All eyes were on Jerilderie, and in particular full forward Aaron Purcell, on Saturday afternoon. And if they weren’t, they definitely are now.
Hundreds of Demons supporters filed through the Monash Park gates hoping to see their home town hero re-write the Picola and District Football League record books.
And the power forward didn’t disappoint, booting an incredible 23 goals against the Deni Rovers and smashing through the revered 200-goal milestone in the most extraordinary way.
Despite what was his most impressive showing of the season, the former Lavington premiership star was typically low-key about his performance.
‘‘It was good to kick a few. The boys looked after me,’’ Purcell said.
‘‘If they weren’t kicking it to me, I wouldn’t be kicking goals.
‘‘We’ve been lacking a little bit recently but (Saturday) would have been our best performance.’’
The 34 year-old, who made his senior debut with the Demons when he was just 15, had kicked 11 goals by half time and brought up the double-ton early in the third term.
Waiting patiently behind the goals, young Jerilderie fans ran out on to the oval after Purcell’s 12th goal sailed through the middle, mobbing the man of the moment in one of the club’s most special scenes.
Purcell’s tally now stands at 211 goals from 18 games, just 38 shy of Deniliquin Rams legend Trevor Sutton’s all-time record of 249.
But first he will have to knock over Danny Irwin’s Picola League record of 215 goals, which he should eclipse in his next outing.
After finishing on top of the ladder, Purcell’s Demons will have a rest this weekend and the 250-game veteran says it couldn’t have come at a better time.
‘‘Sitting at full-forward obviously makes it easier (on the body). I don’t really move from the goalsquare, it’s a bit more relaxed down there,’’ he said.
‘‘The right foot’s allright, but the whole body is in pain.’’
Purcell, who works as a machine operator with Jerilderie Shire Council when he’s not booting goals, has played in five premierships with the Demons and says his previous best was about 70 goals in a year.
The club’s president, Stuart Watson, says while the town’s 1500-strong population has always supported the local team, Purcell’s exploits have attracted plenty of extra attention this season.
‘‘We usually get about 400 people to a home game but I reckon Aaron has dragged a few extra through the gate this year,’’ Watson said.
‘‘Footy clubs in towns like Jerilderie are often the heart and soul of the community, so when a bloke like Aaron is doing well, and when the club is doing well, the whole area gets a kick out of it.
‘‘The kids ran out (after Purcell kicked his 200th goal) and were fairly happy about it.’’
Purcell averages almost 12 goals per game.
Artist Nici Cumpston will hold a free Artist Talk at Shepparton Art Museum tonight, speaking about her body of work based around the Shepparton region.
It’s been a long journey for Tim Roadley but his dream of creating a multi-sport endurance event on the Murray River is now going to be a reality.
It was a big day for Jye McNeil on Sunday, not only celebrating his 19th birthday, but riding a double at the Tatura and Shepparton Racing Club’s meeting, including the big one, the Vraca and Varapodio Italian Plate (1600 m), on the Gerald Egan-trained Jetconi.
Echuca Football Club has signed Joel Magnabosco and Kane Morris for next season.
On Friday Rochester’s St Joseph’s Primary School opened a time capsule which was buried in the 1980s.
Waste collection in Campaspe Shire will change for two weeks during the festive season.
Valley Park Farms' egg production facility is expected to increase production and staff after a $100 000 Victorian Government grant.
Murchison’s Jane Spencer’s first exhibition It Just Dawned On Me will be on show in Shepparton in the first half of next year.
Lisa Milligan has started a new dog grooming business in Heathcote to help fund her Wild ABout Wildlife centre in Kilmore.
A group of volunteers have worked to revitalise the Cobram motorcross track to improve safety and attract new members to the club.
Federal Member for Farrer Sussan Ley says plans are in the works on how to get natural gas to Deniliquin.
New Transport Accident Commission research has revealed why some young country drivers habitually take risks on regional roads.
The Department of Environment and Primary Industries, Parks Victoria and Country Fire Authority will be performing planned burns in Goomalibee on Monday.
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