AFL Round 20 – Port Adelaide v Greater Western Sydney: The Cap’s Off

It had been a busy weekend and I didn’t get to watch the game live so on Monday Night I sat down to the Foxtel IQ recording. I armed myself with a glass of Johnny Walker Red Label scotch. On the rocks, of course. More on this later.

 

It was a different looking Port Adelaide with a few surprise selections. First there was the late withdrawal of Schulz, so Butcher was given a chance to save his career. The other surprise was Lobbe had been dropped to the SANFL giving Ryder the ruck duties all to himself. Ryder had come to Port Adelaide to be the “last piece of the puzzle” and was starting to remind me of Dexter Kennedy, another ruckman who came from the Red and Blacks to play in a Port Adelaide premiership.

 

I’ve only ever known of three Dexters. There was the stupid little robot on Perfect Match, the fictional serial killer of bad guys and Dexter Kennedy. Kennedy was an extremely talented ruckman in his day. In the modern AFL most ruckmen don’t get a regular game until they are about twenty three or older; however Kennedy debuted for West Adelaide at the tender age of fifteen. For most of the seventies Kennedy was one of the leading ruckmen of the SANFL whilst toiling away for lowly West Adelaide. After twelve seasons at West Adelaide Kennedy moved to Port Adelaide at the start of the 1983 season to pursue premiership glory. Kennedy must have had mixed emotions when West Adelaide lifted the 1983 premiership trophy. All was not lost as Port Adelaide met Norwood in the 1984 SANFL Grand Final and Kennedy finally had his chance to play in a premiership. Kennedy played well that day and if not for an errant kick by Dwayne Russell he may well have had a premiership medallion. Due to an illness Kennedy retired early in 1985 without ever drinking from a premiership trophy. I hope Ryder doesn’t suffer the same fate.

 

There were big stakes on this game for GWS and there were more than a few Port players whose careers are on the line. The game opened with finals style intensity and even had a tinge of nastiness. Port broke out to a four goal lead before GWS settled and started to play football. Undisciplined football seemed to be the theme for the day as the first quarter ended with numerous fifty metre penalties and Port with an eleven point lead. The second quarter had all the acrimony of the first. Three consecutive goals to GWS in the middle of the term saw them hit the lead. Some ill-disciplined play by GWS and a sensational thirty metre handball by Ah Chee saw Port go to the halftime break with a ten point lead.

 

Brendan Ah Chee had two first half goals, a couple of goal assists and was leading Port’s contested possessions. He then starts the third quarter by taking an absolute hanger. His sterling form continues throughout the third term. However a few of his team mates fall away and halfway through the quarter GWS wrestle back the lead. Despite dominating the inside fifties Port Adelaide go into the three quarter time break two points down.

 

The last quarter starts the same as the first with Port kicking four consecutive goals. It starts with a crowd pleaser by Butcher and is soon followed by two near identical snaps from Wingard. GWS have a midterm rally, however in ten dominant minutes they fail to add any goals. A goal to Hartlett at the twenty minute mark seals the victory for Port and makes GWS’s task of playing finals an uphill battle. After an exhausting three days it was a very entertaining way to wind down.

 

At the end of the game I put the cap back on the bottle of Johnny Walker as I wanted share the remainder with my wife Daria, family and friends. It wasn’t an ordinary bottle of Red Label. It was given to me as a twenty first birthday present and sat in my sock drawer for about six months before I pulled it out and pondered when would be a good time to open it. Maybe my twenty fifth, maybe my thirtieth. I then decided I would only crack it open to celebrate the birth of my first child. It was now a thirty seven year old scotch and a drink never tasted better. So eight years to the day after meeting my wife Daria for the first time I now know of a fourth Dexter. Dexter Dan Hansen. Born 17 August 2015. 3.2 kilograms. 51 cms. Mother and child doing well.

