Pleasant Sunday Evening Footy

West Coast Eagles versus North Melbourne

2.40pm, Sunday, August 22

Subiaco Oval, Perth

It’s late Wednesday afternoon – three days since we played the Eagles – and I’m under the pump.  Struggling for air halfway through a crazy working week, I’ve managed to steal an hour or so in which to write this piece.  I have to cobble together something worth reading, before shooting over to Linda’s for dinner and the Ben Cousins doco.

Here I go.

As I do every weekend in Winter, I spent Friday night through Sunday listening to the footy on the radio, watching bits on TV and reading the articles in the papers.  I also popped over and watched West Preston Lakeside and Lalor knock each other around in their 1st division NFL game.  Almost as entertaining as the push and shove on the ground was the boozed-up verbal from over the fence.  Talk about a shallow gene pool.

By the time our game finally arrived late Sunday arvo, I was all footied out.  Linda and I spent a pleasant afternoon having lunch at Studley Park Boathouse, followed by a stroll along the Yarra, where we came across a sign commemorating a world record dive many moons ago by one Alick Wickham.  He dived from the towering cliffs into the Yarra in front 70,000 cheering spectators.  That’s a story worth researching later, I thought to myself.

Anyway, I’m digressing.

Our slim finals chances dissolved on Saturday thanks to Fremantle tanking against Hawthorn in Launceston.  The AFL doesn’t have a problem with Freo resting one half of their team, which begs the question: what if they do the same next year away to GCFC?  The big boss may declare such a game plan sacrilegious, un-Australian and damaging to the brand in the new, more important territory.

So, the main motivation for our boys on Sunday was to do it for Boomer in his 300th.  Quite rightly, that proved to be enough.

The match started over a coffee on Brunswick Street.  Linda was keen to natter about the election and the mess Julia and her lot had made of it, however, this was difficult with the walkman in my ear.  She let me be to do my thing.  The Eagles started well in their last home game for the season, with Waters and Hurn collecting plenty of the ball and Wilson providing a target.  Waters cleaned up Adams early.  Cox was on top in the ruck and it was obvious we were missing Goldstein who was out with injury.  The umps were looking after the home team who were awarded 8 frees to our 1 for the term.

The Eagles kicked the first for the second quarter to open a four goal lead.  They looked like good things.  Eventually, we dragged ourselves into the contest.  After wasting a handful of chances, we kicked the last three goals of the quarter and trailed by 2 points at half-time.  Edwards had 3 and Swallow and Wells were performing in front of their home crowd.

By the beginning of the second half, we were back at my place in Reservoir and I was well and truly into the contest – cooking pasta, pacing the kitchen and yelling at the radio. Linda was watching TV in the lounge.  Swallow put us in front for the first time five minutes into the third quarter, only for Wilson to kick his third and fourth to again open up a lead for the Eagles.  Hams kicked another, however, two from Wright and one from Warren after he attempted a Leigh Matthews on the point post, gave us a 3 point lead at the last break.  We were threatening to break away.

In a tricky move, Woosher started Cox and Nik Nat in the middle for the beginning of the last quarter.  It worked early with the Eagles kicking two goals – one from Nik Nat – and threatening to ride home crowd support across the line.  North were challenged and needed to lift.  Boomer and Wells led the way, using the ball with intelligence and precision.  Swallow kicked his third and Hamish marked strongly and converted.  Thommo ran off his opponent and kicked straight from centre-half forward.  Linda inhailed her meal and bailed.

When Wright roved and kicked his fourth, the lead was 16 points and the ‘Boomer! Boomer!’ chant could be heard down the radio from the small yet rowdy North contingent.  At the final siren, Eagles players formed a guard of honour for the little champ which demonstrated their class and the level of respect held for Boomer in the AFL.

There you go.  I hope I didn’t lose you early.  I better get off to Linda’s – it’s her turn to cook.

West Coast              4.4    7.6      10.10    14.10 (94)

North Melbourne    1.4    6.10    10.13    16.14 (110)


West Coast: Wilson 4; LeCras 2; Masten, Hurn, Waters, Selwood, Hams, Naitanui, Embley, Smith.

North Melbourne: Wright 4; Edwards, Swallow, Warren 3; Wells, McIntosh, Thompson.


West Coast: Wilson, Hurn, Rosa, Cox, Selwood.

North Melbourne: Wright, Swallow, Wells, Harvey, McMahon, Edwards.

Official crowd: 32,007 at Subiaco Oval

The Jason Danilchenko Award

3 – Wright

2 – Swallow

1 – Wells


  1. Andrew,
    Great to see Sam Wright win the Rising Star nomination this week.
    Just about the least publicised winner in the award’s history, I
    would have thought.

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