Kempo pulls the driver out as Blacks stretch lead from Rosehill to Belmont


For not the first time this season, my trip to the Uni for the curtain raiser was an alluring one. With marquee names like Foster and Lacey having donned the Black and Blue at 11:40 in previous weeks this year, it seemed like the depth of the Blacks in 2012, much like Ed Cowan on a green-top, knew no boundaries. On this occasion, however, those who had forsaken their midday yum-cha for one of Peter Mac’s salad rolls were in for a real treat.

Earlier in the season, having come off a pre season which was as brief as a Rob Hanna diagnosis, Cam Roberts appeared in the early game and seemed intent on making an impact. Unfortunately, these intentions weren’t nearly as strong as the opposing player’s body which cannoned into Cam’s head, leaving him requiring stitches, a stint on the sidelines and possibly a session or two of plastic surgery. All of Cam’s teammates were especially disappointed with this result, as they agreed that no man of his physical stature should be receiving any additional assistance.

Given Cam’s vast experience, it is no wonder that he was keen to put on a show in the first quarter. As previously stated, the first quarter of the reserves game is one of the most keenly viewed stanzas of the day. In truth it probably only falls behind the 3rd quarter of the senior game, when the entire crowd is buzzing from the arvo tea sugar fix. During this first quarter, Robbo twice kicked a goal from outside the arc off only a couple of steps. This was impressive enough, but the fact he did it in between taking stats on the sideline, helping College kids with their assignments and washing Jesso’s ute made it all the more impressive.

Another big name performer who had a day out was young Sammy Lane. Sam’s performance was provocative, insightful, somewhat eye-catching (but not in an obvious way) and certainly provided some balance in an otherwise one-sided affair. Needless to say, it was a performance deserving of VAFA Women’s Round. I only hope Sam got to London safely. I’ve heard that such a long flight can be tough in economy class.

With all of these big names performing well, it would be easy to forget the consistent reserves performers. Big Jimmy Clarke has been applauded in this column previously for his off-field style, but his consistent work-rate has been a staple of the reserves side this year. With skills that seem to come naturally and an honesty that would rob him of a career in middle-management, Jimbo can be relied upon to be the man to kick to in a crisis or for when you simply need a goal kicked. 5 snags is a haul. No doubt about it.


1st 2nd 3rd Final
Uni Blacks 6.1.37 13.5.83 24.12.156 28.13.181
Werribee Districts 2.1.13 2.1.13 2.2.14 2.4.16


Goal Kickers

Clarke 5, Lane 4, Roberts 4, Jesse 3, Myers 3, Brennan 2, Aitken 2, Yule 2, Howie 2, Keegan

Best Players

Clarke, Aitken, Gardiner, Myers, Lane, Roberts



With the first set of four points stashed away, our seniors were keen to impress against a side that had a provided an extremely honest contest earlier in the season. As the first half played out, it seemed that the rumours surrounding player unavailability at Werribee had truth to them, as the Blacks held a comfortable 6 goal lead at half-time.

As the last morsel of the afternoon tea was devoured, and with the seniors starting the third quarter strongly, the crowd’s main focus in the 2nd half was on the performance of two thoroughbreds on opposite sides of the country.

Having displayed typical derision towards the leadership of the Uni Blacks Punters Club, and an even more typical confidence in his own sporting nous, Jordie Foster was handed the task of placing two bets of a decent sum over this past weekend. If one or both of his bets were to salute, he would receive a pat on the back. If neither were to get up, he was to be expelled from the Punters Club. Not since the Junior Masterchef contestant who had produced the dessert which was as rigid as Judge Preston’s cravat had elimination seemed so ominous.

However, with a goal off the ground and another out of mid air already banked, it seemed that Lady Luck (not Lynette. That’s another story) was smiling on our lad. As Coup Ay Tee saluted at Rosehill at $8 odds, this was confirmed. The fact that Amusement Park came dead last in the 4th at Belmont didn’t seem to bother Foz too much. Jockey’s fault anyway apparently.

With the match result beyond doubt and with Foz having guaranteed himself a gig in the Punters Club (and probably the Blacks Seniors) next week, the only remaining interest was in how far our boys could win by. In an attempt to inspire the side to claim a percentage-booster, coach Kempton implored his men to ‘kick a golf score’.

To this correspondent, this request seemed pure genius. Being the champion footballer that he was, Kempo has been battling the perception that ‘great footballers don’t make great coaches’1 from the start. Of course, not only could he kick a ball, he can swing a stick and is a capable all-round sportsman. Suffice to say, the coach has never reached triple figures after 18. However, by alluding to the notion that he may have, Kempo was aiming to relate to all of his players and get them to visualise the 140s or 150s that our team of weekend hacks was capable of.

Unfortunately, this approach backfired. In a performance that showed that both the intelligence and the sporting knowledge of our playing list should never be doubted, the boys kicked 3.7 in the final stanza as they consistently aimed to achieve the lowest score possible.

In the post-match presser, I queried Foster about the ‘golf score’ rev up. His response was curt. As he threw his long-sleever to the ground and rubbed off his sunscreen, he suggested dismissively, ‘Mate, if you want to chat about golf, let’s talk about the $33 I got for Adam Scott on Wednesday and we’ll go from there’.

1st 2nd 3rd Final
Uni Blacks 4.3.27 7.6.48 13.8.86 16.15.111
Werribee Districts 0.5.5 1.8.14 1.9.15 2.10.22


Goal Kickers

Foster 5, Matthews 3, Mahon 2, Lacey 2, N Batten 2, Bismire, Else

Best Players

Delahunty, Mahon, Foster, Howgate, Napier, N Batten


1 – Leigh Matthews, voted best player of all time, 4 x time premiership coach…..just saying

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  1. One of your finest, Black Hack. I can imagine laughter at some of these addresses by certain players and a rebuttal from the coach: “What are you f*cking laughing at!” Great stuff.

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