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ANZAC: Punters let pennies fly with two-up

TOUCH: Glen ‘Tangles’ Thackeray tossing the two-up coins during the traditional Anzac Day celebrations. BET: Amy Merchant’s two-up toss pleases the crowd at Paterson Tavern as the pennies fall. Picture: Peter Stoop
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IT’S only a small country pub, but the roar that emanated from the Paterson Tavern as the two-up coins were tossed into the air rivalled the traditional Anzac Day clash between the Roosters and Dragons.

Well not quite, but it drowned out the sound of the TV screening the game.

A few hundred locals packed into the pub for a barbecue breakfast, a few beers and a game of two-up yesterday to remember those who fought and died in all wars, conflicts and peace-keeping operations.

‘‘A lot of money changes hands on Anzac Day, but it’s all in good fun,’’ Paterson Tavern owner Nicole Eslick said last night.

‘‘We opened at 5.30am and served a barbecue to the Gresford RSL sub-branch.

‘‘We’ve been working since then, but it’s more than worth it, it’s a big day of the year but the locals are always good and we never have any trouble.’’

The scene outside the Prince Street pub, well-known for its Anzac Day celebrations, was not dissimilar to dozens of other RSLs or hotels in the Hunter.

In Cooks Hill, The Cricketers Arms and Oriental Hotel were popular spots for punters looking to double their cash on the hope of a head or tail.

Liam Potter, Kent Hatchwell and Mitchell Frost pooled their money to try their luck, but like many, came off second best.

‘‘We put $50 in together and finished with $30, so we lost $20 but it was probably one of the best we’ve ever done,’’ Mr Potter said.

Police in Maitland said as of 7pm, when the majority of pubs shut, there had been no major incidents.

‘‘Two-up was relatively incident free and our response to any issues at licensed premises has been well received,’’ a Central Hunter police spokesman said.

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