Saturday it is maggot duty time. First up I am umpiring the Adelaide University FC team in C 5 called the bastards where the bastards got up 22 goals to one only a shocking error by Tyro saving every one from the old pants down horror show. The bastards immediately were backed in heavily for the flag (that’s worth some clicks and comments). After sampling the sensational Rosewater canteen, it is off to Glenunga to umpire The Scum during the travels the Crows game commences and its during this time unable to watch and also a pessimist at heart that when the Crows are struggling big time early in the game.
I sledge them in the game post on the Crows forum Facebook page. A very funny thread by Dustin Finch after the game results in myself being bagged mercilessly. I take my dose of well deserved medicine and admit I got what I deserved (well done, Dustin) now umpiring at Glenunga where the combined age of the umpires was 138 years old (yep, you read correctly.) Boy (yes, that is his name) is still going strong at 84 years of age and as the Ad Uni Scum coach, Tony Lawrence remarked, “Hey Book, you can’t keep up with a 84 year old.” Harsh but fair.
The Scum also home easily made for a easy day of maggot duties. A highlight for SDA readers was Alex Chimp Martinson going down with cramp like he had been shot. I am able to get the odd score update and am overjoyed to find the Crows have got home convincingly in the end.
How good is listening to the radio summary while driving home to watch the replay so you can watch the replay relaxed knowing the good guys have won and broken the hoodoo against the Hawks? Which seems to have been from when Adam and Eve were sharing apples. (Seriously while it is disappointing the game wasn’t on free to air TV, the fact is the obscene amount of money Foxtel pays back rolls the game. The people I feel for are in nursing homes or unable to get to a pub or a mate’s house to watch.)
Hawthorn are sharp early using the footy by precision with their small forwards in Breust and Paupolo providing the problems; as they have done in so many other Crows v Hawks encounters. At quarter time it is the Hawks by 4 goals.
The Crows regrouped after quarter time and despite losing Josh Jenkins to a rib injury where he was forced to spend the night in hospital, we wait and see how long the important and mobile big man will be out for. In his absence, Sauce Jacobs stepped up and played a blinder with his pack marking a feature. While Alistair Clarkson has been a brilliant coach, I find it bizarre re: Sam Mitchell and recruiting Tyrone Vickery. The latter has some natural ability but just has no footy smarts whatsoever and does things which players have normally worked out by under 12s. That’s not the way to go I think he is uncoachable and Clarkson’s ego got in the way re the decision to recruit him, Sauce towelled Vickery and big boy McEvoy up.
The returning Andy Otten forced by the injury to Jenkins to move forward helped Sauce. Otten is the success story so far of season 2017 returning after 2 knee recos having played SANFL in 2016, it is a remarkable display of resilience to fight back after 3 odd years from not playing an AFL game. I thought the pace may have passed him by but he has been pleasantly surprising and highlights how important a footy brain is.
At half time the Crows are down by 13 pts but have got the game back on there terms denying the Hawks the space to get there foot precision game flowing again and again yet for some missed goals would be closer.
A highlight of the 1st half was Poppy’s hanger (I preferred his hangers in the redleg colours!). I have enormous respect for Paul Puopolo his work ethic, determination and want to improve. He deserves all the success which has come his way well apart from the BIZARRE free kick which he was granted in the 3 quarter, just wow! As a umpire, I am consistently bedazzled by there positioning, coaching and instructions and idiocy by the rules committee this decision was horrendous as was Leigh Mathews agreeing with it. Leigh, to quote Mark Williams you were WRONG.
The game was enriched as always by some Eddie Betts magic, first by his dummy round Frawley on the mark. It was just like Eddy Hocking in the old days and then some sublime magic, Andy Otten marks on a acute angle and gives off to Betts on the boundary line and the master duly delivers with a outrageous right foot checkside.
At lemons time, the Crows are up by 4 points. The Crows runners in Rory Atkins, Riley Knight and David MacKay light up in the last quarter, where the Crow supporters wipping boy D Mac threw gut running kicks his 2nd goal of the quarter and 3rd of the game and the hoodoo is finally over!
The Crows had more consistent contributors overall. Returning skipper Tex Walker, the connector Tom Lynch again influential with 31 touches. Matt Crouch important in the clinches, Rory Sloane for his kamitaze attack on the footy and his remarkable 16 tackles. Daniel Talia leading the defence while Rory Laird was important. It was close to all played well although I maintain Jake Lever should have played. He hasn’t got an issue of consistent soft tissue injuries, he is very good now and poised to enter the elite players of the game. He is a must for next week.
The key stat and most influential re: the result was the Crows taking 22 contested marks to 6. The pack marks were huge; it was almost a return to a bygone era. For Hawthorn 4 quarter contributors are harder to find recruit. Tom Mitchell was very good, Breust and Poppy always looked dangerous, Shiels was reasonable. While O’Meara was better; his stats flattered him. He didn’t hurt the Crows enough. Ryan Burton showed class and composure, geez I wish he was a Crow.
So the good guys win the opening 2 games of the season and are looking a force to be reckoned with in 2017.
Footnote I wish to record my disgust with Channel 7 coverage of the game between Brisbane and Essendon Saturday night this garbage that the Essendon returning players are heroes is a DISGRACE. Roughhead, Raminauskas, McCartney: they are football HEROES. NOT players returning from a drug suspension, that is is insulting and disgraceful!
Go The Crows!
Adelaide 16-17-113 def Hawthorn 13-11-89
Adelaide: Betts 3, MacKay 3, Walker 2, Lynch, Cameron, Atkins, McGovern, Otten, Jacobs, Sloane, Brown 1.
Hawthorn: Breust 4,Puopolo 3, Roughhead 2, Shiels, Rioli, Vickery, Mitchell.
Adelaide: Jacobs, Sloane, Lynch, MacKay, Smith, M Crouch, Betts, Cameron, Walker, Talia.
Hawthorn: Mitchell, Puopolo, Shiels, O Meara.
Malarkey Medal Votes
Jacobs (Ad) 3, Sloane (Ad) 2, Mitchell (H) 1.
Umpires: Margetts, Nicholls, Mitchell.