Chardys v Smithfield

As the grey clouds descended on Park 10, the Chards assembled for what would be the last game before a week’s break and the half way point of the season.  A win would see them move into first position on the ladder; the opponent Smithfield boasted a percentage of 7% for the year to date.

It wouldn’t be a chardonnay match unless coach Darien received several late withdrawal sms’ and that is exactly what happened with only 20 out of the listed 25 boarding the team coach. The 45 minute pilgrimage north was to be made all the more fun by hiring a 30 seat bus for the day.

Trying for years to shake the Snooze nickname, the self proclaimed Captain Electric was the first casualty of the trip.  With the bus stationary at the Scottys Motel lights (there’s a free plug for you Grandma); Snooze ran down the aisle, hand over mouth and let everyone on Main North Road know about the choice of food and liquor available at the 30 year Pitcher Partners celebration the night before.

The longer the bus drove, the quicker the grey clouds dispersed. There were no longer houses with the family dog roaming the front yard but wide open paddocks filled with sheep and cows.  Jumpers were being taking off at an alarming rate, all the windows were being opened and the air-conditioner was pumping.  Young intellect Jack ‘Fish’ Whiting put a reason to the blue skies and 22 degree outside temperature down to the fact that we were now closer to the equator and therefore closer to the sun; Sh1tbreak, you are truly an idiot!

Never one to miss a campaign opportunity, the trip North provided Team Manager and Treasurer Sam ‘Duck’ Duluk with the perfect opportunity to spread the good word of his beloved Tony Abbott and that he did, putting up posters of the opposition leader in the Smithfield change rooms, club rooms and adjacent bus shelter.

As far as the match goes, Len (our bus driver) summed it up best ‘it was scrappy; you were sh1t, they were sh1tter.’ Only the chards could register a 29 goal win and have a neutral onlooker say that.

The mofo, who was going to be blowing the whistle filling in for the absent Rulebook received a late call up and if there was a stats man on hand he would surely have broken Will Minsons recent hit out record of 52 taps in a game.  The ever green Lukey Hambour ran rings around his opponent at Centre Half Forward, Husqvarna, Colonel Saunders and Scooter Elliss dominated the stoppages while BJ and Polkas were stronger than the Berlin wall in defence.

The only sour note was the Ned Kelly look alike; the big red bearded, softly spoken Heathy pinging a hammy barely two minutes into the game. For Heathy, the regular full back only touching the ball in recent weeks on kick ins, a ten goal haul and a permanent move to the forward line for the second half of the year had been on offer…alas it was not to be.

In an even spread of goal kickers; new boys Camron-Jay jagged 6 and Principle Skinner 4, ensuring the torch handed down by Wolver, King and Co will still burn brightly in years to come.  A statesman named the Homemaker also kicked 5 in a half including a soccer one from 35 out on the boundary that could have been mistaken for the great Pele at his very best.

The highlight of the day came from Whiting, who thought it would be fair to pull on a Smithfield jumper in the final 30 seconds of the game.  A St. Peters Old Scholar, Whiting collected the ball on the half forward flank and at his evasive best, bulked teammates Pooley and Ireland as he took several bounces towards Smithfield’s goal eventually kicking it 50m to Wayne King who was surrounded by three Smithfield players.  Wayne, playing his first match in six weeks after a ski season in Colombia, did his best but was unable to prevent a snap shot on goal from Smithfield which luckily hooked late like a John Daly drive for a behind on the siren, giving them a total of 3 behinds for the match.

Free beers were put on by Smithfield for us in their clubrooms post game.  The occasion; we were the first team NOT to beat them by 30 goals this year.

Team bonding activities that took place on the bus ride home included team shotguns, waterfalls, karaoke and ‘never ever’.  A footy bus trip north wouldn’t be a footy bus trip north without a stop at the Cross Keys on the way home.  A first for many on the bus, the stop at the Cross Keys will no doubt be one we’ll all be able to tell our grand kids one day.

Despite sitting at the back of the bus, the Homemaker was first into the Cross Keys well pleased with his effort notching up Peter Sumich like stats for the day of 5 kicks, 5 marks and 5 goals.  Dont get him in your dreamteam this year though fellas, a star on-baller of yesteryear, I can’t see this champion moving too far out of the goal square in 2011.

