Party time for Maryborough Magpies

Maryborough players celebrate their win over Castlemaine.
Maryborough players celebrate their win over Castlemaine.

“The rooms haven’t rocked like this since the premiership days of the 1990s.”

The thoughts of one Maryborough supporter summed up the scenes and emotions in the Magpie rooms on Saturday evening after the club broke its 47-game losing streak with a 17.12 (114) to 8.8 (56) win over Castlemaine at Princes Park.

Many of Maryborough’s players had never sung the club song before, with the club’s previous victory against South Bendigo in round 16, 2014.

“We were 0-47 and now we’re 1-0,’’ Maryborough coach Shane Skontra said to a packed Magpie rooms after the win.

It had been 1049 days between victories for Maryborough and the thumping win was a mixture of sheer joy and relief for Skontra.

“I think the whole club probably feels as though we’ve got the monkey off our back,’’ Skontra said.

“(The losing streak) had been a big talking point, so this is a nice experience for everyone.”

Maryborough's Ash Noonan is loaded into the back of an ambulance after being knocked out against Castlemaine. Picture: ADAM BOURKE

Maryborough's Ash Noonan is loaded into the back of an ambulance after being knocked out against Castlemaine. Picture: ADAM BOURKE

The only setback for Maryborough was a nasty head knock to star midfielder Ash Noonan.

Seconds before three quarter-time Noonan was slung to ground in a tackle and his head crashed into the turf.

He was knocked out and Maryborough’s medical team called an ambulance to the ground.

The three quarter-time break was extended to the best part of 30 minutes as ambulance officers attended to Noonan.

His neck was placed in a brace and he was transported to Ballarat Hospital.

“The signs for Ash are pretty good,’’ Maryborough president Brendan Roughhead said on Saturday night.

“He’s feeling sore and sorry, but his obs are good and he is as good as can be expected considering the circumstances.”

When play resumed Maryborough made sure there was no coming back for Castlemaine.

Every Maryborough goal in the final quarter was greeted with a huge cheer by the club’s supporters.

“We had been showing signs (that we were close to a win), but you don’t always get rewarded,’’ Skontra said.

“We learned a lot from the Gisborne game a few weeks ago where we fell away badly in the last quarter.

“We’re trying to grow some leaders in our group. We still had 10 players aged 19 or under in the team today and they’re going to lose their way at times, but I thought they did really well to stay firm today.”

It was Maryborough’s experienced players who led the way.

Ethan Crackel, Matt Johnston, Coby Perry, Noonan and Mitch Kennedy were superb for Maryborough as the Pies kicked their highest score since round nine, 2014, when they posted 22.22 (154) against Kyneton.

While Maryborough rejoiced, Castlemaine’s season went from bad to worse.

Since defeating Maryborough in round one, Castlemaine has lost nine games in a row by margins of 199, 155, 85, 87, 149, 75, 106, 101 and 58 points.

For the first time since round 16, 2014 – ironically the same round as Maryborough’s last win – Castlemaine is on the bottom of the BFNL ladder.