Arrowtown rugby stalwart Jim O’Malley can’t believe he’ll notch up his 100th game for the club this weekend – he’s been trying to retire for years.
The 35-year-old lock makes his centurion appearance in the away White Horse Cup clash against holders Alexandra on Saturday.
“It’s going to be a strange one because I’ve threatened to hang up my boots so often,” O’Malley says. “I’ve actually ‘retired’ from the game about five times now but when the start of a season comes around, you feel like doing it all again.
“I wasn’t going to play this season as my wife had a second baby at the end of last year.
“But the team was short and I decided to give it another go.”
O’Malley – who’s been at Arrowtown since 2002 – insists he’ll focus on beating Alexandra on Saturday rather than celebrating his ton-up.
“It’s going to be a big match for me but I’d rather concentrate on winning the cup than worrying about my 100th game,” he says.
O’Malley adds: “I’m sure this really will be my last season playing though, because with having two kids now it’s maybe time to finally call it a day. But who knows?”
Premiers: Wakatipu v Clyde-Earnscleugh, 2.45pm, Rec Ground; Alexandra v Arrowtown, 2.45pm Alexandra.
Seniors: Wakatipu v Alexandra/Roxburgh Combined, Rec Ground, 1pm
Why it’s gotta be Wakatipu…
John Mansfield says: It’ll be one of the few times in the season where Wakatipu will be backing Arrowtown to win. Then we’ll be looking forward to whipping the cup off them in the not too distant future (Arrowtown host Wakatipu on May 2).
Arrowtown should give Alex a run for their money, especially since Clyde gave Alex such a scare first up. The old Clyde boys would still be on the p… if they had beaten them.
I’ve just come back from holiday and haven’t seen any games. I heard we lost to Wanaka because we had seven players out and a few more injuries in the game. But then they got their A into G and beat Cromwell comfortably last time.
My tip: Wakatipu by 20
Why it’s gotta be Arrowtown…
Richie Anderson says: Gutted as I was that the Otago Country Board refused to allow the Arrowtown team the chance to play for the White Horse Cup last year, it just means I am high on anticipation the space left for it on the trophy shelf will soon be filled by the trophy itself.
Assuming that Alex coach Lindsay Breen will be reading this, I do not want to give him too much ammunition. Let’s be clear, though: on current form, the challenger is going into the game on a roll.
My tip: Arrowtown by 10