The Hampden Hurricanes, a western Victorian all-abilities football team with just a few games under its belt, hosted the Wyndham Tigers over the Queens Birthday weekend.
The Hurricanes were formed in 2012 and played their first game in 2013. They draw players from the shires of Corangamite and Moyne, and the City of Warrnambool.
On the Saturday afternoon the visitors from Melbourne got a taste of local footy watching Warrnambool take on Port Fairy on a ground that would dwarf the mighty MCG.
Sunday morning the Tigers travelled to Davidson Oval, home ground of Old Collegians, to prepare for the clash. After much strapping and rubbing by head trainer Alyce Barrett, the Tigers set the scene of what was to come with a quick warm up in front of a crowd of around 60 people.
Wyndham played good wet-weather football in the first half to open up a large lead at the main break, carried it forward in the third quarter, before the Hurricanes out-scored the visitors in the last quarter by three points.
The Hurricanes were expertly coached by Bernie Harris and Daniel Hayes. They were kept busy with their rotations and interchanges, ensuring all 30 Hurricanes had a run. On the ground, the team was very ably led by skipper David Dawson and vice captain Wayne Leach. The game was played in a terrific spirit (and a fair bit of mud) with both sides enjoying themselves.
The game ball was presented to the winning Wyndham Tigers.
For some of the Tigers it was their first time away from their parents. They had a great time.
“Thank you to the Hampden Hurricanes for having us,” said Wyndham All Abilities president Rhonda Templeton. “It was a great weekend. We hope we can organise a return match, if you can make the trip to Melbourne sometime. We wish the Hurricanes all the best for the future.”
The Hurricanes’ next game will be in Hamilton on 5 July, followed by exhibition games in front of large crowds at the finals of the Hampden Football League. The Tigers will be playing Williamstown at home in Round 7 of the FIDA league on 29 June.
Wyndham Tigers 17. 9 (111) Hampden Hurricanes 4.3 (27)
Wyndham goals: D Quinn 3, B Allwood 2, L Ryan 2, J Brennan 2 and a host of singles
Hampden Hurricanes goals: Wayne Leach 2, Harry Creece 1 and Luke Burns 1
Wyndham best players: Luke Ryan, Vincent Villeages, Brendan Wendt, Luke Quinn, Julian Brennan, Greig Thomas
Hampden Hurricanes best: team effort!
FIDA (www.fida.org.au) is a league for players with an intellectual disability.