The front bar of the Cross Keys was something like a Spaghetti western; leather, bandanas, beards and rat-tails on one side; teeth, university degrees and credit cards on the other.  The awkwardness between the two contrasting groups in society reached its climax when the Duck stood on the front bar and demanded ‘Jugs, Jugs, Jugs!’ Only a pool cue to the back of the head or a slap to the face could have resulted from such a cheeky comment.  The silence ended when the attractive bar waitress whipped out ‘Sorry we don’t do jugs here.’ A huge roar went off as the Duck set about ordering 30 pints and a glass of coke for our nice bus driver.  Other highlights of the adventure were Principle Skinner getting asked for ID and the Homemaker planking on the bar.

Much more tomfoolery took place on the ride home but those stories will have to wait for another day!




  1. Malcolm Ashwood says

    V Entertaining Boys the reports you find on Footy Almanac when scrolling around is like a youngsre in a Free Lolly Shop you never no what you will find
    You Took me back to Hold Your Bowlies the after match Presentations of
    The Worlds Greatest Football Club
    Fish Whitings Equator Line Sensatinal
    Go The Blacks

  2. Nick Raschella says

    It would not be a Chardonnay match report unless it contained something eccentric, a bit unusual and a good laugh at the end.

    From now on when I travel to Smithfield I will think I’m travelling towardsbthe equator.

  3. Ray Ashwood says

    Malcolm told me I had to read this article as usual I got a good laugh out of it
    Having had the Privledge of being made a Life Member recently I can honestly say
    Malcolm getting me involved in Adelaide University FC is 1 of the best things he has done Myself and Margaret value the club deeply Uni FC is unique Bob Neil etc it is a Great Club Go The Chardys

  4. Dale F Adams says

    Brings back some memories, this.

  5. great report on a ubiquitous team. The Scum definitely have a social conscience and philanthropic virtues – why else would they only win by 29 goals, spend time and money at an establishment of disrepute north of Grand Junction road and kick the ball the wrong way. All class – good Scum.

  6. cancel that …read Chards not Scum above – footy fatigue has set in..time to pull on the whites..

  7. Troy Hancox says

    Thanks for the link Rulebook!
    funny read that!

    Had played cricket north of the border (Grand Junction Road) on a few occassions.
    Always a pleasure to A: see your car B: see 4 wheels on it upon your return after a game.

  8. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    The border is actually the ‘Old Spot’ hotel as those toffs from Brahma Lodge would know.

  9. Good read that. Always enjoy the trip out to ‘Lizbeff Oval (aka The Ponderosa), to Norwood games, and the inevitable catch-up with Gazza Martin and Rabs Douglas. However I did have a Smiffield experience when Coaching Jack’s Under 15’s team at Walkerville JFC some years ago. Two of the Smiffield lads had large bandages on their arms above the elbow…I asked if they were carrying injuries and got the response – “Nah mate – they both got new tattoos last night – just trying to avoid infection”….this was Under 15’s remember. That is all.

  10. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    They probably did each others’ tatts

  11. Probably did too Swish! Also reminds me of an incident at that wonderful ground on Yorktown Road – Eastern Park. We had moved back to the city after 8 years in Penola and Jack had joined Walky’s and was about to play his first game at Under 11 level – Eastern Park on their dung hill. Scheduling for Under 11’s was tough too – start time 10.30am (report at 10.00am) on a Sunday morning and given I had no idea where the ground was or who Eastern Park were, I headed off rather early to ensure he wasn’t late for game number one at the new club. Well as you can guess we were the first at the ground – bar one person – the club volunteer doing some last minute grooming on the oval. I think both Jack & I got a pretty good fix on the Eastern Park story as I took in the vista of a very large, bearded/ponytailed gent wearing a lumberjack shirt, complemented with tracky-dacks in their third straight week of constant wear, very stylish uggies (the knee high ones not those pansy short numbers) with a lit ciggie in his left hand, a 440ml tin of Woodstock and Cola in his right hand, pushing the linemarker with his ample gut.

    We lost.

  12. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Eastern Park were pussies – it was the Salisbury North Hawks that we (Central United nee Central Juniors) were scared of.

