LEITCHVILLE-Gunbower’s Tim Lincoln lived up to his billing as one of the Heathcote District league’s elite players with a starring role in Saturday’s grand final win over North Bendigo.
While Lincoln was awarded the AFL Victoria Country Medal, he says it could have easily gone to any of half-a-dozen of his team-mates in the Bombers’ 15.18 (108) to 12.10 (82) victory.
On the big stage of the grand final where the pressure goes to another level, Lincoln’s class stood out as he was a major ball-winner, used it with his customary polish and provided plenty of drive going inside 50.
“To be honest, there was five or six guys who could have won this medal today such was our team effort,” Lincoln said.
“And that’s what we’ve built our whole season on… a great contribution from everyone.
“It’s great to be acknowledged, but we had plenty of other players who could have won it. Everyone played their role today and that’s what wins you premierships.”
Lincoln kicked two goals late in the second quarter to end what had been a run of eight-consecutive Bombers’ behinds.
Coach Matt Hawken had spoken during the week about the Bombers’ seizing the moment on Saturday.
When Lincoln had the chance with those two shots at goal, he did just that in the shadows of half-time.
“You’ve got to take your opportunities in grand finals and we knew scoreboard pressure was the greatest way to get to North Bendigo,” Lincoln said.
“We missed a few opportunities in that second quarter, but we kept putting the pressure on and eventually, we were able to break the game open.”
Lincoln, 26, was one of nine players in the team who had played in both the Bombers’ grand final losses to North Bendigo the previous two years.
“There’s no doubt there’s a sense of relief being the third time around,” said Lincoln, who has previous VFL experience with the Northern Bullants and Blues.
“We knew it was going to be a tough challenge with North Bendigo being the great side they are and we have a lot of respect for them.
“This year was all about taking the next step and it’s just a great feeling that we’ve been able to get there today.”
• Leitchville-Gunbower premiership team: Daniel Couwenberg (c), Matt Perri, Daniel Coates, Tim Lincoln, Luke Sevior, Mitch Bruns, Joel Donehue, Matt Ladson, Jackson McEwen, Steve Pretty, Daniel Meroli, Adam Decicco, Brady Hore, Shaun Turvey, Ayden Walton, Lee Pollock, Ryan Prendergast, Liam Guinan, Matt Pollock, Logan Prout, Hoby Bussey, Brad Ladson.