 

PORT ADEL          5.5          9.10        11.13     16.15 (111)

GWS                      3.6          8.6          12.9        13.11 (90)

 

GOALS

Port Adelaide: Ah Chee, Wingard, Monfries 3, Westhoff 2, Neade, R Gray, Ebert, Butcher, Hartlett

GWS: Palmer 5, Cameron 3, Lobb, Patton, Shaw, Williams, McCarthy

 

BEST

Port Adelaide: Ah Chee, R Gray, Ryder, Boak, Hartlett, Impey

GWS: Palmer, Griffen, Ward, Williams, Greene, Corr

 

Umpires: Farmer, Bannister, Stephens

 

Official crowd: 33,281

 

Our Votes: 3 Ah Chee (PA), 2 R. Gray (PA), 1 Palmer (GWS)

Comments

  1. Grand stuff. 37yo first time Dad. About right I reckon. Youth is wasted on the young.
    Mum and bubs are in good hands. How about Dad?
    I grew up in the era of radio serials. Mum listened to Blue Hills religiously every lunch time. Dad listened to “Life with Dexter” after dinner every evening.
    Ted Dexter could bat a bit also (for a pom).
    Well played Mr and Mrs H.

  2. Malcolm Ashwood says:

    Congrats mate love the name and Dexter Kennedy is the 1st thing I would have said,Please congradulate,Daria. May Bob be with the Hansens

  3. Congrats mate will u celebrate by going to the Swans v GWS then?

  4. So, is Butcher’s career saved?
    Congrats.

  5. King of Passion says:

    Congrats valdimar on the arrival of Junior. Another great article! KOP

  6. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says:

    Congrats Handbag and Daria. At what stage in life had you decided that your first-born was going to be called Dexter?

  7. Marvellous Dan and Daria. Colour ’em in, Dexter

    After reading your first paragraph I skipped to the last. Will find out if all plated well later

  8. Hey DV,

    That’s great news!!
    Congratulations mate!
    No more Domestic Violence for you! Keep that to the football Fields of the past, North of Grand Junction Road!
    P.
    PS – I’ve always liked Ah Chee’s game, so it was great to see him display the full range of skills! I had the pleasure of a decent chat with him at the VIC Member’s Day and he’s a good person too.

  9. The Silver Bullet says:

    Great news – a feel good story that actually makes you feel good!

  10. Great article – congrats!

  11. Peter Fuller says:

    Dan,
    Congratulations on your newly acquired status, and of course special good wishes to Daria and Dexter. Yout heart-warming story about a special Saturday was a lovely read; it doesn’t get much better than a win, a lovely scotch and the sensational feeling of first-time fatherhood. Your happiness contrasts with my Saturday night, I had GWS to get within 20 points; the behind by which they fell short cost the price of my seat at the Almanac GF eve lunch.

  12. Damo & Sam says:

    Congrats to you both. The 84 GF will always be known to me as “The Duncan Fosdike GF” given his post match interview

  13. Dan Hansen says:

    Peter_B,

    The scotch was eight years old when I got it and it has aged another 29 years since then. I’m a bit older than 37. Thanks for posting and your regards.

    Book,

    Thanks for you posting on Facebook and I’m surprised you didn’t make a comment about the Dwayne Russell mention.

    Gavin,

    Hopefully. I haven’t written off GWS yet.

    Staz,

    No.

    KOP,

    Onya. Thanks mate.

    Swish,

    Daria suggested Dexter about eight months ago and I said yes immediately. The first person I thought of was Dexter Kennedy and he was one of the opposition footballers I admired as a kid. A few people have been taken a back with it but they’ll soon get used to it.

    Arson,

    I haven’t played a game in anger for 16 years. I’m now a lover, not a fighter and an old guy who listens to endless Michael Jackson/Paul McCartney duets. I’ve also had a bit of hope for Ah Chee for a while and it was good to see him have his break out game. The team sadly needs an injection of youthful exuberance.

    Pete,

    Thanks, I was hoping to make people feel as good as I feel now.

    TC,

    Thanks

    Peter,

    Double down on GWS this week. The AFL lunch is a great afternoon and not worth missing.

  14. Malcolm Ashwood says:

    Apologies Valdemar my main memory of Dwayne that fantastic day is him getting a mark fromTim Evans in the goal square reversed in the 1st q when,Dwayne went to square up with,Craig Balme.I am sure that we can make him a honoury,Norwood History Maker( Go the Dexters ! )

  15. Dexter Kennedy says:

    Hi Malcolm, an interesting article & great to hear of another Dexter in the world. I remember “Life with Dexter” with Willie Fennell, dad & I used to listen to it on the wireless at Port Augusta in the 60’s. Dan’s comments re the 84 GF are correct – still can’t watch the replay!! – Cheers & thanks for the heads up re the article

  16. Mazel Tov Dan & Daria

    I must announce this news to the south Australian delegation in Kuala Lumpur tonight

    Have you let princess Mary know ?

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