    Eastern Park was Richard Cooke’s (1986 AUFC Premiership ruckman) junior club

  13. Troy Hancox says

    Ba hahahahahaha loved the analogy re the lost game above by shotgun….
    Great descriptive writing, no need for game details. two words nailed it!

    I stand corrected on the border.
    GJ Road was for cricketters traveliing North (AKA NORF)


  14. No mention of the joy of passing through The ‘Beff?

  15. Aghhhh, the Cross Keys, some places should never be given a makeover. The Govt should invoke some sort of Heritage Museum lock on pubs that have reputations like this one. Check the vacuum cleaner, if there’s teeth in there, it’s a contender I say…

  16. attractive waitress?? surely not…

  17. As always a great read. It made me want to get horribly smashed the night before a game and then play – oh wait, I did that for the Greys a couple of weeks ago! Keep up the good work finding those gems Book.

  18. Tom Martin says

    Ah the memories. Junior football for the Walkerville Cats in the North Adelaide Junior Football League was my first introduction to the splendour of Adelaide’s north. The Cats were the sunny southerners in the comp, so every second week in winter we rounded Scotty’s corner to make reacquaintaince with the used car yards. The gloomy milestones of Main North Road – Sefton Plaza, Regency Road, Grand Junction Road, the Gepps Cross Tavern, the haunted abattoirs, Parafield Airport, the Old Spot, the New Spot, Elizabeth City Centre, Argana Park – all signified a point of no return.

    The young lads in the opposing teams had mullets, rat’s tails, oversized footy boots, and smoked. Lots couldn’t kick but punched you hard.

    With the Exercise Yard at Greenacres a close second, Angle Vale is probably my favourite ground in terms of sheer audacious grimness. I’m sure the electricity transmission lines don’t actually go over the ground but that’s the only way I can remember it. I drove a fire engine red Volvo station wagon out there for a Div 6 or something game in 1994 and parked it by the ground. That was the day I discovered that passionate hatred for Volvo drivers went far beyond our fraternal Swedish rivalry with Saab.

    Elizabeth Football Club had the best club rooms, purely for the photographs of a young Johnnie Platten. I would happily go in there in summer for a lemonade when I was playing cricket at Joel Garner Park, just to check them out again.

    But you’ve endured enough nostalgia. Bus trips to footy games are the quintessential Northern Exposure. Liberated from our motor vehicles, we are free to quaff bourbon cans and chat amiably with the Eastern Park thug that tried to thump us half an hour prior. More beers on the bus home. Hot in the face. Cross Keys. No skimpies. Goal umpire is riding with us and appears bitterly disappointed. Back on the road. Cumberland Arms Hotel with thirty clubmates. An hour till Bowlies. Bowlies. Singing, yelling, skolling, laughing. Skolling. Vodka. Shots of straight vodka. Endless, merciless, callous. Vodka.

    Eventually the bouncers asked me and Graeme Kellett, quite reasonably on reflection, to leave the establishment. A glassy’s cries for help had led them to us in the dunnies, where we had him cornered, peppering him with lashes of wet tea towel. The chaps were good enough to take me out via the bar so I could collect my credit card. We probably got a yiros before we parted ways but I can’t be sure.

    When Graeme returned to his lodgings he realised that he did not have his house keys. He did, however, have his car keys, and any shelter was welcome in the cold of midnight. I am describing the time as midnight to emphasise the cold but it was probably about a quarter past nine. After shivering in the driver’s seat for half an hour, he realised he could start the car and turn the heater on, and began to drift into a deep and fuzzy . . .

    A disoriented Graeme was suddenly and brutally awoken by his matronly housemate cum landlady, delivering a shrill lecture about driving when drunk, while dragging him staggering into the house. Graeme had no idea how he had arrived at his present situation and was unable to account for himself.

    Graeme awoke in the morning, full to the gills with the florid remorse of a vicar who has been photographed in drag. After a tense household breakfast he steeled himself for the drive out north, via the Cumby, to locate his house keys.

    They were the first thing he saw when he got in the car, gleaming proudly in the centre console. Suddenly it all, or most of it, came back to him.

    North, and the North, will do that to you.

  19. Great article nothing better than a road trip for team bonding

  20. Well played, all.
    What happens on the trip stays on the trip.
    Except for the above.

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