AFL Round 3 – Adelaide v Sydney: Danger in Dallas

Saturday morning, in Singapore’s Boat Quay. The footy’s on in an Australian-themed pub called the Dallas bar. I imagine somewhere like Uzbekistan there’s an American-style boozer showing baseball, and named the Wagga Wagga.

I’m rarely homesick, but today I am. It’s the Crows first game at Adelaide oval. Since dawn it’s been raining here, and despite the warmth, our sodden skies contrast with the sunny allure I see on the screen.

For his new club Buddy has done little, but slots the first goal from fifty. In our code a Franklin major, unlike the Franklin mint, often provides a twinkling of beauty. He’s an elegant kick, not thumping like Cloak. He’s about finesse and technique – more Mark Waugh than Dave Warner. The old mythology seems true: Adelaide runs players and teams back into form.

Sydney youngster Luke Parker gets two in a rush, and then Malceski contributes. The Crows are tentative, and lack intelligent aggression. Our backline is a jumble. As fabled Kimba footy coach Danny Horgan says, “They’re playing with a pocket full of eggs.”

Among the second stanza highlights is a dazzling chase from Crow Brodie Smith. Leroy Jetta shrieking through the middle, apparently clear, and with Buddy streaming out towards him. Approaching half-forward, Jetta takes a bounce. Gaining on Jetta, Smith launches himself, and slings him down. Brilliant tackle! It could be a catalyst.

It is. Like the ghostly detective in JB Priestley’s An Inspector Calls Adelaide, “takes charge massively.” However, inaccuracy, largely through lightning fast and thunderously built Josh Jenkins, the ascendency stays with Sydney at the main break.

Doubtless, the Dallas bar would be stripped of its Texan moniker if it didn’t serve a burger the size of Damian Monkhorst’s head. It does, and it is my own half-time show.

For the third time this season the Crows threaten emptily in the third quarter. They look poised for victory at the re-invigorated oval when Dangerfield and Mackay kick long, rousing goals.

But Buddy again murders the Crows with a wily baulk and a buoyant six-pointer. We’re in grave danger. But as Jack Nicholson’s Colonel Nathan R. Jessup retorts in A Few Good Men, “Is there another kind?”

Lady Penelope’s chauffeur Parker then registers his third. An impressive display, and the goal results from a prodigious handball by Kieran Jack. I know he shouldn’t, but Jack reminds me of the sentence, which shows the importance of capital letters: I helped my Uncle Jack off his horse.

The Swans lead by four goals at the final change. The Adelaide forwards seem to have each wolfed multiple Dallas bar burgers during the huddle. They inexcusably kick seven behinds, while Sydney pile on seven goals. Like Michael Holding decades earlier, the Swans are effortlessly destroying the locals on their own pristine arena.

Here in Singapore the rainstorm continues. There are telling majors to Hannebury, Cunningham (not KG) and the man with an appellation like agricultural pesticide, LRT. Nothing is functioning for the Crows. Betts, Petrenko and Griggs all miss opportunities.

My friend R.Bowden’s at the game with his toddler. With the match now officially a disaster zone, the two-year old’s response is reasonable. The bathing sunshine, and the footballing bath offer no choice. He falls asleep.

R.Bowden and I were among some Kapunda boys who finished our playing careers at the Unley Jets. Late in that season we suited up in the C Grade (obligatory, self-applied nickname: The C Men) against the Glenunga Rams.

The match was to decide who’d finish bottom of the A8’s, then Adelaide football’s lowest competitive rung. It was a damp July afternoon, and, of course, Unley was flogged.

In the fourth term, my cousin Puggy, once a handy footballer, and tagged Daicos as a junior, was dragged, mostly for symbolic effect, to stir the rest of us into action.

As he ambled, for the last ever time, from the forward pocket toward the bench, I hollered out to him, as only family can, “You know this actually makes you the worst footballer in Adelaide!”

That was a miserable match, made memorable.

On a stunning autumnal afternoon, Adelaide against Sydney was a memorable match, made miserable.


