No Dons but plenty of footy

No Dons this weekend, but that’s not to say there’s no footy. Far from it , it’s a weekend to celebrate grass roots footy and for me, to visit two of the best footy grounds in the Melbourne metropolitan area.
I headed off on the bike for a pleasant ride across the Yarra to the home of MHSOBFC.  And what a great sight it is to see that grand castle, Melbourne High School , overlooking the school oval, now known as the Woodfull/Miller Oval. I got there just as the siren went to end the curtain raiser, the result was a two point win to MHSOB and the lads were over the moon with excitement. Even when the  seniors were on the ground doing their warm up, the seconds were cheering loudly in the rooms.
Melbourne was coming off  three wins in a row but were facing Old Mentonians in the four, and  two points ahead of them on the ladder. With a brisk northerly breeze Mentone was first on the scoreboard and attacking the ball with more purpose than Melbourne. By quarter time they held a three goal lead  and were looking  the stronger.   I went for a quick wander around the old school at the break and was impressed with all the building that has taken place over the last 50+ years.  In my time the “gym” was a weatherboard building beside the oval on Alexander Parade,  and  many money raising events  were organised to build a pool for the school.  The Pool project was completed  shortly after I left as was a new gym.                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The Old Boys  were kicking to the scoring end in the second quarter but the Old Mentonians were proving too strong and increased their  lead, so by half time they were over four goals in front  and looking the “goods”. I was torn between MHSOB and Fitzroy who were also playing at home on this day. Decision time, could those threatening clouds persuade me to get on the bike and head back over the river again?
The clouds won and I  headed  back to the Fitzroy Football Club and their ancestral home,The Brunswick Street Oval. I got there mid way through the third quarter and the first person I saw was John Harms doing a magnificent job with his three kiddies. No doubt the “Handicapper” was exerting some influence.  The Roys were well ahead on the scoreboard and giving Rupertswood a good touch up. Three of the Carlton Four lads  were there and told me about a great lunch they had before the game . David Parkin a MHSOB great, was guest speaker, I was sorry to have missed it.
The Brunswick Street Oval is a fantastic place to watch footy, it’s high enough to see the city skyscrapers in the back ground while watching the Roys do their stuff. And they were certainly doing it, by three quarter time they were about seven goals up.   The Carlton lads were a bit keen to have a beer in the Bowling Club, but as I had to drive to Geelong that evening,  I had to  decline a thirst quencher or two. No doubt they made up for it in the Fitzroy rooms after the game.
I left shortly before the final siren,  Fitzroy were a good seven goals up and doing it in style.
Final Scores  Old Mentonians defeated MHSOB by 40 points.   Fitzroy were too good for Rupertswood by 50 points.    But the winners  on the day for me were the grounds, two great places to watch our great game.

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