Lucky break allows Moloney back for Bloods reunion

TIMING is everything. Swan Hill coach Xavier Moloney will attend Terang Mortlake’s 2004 premiership reunion tomorrow, with the Swans’ bye in the Central Murray fixture enabling the midfielder, who was best-on-ground in the flag win over Warrnambool, to attend. 

A jubilant Terang Mortlake side celebrates its 2004 grand final win over Warrnambool.040918am75

A jubilant Terang Mortlake side celebrates its 2004 grand final win over Warrnambool.040918am75

The reunion also coincides with Terang Mortlake’s fixture against Koroit — the team Bloods premiership mentor Adam Dowie now coaches.

Current Terang Mortlake coach Matthew Irving, who played in three Bloods’ flags, said 19 of the ’04 team would attend the reunion which will run as part of the club’s annual ball. 

Irving said Terang Mortlake overcame a number of obstacles on its way to the ’04 triumph.

“We needed to win one of our last three to finish top three; we were hanging on to third,” he said. “(In the final round) Cobden had to win to make finals, Cobden won and we lost and finished fourth. 

“We played them in the elimination final a week later.”

Irving said it was a heated battle and a melee sparked Terang Mortlake into action.

The Bloods overcame a three-quarter-time deficit the next week against Camperdown and defeated Koroit in the preliminary final. Irving said Warrnambool was “red-hot favourite” entering the grand final. 

“Everyone said we were burnt out and did well to get there,” he said. 

“(But) we were up by 45 points at three-quarter-time and never looked like losing.” 

Maskell medallist Luke Vogels was drafted to Sydney on the back of his efforts for the Bloods and went on to play 17 AFL games, including the Swans’ qualifying final in their 2005 premiership-winning season. 

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