Round 19 – Carlton v Adelaide: Glenelg v Crows v Carlton v Crows

The power of the AFL and Channel 7 is such that SANFL games don’t clash with Crows or Power fixtures. These are almost always shunted about the weekend, even if it means avoiding the traditional Saturday afternoon timeslot. July 27 was an exception and, in an odd symmetry, the Crows were playing at the same time as the Crows.


The spluttering-like-a-wheezy-Grandpa-AFL Crows were having a rare MCG outing against the newly confident Carlton, while down at our sun-dappled bay the top of the table Glenelg Tigers were clashing with the SANFL Crows.


Like a minor gangster in Goodfellas I had some temporary confusion regarding my loyalty. But, clarity restored, of course I wanted the MCG Crows to win and for Glenelg Oval to witness a Tigers’ victory.


Glenelg has a salary cap of about $360,000 while a conservative estimate would value the Crows’ livestock warming up at the Bay at somewhere around four million. While I admire much of the Crows talent fronting for their Magoos such as Gibbs, Betts, Douglas, Jacobs and Greenwood (why on earth is he not in the AFL side?) my inner socialist (and Glenelg membership) means I want the locals to win.


But, as I said from the safety of my sports psychologist’s couch, “It’s complicated.”


The bright afternoon and happy crowd on the grassy eastern mound invested the atmosphere with both privilege and picnic. By the southern goals a young girl waved a, “Go, Eddie, go” sign. There were kids and footies and beanies and sausages in bread. With the preternatural sun dangling over the gulf it was a marvellous place to be.


The skilled, fast game was enhanced by the exemplary ground condition. As both sides traded first-half goals I thought of the AFL and wondered at its similarity to the Catholic Church: neither pay taxes, or possess a whiff of social responsibility, and while Jolimont and the Vatican have so many riches that their accountants can scarcely tally the gold; the distant parishioners question their faith, and increasingly don’t count their blessings.


Early in these simultaneous matches I remarked to my mate Bob that, “Wouldn’t it be a horrid afternoon if the Crows lost at the MCG but won here at Glenelg?” A glance at his phone showed Carlton skipping away and jubilant that instead of only being a feeder team for Adelaide they’d likely experience some matchday joy.


Swinging by the beer caravan (is this model available from Noel’s?) there’s cheery banter from the past players serving the cups. The kind of rapport that embeds from playing lots of footy together, lots of years ago. I like that a spoon is used to flip open the cans.


Glenelg sets up their game and late season with a seven-goal third term. Despite none of the Tigers being alive for their club’s last flag in 1986, there’s a buzz and emerging belief in 5045 that the next two months might be special.


And then I wonder about the Crows jagging a SANFL premiership. What, exactly would such a triumph represent? Who would celebrate it? After the season`s final siren would three octogenarians pull up outside the Checkside Tavern at West Lakes? Alighting their Corolla would they then ask security if they could please take in their thermos and fruit cake? Would anybody then turn up at the West End chimney? Would they bring any paint?


It would be the most hollow of wins.


For Glenelg, Liam McBean continues his great form with four excellent goals, and along with Hugh McCluggage from the Brisbane Lions, has one of football’s best names. If only Cool McCool had played as a dashing winger (doubtless standing Hurricane Harry).


With the Tigers up by a point veteran Crow Richard Douglas accepts a pass from Greenwood but is outside the fifty arc. He uses a Michael Holding run-up, strikes it well, but his kick is short and the Burley is consumed by the mauling pack. The siren sounds.


Strolling towards Anzac Highway and home, “Oh, we’re from Tigerland” drifts happily across our seaside hamlet. And again. And again.


I hope the AFL Crows can self-apply the defibrillator, and quickly, but think the extension cord likely too short for them.


Meanwhile, down at Glenelg they’re showing enormous heart and there’s electricity in the air.


Our writers are independent contributors. The opinions expressed in their articles are their own. They are not the views, nor do they reflect the views, of Malarkey Publications.


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About Mickey Randall

Now whip it into shape/ Shape it up, get straight/ Go forward, move ahead/ Try to detect it, it's not too late/ To whip it, whip it good


  1. Dave Brown says

    Channel 7 did us the greatest of favours on Saturday arvo, Mickey, by delaying the Crows AFL match and showing the SANFL instead. It was a stonking game of footy and, forewarned, we could turn the TV off after the SANFL. The Bays are the real deal – an effective midfield (Partington should still be in the AFL), a dangerous forward line (McBean may find his way back too) and reliable defence. We were lucky to snag two points off you in Rd 1 because we certainly wouldn’t now.

    Presumably it will happen one day (Port have been within a kick twice) but it will be interesting to see the reaction, or lack thereof, when an AFL reserves side wins a SANFL flag. I’ll always back the SANFL side.

  2. Love the Catholic Church metaphor Mickey. Time to lock up the Mini League kids. Gillon selling Cardinal’s hats to CrownBetEasyLose or whatever its called these days.
    Sounds like a grand day out. How was the crowd compared to a normal Bays home game? Would Crows2 beat Crows1? Would Bays beat Crows1? Will Don be swimming with the fishes off Glenelg Jetty? Best jetty of your childhood? We loved swimming off Wool Bay jetty and fishing for parties off the end. Guess its long gone now for some obscure OHS reason.

