Season 2013 in Review

Season 2013 in Review

July 27, 2023

President Peter Campbell (2010 – 13)

Senior Coach Chris Yard (2012 – 21)

Co-Captains Matthew Carey (2011 – 17) & Damian Dell’Aquila (2011 – 15)

Teams (4) Premier Division, Division One, Division Four and Under 18 Division One

Premiers Division Four and Under 18s Division One

Premier Division

After the H&A rounds, the Premier Division side finished in 4th place (13 wins/5 losses) and Manly Warringah Wolves were Minor Premiers (14 wins/3 losses/1 draw) and Premiers. In the Elimination final, Pennant Hills beat UNSW/ES Bulldogs by 71 pts, had a narrow 1 goal victory over North Shore in the 1st Semi Final and qualified for the Grand Final after beating St George Dragons by 21 pts in the Preliminary Final.

In a tightly contested Grand Final, Manly prevailed over Penno, winning by 8 pts. Penno led by the same margin at half-time but were outplayed in the 3rd quarter only managing 1.1 while Manly kicked 3.3. Manly’s lead at the final change was 6 pts. Both teams kicked 3 goals in the final term and Penno briefly snatched the lead in the late stages, however, Manly hit back and were ahead when the final siren sounded.

When Penno hit the lead late in the final quarter, I remember an explosion of cheers and jeers from the large Penno crowd who erupted from their seats. And, then the collective groan of disappointment as Manly quickly took back the lead and a jubilant Manly official banging on the media box window with a fierce and furious expression on his face!

After consecutive Division One premierships in 2011 and 2012, Manly were promoted to the Premier Division competition in 2013. They had a very good side and proved too strong for the incumbents and managed another two-peat, winning the Premier Division flags in 2013 and 2014. Pennant Hills were the unfortunate losers in both years. However, the Demons would exact revenge in the following season, winning the 2015 flag from 5th place.

Matthew Thomas was Premier Division Best & Fairest and Pennant Hills Footballer of the Year.

Ranga Ediriwickrama was the Leading Senior Goalkicker with 48 goals.

Matt Vile and Regan Pinker were joint winners of the Ken MacRae Shield (Best First Year Local Player).

Jarrod Myers was awarded the Presidents Trophy and Phil Scarlett was Best Clubperson.

Division One (Reserves)

After the H&A rounds, the Division One side finished in 7th place (9 wins/9 losses) in a field of 10 teams. Southern Power were Minor Premiers (15 wins/2 losses) and Premiers. In the Grand Final Power comprehensively beat UNSW/ES Bulldogs by 85 pts.

Anthony Brawn was Division One Best & Fairest and leading goalkicker (28 goals).

Division Four (Thirds)

After the H&A rounds, the Division Four side finished in 2nd place (13 wins/4 losses/1 draw) in a field of 10 teams. UTS Bats were Minor Premiers (13 wins/4 losses); UTS’s match ratio of 76.47% pipped Penno’s match ratio of 75.00% by 1.47%. In the Qualifying Final, Pennant Hills beat Moorebank Magpies by 77 pts, then beat UTS Bats by 21 pts and advanced to the Grand Final. In the Preliminary Final Sydney University defeated UTS Bats by 41 pts to qualify for the Grand Final.

In the Grand Final, Pennant Hills overwhelmed Sydney University, winning by 67 pts. Veterans Blair Hatherley and Paul Randazzo (in his 100th game) kicked 3 goals each. Evan Danilo was Pennant Hills best and also adjudged the Grand Final Best on Ground.

Phillip Hare’s perfectly executed ‘shirt front’ on a University opponent is a lasting memory and iconic moment from the Division Four Grand Final.

Alex Huggins was Division Four Best & Fairest and won the Armstrong Medal for best in the Division Four competition.

Laine Spencer was the team’s leading goalkicker with 23 goals.

