AFL Round 4 – Hawthorn v Fremantle: 50 Shades of Purple

By Dianne Waddingham

Most people who know me would say my football story should be called “50 Shades of Purple,” as my life revolves around one colour, one football team, one passion.  Purple shoes, purple tights, purple shirts, purple lights, purple bags, purple knickers, purple socks, purple stickers, purple pants, purple bras, purple hats, purple scarfs,  purple soap, purple cups, purple glasses, purple blood.

It is amazing how our passion for this mighty game, the one-eyed devotion to one team and everlasting faith in reaching that holy grail, makes us blind to past results and fanatical towards the next game.  I had planned this Launceston trip since the 2013 footy draw was released.  Even though memories of previous visits still cut deep, this was going to be a good year, a better year, an absolutely awesome year for my boys in purple, so there was no hesitation (much to my partner Brendan’s disgust) to hand over my cash to make the trek across to the Apple Isle, the land of Boags, Cataract Gorge and Sirengate.  Who could forget that infamous moment in Fremantle’s history?

I might have been dressed in every shade of purple imaginable (apparently there is a limit to how many layers you can actually wear at the same time without cutting off circulation) but soon realised there was stiff competition as the new colour in town was brown and yellow (did I mention this looked like “50 shades of baby poo”)? Though it pained me to admit, Hawthorn had adopted this town and made the stadium their own. To make matters even worse, Luke (Macfarlane) had not recovered from last week’s hit and was still seeing stars, so we were now going to be containing Buddy (who does not need a surname) with a 19 year old debutant Tanner Smith.  Just in case you are not familiar with him, he wears no. 22, is 196 cm tall and Victorian.  I felt a sense of doom and gloom, even before the first bounce.    Without Luke, Pav (Pavlich) and Sandi (Sandilands), we were missing what seemed like 1477 games of experience.   But it was Michael (Barlow)’s 50th game.  Many would say this is not a milestone but when you are Mickey B, and have endured the pain and rehabilitation from a horrible broken leg, this was one to be celebrated.  Were the four points going to be illusive again? I maintained blind hope.

With our banner duties complete (and a very big thankyou to the Under 17’s and 15’s Burnie Dockers who helped make sure the banner was held high and were more than willing to swell out the number of Docker supporters to 40) , there was no turning back.  In what appeared to be a mismatch of giant proportions, before I had time to collect my thoughts and gain my voice, Freo was 5 goals down and staring down the barrel of a huge loss. Where were our forwards Mayne, Walters and our very own village pest (Ballantyne)? They were obviously still on the bus!!  It looked like Hawthorn were on a training run and Rioli already had 2. Birchall and Burgoyne were everywhere.  I guess the upside of the 1st quarter was Buddy being held goal less!!  Glass half full kind of moment, even if we were 30 points down.  There was still blind hope.

Bradley kicked the first goal of the second quarter under twelve seconds and we were back.  To the chants of “There’s only one Kepler Bradley, we were still hoping and then Mayne kicked another.  However, heartache for Hawks supporters as Schoenmakers went down with what looked like a buggered knee (technical speak for torn ACL with full knee reco).  Then Hilly (Big brother Stephen Hill, not younger sibling Bradley who plays for the opposition) performed the smother of the century to block a certain Hawthorn goal.  I was feeling excited.  Kepler then took a juggling mark and split the middle of the sticks with a super kick.  Game on but somehow we were still 25 points down.  Nick Suban finally had his first touch which was just too much for Ross Lyon.  Suban was ceremoniously presented with the red jacket and subbed off. Some tough love!!  Smith was still trying his darndest to combat the dual forward pack of Roughead and Buddy. It was goal for goal. Fyfe had stopped the haemorrhaging and we had improved our stats but half time still had the Dockers 30 points in arrears. I had hope but it was no longer blind.

Blind hope returned when Mayne kicked the first goal of the third quarter but was soon snuffed out by goals to Burgoyne and Buddy.  We needed our key leaders but they were back at Fremantle contemplating rehab and childcare.  I could not look as Hawthorn pressed forward again and again, thwarting any attempt by the Dockers to catch up.  We had some good players but the opposition had better players.  It was time our acting captain Mundy stopped the game and ask the umpires for a headcount.  Hawthorn had to have more than 30 players on the ground and we were missing a few.  Our sub, Lachie Neale, kicked a goal and so did Son Son (Walters) but Hawthorn also had Luke Hodge and Sam Mitchell.  The three quarter time siren was very loud and clear, so was Fremantle’s deficit – still 28 points.  We had won the quarter by two points.  There was still a smidgen of blind hope.  Our first quarter was surely going to bite us on the bum.

I admit to losing interest, so please blow that bloody siren and put me out of my misery.  Ballantyne’s stumble and Crowley’s miss from 2cm out (he managed to kick it behind himself and hit the post making the possible impossible) summarised Freo’s fortunes for the day (or lack thereof). To get within 17 points in the last quarter, then lose the match by 42 points, would not have impressed Ross the Boss.  There was no longer blind hope. There was no hope at all and no fairytale send off for Barlow.  Instead I had to watch the Hawks celebrate the victory with their fans.  There was no escaping as even my flight home was overtaken by those horrible brown and yellow poo-coloured supporters. Talk about rubbing it in. I was not feeling the love for my 50 Shades of Purple!!  Looks like I will be wearing just one shade of black on Monday!



HAWTHORN     5.2     10.4    13.6    18.10 (118)
FREMANTLE    0.2     5.4     8.8         11.10 (76)

Hawthorn: Franklin 4, Roughead 4, Rioli 3, Burgoyne 2, Breust 2, Birchall, Lewis, Franklin
Fremantle: Bradley 3, Mayne 2, Mundy, Sutcliffe, Crowley, Ballantyne, Walters, Neale

Burgoyne, Rioli, Birchall, Mitchell, Stratton, Bailey, Franklin
Fremantle: Fyfe, Barlow, Mundy, Mayne, Walters, Bradley

Hawthorn: Guerra (soreness) replaced in selected side by Savage, Schoenmakers (knee)
Fremantle: McPharlin (concussion) replaced in selected side by Smith

Hawthorn: Shane Savage replaced Ryan Schoenmakers (knee) during the second quarter
Fremantle: Lachie Neale replaced Nick Suban (tactical) during the second quarter

Reports: Nil

Umpires: Nicholls, Wenn, Foot

Official crowd: 12,619 at Aurora Stadium

Votes:   3              Burchell  (Hawthorn)

2              Roughead (Hawthorn)

1              Fyfe (Fremantle)

Honourable mentions to Burgoyne, Hale (Hawthorn), Mundy, Crowley (Fremantle)


  1. Are you sure Crowly was 2cms from the goal line? I really thought he was closer. other than that, for all the pain you felt, I was on the other end of that see-saw, feeling good. Wish you well, until we meet the Dockers again. Cheers

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