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28/09/2019 苏州美甲学校

Cardiff Hawks skipper Simon O’Brien plays Black Diamond AFL final on his wedding day

I do … have to play footy on our wedding day PERFECT MATCH: Cath Reed and Simon O’Brien at their wedding rehearsal on Friday afternoon at St Mary’s Star of the Sea on The Hill. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

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PERFECT MATCH: Cath Reed and Simon O’Brien at their wedding rehearsal on Friday afternoon at St Mary’s Star of the Sea on The Hill. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

PERFECT MATCH: Cath Reed and Simon O’Brien at their wedding rehearsal on Friday afternoon at St Mary’s Star of the Sea on The Hill. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Simon and Cath on holiday last year.

Simon and Cath on holiday last year.

TweetFacebook Simon O’Brien and Cath Reed +5MORE GALLERIES

facebookSHAREtwitterTWEETemailwhatsappSimon O’Brien and Cath Reed locked in their wedding date soon after returning in January from a year-long holiday overseas.

They picked out midday on Saturday, August 26, at St Mary’s Star of the Sea, on The Hill.

Simon, a lawyer working at the tax office and a wiry ruck-rover, is captain of the Cardiff Hawks in the Black Diamond AFL.

The club had been in the doldrums for a few years and were not expected to make it far into the finals, if at all.

“At that stage I wasn’t even sure if I was going to be playing footy or not,” Simon said.

“I must admit I did have a look at the calendar and saw that it was prelim final weekend.”

Seven months later and, sure enough, the Hawks have performed above expectations and qualified for the preliminary final against Nelson Bay at No.1 Sportsground from 1.30pm on Saturday, August 26, –90 minutes after the wedding.

Simon takes upthe story.

“I’m scheduled to leave the wedding at one o’clock. The service should go for about 35 minutes, and then obviously a bit of mingling afterwards.

“Then I’ll shoot off at one o’clock. The president of Cardiff, Quinton Davis, is driving the getaway car.

“I’m going to have my footy bag in his car. I’ll jump in,probably get changed on the way to the ground to save a bit of time, and then probably it’ll be 1.15 by the time I’m good to go.

“Kick-off’s 1.30. It’s really fine. I’ll have a reduced warm-up and get straight into it.

“After the game I’ll have to get changed in the sheds, shower up, and we’re going to quickly shoot off with the bridal party so we can do some more photos, because we won’t have much of a chance after the ceremony.”

Far from being upset, Cath, a teacher atHamilton South Public School, said it was “kind of fitting” that their big day should be interrupted by a game of footy.

After all, her own Hawks team could just as easily have been playing in the women’s grand final at 4pm.

“I kind of feel like I’ve pushed him here as well,” she said. “Since I’ve started playing AFL this year I’ve realised how important it is.

“I’ve really enjoyed my season, and if I was playing tomorrow, I’d want to play as well.

“I think it will be a great thing to break up a wedding and entertain the guests with a little bit of live sport.

“When we booked it, neither of us knew how Cardiff was going. Looking at the last few years we thought they probably wouldn’t get to the prelim final.

“And then they started doing quite well, and we both thought it was a high possibility.”

Simon said he had “mixed emotions” when the Hawks lost last weekend’s major semi-final against Terrigal-Avoca. A win would have put them straight into next week’s grand final, somewhere they haven’t been since 2012. They have not reached the preliminary final since 2013.

Simon playing against Terrigal-Avoca in last week’s semi-final. Picture: Marina Neil

“It’s obviously going to make the day a little more hectic personally, but at the same time it’s going to be awesome for the guests coming along to the wedding,” he said.

“We’re probably looking at 80 or so people at the game from the wedding party.

“My wife-to-be is very excited about it all. She’s probably more excited than me, actually, because she’s taken up AFL this year, and she’s really, really gotten into it.

“We were looking at a few churches, and we saw that one and liked it, but I guess we also thought if footy’s on it’s pretty convenient.”

The Merewether couple, who met while studying at Newcastle University, have booked buses to take the guests from No.1 to the reception at Redhead Surf Club.

Cath said the pre-reception catering would be mostly in the hands of the canteen volunteers at No.1.

“My mum’s organised some sandwiches to come down, but hopefully everyone enjoys meat pies and sausage rolls, because that’s what it will be.”

She plans to wear her wedding dress (traditional, lacy, second-hand) to the game.

“I think I’ll just see how it feels, because when you try a dress on you’re not sure how comfortable it will be over a long period of time.

“If it’s really comfortable, I’ll probably just keep wearing it. I have another white dress that’s a bit more footy appropriate, but we’ll see how I go.”

Cath, putting forward a strong nomination for bride of the year, said she even felt sorry for her groom having to juggle the game and wedding.

“It all rode on last weekend. If they’d won, it wouldn’t have been on the wedding day,” she said.

“That was quite nerve-racking, not knowing whether it was on or not.Trying to plan around something like that is pretty tricky.

“I think it’s worked out for the best, but I do feel sorry for Simon, because I know he’s quite anxious about the footy game.

“To pair that with a wedding is quite a lot in one day.”

As for the result, Cath expects Saturday night to be a cause for double celebration, and she has her fingers crossed Simon will come through the game unscathed.

“If he was to lose, he’d be pretty upset, and I think it would be hard for him to fully enjoy the night if he lost. I’m confident that they will win.

“He’s quick and he can usually avoid injury, so let’s hope he can walk at the reception.”

Simon’s coach at Cardiff, Nathan Harkness, said the team and club were delighted to share in the couple’s big day.

“It’s going to be awesome,” he said. “It’s going to be like Phar Lap getting to the Melbourne Cup late. Everyone’s going to be waiting for him.

“It’s one of the biggest days of his life, compared to this footy game. We’re absolutely rapt for him.”

The Herald, Newcastle