Barnaby Howarth’s 100 game milestone and Farewell match in 2013

Club Legend, Barnaby Howarth, against all the odds, played his 100th and last game for his beloved Demons in the Round 13 Division Four match against Manly Warringah Wolves at Ern Holmes Oval. In the opening minutes of the game Barns marked the ball about 40m out and kicked truly to open the team’s scoring and he later kicked a second goal. It was a fairy-tale finish for Barns as the Demons won the match by more than 6 goals and Barns was able to finish his career with a victory.

It was the culmination of a long journey of recovery for Barnaby after he had suffered a career-ending stroke as a result of a hooligan’s king-hit on the streets of Sydney. At the time of his stroke, Barns had played 97 games for the Demons and it was Ian Parker who encouraged him to play out his 100th game in 2013.

It was Past Players Day at the Back to the Ern round and there was a huge crowd in attendance to celebrate Barnaby’s swansong all wearing printed tee-shirts emblazoned with The Fat’s #44 jumper number.

Under 18 Division One

After the H&A rounds, the Under 18 Division One side finished Minor Premiers (16 wins/2 losses/match ratio 88.89%) in a field of 11 teams. UNSW/Bulldogs finished in 2nd place (15 wins/2 losses/match ratio 88.24%). Pennant Hills had taken top place by virtue of its 0.65% superiority in match ratio!

After earning the week off before finals, Pennant Hills defeated UNSW/Bulldogs by 40 pts in the 2nd semi-final and earned another week off before the Grand Final. In the Grand Final Pennant Hills scored a narrow 3 pts victory to secure the premiership flag, after trailing at half-time (by 2 goals) and still behind by 1 pt at three quarter time. In the final term Penno’s 1 goal 4 behinds to the Bulldogs 1 goal straight, was just enough to win the game. See Match Report below.

Daniel Preen’s 5 goals for Pennant Hills earned him the Grand Final Best on Ground. Daniel was also the Under 18 competition’s leading goalkicker with 56 goals.

Bradley Keough was Under 18 Best & Fairest.
Club President Peter Campbell presented the Premiership medals.

2013 Under 18’s Ten Year Premiership Anniversary – David Pinker, Under 18 Coach

This was the last season of Under 18’s before reverting back to Under 19 in 2014. We capped off a great home and away season with a Premiership, a week after our Thirds won the flag in their first year back since 2010.

After ten years without an underage premiership (the last in 2003) and some solid finals showings, we managed to keep a talented group of young men on the park for long enough to win the 2013 flag by 3 points.

Of the 34 players used, 8 boys played a total of 32 games in Premier Division with five of those making their debuts.

Another 8 boys played 13 games in Div One (Reserves) and Div Four (Thirds) and two boys played NSW Rams – Brad Watson in 18’s and Nick Hey in 16’s.

Tom Edmonds, James Dunn and Matt Vile all played in the Prems grand final side. Dan Preen also won the Goal Kicking for the competition including 5 in the GF.

We also polled the most votes in the Kealy Medal by some way, but was spread amongst the most players – 16. Our highest vote getter was Jordy Rene who came 11th.

Recollections of the season: Rounds 1 to 3

We started the season with a tight 7 pts win over North Shore at home followed by two big wins over the two newcomers to Under 18’s Div One, Macarthur Giants (120 pts) and Southern Power (73 pts).

Round 4 vs Sydney Uni at MKO

Sydney Uni who had given us twice whipped us last season and a team that would be right up there this year. I told the boys after the Southern Power win that although we take it one week at a time, when the fixtures came out, this was one I wanted to win badly – this would be our big test.

To the boys’ credit we put them away by 41 points at home. Theo Moraitis shut down Pola- Smith, Stewie Hodges kicked goal of the year and Jack Angel kept Vicic, who would go on to win the Kealy Medal, to one goal. Somehow, Uni gave him their best player! The umps gave Jaffer-Williams 2 votes, but he didn’t make their best six! Jesse Hare played Prems and Dan Preen and Regan Pinker made their Prem Div debuts that day as well. It was a tremendous effort.

