman Medal was won by Meninges’ Brodie Martin who thoroughly deserved the award.
Meningie’s best were Martin – pure class, Fenton produced dash and panache, but needs to concentrate on his footy and leave the umpiring to the umpires, Halliday and Warmington combined well and were outstanding both on the lead and with their ability to take the contested mark.
For Tailem Sumner, played smart footy and was disciplined and effective as is his style. Bartlett and the Westhoff brothers never stopped trying and Welsh also provided the Eagles with a focal point