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PROTRACK » GENERAL » Eddy steps up to the big stage and wins Maryborough Gift

Eddy steps up to the big stage and wins Maryborough Gift

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Eddy wins Maryborough Gift
Bendigo Advertiser
03 Jan, 2012

Matthew Eddy stepped up on the big stage to take the honours in his maiden final appearance at the $15,000 Bendigo Bank Maryborough Gift yesterday.

Eddy won in 12.25 seconds from a handicap of 10.00 metres at Princes Park.

The Narre Warren sprinter finished ahead of David Tinney, who crossed the line in 12.48 seconds off 8.5 metres.

A previous Maryborough Gift and Bendigo Thousand winner, Cam Dunbar stopped the clock at 12.56 seconds off 7.75 metres to be third.

Eddy won at his third attempt at the Maryborough Gift after holding off his fast-finishing rivals to claim the biggest race win of his career.

“I could feel them coming at about the 80 metre mark, I just had to keep concentrating on my own race,” Eddy said.

“It’s my highlight, definitely, of my career so far.”

The Gift final was Eddy’s fifth race of the day after heats and the final of the open 70m handicap, where he finished runner-up to Isaac Dunmall.

The intensely hot weather conditions made the Maryborough Highland Gathering a challenge for all competitors, but Eddy managed his workload to perfection.

“I felt good, I wasn’t sure how the heat would take it out of me, but I seemed to hold up alright,” Eddy said.

“Warming up and warming down is what takes it out of you,” he said of yesterday’s campaign.

Eddy’s coach Kerry McConnon said it was only a matter of time until the 31-year-old sprinter won a big race after his excellent start to the Victorian Athletics League season.

Eddy recently won a 200m race in Epping and he finished third in the Gippsland Gift last month.

“He’s been knocking on the door since the start of the season,” McConnon said.

“He’s been training to win a big Gift and now he’s done it.”

Eddy trained six days a week in preparation for the VAL meets run across Victoria.

The roof plumber and personal trainer is hoping for a strong showing at the Stawell Gift during Easter and hopes the race handicapper won’t be too hard on him after his success at Maryborough.

An action-packed card at the 151st Maryborough Highland Gathering included the highland games and sheaf tossing.

Will Binks starred at the caber toss, and Mount Gambier’s Sheridan Holland won the sheaf toss.



Maryborough Gift: Eddy charges into New Year

Ballarat Courier
02 Jan, 2012

HIS TRAINING partners were all on holidays but metropolitan sprinter Matthew Eddy wanted to start the New Year running.

Eddy’s resolution paid off, capturing the $15,000 Maryborough Gift title at Princes Park yesterday.

The 31-year-old powered through his heat and semi-final off 10 metres, advancing as the fastest qualifier at each stage, to set up his biggest Victorian Athletic League victory.

In a tight final, and with temperatures topping 40C in the open, Eddy stuck to his plan.

“I could feel them coming but about the 80-metre mark I concentrated on my own race,” Eddy said.

“I felt good out there – I wasn’t sure how I’d go in the heat but I felt all right.

“The worst part was warming up and warming down again.”

Eddy fended off Geelong sprinter David Tinney, who chased him off 8.5m, to cross the line first in 12.29 seconds a fraction ahead of Tinney.

Crowd favourite Cam Dunbar (7.75m) from Ringwood East was third in 12.56 in a near-photo finish from Doug Greenough.

Eddy, from Narre Warren, was the only member of the Kerry McConnon stable competing at Maryborough.

He was thrilled he made the choice to hit the track, pocketing $8000 for topping the podium.

The roof plumber and part-time personal trainer devotes about six nights a week to his running training and said he felt in great form.

Victory has given him confidence and drive to be out in force at the major VAL meets this summer – a certain contender for the Ballarat Gift on February 11-12 and Stawell Gift in early April.

Eddy has been on the VAL circuit for about eight years and this was only his third time at Maryborough.

But he definitely planned on coming back. Ballarat sprinters Rod Mathews (10.75m) and Matthew Wiltshire (6.5m) were knocked out in the Gift semi-finals.

Both fell short of Eddy, who won semi-final three in 12.32 seconds with Doug Greenough (8m) and Josh Tiu (9m) advancing from the same semi-final as the next fastest qualifiers.

Mathews was in strong form early, finishing second in heat six, while Wiltshire was backmarker in heat seven and won a spot in the semis as a fast qualifier.

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