Merry Men and Nanango played an entertaining semi-final.
Merry Men and Nanango played an entertaining semi-final. Callum Dick

Merry Men finally get their trophy

IT WAS a case of fifth-time lucky for Kieran Askin and his band of Merry Men, who finally overcame the "bridesmaids” tag to win the Open Mens division of the Kingaroy Seven-a-Side carnival at the weekend.

The Merry Men have a long-standing affiliation with the Kingaroy carnival, sending a team of combined Brisbane, Toowoomba and South Burnett players each year.

But they had stumbled at the final hurdle in each of the previous four years before their 1-0 win over Rockville in Sunday's final.

"Merry Men have been together for years, I don't exactly know for how long but we've always been competitive,” Askin said.

"I've only played the last four years, and we've kept coming second - we've been the bridesmaids for the last couple years - so it was good to finally get the win.

"Kawana usually meet us in the final and they weren't here this year which helped, but yeah, we were sick of coming second.”

Askin admitted his side took time to get into their rhythm, and were surprised by a number of teams they expected to easily account for.

"We had three wins and a draw in the pool matches - none of them were big wins, nothing spectacular,” Askin said.

"We ended up drawing with Barambah which was a bit of a surprise.

"We were probably odds-on to beat them, but credit to the local team they played well and held us to a 2-2 draw.”

For Askin, the carnival offered the perfect blend of competition and sportsmanship.

"I think it's a great way to start the season, it's very competitive but also very social in the same way,” Askin said.

"Everyone played in really good spirit and showed great sportsmanship, it was just a very enjoyable weekend.

"For those that are going to play the (regular football) season, it's good to have this kind of hit-out against competitive teams from all areas.”

In the Over-35 division, competition stalwarts Fossils emerged 1-0 victors over Roos, while in the Women's Rockville claimed a hard-fought 2-0 victory over Kawana.

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