Rounds 5 to 13

We went to our first bye four and zip with UNSW/ES, Illawarra, East Coast and Riverview to come. All hard games, but all games we came away with wins from. We got UNSW/ES undermanned because of Swans Academy matches, but we were also missing a few of our better players.

We then beat last year’s two grand finalists at home in consecutive weeks. Especially pleasing was the way we put East Coast away. They hadn’t been travelling too well and we knew they would do everything to get us. They brought back four boys from seniors to play us and we still got them 29 points.

From there we had a big win over Wests, a sloppy win over Macarthur at home and a bye, before we got to the Ern to celebrate Barnaby’s day with a 111 point win over Southern Power.

Round 14

We thought we were in pretty good shape after 11 on the trot. We had highlighted this bracket of four games early in the year where we played the bottom three sides and had a bye, but on the Thursday night we trained with the Prems, scared the crap out of them with the way we played the transition game and went down to Wollongong thinking we’d be the first 18’s side from Penno to win down there. We got belted by 70 points.

So at this point of the season we had six games remaining and no byes. We were sitting on top, one game and percentage clear of UNSW/ES. But after the way we lost at Wollongong we probably weren’t ready for finals footy.

Rounds 15 to 20

We were up against it in Round 15 at East Coast. We had five boys playing Prems at Campbelltown and brought in 4 boys from our junior clubs to play. We were behind by 3 points at half time, up by 5 points at three quarter time and went on to win by 29 points with a five goal to one last quarter.

Our final six games were hard and close. We got better each week at playing our style of footy and although we lost a close one to UNSW/ES at home, we had had more scoring shots and the last six games culminated in a hard, tough win over St George. We were now ready for finals.

We went into the previous game at Sydney Uni knowing that a win would give us the double chance.

We went into that last game knowing a win would give us top spot, a week off and the double chance.

Second Semi Final vs UNSW/ES at Blacktown

It’s always hard to know whether the week off is a good thing, but we had played six tough games in a row and had a few sore bodies so the first break was probably good for us.

We came out in the second semi and played a fantastic brand of footy for all but 15 minutes in the second quarter to get in the GF with a 40 point win.

Grand Final vs UNSW/ES at Blacktown

The first quarter was nothing short of brilliant. As our President, Pete Campbell said later that night, it was the best quarter of Under 18’s footy he had ever seen. I won’t tell you what he said about our second!

In fact, our second quarters hadn’t been great all year. We talk about it. We don’t talk about it. It was just something we couldn’t put our finger on, we just had to get on with it.

Our only goal in the second quarter was Josh Barty’s goal from inside the centre square. UNSW/ES put on six and then opened the third with the first two inside six minutes. At this stage they were 25 points up and we were up against it.

To the boys’ credit, from this point on, they fought and fought and fought. Dan Preen kicked two goals on the end of two great passages of play and then after a long drought where we seemed to dominate the play with little reward, Regan Pinker slotted a great goal and we were within 7 points. Lukas de Vries then put us within a point after a great passage of play which started in the back pocket with Chris McKay.

We went in to three quarter time with the belief and went on to get home by 3 points.

They kicked the first of the last to go 7 points up within a minute and then our boys went about their business. It was 5 1⁄2 minutes in when Cam Luscombe slotted one through on his left and scores were even.

With the amount of work and effort for the rest of the quarter it would have been an injustice if hadn’t won. There was a dubious 50 metre penalty and Brad Watson’s handball wasn’t a throw. The umpire was right in front of him, unbelievable!

Anyway, from that point on we scored three points and that was the margin.

2013 Under 18 Grand Final & Premiership – Match Review

Pennant Hills Demons (Minor premiers & Premiers) versus UNSW- Bulldogs (Runners-up) Played at Blacktown ISP on Saturday 21 September 2013, 10.50 am.

Was a hot fine sunny windless day 28C

Jesse Hare and Regan Pinker were co-captains.

The centre square was rock hard (cricket pitch).

Point of interest: Tyler Roos, son of Swan’s great, Paul Roos, was playing for the Bulldogs.

