THE WorkSafe Country Championships were held last Saturday in Horsham with Central Highlands FL victorious over the Horsham District Football League in both the seniors and the 17.5. CHFL coach Greg Middleton said he was thrilled with the 95 point win.
“You never go into a interleague game expecting to win like that because it’s generally a bit of an unknown with they pick and who puts their hand up for their league and the same with your league,” he said. “You obviously have to be confident with whom you take but it was a bit of a surprise how we did it, especially in the first half. Since joining the interleague championships CHFL has had four wins in a row, which moves it up to a ranking of 19th out of the 32 leagues.
“Because we weren’t involved with interleague for such a long period of time, you just had to start at the bottom and work your way up,” Middleton explained. “We started at 27th and that first game we played was really, really tight because the opposition hadn’t played interleague for years and years and they pitted us against each other and there was only a goal or so in it and they had been belting sides behind us as well, so both leagues probably came in too high, but it is what it and we will keep working and hopefully keep winning and working up the rankings.” Next year CHFL will line up against the Geelong District, which Middleton says should be a reasonable game.
“They have pretty good sides down there and it might be a tighter contest,” he said.
Middleton said he was impressed with Michael Searl’s performance (best on ground medal recipient) across half back, Shaun Finlayson, who Middleton says had one of the better games he had seen him play, Brenton Powell and Jarrod Morgan were fantastic in midfield, Dave Benson won everything in ruck and Justin Simpson from Springbank played really well.
“There were winners right across the ground and we didn’t really have any weak links across the board,
Middleton said. “We had spoken about roles and made sure the players knew their role before we got on there and had worked on that for the last month or so. “I think they didn’t even kick a score in the first half – the point they got was from one of our boys – so to do that is a credit to the side and the game plan we took up.” What do you say to a team at quarter time and half time with a lead like that?
“It was a pretty easy job, to be honest. You just say to stick to what is working,” Middleton said.
“WE spoke at half time and I said in the first two minutes they will be a completely different side that comes out, don’t panic and revert to what works and that’s exactly what happened.” Middleton had been involved with the CHFL interleague for four years, the first two as assistant coach and head coach for the past two.