Floreat Pica Rd 12- Draw your own Conclusions

By Paul Harkin

MATCH REPORT

The day didn’t start well with the 4-0 thrashing of Australia by Germany in the World Cup. The trip to the footy was uneventful. After we settled into our seats, Greta Bradman (The Don’s granddaughter) serenaded us with a touch of opera. Where else but in front of the MCC members? At least her performance was better than The Don’s last trip to the crease. The only opera stars I knew of prior to this were Harpo, Chico and Groucho. Next came some joker playing the trumpet. He wasn’t introduced, but I can only assume it was Trumper’s grandson. The 1960 Melbourne premiership team was wheeled out. I asked Phil Cornell why our 1930 team were’t presented, he said he thought they were all gone. Good reason, I suppose.

The loss of Benny, Bally and Didak before the bounce, didn’t make me feel better about this game. The match finally started and we were on. The tackling and running was full on. We had 2 goals 2 on the board after one and a half minutes of playing time (the same score our 1960 team accumulated in the whole match). Melbourne couldn’t get the ball out of their defensive zone. Our bombing into the forward line was working a treat. No one was taking marks, but our crumbers were swopping and scoring. Swanny, Travis and Daisey were playing well and Brad Dick was showing some good signs. Suddenly Melbourne decided to play a loose man on our forward line and the goals started to dry up, but the points didn’t. The Demons started to play through the middle, and it was starting to hurt us. After a quarter where we led in all the important stats, we only led on the scoreboard by 1 goal 6 behinds. Melbourne had 6 inside 50s for 3 goals 2, too efficient for my liking.

The second quarter was an arm wrestle early. Our previously successful bombing of the ball was getting us nowhere. Melbourne was running the ball out with ease. They were taking chances and their foot passing was putting us to shame. Moloney and Davey were cutting us up. The loss of Maxie during the quarter didn’t help our chances. This was one quarter where, like the Metro rail service, we had too many passengers, Medhurst, Leon, Fraser, Shawie and Leroy just to name a few. Only 1 goal 2 for the quarter is far from adequate.

Half time came and I was wondering what the MCC had in store for us as entertainment after what was dished up pre-match. I was expecting the Bolshoi at least. Alas no Dane Swan Lake today.

Our third quarter effort was a great improvement, but we couldn’t buy a goal. We had all the play early but seven behinds in a row will not win you many matches at this level. The Demons still looked much cleaner and were hitting targets all over the ground. We resorted to our trademark passing to someone on the boundary line time and time again. Not sure if the coaches and players are aware of it, but it’s a lot harder to score goals from the boundary. With tallies of 4 goals 17 and 6 goals 14 this year already, this was looking like another pointfest. Another 1 goal 9 for the quarter, pathetic. It was looking like round 2 all over again.

The last quarter opens with a point to Jolly. From the kickout the Dees go coast to coast for a goal to Jones. Scores are level. After a couple of Magpie points, Miller snaps a goal to give them the lead. It was hard to see where we were going to find our goals from. Dick sets up Jolly for a goal, then our bombing finally pays off with Dick kicking his fourth. We have somehow hit the front. What we now need is to kick another quickly or hold them out for a while. Unfortunately this is not to be, Jamar takes an uncontested mark 20 metres out and converts. Scores level again with 7 minutes to go. Swan has his kick smothered, Melbourne take it down for “Norman” Bates to goal from 45 with 5 minutes on the clock. Jolly marks 60 metres out and pinpoints a pass to Lockyer 40 metres out and he makes no mistake. What a great idea, pass the thing instead of bombing. The last 3 minutes or so there is plenty of pressure, but no one really looks like scoring. The siren goes and it’s a draw. For all our statistical advantages, we are luck to come away with 2 points. Hope we don’t have to play them in the finals, because I think we have dodged 2 bullets with them, well 1½ anyway. The amazing thing about the finish was that we managed to kick 3 goals in a row.

Footy is all about using the ball well. The great Hawthorn sides of the 80s regularly had less possessions than their opponents, but they used it so well when they got it. We could learn a lot from them. The only consolation is that we didn’t lose and we have a weeks break to regroup.

Votes for the Shane Woewodin Medal:

3  Swanie – he played 3 sensational quarters. He was still running hard at the final siren. With 38 possessions 7 tackles, 5 clearances, 7 marks. Clearly our best player. The only negative was his 3 behinds, but he wasn’t Robinson Crusoe there.

2  Daisey – He’s getting better and better. He had a couple ferocious attacks on the ball, the one which resulted in the ground-breaking goal by Brad Dick in the third quarter was fantastic.

3  Brad Dick – four goals 1 and for scoring assists, in a team that could only manage 9 goals 22 speaks for itself. He didn’t rack up big possessions, but those goals were invaluable. Considering he played 67% of both the VFL game on the weekend and 67% on Monday, he did very well.

Comments

  1. Andrew Fithall says:

    Paul,

    My 16 year-old-son described the pre-match build-up for this game as the lamest he has seen. A couple of my own observations:

    The Bradman opera contribution seemed entirely out of place. Maybe it was just the way she dressed… and sang… If they want to have that sort of thing, they could use David Hobson who at least is a genuine Melbourne supporter.

    I laughed at your “Trumper” remark.

    Amazing that when Frank “Bluey” Adams entered the arena he managed to avoid accidently crashing into and knocking unconscious a Collingwood player who couldn’t see him coming. Adams’ own eyesight must have improved in the intervening years.

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