UNSW- Bulldogs won the toss and elected to kick to the scoreboard end (left hand goals) while Penno started to the right hand side towards the Eastern Road end.

Qtr 1

Mitchel De Vries (#10) took the first-up ruck contest for Penno.
Uni got the first clearance and kicked the opening goal inside the first minute of play. Uni by 6 pts.

Nick Hey (#8) and Regan Pinker (#6) got early touches and Josh Barty (#21), the ‘Big Red-headed Barty’ also saw some early action.

3+ min – a kick to the top of the goal square in front of Penno’s goals was marked by Liam Williams (#12) , but he had to surrender the ball to teammate Daniel Preen (#30) who received a free kick from a shepherding infringement. DPreen dobbed the ball for Penno’s first score: GOAL #1

Scores level 1 goal, 6 pts, each.
The commentators were calling Theo Moriatis (#26) … Moriartys!

6+ min – behind to Penno, 7 – 6 pts. Then a point to the Bulldogs squared the ledger again, 1.1-7 each.

Uni appeared to snap their 2nd goal but turns out it was touched, 1 pt to Uni, 7 – 8.

Jordan Rene (#17) marked on the wing and received a 50m penalty that brought him within scoring range and 1 pt resulted. Scores level again, 8 pts each.

8+ min – Stewart Hodges (#15) sprays his shot on goal for another behind; 9 – 8 pts.
9+ min – Josh Barty marked inside 50m, played on and ‘Big Red’ slots another goal for Penno; 15 – 8.


11+ min – Theo takes a mark in the last line of defence; 12+ min – behind to Uni; 15 – 9.
Stewie Hodges took a nice hanger from the kick-in.

13+ min – Lukas De Vries’s (#18) kick inside 50 was marked by DPreen 30m out. ‘He’s a Big Boy and will take some getting around.’ He kicked with a ‘lovely kicking technique – driving through the Sheerin’. DPreen kicked his second for the afternoon; GOAL #3

14+ min Penno 3.3-21 lead Uni 1.3-9 (12 pts margin). 30 seconds later, Barty kicked inside 50 and DPreen marked again, kicked straight and made it 2 goals within a minute of each other. (GOAL #4)

Penno on fire, 27 – 9, and there were ‘worrying signs for UNSW … struggling to link possessions at the moment.’

16+ min – DPreen marks again inside 50 … ‘this kid has some lovely hands’, and his kick goes wide for a minor score.

22+ min – Quarter time and Penno lead by 19 pts, 4.4-28 to UNSW 1.3-9.

Qtr 2

1+ min – Bulldogs Jack Erickson (#29) received a free kick inside 50 and they ‘need an early goal’. Erickson kicks the goal, the Bulldogs second; Penno by 13 pts, 28 – 15.

Moments later, Theo Moraitis gets caught holding the ball right in front of goal but Uni’s Abe Davis (#12) hits the post from about 20 out … a bad miss! Penno by 12 pts, 28 – 16.

3+ min – As the second quarter progresses the Bullldogs now have the momentum and a goal by Taylor Preece (#16) and the ‘Dogs get 2 in a row’ cutting Penno’s margin back to 6 pts. PH 4.4-28 to UNSW 3.4-22.

The ‘Dogs played it ugly and got themselves back into the game!’

8+ min – DPreen kicks a behind from a free kick; Penno by 7 pts.

10+ min – ‘From inside the centre square Josh Barty ‘loads up’ and kicks a great goal from long range for the Demons. GOAL #5. Penno’s lead is back out to 13 pts, 5.5-35 to Bulldogs 3.4-22.

At this point, the commentators remark that the ‘the Back Six of both teams are working really well.’

13+ min – The Bulldogs star player Abe Davis is starting to have an influence, after a slow start. His kick from 50 m out took an off-break and bounced through for the Bulldogs 4th goal. Penno by 7 pts.

Barty vs Davis … Barty has been good for the Demons and ‘Davis has been the catalyst for the Bulldogs.’

