Roos win one for Boomer

I remember the last time these two played teams played earlier in the year. North, coming off a horror 104 point loss to St Kilda and with skipper Brent Harvey’s confidence extremely low after his worst ever game, responded in perfect fashion against the Eagles at Etihad Stadium, with Harvey blitzing the young West Coast side with 44 disposals and a goal, plus the behind of the year after a seven-bounce run from half back to the forward line. Now, fast forward 18 rounds of footy and it is Round 21, with the Eagles tackling North Melbourne on their home soil in Western Australia. The Roos would be raring to go in Captain Harvey’s 300th match, and I was feeling quite confident about the game. Surely the boys could at least defeat West Coast at Subiaco for Boomer? No worries, right?

When I think Brent Harvey, two words come to mind. Short, and champion. This guy is a bloody ripper. Few memories stick in my mind of Harvey, like in 2003 in one of his milestone games (can’t remember which one it was, think it was the 150th), kicking a great goal against Carlton on the run as North won by 124 points, when Boomer kicked back-to-back goals in Glenn Archer’s 300th match in 2007, when he had scintillating years in ’07 and 2008, when he took that big hanger against the Western Bulldogs in Round 22 and his backbreaking goal against Carlton this year in Round 12. I was quite certain he would leave the Subiaco crowd bamboozled and leave them with something to remember for years to come.

I watched Essendon v Brisbane Lions on Channel 7, and took some notes while reading That’s What I’m Talking About, but as 4:40pm approached, I scrapped the piece of paper in my notebook and started a fresh page, with new team names up the top, West Coast and the Kangaroos. I decided to do a report, following the game on the radio, courtesy of the ABC. Boomer made a great start to his milestone match with a win in the coin toss, could he lift his side to a win? I was even more confident when finding out that Boomer has won in his 1st game, 50th, 100th, 150th, 200th and 250th. Sadly, with Hawthorn defeating Fremantle’s B-squad, North can’t reach September action in 2010, but a couple of wins to finish of the year will help for next year. I’m hoping the boys aren’t flat after Hawthorn’s win.

Sadly, it seems that way early with Chris Masten capitalising on some sloppy play from North. The promising, oiled Callum Wilson kicked nicely from 50m out, Andrew Swallow kicked North’s first with Nic Naitanui failing to get a touch on the ball on the right side of the goal-line. Shannon Hurn used his tree-trunk kickers to his advantage, booting a goal on the run from 50, then Beau Waters landed the Eagles’ fourth from outside 50. Leigh Adams was then flattened in a crushing hit by Waters, with the impressive Joey being taken from the field and Michael Firrito and Levi Greenwood remonstrating with Waters. Things calmed down as the siren sounded for quarter time, with West Coast in the lead by three goals, 4.4 to 1.4. During the quarter time break, the crowd witnessed a proposal on the big-screen, a touching display.

Wilson booted his second goal soon after the ball was bounced to start the second quarter, and the Eagles led by 24 points. I started to feel worried, nervous. David Hale was surprisingly good in the forward pocket, keeping the ball alive for Harvey, who fed it to Warren for a much-needed goal, then Aaron Edwards marked uncontested after the Roos’ rushed the ball from a kick-in, catching the Eagles defenders off-guard. Greenwood was good in that passage of play, easily avoiding Waters who was running at full tilt at him, aiming to put him on the bench like he did to Adams. The margin was back to two goals, but Scott Selwood bobbed up to slot a nice goal from 45m out on a tight angle. Mark LeCras was gifted a goal after Firrito handballed straight to him in a tackle, the Frenchman snapping it through to give West Coast a 21 point lead as the Roos chalked up their ninth behind. The Roos finished with a bang though, Edwards kicking two quick goals, both from close range, and Daniel Wells getting boot to ball on the goal-line, and the Eagles led by just two points at half time, 7.6 to 6.10.

