A Good Weekend of Footy

Two games of footy, one local and one AFL, the weather is great, what more could you want on a weekend?  With all the necessary jobs done on the Saturday morning it was on the bike for a short ride  to one of my favourite grounds, the Brunswick Street Oval, home of the Fitzroy Football Club. Today they’re playing Melbourne High School Old Boys and that’s a bit of a dilemma for me, I support both clubs, a problem that could only happen in the Ammos with their promotion/relegation format.

Game starts at two o’clock and I take up my position on a grassy knoll in the sunshine. Not a lot rests on this game as Fitzroy, can’t make the finals and High School are destined for relegation from Premier C to Division !. When they played earlier in the season MHSOB had three wins and one loss to Fitzroy’s no wins. Fitzroy won on that day and the Old Boys haven’t won since. Today things look different, Melbourne look a much better team all over the ground, more desperate for the ball and it was only their inaccurate kicking the kept the Roys in the game,. By half time they had had 21 scoring shots to 8, but only led by 28 points. A cleansing ale at the Bowling Club went down well and then back to the ground for the next half. The footy was fast, tough with plenty of mistakes on both sides, and  by three quarter time the lead had been cut to 16, even though MHSOB had 9 more scoring  opportunities.

Last quarter, and after both teams listened to the passionate pleas from their coaches, the unthinkable happened, Fitzroy drew level  with a couple of majors and then hit the front shortly after. But just as quickly Melbourne drew level. again. It was a great competitive contest. Both sides were playing desperate footy, throwing themselves at the ball and their opponents, skills were a bit down but courage was high.. High School peppered the goals for only points before scoring a couple of majors and putting the game beyond doubt.  You would have thought MHSOB had won a Premiership when the siren sounded, they were” over the moon”. They had a huddle on the ground and when they hit the change room under the magnificent old grandstand, the noise was deafening. Fitzroy trudged off, clapped their supporters and moved into a much quieter change room.

So endeth the Ammos season for me, Fitzroy will stay in Premier C and the Old Boys drop down to Division 1, but by the way they played today the future looks good for both sides.

The second part of the weekend  involved The Dons playing Port Adelaide at Emptyhead behind the Spencer Street Railway Station. What a difference from yesterday, this stadium does nothing for me, and as for starting a footy game at twenty minutes to five on a Sunday afternoon ,what are these” genius’s “on about?  The  refugee from Jersey rang me earlier in the week with a ticket and it’s always great to catch up with him and hopefully see the Dons have another win. And we should win, Port Adelaide have been absolutely hopeless  over the last few weeks.

I decided to go a bit early and check out the  Harold Freedman’s Transport Mural at the Spencer Street Shopping Outlet.  Once this  magnificent mural had pride of place at the old railway station but  these “enlightened developers” decided it was of little interest and now it’s stuck right down the back almost invisible to most shoppers. And judging by the lack of shoppers with all the closed stores maybe the mural could be moved to a more prominent and deserved position in the near future.

Waiting  for the Jersey Refugee  on the overpass to the ground is like watching a great cross section of society moving. Australian footy certainly captures the people. It’s very clear that the Port supporters are very much in the minority, for every one I spotted I reckon I counted about one thousand Dons go by.   We meet ,and It’s into the ground for an ale  and our seats just before the siren sounds for the bounce. Considering Port Adelaide are stone motherless last ,they certainly aren’t playing that way and are taking it right up to Essendon right through the first quarter. The Dons seem surprised at their opponents flare and dash and they backed it up on the scoreboard by only being a couple of points behind at quarter time.

A couple of Ports forwards were causing all sorts of problems for the Dons, Gray was very active and Butcher dragged down a few telling marks. Both were proving a real handful and when you throw in a great performance by Rodan things weren’t looking too good. At half time as the Refugee and I had an ale, we were more concerned than we thought we would be. Surely Sir James and Bomber will come up with solutions in the second half, but no, Port Adelaide continued to impress, not that we wanted to be impressed by them. Has the fact that our position in the final eight is safe ,had some effect on our team? At three quarter time we were about three goals down the drain and not looking too flash.

Last quarter, and Port extend the lead to thirty four points but then Travis Colyer who had come on earlier as a sub. takes the game on and provides spirit and drive for the Dons. Suddenly Essendon come alive and players that were rarely seen take command of the game, Jake Melksham, Angus Monfries, Leroy Jetta and Michael Hurley  score goals .We ended up kicking seven majors in about ten minutes to steal the game from Port, who were gallant in defeat The Jersey Refugee and I congratulated each other, it was our first win together at the footy.

Lets hope the rest for the Dons next week, will spark them up for the forthcoming final series.

 

Best for Essendon Melksham,Hurley, Colyer, Watson, Ryder, Davey and Heppell.

 

Comments

  1. Bert Dalton says

    Did the Jersey Boy mention that he admired Bomber Thompson for putting Geelong behind him?

  2. Paul Daffey says

    Hi Rod,

    Sorry I didn’t come back and say hello in the last quarter. The kids had other ideas.

    You’re right about the competitiveness. It was nip and tuck in the last quarter.

    I was impressed by the size and appreciation of the crowd. There can be few places to watch footy than the Brunswick Street grandstand or, especially, the grassy knoll at the old briquette factory end.

    But I wasn’t impressed by Fitzroy’s lack of heart. They really should have done better.

    As they say, there’s always next year.

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