AFL Round 7: Dees just the same at the Bentleigh Club

by Steve Healy

There is always something to look forward to in footy.

Whether it’s analysing the eight games in the coming round, or deciding what games you score or the release of the teams on Thursday at five. There is always something to look forward to. On this particular day, however, I was looking forward to going to the Bentleigh Club with Ben (Brother). I had left to the station a few minutes before Ben and it ended up a very close battle between Ben and the train. The train won, or more specifically the train driver, who had poked his head out of the cabin and shouted at me for trying to open the door before the train had left. Describing the maniac is a hard thing to do, but judging by the amount of teeth he had he looked like a Collingwood supporter.  I had nearly wedged my Demons scarf in between the door but I held that off. I also thought about riding the back of the train, like the Hawthorn supporter did on Friday night. Ben was frustrated as well, but we talked happily about footy for another 20 minutes.

I hopped on the train with Adelaide V Western Bulldogs in my ear. The Bulldogs had broken away and were in a commanding position. Good for them. The train pulled up at Richmond station and I observed the MCG. Next week.

We got to The Bentleigh Club just in time for the bounce (it’s a fair walk from Bentleigh Station) and the sign upon entering said “The Official Home of the Melbourne Demons”. I didn’t agree, the MCG was, but I walked in anyway. This Demon Heartland was great, with memorabilia on the walls and pictures of the players running through the banner (One with a Bentleigh Club ad on the front). The Atmosphere inside was great; there was a big screen TV and plenty of Melbourne supporters around it. Beer was being consumed by many individuals and the bounce was a couple of minutes away. At 14, I was definitely the only person under 18, or perhaps my brother and I were the only people under 30. A great crowd had shown up, many with Melbourne scarves like me and some not wearing anything, but you could tell they were Melbourne supporters!

The game got underway and the crowd was roaring, in The BC and at Subiaco. West Coast kicked a goal within seconds but Melbourne held a level playing field, especially with second gamer Jack Grimes having a good go. People were shouting at Matthew Bate and Cameron Bruce and people were cheering the fine skills of Davey. Just like being at the game. At quarter time, the Eagles held a 9-point lead but the Dees looked strong. The man in front of me went outside to smoke. More beer was being poured. I went to the vending machine and bought a packet of salted peanuts.

The cheers and groans continued throughout the second term, we were sad when Jared Rivers went down with an ankle injury and got stretchered off. The Dees showed much more promise, especially Jamie Bennell, who was playing a ripper.

The game went on and the Dees kept rallying. Miller kicked three goals in three minutes and margin was 11 points in the third quarter. Jones, Morton and Moloney were all playing good games in the midfield as well. I joined in with the noise that the rest of the crowd at the Bentleigh Club were making, and we were off our seats when we broke out to the lead. It all turned around with a free kick, some would say. The Eagles broke out to a 15 point lead at three quarter time but I was still optimistic about our chances. I went back to the vending machine with a smile on my face.

The game went down to the wire. The Eagles missed some chances early in the quarter but Ricky Petterd kicked two good goals from marks in quick succession. “Go Dees”, I yelled. Sylvia missed a chance with 1:30 left on the clock, which would have bought the margin back to 3 points. West Coast was making skill errors, and in doing so they nearly lost the game. The siren went and we clapped the boys off, they had done a good job, but when the game was up for grabs, they just couldn’t reach out for it. More beer was poured.  We left the Bentleigh club and on the way back to the station, I talked with Ben about how we should have won the game.

That night I was in bed, thinking about the Bentleigh Club and the dinner of salted peanuts from the vending machine.

I sat up and looked at the fixture on the wall.

There’s always something to look forward to in footy.

West Coast  2.4 7.7  11.12 12.18 (90)

Melbourne 1.1  7.3  10.3  13.4 (82)


West Coast: LeCras 4, Hunter 2, Cockie, Cox, McKinley, McNamara, Masten, A.Selwood.

Melbourne: Miller 3, Robertson 2, Maric 2, Petterd 2, Bartram, Bruce, Bate, Jones.


West Coast: A.Selwood, LeCras, Cox, Wirrpanda, Hurn, Masten.

Melbourne: Morton, Bennell, Davey, Moloney, Jones, Bruce, Grimes.

My Votes: 3. M.LeCras, 2.C.Morton, 1.D.Cox

Umpires: Margetts, Schmitt, Dalgleish.                      Crowd: 35,209 at Subiaco.

About Steve Healy

Steve Healy is an entity of a Melbourne supporter.

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