2016 Aquarius Bali Masters 9’s Report and photos
Story by Greg Hinchliffe, Bali Geckos
The 2016 Aquarius Bali Masters 9’s was held last weekend, the 10th and 11th of June, at the Canggu Club in Bali. It was a massive success. It is the biggest gathering of AFL teams in Asia and this year hosted 29 teams from Asia and Australia.
Masters football is for those aged 35 years or over and for the first time, we introduced a 47 and over division as part of the 2016 carnival. 9 teams competed in the 47+ division with 20 battling it out in the 35+ division.
Qualifying games were held in both divisions on the Friday, kicking off at 8am and finishing at 10pm. Day two saw the balance of qualifying games held and then teams were split into different pools to compete with similar standard teams for various trophies. 35 metre arcs are created that a team must enter to register a score and teams are split into 3 forwards, 3 midfielders and 3 backs, who must start in their zone at each centre bounce.
The standard of football across the board was exemplary and with a smaller field, the action was fast and furious. There were many highlights over the course of the 2 days, but some of the most entertaining football was provided by the Noonamah Crocs, first timers at the Bali 9’s. Boasting a number of ex AFL and WAFL players, the Crocs, led by Des Headland Senior, had his son in the ruck and Kevin Caton and Adrian McAdam floating around the park amongst other notable footballers. One play where McAdam zig-zagged his way through three Jakarta Bintang players, without being touched and leaving all three of them on the ground was outstanding.
The Crocs, however, met their match in the semi-final with the Darwin Dugongs being an all-round more solid unit running out winners of that game by a comfortable 20 points.
In the second semi-final the Singapore Sharks were up against last year’s champions, the Darwin Waratah Warriors. In a cracking match, scores were tied at the end of full time and extra time/golden point was played. It didn’t take the Waratah Warriors long to take it from one end of the park to the other and kick the winning goal.
It was an all Darwin affair in the Cup Final and the Dugongs jumped the Waratahs early, but poor kicking for goal kept the Waratahs within striking distance. With a couple of goal lead at half time, the rain decided to join the party and with the quality of players on the park, the standard of football hardly dropped a notch. The Dugongs added a couple more goals and held on to win their first ever Masters Bali 9’s after being runners-up 4 times.
In the 47’s division, the standard was again excellent and the older boys showed they hadn’t lost anything in the skills department. The eventual winners were the Vic Metro Motley Men defeating the Northern Warrior All-Stars hailing from the northern suburbs of Perth.
Players of the tournament were Cobram from the Singapore Sharks in the 35+ division and for the 47+’s it was Rob Lambertie of the Vic Metro Motley Men.
A big thank you to the NTFL umpires who did a magnificent job over the 27 hours or so of football. Thank you to all sponsors, supporters and participants and we look forward to another great event next year. Please see Bali Geckos Football Club’s Facebook Page for all results.
35+ Spoon Final: Adelaide Phantoms defeated Whitsunday Bald Eagles
35+ Shield Final: Melbourne/Dubai Dingoes defeated Warnbro Swans
35+Plate Final: Northern Warriors defeated Borneo Bears
35+ Cup Final: Darwin Dugongs defeated Darwin Waratah Warriors
47+ Bowl Winner: Castlemaine Magpies
47+ Plate Final: Melbourne/Dubai Dingoes defeated Vic Park Pigs
47+ Cup Final: Vic Metro Motley Men defeated Northern Warriors All-Stars
The Dugongs and Waratah Warriors battle it out in the final in front of umpire Rayzor Ray Hocking
Player of the tournament 35+, Cobram, receives his trophy from organizer of the tournament, Greg Hinchliffe of the Bali Geckos
Jim Bury, captain of the Darwin Dugongs receiving the Winner’s trophy from Greg Hinchliffe of the Bali Geckos.
Thanks again to the Major Sponsor of the day Aquarius sports drinks!