Ipswich's 'best' footballer leads respect for Anzacs
AUSSIE RULES: Anzac Medal winner Mick "Pickles'' Lyons doesn't have any direct links to the military.
However, like his Ipswich Eagles teammates who do, he was eager to respect the past sacrifices they have made serving their country.
Lyons won the best on ground medal for his gritty performance at half forward/winger in Ipswich's 91-point victory over Moorooka at Limestone Park on Saturday.
"It was a big surprise,'' Lyons said of winning the latest award.
"Everyone contributed today.''
However, he appreciated the honour on a special commemorative afternoon of footy where the Eagles comfortably retained the Anzac Cup.
"It's fantastic for all of us to share that day and play for the Cup and have a lot of people supporting us is really great,'' he said.
In his second season back at the club, the diminutive Eagle wore a black arm band like his teammates to honour our military.
Keen to retain the Anzac Cup, the Eagles asserted their authority early in their third consecutive win of the QFA Division 3 season.
After building a 43-4 advantage in the first term, the Eagles were ahead 54-12 at halftime and 72-26 in front at the final change.
The final score was Ipswich 18.15-123 to Moorooka's 4.8-32.
"It was good to be back,'' Lyons said, having played for Ipswich on and off for six years.
"It was a good start and the second and third term it was very tight.
"We spoke at three-quarter time to really finish them off, use the wind. A lot players stood up in that last quarter.
"We moved the ball a lot better, which was nice and we put a few goals on the board so it was great.''
Ipswich's leading goalkicker was Henry Armour with nine.
Hayden Carthew-Zimmer booted three. Other strong performers included co-captain Chris Devlin, Nick Barling and Keith Brick.
Melbourne-bred footballer Lyons said Ipswich's superior goalkicking was due to extra effort.
"We worked on that over pre-season. That was one of our main things with fitness. Hitting our targets and working on bits and pieces like that,'' he said.
"It was very satisfying.''
Devlin collected the Anzac Cup for his team on Saturday.
Retaining the Cup was a positive step building for another Eagles premiership bid after losing last year's grand final.
"For a lot of boys, that's a big drive to go one better this year,'' Lyons said.
As for his nickname Pickles, "I've had it since primary school,'' he said.
The Eagles Reserves lost the earlier match by 59 points.
In the QFA Women's Division 2 North match on Saturday night, Moorooka scored a thrilling two-point win over Ipswich.
The Eagles women thrashed Jindalee 120-6 in the first game before losing to Hinterland Blues 29-2 heading into the latest game at Limestone Park.
State of play
QFA Division 3: Ipswich Eagles 18.15-123 def Moorooka 4.8-32.
Reserves: Moorooka 14.12-96 def Ipswich Eagles 6.1-37.
QFAW Division 2 North: Moorooka 4.0-24 def Ipswich Eagles 3.4-22.