They may all be Over 45 players, but Careel Bay hosted two very competitive teams on a hot Sunday afternoon as Avalon and Manly Vale played their 14th annual pre-season charity game. The teams were once again raising money for Bear Cottage – the only children’s hospice in NSW.


Bear Cottage is a very special place dedicated to caring for children with life-limiting conditions – click here to donate!


Avalon would end up winning 5-2, however the most important result was the amount of $1,800 donated on the day. This sets a new record for the most money raised at a single game since this charity fundraiser was established – well done to both teams and everyone who supported this very worthwhile cause.

Whilst things were friendly off the field, the game was a typically competitive affair once the referee’s whistle blew for the kickoff. Talismanic striker Chris Allison drew first blood for Avalon in the fifth minute by Avalon with a fine goal. New Avalon signing Paul Wood then doubled Avalon’s lead after 15 minutes with what would be the first goal of his hat trick. At the other end, stand-in first half keeper Dave Hancock made a spectacular diving save to keep Manly Vale from scoring on 20 minutes.

Avalon continued to dominate proceedings with possession football, but Manly Vale would gain a foothold and fortunes started to change halfway through the game as Manly Vale pegged back a goal to halve the deficit. Avalon then made it 3-1 with another Wood goal, set up by captain Brad Nicol, followed by Manly Vale’s quick response to bring it back to 3-2.

However, from then on Avalon took control. With 15 minutes to go, a superb free kick from Hancock (now playing at right back) found Wood at the back post to make it 4-2. Midfield wizard Dan Morley capped off a brilliant Avalon display with a superb goal and the game ended 5-2.

At the end of the game, the teams combined donations and discovered that they totalled a whopping $1,800! Avalon’s O45B team, managed by Ed Lamb, had a whip round and contributed $150 to the cause. Thanks must go to Brian Haslam from the Avalon O45C team, who volunteered to referee the game and did a great job as always, demonstrating their great club spirit.

Congratulations to Avalon and Manly Vale for their efforts in organising this great occasion. Here’s to many more years of playing this great game and raising money for this wonderful cause.

Thanks to David Hancock for providing the above summary and photos.


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