Essendon, West Coast and Lionel

Once upon a time, a mate of mine and I created the “Let the Eagles Fly at Yarraville Action Faction” for the” Coodabeen Champions”, at that stage broadcasting on 3RRR.  We got a few honourable mentions for our entries  and even had a victory one week.  I would still like to see the Yarraville VFA side going around but unfortunately this is not going to happen. Anyway, the Mighty Dons are playing a side called the Eagles from West Australia, a side created  by the then VFL, as they planned an Australian wide competition for our great game, but for me ,there is only  the Yarraville Eagles.

So today Essendon take on this WA side at Docklands , and this interstate side came out to play. In the first quarter which sounded tough and brutal Kerr, Naitanui and Cox absolutely dominated the play for West Coast and they were supported by the umpires with some bewildering decisions. The Essendon  backline were under siege, all the play seemed to be in the West Coast forward line but luckily for us they sprayed their shots at goal, and the Dons made the most of their limited opportunities so at quarter time we were only down by fifteen points, however  I reckon it should have been a lot more.

Things didn’t get much better in the  early stages of the second quarter , if West Coast had made the most of  of the footy they could have blown the Dons away. To our credit we toughed it out and scored majors through Heath Hocking twice, and one of my favourites  Stewart Crameri banged one through from a long way out. David Zaharakis (love that name) then kicked a major, but to spoil my fun West Coast scored two late goals, so they still lead by twelve points at the big break.

In the third quarter the Dons meant serious business. They had come out to play with determination. All the “H’s” Hocking, Howlett,Hooker,Hurley,Hardingham,Hille and that great new comer Heppell obviously listen to Sir James Hird at half time and played like inspired champions.  They were backed up by Kyle Reimers, Sam Lonergan and that excitement machine Leroy Jetta. As a matter of fact the whole team  contributed to the renewed effort and by three quarter time the Dons had turned a twelve point deficit to a lead of twenty four points.

Stewart Crameri started the last quarter in the best way for us with a goal. West Coast gave it a “good go”  but they squandered lots of opportunities . It must have been catching, because the Dons had a few misses too, too many for my liking.  The quarter continued, the Dons held a good enough lead for me not to panic,  even though LeCras got a late one for West Coast . David Hille scored a long goal after the siren for a very good fighting win of sixteen points for the Dons.

Best Payers for Essendon.    Watson, Jetta, Heppell, Crameri, Hurley,  Lovett-Murray  and Bellchambers.

And on a different story, the passing of Lionel Rose was sad for me. One Sunday afternoon some  forty five years ago , when I was driving back to Yallourn  after a weekend in Melbourne ,I picked up a young hitch hiker outside Dandenong.  He said he had been training for an up coming fight in a few weeks time at his Trainers place in Essendon  and he was heading back home near Drouin. The young lad was Lionel Rose and he said that he went down to Essendon regularly for training. A few weeks later he must have had a weekend off ,because I reckon I saw him playing footy for Drouin and he pretty good at that too.

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