Lions take home Josh Ahern Cup in Indigenous Round

South Gawler inter 1 co-captains Paris Kiryk and Abby Fielke with Willaston captain Talia Laubsch before contesting the Josh Ahern Cup. PHOTO: Phil Williams

LIAM PHILLIPS
ON Saturday, South Gawler hosted Willaston
for the annual Josh Ahern Cup – contested
between the two sides’ senior colts
footballers and inter 1 netballers in memory
of former South Gawler junior footballer
Josh Ahern, who died tragically in a car
crash more than a decade ago.
It was also South Gawler’s inaugural Indigenous
Round, with A-grade player Jordan
Tippins and his father Jason designing a
special South Gawler guernsey. Willaston’s
Shaun Childs designed one for the Donnybrooks
to be worn in the A-grade clash.
Jason Tippins conducted the Welcome to
Country, while the Lions also invited Sonny
Morey – an indigenous member of the Stolen
Generation who went on to play with distinction
in Central District’s inaugural SANFL
side – to toss the coin.
South Gawler ended up winning both the
senior colts and A-grade football games by
one point in a pair of incredible late comebacks,
while the Lions’ netballers got the job
done by 17 goals. But South Gawler Football
Club president Daniel Kiryk said the day was
about much more than wins and losses.
“The annual Josh Ahern Cup is a highlight
on the South Gawler calendar, and Saturday’s
hosting of the event was no exception,” he
said.
“The day was very well supported by both
Willaston and South Gawler members and
supporters.
“For the first time, we coupled the event
with our inaugural Indigenous round, but we
were very focused on both events keeping
their own identity on the day, which was definitely
accomplished.
“It’s always an extremely tough day for the
Ahern family, but as always, they were present
on the day, awarding the cup and medals
to the respective winners in both the under-17
football and the inter 1 netball games, and we
thank them dearly for that.
“The Josh Ahern Cup signifies road safety
round, and it is imperative we continue that
preventive work as a community in recognition
of such events, and the message clubs like
ours are sending to their players about safety
in motor vehicles.”
South Gawler co-captain Jackson Dare said
it was a day that carried a lot of weight with
the club, and it was not taken lightly.
“I played with Josh back at Central District
when I was probably 15 or 16, and obviously
I play with his brother Jacob now, who is a
good mate of mine,” he said.
“It was huge of the Ahern family to get it
started all those years ago, and to keep it going
the way they have, raising the amount of
awareness they have, is a credit to them.
“It’s important to make sure the kids at
the club now understand you can’t be idiots
in cars, and it means a lot to the club to have
Josh’s mum and dad there for the presentations
afterwards.”

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