VAFA: History counts for little as Drysdale exposes ‘Hoers Tail


 Needless to say, the Spring sunshine paints Melbourne in a dazzling way and it was with wide eyes that your columnist wandered down to the University for the final home and away match of the season. As I came up towards the Pavilion, I reflected on the previous games in season 2012 and how it came to pass that the Blacks would finish top 2 in both grades. My wistful gazing was soon interrupted, however, as coaches Kempton and O’Connell bumped past me on their way to the pre-match briefing. I’m sure I heard one of them say, “Hack, if you want to reflect, there is a mirror inside. We’ve got a job to do”. Whilst their point was well made, I could only think that the ones who would really suffer would be the afternoon tea patrons as my coconut quinoa pudding now lay in a heap on the ground.

As the match commenced it was obvious that the Blacks’ reserves were the more equipped side and that they were keen to put last week’s upset loss behind them. In typical fashion, the man who made the initial statement was captain Andrew Jesse, who kicked 3 of the first 6 goals. The fact that Jesso was leading from the front was hardly surprising, but it must be said that the manner in which he did so was intriguing. In a departure from the norm, our man repeatedly took marks with his arms extended above his head. Due to previous shoulder injuries, Andrew’s fondness for chest marks surpasses his affection for sturdy shirt collars so to see his pale arms reaching for the sky was a wonderful sight. Throw in the fact that his hands were then able to ‘clunk’ the ball despite them being no doubt soaked in SPF 30 made it all the more impressive.

This initial burst turned out to be more the rule than the exception for this match, with the Blacks continually moving the ball into the forward line and down the throat of their various tall options. With spots in finals teams up for grabs, it was pleasing to see the side sharing the ball around and having a spread of goal kickers when selfishness could’ve crept in. Although it could be said that the goal-kicking could’ve been a bit better, that’s a bit like saying that the afternoon tea spread is lacking when the duck sandwiches have a week off. Not that some pudding wouldn’t have a gone down a treat mind you…

1st 2nd 3rd Final
Uni Blacks 5.4.34 11.11.77 15.19.109 22.22.154
Old Ivanhoe 1.1.7 2.1.13 2.2.14 2.3.15

 Goal Kickers

Cook 4, Crameri 4, Jesse 3, Brennan 3, Bismire 2, Myers 2, Gaylor 2, Aitken, Steadman

Best Players

 Gaylor, Crameri, Cook, Else, Guthrie, Myers


In years gone by, the Round 18 2pm game at Melbourne Uni has produced encounters that have ranged from the slightly enthralling to the downright pulsating. In 3 of the last 6 years, the Blacks’ finals participation have hung on either the result on Main Oval ,the result at another ground, or both.

The 2006 clash featured a Blacks side in their first year in B-Grade battling against Caulfield Grammarians for the final spot in the four. As the sun shone, the Blacks unfortunately fell short despite a goal in the dying minutes from the not-yet-named Pain Factory Pocket by current-day magoos coach Luke O’Connell. The goal was a right foot shot over the left shoulder from the left pocket that curved a sweetly as one of his question marks.

After a brief foray into A-Grade in 2008, the Blacks again found themselves needing to win to make the 2009 finals. This time they were not only up against the top side, Old Melburnians, but they required finals-bound Old Trinity to lose to Mad Monday-bound Old Carey by a large margin. Alas, although our boys managed to topple the eventual premiers by 8 points, and Carey upset Trinity, the percentage difference was too great and Marc Woolnough’s first season as coach was left hanging like a thread off one of his muscle-tops.

Whilst those two days caused some heartache, the final round of 2011 was a doozy. Having won the previous five matches to make a late run for September, the Blacks, in 5th position, needed to win over Oakleigh by enough of a margin to leapfrog 3rd (St Kevins) or 4th (Old Ivanhoe). As the home side notched up goal after goal, the crowd became focused on the around-the-ground scores, so much so that my predecessor described them as ‘looking at their phones like a group of schoolgirls who just got texted by the boy who shaves already’. As the final siren sounded, the Blacks had won by 84 points. This margin meant that either Old Ivanhoe or St Kevins would’ve needed to have won by less than 20 points for the Blacks to storm the top 4. As the boys entered the change rooms, word was passed on that the ‘Hoers had won by two goals, and that St. Kevins had lost. The Blacks had finished third. Cue bedlam.

 Needless to say, I have taken this trip down memory lane in the hope to provide you with some excitement as this 2012 version was a lop-sided contest between a side eyeing off September and another consigned to relegation.

That is not to say that some individual Blackers didn’t catch the eye of the sun-drenched crowd. Bede Mahon, Harry Lahy and Chuckles Richardson burst away from packs consistently and showed the kind of pace that can usually only be found on the Uni Main during the summer months. Speaking of which, Angus ‘White Lightning’ Drysdale was bouncy in the middle, covered the outfield well and split open packs like the gate between bat and pad. Having said that, he always responded to his team-mates’ calls to run.

And yes, Foster kicked 7 and got the quaddie. I can’t tell you which of those he was more excited about. I tend to avoid him after such performances.

This week it’s a Blacks v SKOBs double header at Box Hill for spot in the GF.. Action starts 11:40 



1st 2nd 3rd Final
Uni Blacks 4.8.32 9.13.67 14.15.99 23.17.155
Old Ivanhoe 1.1.7 1.2.8 2.3.15 3.5.23


Goal Kickers


Foster 7, Slabbert 3, Richardson 3, Matthews 3, Torney 2, Turner, Kalms, Lahy, Roberts, Gardiner


Best Players


Mahon, Lahy, Foster, Kalms, Drysdale, N Batten

About The Black Hack

Loves scoops. Hates deadlines

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