ADELAIDE             2.2   5.7   9.10   9.17 (71)
SYDNEY SWANS  6.2  9.2   14.5   21.8 (134)

Adelaide: Grigg 2, Mackay, Podsiadly, Dangerfield, Betts, Jaensch, Douglas, Sloane
Sydney Swans: Franklin 4, Parker 4, Cunningham 3,  Hannebery 2, Jack 2, Rohan, Mitchell, McGlynn, Laidler, McVeigh, Roberts-Thomson


Adelaide: Podsiadly, Dangerfield, Douglas, Jaensch, Jacobs, Smith
Sydney Swans: Franklin, Parker, Kennedy, Jack, McGlynn, Malceski

Adelaide: Scott Thompson (corked thigh), Sam Kerridge (eye)
Sydney Swans: Nil

Adelaide: Scott Thompson replaced by Matt Crouch in the second quarter
Sydney Swans: Tom Mitchell replaced by Gary Rohan at three quarter-time

Adelaide: Nil
Sydney Swans: Jarrad McVeigh for rough conduct on Adelaide’s Matthew Jaensch in the first quarter

Umpires: Margetts, Nicholls, Hosking

Official crowd: 47,426 at Adelaide Oval

Our votes: Franklin, Parker, Jack


About Mickey Randall

The Sportswriter, Revolver, Lebowski. Met the girl when we were thirteen. Married her last year.


  1. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Thanks for the reminder Mickey. This was the game that had me worried afterwards, looks like I was correct.

    One of your lines reminds me of a movie night at the Ingle Farm Football Club in 1981.

  2. Unley played Ingle Farm for a few seasons. Don’t remember it being pretty! I taught out that way for a few years and for many, it was never “Ingle Farm,” but “The Farm.”

  3. djlitsa says

    Hi Mickey, nice one. As lunch approached you have me hungry to try one of those Dallas Burgers. We will have to catch up again for another game – perhaps in a few weeks when the Blues play the Crows (on a Sunday arvo).

  4. djlitsa- thanks for that. Excellent idea. The Dallas bar is a good spot for footy, but they only show the Australia Network games. The way the Blues and Crows are both going, it could be a nil-all draw. Will be in touch!

  5. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Enjoyed your article more than the game the funny thing about this was as , Sydney pulled clear at Bob Neil number 3 the crowd grew at Bob Neil number 1 to see silver spoons going everywhere as Uni def, Hackney High aka , Spoc which looks like being the highlight of our season

  6. Thanks Malcolm. With Glenelg cemented to the bottom of the SANFL ladder, if the Crows get rolled by Collingwood next Thursday, then my interest will only be in country and amateur footy!

    That and the Dapto dogs!

  7. I have a memory of playing a pre season lightening carnival at Mitcham Oval (home of the Jets?). We had just appointed Mick Flynn (later to coach North Adelaide) to his first coaching position and were keen to do well against his previous club, Adelaide Teachers College I think, who were in the division above us at the time. As we were doing the run throughs with plenty of vocal aggression, designed to scare the shit out of the opposition haka style, the canteen manageress shrieks over the crackling PA….”Will Frank De Tullio… (our rough, tough, young full back recruited from Woodville FC)… please come home, your mother wants you to go to the wedding.” He promptly pulled off his boots and ran towards his car parked in the street.

    We laughed like drains right up till the first bounce and my dim memory of the outcome was a narrow loss for us in the last few seconds of the game. According to some commentators in AdelaideNow the Crows had a similar preparation against Melbourne last week??

  8. Thanks kevmak. A wedding or maybe a funeral? Something must be responsible for the Crows’ dreadful display!
    Reassuring that a mother’s authority once held some power, even among Woodville types.

  9. Thanks Mickey,
    Good report. I didn’t watch this game, but those in the know that did seemed to think Adelaide revealed a bit of themselves and that that was revealed wasn’t exactly sparkling.
    You’ll be pleased to know the C Men are now in C1 and so young they barely present a respectable bit a bum fluff amongst the lot of them. They saluted the judge in ’11 and ’12, so have a good work ethic and hunger for it.
    kvemak, UFC’s home ground is Kingswood Oval, Belair Road.

    Damian Monkhorst’s head; the new unit of measure for burgers, it will stick!

  10. MikeD- good to hear the Jets are flying high. Kingswood Oval was a slush heap in winter, and often stank! The slope down to Belair Road was also significant, but added to the charm. Well done to the current C Men. Hope they are going nicely this year too. Thanks for the update.

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