A Baker’s Dozen

Saturday was overcast and rainy in Hobart. A check of the forecast suggested nothing was likely to change. So what’s new in Tassy I hear you ponder?

My regular traveling companion, Lezzy, was not too enthusiastic about the footy fixtures in and around Hobart so I hopped on the net, bought two seats at Hawk Park and off we headed. Ticket pickup at the ground, 2 hours later; the marvels of modern technology.

As usual all was in order, our passports were up to date, we had provisions and most importantly, approval. Lezzy was cock o the hoop as he packed his beloved Richmond Tigers’ beanie, fresh from a triumph the night before.

We cruised into Ross a small historical township about half way. It’s off the main drag but we always call to get a supply of Jimmy Ross’ scallop pies. Jimmy is best described as ‘a good little bloke’ but we like Jimmy because he always gives us a baker’s dozen of anything we get in quantity. Unfortunately Jimmy wasn’t there. He hasn’t been for a while. He sold out. So we had to settle for twelve. Nancy served us; obliging, but not as generous as Jimmy.

Hawk Park was pretty well filled as we headed to the Carlton Draught Stand. “Too many mainlanders here Master.” Lezzy observed. Blokes with painted heads, Sheilas with more badges than a dart player. And the kids. Kids with badges, scarves, numbers on their backs and painted faces. Surely it’s a form of child abuse. “There is only one winner here you know,” Lezzy added. Whose gonna pick up the pieces when the game’s over, I pondered. “How many will Buddy get?” I said to Lezzy as we settled in. No response. Lezzy was mentally basking in Jack Reiwoldt’s 8-goal haul the previous evening.

Well after a slow start number 23 snared his first late in the opening term. So late in fact it came after the quarter-time siren. Simple regulation job: mark and straightforward kick.

The second came from a kick-in from fullback to big Hale who intern sent a chip to Buddy on the long lead. He pumped this one through from outside the arc.

The third came compliments of a handball to and then from the Peter Bakos look-alike: Daniel Puopolo. Then. Buddy simply danced around a blue and white totem pole to slot one from about 30 metres out.

The fourth came not long after when Buddy overpowered Luke Delaney in a marking contest, pushed him out of the way, played on and ran into an open goal.

The fifth came after he marked in front of his new opponent Scott Thompson. He then speared the resulting kick with a now familiar starts left; swings right and dips back to left, late kick.

Then, the unfortunate Thompson ducked his head and then ducked an opponent before resurfacing only to see Buddy bearing down about a metre from his periscope. Bad luck really, but the Budmeister suddenly had 6. It was half time.

Were we to witness something special I pondered? Les and I reflected over a nice chai tea and a piece of sponge. Les came to the astounding conclusion, “I reckon he can play.”

The third quarter got under way and Buddy was at it again. This time set up from a long lead and a frustrated Scott Thompson who scragged Buddy to the ground. The resulting free enabled him to run around, kick from just under 50 metres and take his tally to seven.

Soon after he had another, which I nearly missed. I was busy tallying his majors in the footy record. This time it came compliments of a hurried play on move from Micky Firrito whose panicky handball was blocked by Buddy as he soccered through his eighth.

His next came from a push and shove while the ball journeyed forward from the midfield. Buddy simply flicked Thompson out of the firing line like a rag doll and stood tall to mark. He rammed home his ninth from about 45 metres, directly in front.

Three quarter time arrived and the North Melbourne faithful began to evaporate. I wondered how Squeezebox Wally was feeling. I reckoned about the same as me when Collingwood pumped the Cats in the 2010 prelim.

The last quarter started like most one-sided matches do; no urgency and going through the protective motions. But to our surprise the Hawks cut loose again.

Buddy took a strong mark in the left hand forward pocket. The resulting shot was like his fifth, only better. Started left swung right then swung back left, late. It was akin to the greats – The Ballesteros fade, Walter Lindrum’s masse or Bobby Charlton’s curl. Buddy had eleven.

The twelfth was one to remember probably because he was so close. Right in front of us a hurried pack handball cum throw as they all do these days landed in Buddy’s lap. He took control hard on the left hand boundary, heading straight for goal. One fleeting glimpse at the sticks and his head went over the ball in concentration mode. Not unlike an undertaker tightening the last few screws. It looked terminal. It was. Two back men charged from different angles. Lezzy said, “Watch this Master.” With that Buddy took two more shuffling, stuttering steps and let rip with yet another: started left, swung right then swung back left, late. He had twelve.

Then right at the death a hurried kick came from the centre and Buddy ambled forward, almost casually, and missed the mark by inches. He looked niggly with himself as he gathered half volley and kicked around the body with his entire might. It was an angry kick from about 30 metres out. The siren sounded; I didn’t hear it. Buddy had thirteen.

I looked at Lezzy. He put his hands up like an umpire and pulled on his Tiger beanie as the early evening cold, that only Launceston can deliver, started to bite. He mumbled, “At least there was a baker’s dozen to be had somewhere today.”


  1. Jimmy Ross Daryl?

    Sounds like an old St Kilda and North Launceston name.

  2. Daryl Sharpen says

    Good get, Phantom. Jimmy Ross was a beauty in these parts and also with the Sainters. Buddy’s better. Neither of ’em can match Jimmy Ross’ scallop pies, though!

  3. Rick Kane says

    Lovely recollection of a magnificient footy moment. I watched it at a hotel on Bell St, Preston with a Roos friend and Hawks mate. If we were 25 years younger watching Buddy’s display would have been a drinking game. I was drunk with Buddyness by the end regardless.


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