Local Footy: Finals around the corner (over a bridge, down a highway, past the pub….)

For a lot of leagues around the country, the month of September (once known as Septopia around 2007 according to the AFL) represents the opportunity for the best of the best to go after the silverware, pennants and copious amounts of celebratory beverages that are associated with ultimate glory. It does vary a little though around Queensland, with the majority of the month of August set aside for our league in Capricornia to decide the victors and the vanquished. For some that don’t quite make it that far it’s a chance to reflect on where it all went wrong, or what could have happened if something else happened differently to how it was intended.

Fortunately for Capricornia, we have avoided a situation in Mackay where the Bakers Creek club have had to abandon the season due to a lack of playing personnel. Whilst a few have temporarily joined other clubs with the hope of the Tigers (as they are known) returning in 2012, I guess their if only could have been if only we had enough players on the park to stay alive. The stories up there have been Mackay City Hawks being the dominant team so far this season, and new boys Andergrove Kangaroos looking likely to appear in finals action. Which brings us to the Kangaroos in this league.

Since last we touched base the seniors have had a mixed bag, that in the end will cost them a shot at a title retention. The boys had their chances in Gladstone, but only managed to split the points which to many signaled the probable conclusion to any realistic finals aspirations. Hope was then re-ignited the next weekend, following an upset win over a Yeppoon side that seemingly has fallen into a form slump that a certain golfer with an animal for a name (we’ll hear more about animals later in this piece) can relate to. Suddenly the finals were back on the agenda, and another win against the bottom placed Panthers (the 3rd win against them this season) seemed to keep us in the 4. Alas we didn’t bank on Yeppoon continuing their slide down the ladder, losing at Gladstone and giving the Mudcrabs their destiny back in their hands.

So whilst Gladstone traveled to the Rocky Cricket Grounds to pummel Panthers which we couldn’t do in any of our 3 wins against them, it was almost last chance saloon as we went to face the unbeaten BITS at their fortress, a ground whose future remains in limbo after a payment from developers failed to materialize meaning the Country Club Oval may be in use another year. For 3 quarters it was a scrap worthy of an Eagles vs Sydney clash, with the fact that BITS regular full forward John “The Animal” Beirouti was suspended for what we believed to be an obscene gesture to the crowd the previous weekend. Bit of a pity for him really, as it took the gloss off kicking the ton in just 10 games for him this season. Regrettably for us, there was still enough firepower for them to overpower our lads in the last quarter. A burst of 3 goals in 3 minutes to start the last term pretty much finished our year (that and the fact that we only had a 3 player bench, one of whom had never WATCHED a senior game let alone played in one before Saturday). So unless a mathematical miracle happens meaning that the Saints belt the Muddies by about 200, and we beat 2nd placed Glenmore Bulls by a similar margin, then next week will be the last for the year.

It’s a different story for the reserves, who before last week was riding an all too familiar wave of momentum. Having missed the Glenmore game in Round 10 because of my correspondence from the Gold Coast, I returned for the Gladstone game and despite not getting on the scoresheet was given praise for doing a lot of grunt work around the ground setting up play and creating a path for others.

Yeppoon was a fiery affair right from the word go. Not sure what brought out the hatred of some of their players, but it all started when one of our players was being threatened by an older fatter opponent. Naturally I stepped in to protect my teammate in a way where the opponent was not going to whack him, so he ended up elbowing me in the mouth instead. Whilst I checked to see if my teeth were intact and if any blood was present, he was given his marching orders for the game (not sure if he got suspended, no-one saw me about it after the game). Not more than 3 minutes later, another of our players copped a forearm to the throat, and then about 30 punches to the head of which it appeared not many landed. One player (who threw the first 20) got sent off for the game, another who threw the next 10 got sin binned for being the 3rd man in, then got sent for good after he ignored the yellow card. All I’ll say in conclusion to their attitude is this, when the entire club over the day accumulates 4 Red Cards (off for match, replaced after 15) and 6 Yellow Cards (off for 15, can be replaced immediately) of which 2 were in the Under 15’s and 1 in the Under 13’s (I warned them about audible obscenities, he didn’t listen, I had no choice), the club has serious problems.

So after knocking off Panthers for the first time this season (and after Yeppoon’s loss in Gladstone which handed the Muddies reserves their first win all season), we inherited 2nd place as we tried to beat BITS on their turf. With at least 6 regulars missing through injury or demotion to A-Grade, and only having a 1 man bench the aim was to be competitive and learn enough to come back and beat them when it really matters. We achieved this for 2 quarters, which like a half baked novel had a strong start and a reasonable finish (punctuated by a little dust up which wasn’t helped by hesitant umpiring. I can live with poor umpiring, but if they don’t make a firm decision that is good or bad then that’s when problems and lack of respect start to happen). Too bad the middle saw them get a run on that buried us big time, although it is fair to say that a number of their players are of a standard that should be higher than reserves.

So to this week, and whilst the situation for the ones looks rather grim, our 2’s have a couple of problems on their hands. One of which is simply solved by winning this week, for a win sees us return to the Boyne Tannum Country Club for the 2nd semi against BITS (whereas a loss sends us to Clinton Oval in Gladstone against another Rocky based club). The other is trying to squeeze in close to 30 eligible players into a final 22. For me it’s just a case of staying in and avoiding last year repeating itself, being told thanks but no thanks on the Thursday before the GF.

Before I go I must mention that I have managed to record some local footy with my trusty digital camera. Whist the quality is not even up to channel 7 standard (partially because of equipment, partially because of camerawork despite not blaming myself for any errors), the experiment that I’ve always thought about doing is looking OK at the moment prompting thoughts of an investment in better equipment for 2012. So far I’m in the process of completing the 2nd half of the seniors between Brothers and Panthers from round 13, with 3 quarters of the game last week still to edit. You can view the portions of the match from these links

3rd QUARTER PT 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p4nhU2KdOA0

3rd QUARTER PT 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1mzOJu5-GWA

4th QUARTER PT 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_o8GdGEcmUM

The remainder should be up by the time the next post comes along.

About Mick Jeffrey

32 Year Old, Bulldogs Member and tragic. Reserve Grade coach after over 225 combined senior/reserves appearances for Brothers AFC in AFL Capricornia. 11 time Marathon finisher, one time Ultra Marathon finisher and Comrades Marathon competitor 2017.

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