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Undera prepares to party like it’s 1968 once again

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April 12, 2018

There is more to celebrate for Undera than just the beginning of its 2018 campaign this week.

The Lions will gather together to reminisce about a premiership won half-a-century ago, when it overcame Merrigum by 31 points to hold up the silverware.

The Bulldogs entered the 1968 decider as favourites, but Undera found another gear and won the match 11.26 (92) to 8.13 (61).

Despite inaccurate kicking the side still took the spoils in Des Sleeth’s first year as coach after he transferred across from being a star of the Goulburn Valley Football League with Kyabram.

Bringing a bit of professionalism into the Undera side, Sleeth said he had a Rolls-Royce of a side to develop.

‘‘I reckon I had a pretty good side to work with,’’ he said.

‘‘Merrigum was the toughest opponent we played all year, they had a lot of good players and we played them in the first semi and won through to the grand final, then they played the prelim and got through.

‘‘In the grand final we led from start to finish, but kicked a lot of points in the last quarter.

‘‘We did that often in those days, like they do today, but while we were kicking points we still had it in our forward line.’’

In the final term the Bulldogs kicked 1.2 to Undera’s to 0.8, but the Lions held on with Pat Mark the toast of the town after bagging six goals.

Kevin Tyndall was also sensational in the ruck, while John Sellwood and Sleeth’s brother Pat produced phenomenal games in the middle.

Although there have not been many reunions in recent years for Undera, another celebration will come in four years.

The Lions brought up another premiership under Pat Sleeth in 1972 after the two brothers reversed roles.

There will be plenty of yarns told at half-time of Undera’s match with Nagambie on Saturday over a cold beer.

‘‘You don’t forget the ones you win, you don’t remember anything in the ones you came second, but you remember what you win,’’ Sleeth said.

1968 UNDERA PREMIERSHIP TEAM

B: Adrian Sloper, Barry Sloper, Kevin Tyndall

HB: Fred Mandersloot, Pat Sleeth, John Lyle C: George Vearing, John Sellwood, Rob Gordon.

HF: John Pell, Tom Haigh, John Ough F: Dave McNamara, Peter Mark, Frank Mark

Foll: Des Sleeth, Stewart Freeman, Ron James

19th man: Laurie McCarty

20th man: B Lyle

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