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First partners, now the prize: Blakes takes Freehills down

First partners, now the prize: Blakes takes Freehills down

BLAKE Dawson Waldron capped an unlikely trifecta of victories over Freehills recently by snatching the 2003 Winneke Cup.A reverse result of last year’s final saw Blakes emerge two-point winners…

BLAKE Dawson Waldron capped an unlikely trifecta of victories over Freehills recently by snatching the 2003 Winneke Cup.

A reverse result of last year’s final saw Blakes emerge two-point winners to take out the fifth staging of Melbourne’s annual law firm Australian Rules contest. The footy revenge gave Blakes the honour of relieving Freehills of the title only weeks after poaching two senior members — tax head Geoff Mann and patent attorney Dale Watson — from its top-tier rival.

Like the 2002 decider, this year’s final was a dour affair. Only two ‘majors’ were booted during the 40-minute match, the second of which edged Blakes to a lead that it refused to surrender during the tense closing stages.

And according to the mercurial Craig Lloyd, who along with team mates spent a good deal of last week hobbling around town, the dogged effort was well worth it. Unlike their vanquished opponents — who boasted the skills of former Hawk Richard Loverage — Blakes took the field minus players with AFL experience.

“Things were pretty intense and we drew a lot of satisfaction from receiving the cup from Richard Loverage,” Lloyd said. “It’s good to have the bragging rights for the next year.”

The kudos did, however, come at a cost, with one Blakes player breaking his ankle and being rushed to hospital. Despite witnessing such a serious and potentially career-threatening injury, Lloyd believed any prospects of being temporarily put out of business were not a huge consideration.

“Playing AFL for a day like that, I don’t think [getting injured] will affect us professionally,” he said. “There were 10 teams competing, each with at least 18 players, so there must have been plenty of people keener on playing than worried about getting injured.”

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