NOW that country football is on the backburner until next year at least, I plan to revive some memories of Kyabram Football Club players from the past in this column.
Some players may have achieved the ultimate premiership glory, some may not have.
I’m asking former Kyabram coaches who still reside locally to come up with their best Kyabram team while they were associated with the club as either a coach or player.
Kicking off today with his best Kyabram side is Peter Lyon, who led the club to a 17-year drought-breaking premiership win in 1975, when Kyabram kicked 14.12 (96) to Euroa’s 11.12 (78).
The Bombers had not won a flag since the Tony Bull-coached Bombers beat Nagambie 12.13 (85) to 9.6 (60) in 1958.
Peter, who came to Kyabram via Eaglehawk, Deniliquin, Hawthorn (16 games, 1963-64), Devonport, Mortlake and Portland, spent three seasons with the club as a player or coach.
He played his first season with Kyabram in 1974 under former Carlton player Ron Auchettl and then coached the Bombers in 1975 and 1976.
Five players — Greg Kirkman, Bob Ferguson, Robbie Allen, Lindsay Wickham and Ron Stone — who made his best team didn’t play in Kyabram’s 1975 flag-winning side.
Robbie Allen is probably the surprise selection in his team at centre half forward, but Peter stands by this selection.
‘‘I believe Robbie Allen could have been anything only for an injury which virtually ended his career at a very young age. He was a real talent,’’ he said.
Peter said it was hard leaving out some players such as Kyabram Hall Of Famer Bernie Harlen, who was near the end of his stellar playing career when Peter joined the Bombers.
Peter’s team includes four players — Maurie Wingate (Melbourne), Ron Auchettl (Carlton), Peter Warburton (Carlton) and Ron Stone (Carlton) — who played VFL/AFL football.
PETER LYON’S BEST BOMBERS TEAM
Backs: Mick Craven, Freeman Lewry, John Lilford
Half backs: Greg Kirkman, Ian McDonald, Darryl Ryan
Centres: Bob Ferguson, Rod Bray, Bill Fry
Half forwards: Maurie Wingate, Robbie Allen, Lindsay Wickham
Forwards: David Collins, Ron Stone, John McKenzie
Rucks: Ian Burgess, Ron Auchettl, Peter Warburton.
Interchange: Chris Salter, Ian Manison, Gary Vardy, Alan Lyon.
● Kyabram-trained trotting mare Levina secured a prize-money milestone in claiming her sixth career win when she won at Echuca last Thursday night.
Trained and driven by Carmel Belot the six-year-old Majestic Son mare took her prizemoney earnings over $50,000 with the $3990 winner’s cheque.
Levina doesn’t win out of turn, but has been a consistent money earner for her trainer and her husband Bruce.
Her 78 race career has also produced 27 minor placings, including 17 runner-up finishes.
Levina always has been reliable trotter and her ability to capitalise on another good start from the standing start conditions and avoid early interference were keys to her latest win, the first in 23 starts since winning at Shepparton in June last year.
By the time the field had settled down for the 2130m trip Levina had made up her 20m handicap and settled third in the run.
She had a ding-dong battle with the pacesetter in the race, Get Smart Max, to get the verdict by a short half head at the finishing line.
Levina paid $22.10 for the win on the tote, which made it all the more enjoyable for those who supported her.
Three of Levina’s career wins have been on the Frank Ryan Paceway at Echuca — she obviously handles the tight circuit, which can bring many trotters undone.
Levina’s other career wins were at Shepparton (twice) and Cobram.
● S J’s Photo sire Bacardi Lindy will be available to some Australian breeders this season, via frozen semen from Northern Rivers Equine, Kyabram.
Kyabram is the home of Bicardi Lindy’s top performer, Claudys Princess, a champion racemare and a winner of 22 races, including five at Group 1 level, which netted $401,803 in prize-money earnings.
Vicbred champions Cruisin Around ($282,432) and Needabacardi ($98,280), Margaret Ruth ($144,950), Justabitcoco ($116,959), Bacardi Hurricane ($113,550) and Barefoot Sally ($110,520) have been other good earners from Bacardi Lindy's first few crops.
A top racehorse himself, winning several stakes races in America, Bacardi Lindy has been a leading sire in Australia ever since his first crop raced in 2012, and he holds the distinction of having produced a top trotter from almost every crop.
From his initial crop he sired the topliner The Boss Man ($265,714), winner of the Central Victorian Championship, Coulter Crown and a string of country cups, as well as the cups winners Bellmac Kody ($162,638), Rumbustious, Nico Serrano and William John.
Among his recent winners are a free-for-all trotter in Sammy Showdown, the multiple Group placegetter Georgia’s Pride and the Melton winner Mar Pacifico.
In all, Bacardi Lindy has sired 93 individual winners from 133 starters in Australia for progeny earnings of $4.65 million, an average of $35,000 per starter.
He is currently ranked second on both the all aged and three-year-old winner’s lists behind only Majestic Son, and third in respect of prize money on both tables.
While in NZ, Bacardi Lindy, from relatively small numbers, has sired the winners of more than $520,000 to date, including the smart filly Amarula, winner of the SA Derby and third in the Victoria Derby, the Group 3 winner The Benchmark ($90,169) and the Listed winner Dark Horse ($90,201).
Now based in Christchurch, Bicardi Lindy’s frozen semen will be only accessible to mares based at Northern Rivers for a fee of $2200 including GST.
● Campaspe Valley Bowls Division is still looking at October 9 as a possible starting date for the new pennant season despite the coronavirus restrictions.
The board has made an early call, hoping border restrictions may have been eased by then to cater for clubs on both sides of the Murray River.
But the five NSW-based clubs and six in Victoria will face a restructure of competitions if the tight border crossing conditions remain.
Ky Valley View, Tongala, City of Echuca, Elmore, Rochester and Lockington are the Victorian clubs that field teams in the Campaspe Valley Bowls Division.