By Chris Richmond
IT wasn’t the last day in September, it was the tenth; the day the Peninsula Raiders 45s men’s side secured back-to-back premierships beating the Parkdale Vultures at Roy Dore reserve, Carrum. In a rematch of last year’s game, the final score was a resounding 13.7,85 to 4.2.26 victory.
The day started off poorly for the Raiders with skipper Toby Loft limping to the sidelines with a popped calf and fellow midfielder Dave “Buddy” Franklin also following suit moments later. With two of the Raiders premier on-ballers effectively out of action someone needed to step up.
Enter Billy Richardson, moved from the back flank into the midfield, step-up he did. A contested ball winning machine, “Richo” was everywhere, nullifying Parkdale attacks and turning them into Raiders offensives. Whilst there were no stats taken, he would have had close to 40 touches and deservedly adjudged best afield.
The other star performance of the day belonged to Crib Point’s favourite son and newly appointed senior men’s coach, Duane Annable. By bagging 6 majors for the day “Annas” etched his name into Raiders folklore rising to second on the all time leading goal kicking list and becoming the first Raider to kick 50 goals in a season.
These remarkable achievements were rightfully recognized during the post-match presentation, where Anna’s received the prestigious 2023 Over 45’s league best and fairest medal, as well as the league’s goal-kicking award.
The men’s 45s team has experienced an extraordinary run of success under the leadership of Simon Powell, a revered figure in Mornington Peninsula football. Over the course of two seasons, they’ve suffered only a single defeat while winning 22 consecutive matches, ultimately clinching two premierships. The team boasts an abundance of talent, featuring legendary players hailing from various corners of the Mornington Peninsula.
It’s been a challenging year with the redevelopment of Alexandra Park but the Raiders will look to continue their success next year and encourage 35+ year old players of any skill level, male or female, to come down and join us next season.
The Peninsula Raiders were formed in 1996 and are part of the AFL Masters family, playing in the Vic Metro league. This year they fielded 4 men’s sides, and for the first time in 2023, a women’s side (combined with Mordialloc).
For more information facebook.com/PeninsulaRaiders.