Built for September

North Warrnambool had no right to be in this game. Terang-Mortlake had the better individual players, more of the play, and more scoring shots. Yet with 4 minutes to go, scores were tied. Terang-Mortlake then scrambled a point, and with their midfielders pushing hard, it looked to be enough. But the Eagles persisted and against all run of play, willed the ball down the other end, where a bruising tackle was rewarded. The half-forward flanker had the chance to be the hero. He didn’t disappoint. With less than 2 minutes to go, the Eagles, somehow, were up by 5 points. Players flooded the backline to prepare for a grim finish.  None more imposing than Captain Barlow.


True to the tempo of the game, Terang-Mortlake won the ball from the centre and kicked desperately to space on the flanks. A loose ball bobbled and wobbled with a lone Terang-Mortlake player leading the charge. Captain Barlow didn’t hesitate. Indeed, it’s doubtful he even thought. He bore down on this young man and met him just as he met the ball.


Some people are built for February time trials – others are made for September. Ten minutes earlier Captain Barlow had left the field limping with his medial ligament, and game, seemingly in tatters. Now Captain Barlow engulfed this young player and simultaneously threw him across the boundary as he stripped him of the ball. He was then faced with a multitude of players bearing down on him, with the boundary less than a foot away. Structures and processes went out the window as Captain Barlow side stepped one player, evaded another, and lasered the ball 45 metres up the line to a team mate sandwiched between two opponents. His team mate didn’t let him down. He calmly ate up the clock before launching it forward. It was enough. The siren went. The Eagles had found a way. And Captain Barlow was on his haunches.


  1. Neil Anderson says

    Good to see the North Warrnambool Eagles progress in the finals as one of the newer teams in the comp. Gone are the days of the Grant Thomas led Warrnambool Blues winning three flags in a row.
    Disappointed to see my team the Terang/Mortlake Bloods drop out of the finals, but from your details they only just got beaten thanks to Captain Barlow.
    Speaking of my home-town of Mortlake, Lewis Taylor did us proud with his interviews after winning the Rising Star Award. Along with ex-coach Ken Hinkley they have both put our little town on the map.

  2. I think warrnambool are playing in their seventh straight gf going for a threepeat its worse than the grant Thomas era

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