Oxen dusts off boots to take on B-52s

BRING IT ON: The B-52 Bombers' Andrew Johnson, Peter Kirkwood and Ken Wilson and the Oxen's Peter Tyack, Ben Smith and Ben Irwn. The two sides will play a charity game on Sunday. Picture: GLENN DANIELS

BRING IT ON: The B-52 Bombers' Andrew Johnson, Peter Kirkwood and Ken Wilson and the Oxen's Peter Tyack, Ben Smith and Ben Irwn. The two sides will play a charity game on Sunday. Picture: GLENN DANIELS

SOME of Bendigo's footballing greats will dust off their boots for a charity game at Harry Trott Oval on Sunday in support of men's health.

Bendigo's Masters club, the B-52 Bombers, will take on social team, the Oxen, in the big game.

The B-52 Bombers play in the Victorian Country Masters Football League and provide an opportunity for players over the age of 35 to play in a competitive and social environment.

The Bombers are coached by Rohan Harrison and include players such as Adrian Dixon and Paul McGrath (ex-White Hills), Shane Chisholm, Paul Chisholm and David Collins (YCW), Michael Martin (Campbells Creek) and Ken Wilson (Colbinabbin).

The Oxen was formed last year to compete in the Australian Masters Games in Geelong.

"We are a social football club built on mateship first and providing players with an opportunity to be active and play the sport we love, regardless of ability," said Ben Irwin, one of the team's founders.

"We also aim to encourage others, young and old, to get out and have a go."

Sunday's Oxen line-up will include a pair of Bendigo Football League Michelsen medallists in Peter Tyack (1979) and Derrick Filo (1991), as well as fellow former BFL stars Steve Hoiles, Ben Smith, Damon Cusack, Chris Bolton and Irwin.

The Oxen won a bronze medal at the Australian Masters Games last October.

"We tore eight hamstrings in game one, lost our first two games, but recovered to win our third game comfortably at Simonds Stadium and fell short by less than a kick to eventual gold medallist Geelong on the last day to end up with bronze," Irwin said.

"The group bonded well and we all vowed to enter the next Masters Games in Adelaide in 2015."

While Sunday's game is a social match, it has a serious message of focussing on middle aged men maintaining active and healthy lifestyles.

Both teams will be supporting Men's Sheds Australia - an organisation that aims to improve the health status of men and support the development of mens sheds throughout Australia.

Sunday's B-52 Bombers v Oxen match at Harry Trott Oval kicks off at 11.30am.

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