After a tiresome two years, the Yarroweyah Hoppers have finally put their demons to rest, defeating Tocumwal to register the breakthrough victory they have been craving for so long in the PDFL.
For playing co-coach and gun key forward Andy Jones, the final siren set off a wave of elation.
‘‘It was a bloody beautiful day. I was nearly speechless after the game but it was one of the best feelings ever,’’ Jones said.
‘‘There was a massive crowd at the game and plenty of fans got into the rooms afterwards, which was great, and we followed on with the ball that same night which made for an even better night.’’
Jones hoped the win would act as a circuit breaker for the young Hoppers and a good sign of things to come.
‘‘It will give everyone a lot of confidence and a bit more belief that we can play good footy and actually win games,’’ he said.
Kicking a huge total of seven goals himself, Jones was quick to praise fellow coach Geoff Benson.
“It was really close at one stage and ‘Benno’ stood up and kicked a couple of goals himself and showed us the way, which is what we needed,’’ Jones said.
Benson said the contest would have been a fantastic spectacle for the hundreds of fans watching at Tocumwal.
‘‘It would have been really good to watch,’’ he said.
‘‘We didn’t break away until the last 10 minutes of the match and it was going goal-for-goal for the majority of the game, so I just told the players to hold in there and keep chipping away.’’
After a win of such magnitude, the post-match message from Benson was simple.
‘‘It was just about the players enjoying themselves because it was their first win in two years and I sort of said to them not to go over the top but certainly enjoy the moment,’’ he said.
‘‘I’ve been trying to teach the group how to stay in games for as long as possible when it’s not going their way and it will eventually turn, which is what happened in that last quarter.
‘‘It was really good for them to see that if they keep doing the work, it will eventually pay off.’’
The Hoppers take on powerhouse Deni Rovers this weekend.