14+ min – The Bulldogs are awarded a downfield freekick for a late tackle … ‘whacked after he got rid of it!’ Taylor Preece is the recipient of the free kick and he slots the goal reducing Penno’s margin to a mere 1 pt advantage. ‘This is a good test for the Pennant Hills Demons.’

16+ min – Preece is at it again, this time he ‘snaps another goal around the corner’ to put the Dogs in front. That’s 2 goals back-to-back for Preece.

17+ min – And again, this time Preece marks the ball 30 out and it’s another goal for him (his third in the quarter) and for the Bulldogs, their 6th major. ‘Midfield work by the Dogs has come to the fore in this quarter and the Dees are shellshocked at the moment.’

UNSW now leads by 11 pts, Penno 5.5-35 trail UNSW 7.4-46.

19+ min – a long shot by Jesse Hare (#9) lands on the goal-line and on the bounce, clips the goal post. 1 pt to Penno; ‘It came perilously close to a BIG major.’ Dogs by 10 pts.

20+ min – The Dog’s Hugh Miller (#4) has a shot from inside 50 but it is punched through for a behind. Dog’s out by 11 pts again.

22+ min – Under pressure Theo’s clearing kick goes OB. A chip kick to the top of the square and the Dogs receive a free kick from a defender’s infringement. Preece, again, takes the kick from a tight angle but only manages a minor score.

23+ min – the siren sounds for halftime.

At halftime, the Dogs had wrested back control of the game and led the Demons 5.6-36 to UNSW 7.6-48; Bulldogs by 2 goals/12 pts. It was 6 goals to one in favour of the Bulldogs and their gun forward, Taylor Preece, kicked 3 in the quarter.

Qtr 3

As the second half got underway, the Bulldogs were ahead by 2 goals and ‘Pennant Hills need to get on top’ early.

But the Dogs got the first inside 50 and Jordan Foote (#17) kicked a behind. Dogs by 13 pts.

3+ min – Then Kane Latham (#5) kicked a long bomb to register the Dog’s 8th major and their lead was now out to 19 pts, 36 – 55. ‘What a ripper!’ Pennant Hills need to shutdown Preece and Davis.

5+ min – Andre Cupido (#14) kicked the Bulldogs 9th goal extending their lead to 25 pts, a game high margin. Penno 5.6-36 – UNSW 9.7-61.

Alarm bells are sounding for Penno as the game is ‘starting to get out of reach for Pennant Hills.’

7+ min – At last Penno gets going again with a kick inside 50 from Jordan Rene marked by, you guessed it, DPreen, diving forward and straight in front. GOAL #6 for Penno. Margin is back to 19 pts.

11+ min – Penno’s resurgence continues, with DPreen once again on the end of a kick inside 50 from Josh Barty. The ‘BIG athletic forward type with big hands’, slots another for the Demons. GOAL #7 and DPreen’s 5th! Penno 7.6-48 to 9.7-61; Bulldogs by 13 pts.

15 = min – ‘It’s become a bit of a dog fight and we have a ripping game on our hands!’
16+ min – Co-captain Regan Pinker kicked a sensational goal from the far-side pocket and brings the

margin back into single figures. GOAL #8. Dogs by 7 pts.
‘Pinker has been handy in the last few minutes and his dad (Coach David Pinker) will be happy about

18+ min – ‘The Dogs are just limping into three quarter time.’

19+ min – In one of the best displays of transition footy, Penno take the ball from one end to the other finishing with a goal by Lukas De Vries, getting on the end of an inside 50 from Josh Barty. (GOAL #9).

‘That’s how you kick a transition goal. That was an absolute pearler, a top team goal!’ Scores level, 60 pts each.

At this point the Dogs are stunned, enduring the Demons onslaught and were unable to score since halfway through the quarter.

21+ min – In the dying moments, the Dogs manage a behind to maintain a slender one point lead as the three quarter siren sounds.

At 3 quarter time, the Dogs are ahead by a solitary point after having lead by 25 pts around the 5 minute mark. What an incredible comeback by the Dees!