Annoyingly, the ABC cut to half an hour of election stuff, so I resorted to AFL Match Centre on the computer for score updates. Even more frustrating, the radio on Match Centre wouldn’t work, so I had to rely on the occasional updates to the scores. I was pleased when it flashed up that Swallow had kicked his second goal, giving North the lead, but Wilson regained it and then some with two consecutive goals. Adams was back on the field, which pleased a lot of North Melbourne supporters, I left the room to watch the sports news on TV, and came back to hear that Sam Wright had marked and kicked his first after some run and dash from Daniel Pratt. Mum came in and told me that the footy was back on the radio, so I nicked the radio from the kitchen and set it up next to the computer. I got next to static, and could barely hear the commentators over the white noise, but it would do. Ashton Hams kicked a steadier for West Coast, before Wright gathered and goaled after Ashley Smith failed to pick up the ball close to North’s goals. Warren gave some comical relief, gathering the ball in the forward pocket, running into the behind post, rebounding off it and kicking the goal as the Roos took the lead into the final change, 10.13 to 10.10.

Tea was served; chips and parma, and I ate it at the computer so I could listen to the radio. Maybe I shouldn’t have. I choked on my parma as Naitanui received a free kick and with his first kick of the day got a goal, then Andrew Embley kicked a classy goal on the run from 50m out. West Coast had quickly gone from being three points down with no momentum, to leading by nine with everything going for them. The Roos had the ball inside 50, needing a goal badly. I heard the crowd start to boo. That could mean only one thing. Swallow received a free kick and kicked his third. Gee he’s a good player, Swallow. Danni would agree. Those two would make one fine good-looking footballer. Hamish McIntosh puts North back in front with a clever snap goal on the behind line, then the moment comes. Every youngster dreams of kicking their first goal in AFL. Sure, sometimes it comes after 19 consecutive behinds, sometimes it comes within the first minute of their game (Chris Dawes), but this was a special moment for a man with 49 games of experience and no goals as of yet. Marking on the wing, Scott Thompson played on, took a bounce and kicked long from 55m out and watched it sail through post-height. Now that only leaves Nathan Grima from our best 22 to kick his first goal. Wright kicked his third from the goalsquare as I started to feel completely comfortable. LeCras booted his second from 50m out, before Harvey received the ball just outside 50, took a bounce and ran. This is what we were all waiting for. Boomer to take a couple of bounces and finish the game with a goal. He got to 40m, before passing to Edwards in the forward pocket. Unselfish. Edwards squared the ball to Wright, who marked and received a 50 metre penalty, and the ex-Katamatite boy kicked his fourth goal. I can’t believe I once rubbed shoulders with him on the footy field. The Roos enjoyed the party-time as Warren put the nail in the coffin from the goalsquare, taking the margin out to 22 points, before a late major to youngster Smith of West Coast. The siren sounded, and the North supporters cheered the boys off the field as Boomer was the centre of attention, as he should be.

After notching up a win in his 300th, North have won in each and every one of Boomer’s milestone matches. And I have no doubt we’ll win in his 350th and 400th.

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, Selwood, Masten, Hurn, Embley, Hams, Naitanui, Smith, Waters

North Melbourne-Wright 4, Swallow 3, Edwards 3, Warren 3, McIntosh, Wells, Thompson


West Coast-Embley, Cox, Selwood, Waters, Shuey, Wilson

North Melbourne-Swallow, Wright, Harvey, Wells, Rawlings, McIntosh, Pratt, McMahon, Thompson, Bastinac, Adams, Edwards


32,007 at Subiaco Oval


3: Andrew Swallow (NM)

2: Sam Wright (NM)

1: Andrew Embley (WC)

About Josh Barnstable

21 year old North Melbourne supporter from country Victoria. Currently living in Melbourne studying a Bachelor of Sports Media. Dreams of becoming a sports journalist and broadcaster.


  1. Good One Josh.

  2. lol great job Joshy.
    i dont think there is anyone who doesn’t LOVE Boomer, he’s just such a great player and i love his shortie-ness :P
    it nice to see him still out there after the loss of Bucks and both Roccas.


  3. Thanks Tony and Danni.

    May I add, that Boomer’s little son will one day be a great player for North. Even his daughter will probably captain the Roos at one stage.

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