VAFA – Premier B: Fitzroy v AJAX

That appalling woman, Pauline Hanson, used to whine in that awful voice of her’s, ‘Pleeease explain?’ whenever she was asked a question she did not want to answer. I want Redder’s fans to ‘please explain’ how we beat AJAX, a side we never beat, by 101 points. After the match their coach said they have not been towelled up like that for at least eight years.


There was a theory floating around, at half time, that the AJAX players had blown their money going to the Maccabi Games last year and had backed, at very good odds, Fitzroy to win by one hundred points. The fellow who first raised this possibility is an erudite and intelligent scholar, well known for his subtle and perceptive views on football. He went to University, and let me say, Rocky agreed with me.


Cath and Anthony brought along a friend of theirs yesterday, a Bob Bonnell, who used to live in Clausen Street, North Fitzroy. His Mum used to allow him to walk down to the ground to watch the Roys play. He was not allowed to waste his money on a tram ticket. In those days people were not worried about their children being assaulted but they could all remember the depression and did not waste their money. However if Fitzroy won, he was allowed to buy the Sporting Globe on the way home.


The Globe was delivered to Heathcote where I grew up, but, in the Globe delivered to Heathcote on Saturday night, the footy coverage stopped at three quarter time. If you wanted to read about the entire game you did not buy the paper on Saturday night. You waited until Sunday morning, after Mass, in Latin, if you don’t mind Mr Fenton . The Herald was the same. Now this reminds me of a great Heathcote Racing Club story (one of my Dad’s stories) which I will post on the Footy Almanac one day.


Bob’s day at the football had another caveat: if Fitzroy doubled the other side’s score Bob had orders to buy some fish and chips on the way home. Today’s match begged an obvious question and I tried to find Bob after the game to ask him what his family would do if we won by one hundred points. Go rabbiting on Sunday on the Rabbito Express (see my old Rupertswood post) or maybe go up to the Dandenong Hills?


So what about the footy? Well it is hard to say much about such a one-sided match. Now I know I always say ‘watch the contest’ rather than the umpires or the scoreboard but the umpires did their job well (I was impressed with the way they immediately got the game going whenever some argie bargie erupted. Ball it up umpires.) and the score was merely of academic interest, given you had not backed Fitzroy to win by one hundred points.


The scores were close at quarter time but we had been wasteful, hitting the post twice, and my notes at quarter time state ‘We should be a couple in front. Will we regret it?’ We played his mob first up last year where their speed coming out of their backline killed us. In the first quarter it was noticeable that they could run the ball to the centre line but no further. Our forwards were doing their defensive job, placing great pressure on the AJAX backs and on ballers.


Down back, Gary McCarthy, who now has the nick name “Fayman Flogger’ was, once again, all over the dominant forward of B Grade. Cuzzie was playing well, up the ground in defence, Greenie was winning everything and Max Ellis played another fine game to cap off his one hundredth game. Only Uni Blues have conceded less points than we have and to finish the first round of matches we have two games against the cellar dwellers. The point of the second and third quarters was AJAX could only score two behinds in each. We were kicking their behinds big time.


Wont He Fenton now kicks goals rather than incessantly dishing it off (buggering it up). I am fining him twenty dollars for each time he handballs when inside fifty and so he has become a potent forward line player. Matty K (new nick name for him ‘Eat my Dust’) is breaking the lines with his explosive pace and Brownie is playing like a man possessed as a small ruckman.


Win these next two games and we could be second on the ladder, several games in the four, and finals bound. We have quite a few players to come back from injury and so:


Go the Roys


  1. Love the historical precedents for celebrating a Fitzroy win. Newsagents and fish and chip shops wouldn’t have been too profitable around Brunswick Street in the old days. Great to see that the old passion still lives on. Well played Phil.

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