A bit of sport on the weekend

I saw a bit of sport on the weekend. A bit more than usual. All of it live. Missed some as well – two games of football and a game of netball. I will usually go out of my way to miss a game of netball. Most of the games had good outcomes. But there is still a result outstanding. The x-ray will tell the tale of the next few weeks.

It started on Friday night at the G. Cats v Hawks. I love going to these games. A non-aligned football supporter in the company of my Geelong-passionate wife and the sole Geelong-supporting child Ursula, whose interest in the Cats is somehow on the wane. Too much of a good thing? The crowd was up and about, which Friday crowds tend to be. The football was spectacular and the contest exhilarating. The Cats’ win was good for a number of reasons: it helps Collingwood’s chances for a higher ladder position; it keeps the family members happy; and it puts all those Hawks fans back in their box, for a little while at least. The downside is the increase in smugness from all those in the Footy Catmanac community. The evidence is already on-site.

Saturday was school footy. Bill was playing his final game for his school – he would have preferred to be in the fourths but was named in the thirds. The game, at 10.00am at Xavier was one of a number of preliminaries to the big game at 2.00pm. Bill worked out that was the fifth time he had played against Xavier for the year. And like all those before, this was loss. So it ends. Helen was elsewhere with Herb. He had a win – one of two for the weekend. I saw neither. Sorry Herb.

Xavier seconds beat St Kevin’s seconds in a controversial finish. There is no official ladder in Associated Public Schools sport below the top level. But all the teams knew that a St Kevin’s win was the unofficial premiership. Was not to be. The crowd swelled for the firsts’ game. A win to St Kevin’s would mean the premiership. A loss would probably mean “Brarton” Grammar take the prize. The school student cohorts gathered at opposite ends of the ground. The volume of the smaller Xavier contingent assisted by the megaphone-effect of their small grandstand. Optimism had the St Kevin’s boys out in force. Xavier had the first goal within 20 seconds. The second followed soon after. St Kevin’s kicked the next ten. The sixty point half time lead was maintained until the end. I knew the senior teachers’ efforts to keep the hoards from the ground when the final siren blew would be futile. So they were. Pretty sure they wouldn’t have been happy when a flare was lit amongst the mass of cheering lads. The crowd dispersed quickly.

A brief and pleasant interlude at the All Nations, and then the courtesy bus trip to the ground, and it was another game of football. In the company of St Kilda-supporting David Downer. He said it was the first time he had ever been to a Collingwood game with a Pies supporter and wasn’t sure how he felt about it. Late in the game, his feelings were a bit more obvious. Apparently he doesn’t have a very high opinion of Harry O’Brien. That was the impression I got. On the way home I managed to fit in a gig at the Tote. Twerps were as good as I hoped.

Sunday morning and it is off to Dorothy Laver Reserve in Glen Iris for a few games of lacrosse. Audrey and Ursula have played under 15s and B-grade for Williamstown all year. During the week, the Under 17s coach asked if they could also line up in that team. As extras. That was their first game for the day – against ladder leading Footscray. The result was a one-goal loss. They meet again next week in the first week of finals. I am sure the temptation for the coach will be to give my girls a bit more game time. Their temptation is to withdraw from the team and focus on the Under 15s and B-grade. Will see what happens. And the x-ray results.

The Under 15s game followed immediately. A 7-2 half time lead meant the game was pretty safe. Newport came back a bit in the second half but never really threatened. Williamstown have gone through the season undefeated. Should win it. Other factors may influence the result. Helen, meanwhile is out Werribee way with Herb – fifth versus fourth in Under 15 WRFL football finals. Williamstown snuck in to fifth. An honourable loss would be an okay outcome. I follow the game via text message. The wind is a factor. Not many protective hills out that way. It is two goals to one at half time. Many behinds have also been scored. Not pretty football apparently.

After two games interlude, the girls are back warming up for the B-grade game. Their second place on the ladder is secured but a Footscray win would have Footscray in the finals. Helen phones through the exciting news about a come-from-behind win for Herbie’s football. With lacrosse running a bit behind schedule, Helen decides to make the trip across town. We like watching our kids play sport.

The Malvern women, relying on a Williamstown win for them to play finals next week, sit on the sidelines as interested spectators. They are pleased with what they see. B-grade, which is the lowest senior grade, is a mixture of middling players, former stars still playing, and younger girls on the way up. While not the full-contact game that the men play, it is a bit more physical than the juniors. With just a couple of minutes to play, Audrey cops a whack across the arm. The umpire missed it apparently. Audrey comes off with tears fighting their way out. The game ends. Malvern are happy – about the win, not about the arm. At least I hope they are not happy about the arm.

Audrey travels home with Helen. Having pulled up in the garage, Helen and Audrey sit. Helen thinks it is broken. The plan is to get to x-ray first thing in the morning and have it assessed. An absent Audrey could be a significant factor in Under 15s and in B-grade. And perhaps Under 17s. And try-outs for Under 15 nationals are also about to commence. We await the radiologist’s opinion.

About Andrew Fithall

Probably the most rational, level-headed Collingwood supporter in existence. Not a lot of competition mind you.


  1. John Harms says

    AF, you are a devoted father and footy fan. I ran out of energy reading it. It ,made we wonder what sort of fitness campaign I’m going to ahve to embark on to survive.

  2. Catmanac smuggness indeed Andrew.

    That’s the pot calling the kettle black.

  3. Andrew Fithall says

    JTH – It is not me who is exhausted. Herb playing two games of football and the girls playing netball on Saturday and then 3 games of lacrosse on Sunday are the ones expending all the energy. I did feel however, that by the end of Saturday, I had seen enough football for a while.

    Phantom – no smugness in the Pie camp. Just battling away to keep our spot in the top four.

  4. If you read the AGE this morning you will see that you received a little unexpected assistance late in the game to help your cause AF.

    Just ignore the bit about the Cats. Thorks got a goal in the second quarter from a clearance from our goal square that was a throw. Little Squirrel just grabbed the nut and ran away with it and made no complaint what so ever about how he got it.

    There is a promotion in Burnie at the moment where you can get 21 (seconds) pies for $21.00. I do chuckle everytime I see it. Apparently the 22nd one costs an extra million.

  5. Andrew Fithall says

    Phantom – I did read the Age and agree that the free kick should not have been paid. Also read that Simpkin from St Kilda has been reported for a head-high hit on Wellingham – it happened just a couple of minutes before the end. A free kick wasn’t paid.

    Apparentlty the people responsible for bringing that 22nd pie into the world have a higher opinion of that particular pie’s value than everyone else. If they are not careful, the 22nd pie might be left to get cold – especially if the use-by date expires.

  6. Perhaps if Wellingham had received a penalty commensurate with the crime (under the Zeibel impact and intention formula) the issue of the free kick would not have been an issue for a few weeks.

  7. What about the x-ray results, AF ?

  8. Andrew Fithall says

    Smokie – From previous experience with this particular provider (local to you and me), we take a wait and see approach. Two times in the past we have had the all-clear from the “work experience kid” who has looked at the results on the weekend only to get the follow-up call on the Monday or Tuesday to say that there is actually a break.

    I think we can now safely say “no news is good news”. Should be right to go. Much relief.

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