Sport

Mounts Millennium Flag-Aussie Rules Vault

By McIvor Times

Arch-rivals Colbinabbin had dominated the previous two seasons but Mounts had not been far away and they were looking to make sure that 2000 would be their year. Mount started their campaign with the appointment of Moama key defender Tim Triplett as coach and added to an already strong list with some key signings.
Colbo and Mounts would clash at Colbinabbin and it was only Colbo’s poor kicking kept Mounts in the game.  It would be Colbo that would triumph again but there was plenty for the Mounts faithful to be confident about.
A nine goal haul by Shaun Fletcher saw Mounts thrash White Hills by 135 points at Toolleen the next week with Francis Burke and Dean White gathering possessions at will.  Huntly had defeated Colbinabbin the previous week and made the grand final double when they held on to defeat Mounts by eight points at the Strauch Reserve
Mounts returned to the winning list at Toolleen when they thrashed Heathcote by 97 points, with Shaun Fletcher and Jayde Mullane kicking five goals each. The Blues con-tinued on their winning ways with victories over Broadford and Elmore and then were impressive against premiership hopeful North Bendigo. Mounts had contributors over the ground and with Bryan Dorrington and Jason Harney dom-inating in defence and Shaun Fletcher (5 goals) and Murray Collins (4 goals) enjoying space uup forward, the Bulldogs could not hold the Blues out.
Just as Mounts looked to be mounting a case as premier-ship favourite Colbinabbin thrashed them by 40 points at Toolleen.  Colbo had been indifferent for the first part of the year but they demonstrated that they were still very much a force to be reckoned with.
Mounts returned to the winning list against the battling White Hills but it was hardly an impressive reassertion of their case for the flag. In a better performance against finals aspirant Huntly Mounts teamed together well and began to play the brand of football that saw them cruise through the first half of the year. Rick Pumpa kicked six goals and Kieran O’Shannessy was sensational, gathering possessions at will.
Playing Elmore at Toolleen in front of a huge crowd in attendance for the reunion and launch of their club history, Mounts made sure the night would be one to celebrate with another win. It was an ideal preparation for the big match against North Bendigo the next week at Atkins Street.  North was totally outclassed, with Scott Dean and Rick Pumpa kicking five goals each while Murray Collins and Nick Harrop were outstanding all day.
They then followed it up with an impressive 40-point victory over ladder leaders Colbinabbin, and opened up the opportunity for Mounts to claim the top position on the ladder.  The whole season came down to the final round with many clubs knowing what had to happen and then depending on other clubs to aid their cause.  An emphatic 169-point thrashing of White Hills locked in top position on the ladder with Rick Pumpa had a day out with nine goals Mounts had an early celebration with the announcement that popular Francis Burke had taken out the Cheatley Medal by one vote from Steve Cox.  Wintry conditions tested the players and supporters at the 2nd semi-final clash at Elmore, but it would be the experience of Mounts that would see them defeat Colbinabbin by twelve points.
Colbinabbin would earn a rematch after defeating Broad-ford in the preliminary final, and it would once again be a grand final between Mounts and Colbo at Elmore.  After enduring the heartache of a loss the previous year Mounts came out in the first term and kicked four goals to nil in the first term. 
With a handy advantage Triplett and his charges were not going to allow their opponents in to the game and extended their lead in every term. Colbo were never in the game and Mounts celebrated an impressive 64-point thrashing when the siren sounded. Rick Pumpa kicked six goals and Scott Dean and Craig Gadsden were sensational all day. It was a perfect day for the club, with the reserves also claiming victory earlier in the day.
Just as the nineties had been productive for Mount Pleas-ant, the new millennium would see the Blues add more silverware to the cupboard.  This victory would be the first of four flags, 2000, 2001, 2005 and 2006.