  3. John Butler says

    Mickey, I can confirm that most Blues fans were pleasantly surprised that all the names you mentioned above were running around in the SANFL, not at the ‘G.

    Worked fabulously well. At least from our perspective.

  4. Mickey, you ask why is Greenwood playing in the SANFL? Your guess is as good as mine. My question is who was the Rhodes Scholar that dropped Sir Edward Betts and Greenwood to the Reserves – absurd?

    Whilst the Glenelg v Adelaide match was a ripper, I dread the prospect of someday the SANFL GF will be played between the Power Reserves and the Crows Reserves. Both teams should, in my opinion, be in an AFL Reserves competition. Also, why does the Power Reserves (Port Magpies) have a home ground for matches whilst the Crows seconds don’t Personally, I’m sick of the way Port is looked after in the SANFL – disgraceful..

  5. Thanks Dave. I’d rather keep him, but reckon McBean could find his way back to the AFL, as might Luke Reynolds (where have I heard this name before?). I always imagined a significant gap between the AFL and SANFL, but maybe it’s not as Grand Canyon as previously considered. The delayed Crows and Carlton telecast certainly gave me a chance to do other things. I think Channel 15- Spree tv with its compelling infomercial offerings, out-rated the footy late Saturday afternoon, at least in Adelaide. Apparently the board is backing Don, so I guess the removalist is booked.

    PB- a great day out with yet another mild, sunny winter’s afternoon here. Terrific lifestyle, but probably not so flash when it’ll be 55 degrees mid-summer in a few years. Crowd was a tick over 4,000 which is pretty good. Crows 2 v Crows 1 is a very good question. Might be like Australia v Australia A in the triangular series in about 1995 with the entire country on the underdog.

    JB- I’m yet to speak with anyone who can articulate why Greenwood’s in and out. With his pack-marking, close-in skill and solid goal-kicking, if the Crows scrape in, he could bob up and kick five. I doubt this about his replacements. I think Betts comes back in, but even with forty touches I’m not convinced about Gibbs.

    Fisho- I think we all dread the AFL reserves SANFL decider. I do like that the Crows don’t have a ground as this gives me an extra home game each season.

  6. Mickey, i too like the fact that when playing the Crows seconds you get an extra home ground, however my point is that the power seconds (Port magpies0 get home ground matches. i think that is both ludicrous and unfair.

    In relation to greenwood, I would, because of his ability to take pack marks, play him at centre half forward with the big Texan in a forward pocket. When Jenko goes on the ball, Tex moves to the goal front. I’m of the opinion Walker should play closer to goals and not wonder all over the shop.

    I am also of the belief Gibb’s best is way behind him. The same for Otten, Douglas and McKay. When Betts retires the club should immediately hire him as the attacking coach (and erect a statue in his honour)

  7. PS sorry about the typos

  8. Betts is an amusing case is he not, or rather a case study of the Crows fan base? When he was first recruited, there were hordes ringing 5AA and other talkback radio decrying his recruitment, claiming he was being overpaid and was past his prime. You could not find a person who thought it was a good idea to get him. Now they want him elevated to sainthood.

    The possibility of either AFL reserves side winning the SANFL throws up all sorts of potential arguments and endless commentary from Graham (Moaning Lisa) Cornes.

    Agree with you Mickey re Gibbs, another case of the Crows fanbase over-ruling the management of the club. His best is well and truly in the rear view mirror.

  9. Fisho- I’m with you on Greenwood, and reckon there might be 8-10 delistings and retirements.

    Bucko- the tiresome nature of most sports talkback (I used to devour it) is why my car radio is generally on Three D. I reckon Eddie’s got another year in him.

  10. Mark Duffett says

    I know it’s a lost cause. But the Crows reserves should not exist. Supposedly their advent was going to give the AFL club the extra edge it needed in team cohesion to take it to the top. Well, what difference has it made, exactly? Only debased the SANFL, as far as I can see.

  11. Mickey, I am with you the whole way, except in choice of radio station. Talkback is beyond tiresome. Made worse by my having a 90 year old mother-in-law who listens relentlessly and uncritically, then tells wife and self what she heard….as translated by somebody whose hearing is well below 100%….

  12. Luke Reynolds says

    Sounds a great day at Glenelg Mickey.

    What are the options in the Glenelg beer caravan?

    Earlier this season I attended a Collingwood VFL game at Coburg and pretty much found myself hoping the standalone home team would get up. AFL reserves teams add nothing to state leagues.

    Good to hear that the Croweater L.Reynolds is playing well!

  13. Agreed Mark. When the Crows or Port reserves win the SANFL flag it will be a grim day, but our betters will tell us that it is for the common good…

    Bucko- “Iris from Kadina is on the line to tell us about an amusing incident with her washing machine. Go ahead, Iris.” Jesus.

    Luke- The Glenelg beer caravan (GBC) over-promises and under-delivers, I’m afraid. It’s best is the 150 lashes pale ale, and it drops away very quickly to West End cans and the utterly undrinkable Hahn range of swill. One positive regarding the reserves sides playing local footy is getting to see elite players (admittedly in the two’s) up really close.

    Thanks everyone.

  14. Superb Mickey nodding my head in massive agreement re afl lack of social responsibilities and Crows supporters cough cough celebrating a flag

  15. Thanks Malcolm. The AFL gets a few things right like the various themed rounds but on grassroots and suburban footy its a carnivorous beast.

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