Pennant Hills Demons 9.6-60 trail UNSW Bulldogs 9.7-61

Qtr 4

With only 1 point separating the two best sides in the 2013 Under 18 competition, ‘we’re no closer to knowing who will be premiers and it should be a cracking final quarter.’’

0+ min – Inside the first minute of the final quarter Taylor Preece kicks his 5th goal for the match, giving the Dogs a 7 point advantage in the early going.

2+ min – DPreen kicks off the ground for a point to Penno. Dogs by 6 pts.

4+ min – Nathan Mace (#4) makes a great smother right in front of the Penno bench. The crowd roars!

5+ min – ‘David Pinker working the magnets furiously, trying to find an advantage.’ But, realistically, it’s up to the players now to lift.’

Moments later, Campbell Luscombe (#13) kicks the Demons GOAL #10, ‘crumbing the ball from the feet of the big forward Preen, snags the goal with a quick left foot snap!’ Scores level, 67 each!

7+ min – ‘The Demons defence is standing up,’ led by Theo Moraitis.

Moments later, Liam Williams ‘just sneaks it in for a behind.’ Penno hit the lead for the first time since half-time; Penno by 1 pt.

9+ min – Brad Keough (#23) marks inside 50 but ‘he pushes his kick left and it’s rushed for a behind. Penno by 2 pts. ‘The Dogs need to find something.’

10+ min – Bulldogs player Jordan Foote (#17) drops a sitter inside the 50 and Penno clear the danger. For the commentators … ‘Is that the Moment?’

10+ min – Liam Williams kicks a goal but it doesn’t count as DPreen had infringed his opponent. ‘That’s unfortunate … Joy turns to despair!’

14+ min – Barty makes a clearing kick from defence … ‘The Dogs are 2 points and 150 metres behind!’

15+ min – Lukas De Vries shot on goal from inside 50 got touched on the line for another point. Penno by 3 pts, 70-67.

16+ min – Another defensive clearance by Nick Hey. 17+ min – A goal-scoring smother by Chris McKay (#16).

18+ min – Nick Hey stands under a high ball and gets smashed from behind. He receives a relieving free kick.

19+ min – Brett Tompson (#24) got run-down from behind but Bulldogs Michael Togher (#18) makes nothing of the free kick. This is quickly followed by Jack Erickson (#29) who ‘blazed away’ and his shot slewed of the side of his boot and went OB. Phew, Penno breathe a huge sigh of relief!

19.43 – The siren sounds for what seems a short quarter, although there had only been two goals scored. Penno win by 3 pts!

Final Score: Pennant Hills Demons 10.10-70 defeated UNSW Bulldogs 10.7-67

The commentators conclude that it’s ‘one of the best games of Under 18 football you’ll ever see!

Pennant Hills Demons Goal-scorers:

| #1 Preen | #2 Barty | #3 Preen | #4 Preen | #5 Barty | #6 Preen | #7 Preen | #8 Pinker | | #9 L De Vries | #10 Luscombe |


  • Pennant Hills Daniel Preen was a dominant forward during the match and his 5 goals earned him the honour of Best on Ground. Had the result gone to the other side then, no doubt, DPreen’s opposite number, Taylor Preece, who also kicked 5 goals for the Bulldogs would have been BOG.
  • Going into the GF, DPreen was 3rd on the U18 competition’s goalkicking ladder, 3 goals behind the leader, Abe Davis on 54 goals. In the GF, DPreen’s 5 goals (total 56) allowed him to pip Davis by 1 goal (total 55). After the GF, DPreen was the Leading U18 Goalkicker for season 2013.
  • Jack Angel (#11) injured his ankle early in the match and was unable to return to the game.
  • Among the Demon supporters who ran on to the ground to celebrate with the team was theiconic Judy Jack, madly waving her homemade Pennants Hills Demons flag and wearing her son Brant’s No 6 jumper.

Written & compiled by John Acheson, Saturday 29 July 2023

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