Leader News | IT was more a great Friday than Good Friday for Pearcedale after Barry Hall kicked a bag of goals and the matchwinner in his one-off appearance against Frankston Bombers.
The former AFL star’s eighth and final goal came from a snap from about 30m with 30 seconds left, lifting the Dales to an 18.3 (111) to 15.16 (106) victory before a tremendous crowd.
Many spectators watched from the far wing, where the Barry Hall Bar and Grill had been set up.
Hall, wearing the No.1 jumper, looked fit and supremely strong, attacked the ball with gusto and his kicking for goal was brilliant, starting out with three in the first quarter.
“He was dead-straight. I’ve never seen a bloke kick the ball so straight,’’ Pearcedale coach Leigh Stewart said.
Hall cut a happy figure, high-fiving it with youngsters at the huddles, and was eager to give advice to his teammates for the day, instructing them where to run.
The Bombers started Jarryd Amalfi on the ex-Saint, Swan and Bulldog, but he was much too powerful.
Stewart said his only instruction to Hall was “stand in the goal square and mark it when it comes to you’’.
“That’s about it. You can’t say much more,’’ he said.
“The delivery to him was really good. It’s all well and good to have someone like that — and after the game you hear comments like, ‘You only won because you had him’ — but you’ve still got to get the ball in there.
“I could have Tom Lynch from Gold Coast in the square but if your midfield doesn’t get on top and you can’t deliver the ball the right way he’s not going to kick a goal. I was really impressed with our midfield.’’
Before the match Hall spoke at the club lunch. After it he posed for photographs for more than an hour, and later sent Pearcedale a message saying how much he enjoyed the outing and he would be open to the idea of playing another match for the Dales.
Stewart said the Pearcedale players were thrilled to line up with Hall.
“The boys loved it. He had an absolute ball and so did they. The whole town did. I think half of Pearcedale got a photo with him!’’ he said.
While Hall’s performance had tongues clicking, Stewart tipped praise on onballer Luke Dalmau and fellow former Dandenong Stingray Harry Prior, who rucked.
“They killed them all day out of the middle,’’ he said.
And tall Glenn Anderson (three goals) didn’t leave all the goalkicking to the cameo man.
Also on Good Friday, Rosebud put the whip to Rye at RJ Rowley Reserve, winning 21.20 (146) to 7.4 (46), and Somerville was too good for Tyabb, 19.17 (131) to 10.6 (66).
Keegan Downie kicked five goals in a best-afield display for the Buds.
Ex-league man Andrejs Everitt booted four for Somie, who counted former Kangaroo Tim McGenniss as their best player.
Former Frankston Dolphins rover Jordie Pollard again showed the way for the improving Tyabb.
Leigh Poholke kicked another five goals as Sorrento powered away from Dromana in the second half to win 18.22 (130) to 10.14 (74) at David McFarlane Reserve. Like salt and pepper, little man Shannon Gladman was in everything for the Sorras.
Reigning premier Hastings produced the comeback of the round, turning a three-quarter-time deficit of 10 points into a 26-point victory over Devon Meadows.