Bulls hold off challenge from spirited Towns

In one of the best football games this year, Broome Bulls fought off a spirited Towns to win the 1995 CRA Premiership Cup by 21 points. Though going into the clash as odds on favourites - after having strung together 11 consecutive wins - Bulls found the going tough against a committed Towns side that have been the deserved winners of the last two grand finals and were desperate to make it three in a row.

The first quarter was a close checking affair that saw each side kick only seven points a piece. Both sides had opportunity in their forward lines, but defences were equal to the task and set the trend for the rest of the day. Jamie Finlay, Robbie Banfield and Clint Renfree gathered many early possessions for Bulls, whilst Mark Spilsbury and Brad Mulcahy were strong contributors for Towns. The game was thrown into total disarray for both sides late in the first quarter. Firstly, Towns ruckman Craig Gibson was reported and sent from the ground for the rest of the game following a head high tackle on a Bulls player who instantly jumped up to take his free kick. The severity of the punishment certainly did not appear to fit the crime. Only minutes later Bulls champion Rob Banfield broke two ribs after a strong body clash. Both incidents brought player changes, with Spilsbury being forced to head the Towns ruck and Jimmy Money taking Banfield's place and taking control of the centre.

The second quarter was equally relentless as the first and, although Bulls nudged ahead, their lead was only ever by a few points Jimmy Money and Jamie Findlay started to take control around the middle, though Towns' Andrew Blackly continued to dominate on his wing. Towns' defence, mainly through the efforts of Clinton Keefle and Phillip Roe, held strong while Bulls continually made many attacking moves. As the games progressed through the second half the more willing it became, with several heated clashes and every player throwing their body into the play.

Late in the third quarter and in the early stages of the last, it was Towns' turn to create many positive forward moves. However the Bulls defence of Renfree, Ian Spirritt and Richard Jose held firm to deny any opportunity of their slim lead to be overturned. Bulls deservedly kicked the last goals of the game and ran out winners 10.6 (66) to Towns 7.3 (45), capping off an outstanding season under coach David Bushell.

Better players for the Bulls included Jimmy Money, Clint Renfree and Craig Wood at centre half forward, also Ian Spirritt and Richard Jose.

For Towns none were better than Andrew Blackly, with otter strong contributions coming from Brent Hanson, Brad Mulcahy, Martin Williams, Clinton Keefle and Phillip Roe.

The Father Mc Mahon Medal for the best player on the ground was presented by CRA manager Bruce Larson to Bulls ruckman Jamie Finlay.

Main goal kickers for Bulls: C. Wood, B. Butcher 3, C. McElroy 2, Rogers and Jolly 1.

Towns: B. Hansen 2, J Spilsbury, A. King, B. Harding, G. Matthews, E Skiba 1 each.

(Courtesy of the Broome Advertiser)