View From Shepparton: Magnificent match reminds me of Kline-Mackay final-wicket partnership in Adelaide

To all of you Almanackers and everyone else, as the self-appointed writer of the “The View” I always try to  think about John Harm’s idea on writing, which as I recall is to the effect of: write something that others will find interesting and that you would want to read yourself.

As I sit here thinking about the grand final, I muse as to how on earth can I write something new on what was such an epic contest? My thoughts go first to the magnificent quartet that sang the national anthem; how good was that? I think of the eager anticipation of the nearly 100,000 crowd; supporters of both clubs would be justified in feeling aggrieved if their team lost and yet before the match they were united in anticipation. I think of the scene in our own lounge room where old friends had gathered yet again to share the match, share the moments, a ten-year-old granddaughter getting into the spirit of the event and ceaselessly ragging me about my temporary St Kilda affiliation every time Geelong had a positive moment. I miss our son, who is in Canada where there is simply no equivalent sporting culture like this although I suspect that ice hockey might come close, and I know that he is missing the moment also. Most of all I am so proud and happy and thankful to live in a country where we can all forget our problems for an hour or two and enjoy the match, enjoy each other’s company. I absolutely love grand final day (and will so even more if Brisbane makes it next year)!

The match itself to me had an almost surreal feel to it as both teams were locked on 58 points for so long in that last quarter. In fact in that regard it almost reminded me of the Kline-Mackay final-wicket partnership all of those years ago, around about 1963 I think, when those players held out for about 70 minutes in a last wicket undefeated stand against the might of Wes Hall and the rest of the West Indian attack. I was present at the Adelaide Oval that day and then, too, the event seemed surreal. In both examples we had fantastically talented sportsmen at the top of their game, absolutely evenly matched, absolutely giving their all when their tanks must have been almost on empty  and yet nothing was changing. On Saturday, the scores remained stubbornly at 58 points each for what seemed an eternity.

I had really wanted the Saints to get up but it wasn’t to be; they wasted too many opportunities. I think that players like Schneider and Milne  will be forever having nightmares about easy missed shots (if anything can be “easy” in any grand final let alone a match like this one). But the fact is that with two and three going against Riewoldt every time he attempted to mark, crumbers like these two had room to move.

Good luck to Geelong. They finished the fitter and better team, and no one could begrudge them their win. I think that comments reportedly made by Shane Warne about St Kilda are on the money, that is, they can defend OK but they really need to attack more or perhaps do so with more skill.  I also note that  it was  suggested in one article in the Weekend Oz that purists would like a Geelong win because this would represent a win for fast-free flowing footy as against the dour defensive footy of St Kilda, Sydney and formerly Adelaide. Geelong did not have much chance to develop their fast-free flowing game so that perhaps such an observation needs qualification as well.

In general terms, Adelaide were so unlucky no to have progressed further and possibly Carlton as well. This gets me to my final point: my best moment, or perhaps series of moments, for this year was Brisbane’s comeback win against Carlton.

About Peter Schumacher

Wannabe footy commentator and writer, used to be a wannabe footballer

Comments

  1. Peter Schumacher says:

    To prove that I am not going completely senile, whilst I was attending to other matters this morning I had a sort of a mind news flash, “That test wasn’t in 1963 you idiot but in fact in 1961, the fourth test held at the beautiful Adelaide oval as was then the custom in these things incorporating Australia Day”. My sister and I were seated near the pickets in the outer about 50 metres around from the then John Cresswell Stand. When Wally Grout was dismissed I remember like yesterday a resigned voice reverberating around the ground “Tootleloo Kangaroo”.

  2. Peter Flynn says:

    Peter,
    Kline and Slasher lasted about 110 minutes.

  3. Peter Schumacher says:

    Hi Peter

    Yeah fair enough, I thought that it might have been a bit (in fact a LOT) more than 70 minutes but didn’t want to over hype it in case my memory was playing tricks with me. At all events who would ever forget it.

  4. Peter Flynn says:

    No worries Peter.
    The Windies thought they had Slasher 2 minutes into the partnership.
    Sobers was sure he’d snared it.
    Egar said no.

  5. Peter Schumacher says:

    Yeah I had forgotten about that. Good bloke Egar! Just trying to remember the identity of the other umpire in that match, might have been Col Hoy.

  6. Peter Flynn says:

    Peter,
    I reckon they did all 5 Tests in that famous series.
    Slasher chesting Hall’s final thunderbolt typifies what a great foot soldier he was.

  7. Peter,

    I love the Kline-Mackay reference. I can see we’re going to have to ask you for a reminiscence of that day at Adelaide, if not now, then before the Adelaide Test.

    My father told me about it once or twice when I was young. I think he liked the notion of Slasher Mackay, the unmoveable Aussie.

    ALso love the “tootle-oo kangaroo” line. It seems so much of that time.

  8. Peter Schumacher says:

    Yes would like to do that, before the Adelaide Test I think, give me a chance to recollect my recollections!

  9. Peter Flynn says:

    Played Peter,
    I would love to read it as well.

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