Vikings take out Tropical AFL Masters Carnival
THE Prickly Pineapple Vikings proved they were the men to watch after taking out the prestigious Tropical AFL Masters Carnival at the Whitsunday Sports Park on the weekend.
Players from Proserpine, Airlie Beach, Mackay, Cairns and as far south as NSW travelled to compete in the two-day carnival.
All players, who were aged from 35 to the oldest competitor of 73, defied their age with some brilliant on-field action that saw many spectators applauding from the sidelines.
The carnival is now in its fourth year and has grown from strength to strength. Whitsunday Bald Eagle's president Jack Lumby couldn't be more proud.
"I'm very happy with the player line-up and the distances players and spectators have travelled to be here," he said.
"The Easter long weekend is proving to be a winning formula for the carnival and its definitely growing in popularity which is great to see."
Individual players were drafted into four teams on Friday night to ensure an equal number of over-35s players and over-60s players were in each team.
Mr Lumby said all teams played with great intensity, especially considering it was the first time many had played together in their new teams.
On Saturday, the Reef Gateway Gators demolished the Shirt Front Solutions Shirt Fronters 35-19 in the opening round, before the Prickly Pineapple Vikings faced off against the McDowell's Panel Works Pirates posting a 23-3 over the side.
The teams then contested a round robin style carnival over the next four matches.
After some rest and rejuvenation, all teams returned to the field on Sunday for the finals bash. In the first match, the Shirt Fronters saw off the Pirates 49-31 to seal their third place position.
Prior to the grand final match between the Vikings and the Gators, a minute's silence was held to honour former Mackay Saints player Rod Jenkins who lost his battle to cancer on Saturday night.
Spectators were delighted with the epic grand final clash which saw the Vikings take out a 3.1.19 to 2.1.13 lead into the break.
A brilliant kick by local Jamie Fuhrmann saw the Vikings confirm their lead early on in the second half, before a series of great plays secured their 7.6.44 to 3.2.20 victory.
Mr Lumby thanked all who supported the carnival and promised it would be back bigger and better next year.
1st - Prickly Pineapple Vikings
2nd - Reef Gateway Gators
3rd - Shirt Front Solutions Shirt Fronters
4th - McDowell's Panel Work Pirates