Sports Reports: Blake Tabe wins RMFL's Mail Medal for 2021

Plus Murray Bridge Rifle Club names its 2020-21 championship winners.

This post includes a contribution from Murray Bridge Rifle Club’s Daniel Irvine.

Mannum’s Blake Tabe has won the Mail Medal as the River Murray Football League's best and fairest player for 2021.

The half-back was awarded the top honour at a glittering ceremony at the Bridges Event Centre, after a season in which he was named among his club’s best players in all but six matches.

He credited Mannum coach Wayne Knowles for his success.

“Knowlesy reckons it’s all him, putting me on a back flank,” he said.

“I really love kicking goals up forward as well, and running through the middle a bit, but I just found it a lot easier to be more consistent back there so I did really enjoy it.”

Tailem Bend’s Ben Hansen and Jervois’ Josh Scott were joint runners-up.

Johnny Boras collects some hardware as the RMFL’s – and country South Australia’s – leading goal-kicker for 2021, with 123 majors. Photo: River Murray Football League/Facebook.

Other award winners on the night included:

  • A grade leading goal kicker: Johnny Boras, Imperials

  • Best ruckman: Nick Westhoff, Tailem Bend

  • Best backman: Ben Hansen, Tailem Bend

  • Player of the year: Adam Diamond, Jervois

Tabe was also recognised for taking the mark of the year, while the Eagles’ Mackenzie Hansen kicked the goal of the year.

Tailem Bend Football Club were awarded the Lyall Parker Trophy for achieving the most success across all grades during the season.

River Murray Football League preliminary final score

Imperials 10.14 (74) def Tailem Bend 10.7 (67)

Imperial goals: S. DeMichele 3, J. Boras 2, J. Clarke 1, L. Harrowfield 1, K. White 1, N. Daish 1, S. Samblich 1. Best: L. DeMichele, S. Samblich , H. Montgomery, D. Girdham, K. White.

Tailem Bend goals: D. Finnie 2, J. Bell 1, S. Thomson 1, J. Smedley 1, S. Clay 1, N. Westhoff 1, W. Luckett 1. Best: N. Westhoff, B. Hansen, T. Geyer, W. Luckett, J. Linde.

Greg Traeger takes possession of the shield as Murray Bridge Rifle Club’s target rifle championship winner for 2020-21. Photo: Daniel Irvine.

Rifle club’s annual award winners revealed

Murray Bridge Rifle Club shooters have gathered at Auchendarroch House in Mount Barker for a presentation dinner following the 2020-21 season.

Grade and discipline champion winners were announced and celebrated, with Greg Traeger claiming the target rifle championship by six points from Rob Paech.

Mark Nesti secured the F-open title, nine points ahead of John Cranwell, while Frank Marshall claimed the F-standard championship.

Yearly handicap awards were also given out, with Jasamine Irvine and Nesti taking out the yearly prizes for TR and F-class, respectively.

Irvine and Nesti also claimed the short-range handicap prizes, while at the longer ranges Traeger and Cranwell took the honours.

In other awards, the winners of last season’s three-range shoot were recalled to be Irvine and Marshall, while the Pairs Trophy winners were Traeger and Daniel Irvine.

Gordon Harrison was pleasantly surprised to have found out that he won the Jack Caspers Memorial Trophy for his 1000-yard scores, while Cranwell declared he was “flabbergasted” to have won the F-class equivalent, the Paul Janzso Trophy.

Also flabbergasted on the day was David McDonald, when it was announced he had won both the Cranwell 15-Shot Trophy for F-class, along with Jazz Irvine in TR, as well the Patron’s Trophy, shot on handicap across both disciplines.

However, McDonald was even more flabbergasted to learn that, along with his other successes, he also managed to win the F-class yearly Magpie Award, having only won the TR award the previous year.

This year the TR Magpie Trophy went to first-time winner Daniel Irvine, who was not surprised, given the number of times he had won the daily prize over the past 12 months.

The previous day, nearly 20 had contested the seventh stage of the 2021-22 club championship at 300 metres.

The range may have been close, but the weather made sure that competition was interesting as a strong wind, mostly from the right, gradually cooled the warm start to the day.

The wind came from over the shooters’ shoulders and squared up at random intervals.

As the afternoon progressed, patches of consistency appeared but conditions did not improve in the eyes of most.

At least shooters were thankful to have avoided any rain.

Target rifle was led by strong performances from Jazz Irvine and Paech, who both scored 97s for the day.

Paech ended up winning the off-rifle prize on centres, while Jazz took out the handicap award for the day.

While no possibles were shot in TR, Andrew Heard was on a roll, shooting seven centres out of eight shots until heartbreakingly dropping two points in his last two shots for a 48.07.

Daniel Irvine also continued his streak of magpies, claiming the award once more with three birds shot for the day, while Wayne Halliday returned to the less-than-prestigious winner’s circle, taking out the F-class Magpie Award with two birds.

Leading the way in F-class was McDonald, scoring 117.07, a point behind visitor Stuart Braund but enough to give him the off-rifle win in the grade and the handicap win for the discipline.

Marshall continued his success in F-standard, winning off-rifle for the day with 109.04, while FTR had a winner this week as Nicole Edwards registered a respectable 102.04 given the conditions.

Noteworthy also was Adrian Conlon’s impressive 60.08, the only possible shot for the day.


Murray Bridge News is happy to share news, results or photos from sporting clubs throughout Murray Bridge and the surrounding region, free of charge. Email peri@murraybridge.news or call 0419 827 124.

You can help keep local stories like this one free for everyone to read. Subscribe to Murray Bridge News today and support your independent, locally owned news service, plus get access to exclusive stories you won’t find anywhere else, for just $5.50 a month.