Round 14 – Hawthorn v Gold Coast: Three-peat (Lunching with Huddo)

Hawthorn versus Gold Coast by Molly Lennon and Sasha Lennon

3.20pm, Sunday 26th June

Aurora Stadium

Molly Lennon and Peter Hudson

Molly Lennon and Peter Hudson


The early morning fog draping the city sat low until well after midday. And it was cold, Apple Isle cold. As we walked to the ground the haze lifted, as if on cue. And while the temperature would fail to reach double digits – or at least, that’s how it felt – we would be OK. As luck would have it, we were attending the Hawthorn President’s Lunch. We‘d watch the footy from behind the safety of the glass. Peter Hudson would be there.


As we made our way up the stairs to Level 2, we were nervous Molly wouldn’t be allowed in to this 18-years and over formal event. However, some smooth talking and name-dropping quickly saw us through the door.


It wouldn’t be the first time we’d be in the presence of footy greatness, perhaps Hawthorn’s greatest ever. The previous two years, while on our annual pilgrimage to Tassie, we were lucky enough to meet ‘Huddo’ both times after patiently waiting outside the main gate following the game.


This year, we’d top that. We’d be lunching with the famous number 26!


As the pre-game formalities concluded, we finished our meals and took our seats. Looking around the ground, there were plenty of empty spaces (more than usual). More of us were sitting comfortably in the warmth of the Aurora Function Centre than those outside in the bitter cold.


The game was quickly underway with Hawthorn launching an immediate offensive, Jack Gunston snapping the ball through the middle only seconds in (we had drawn Luke Breust for the first goal kicked). After that, the Suns launched an attacking game of their own, their messiah Gary Ablett leading the way. He was everywhere.


The first quarter was a bit of an arm wrestle. Gold Coast could have been much further ahead had they not wasted a number of opportunities. Hawthorn looked a little off. The old brigade of Sam Mitchell, Jordan Lewis and Luke Hodge, back from injury, was our saving grace.


By quarter-time the Suns, fresh from the bye, seemed to know Hawthorn’s game and have their measure. They were two goals in front and would have been further ahead were it not for a Gold Coast fumble or inaccurate shot for goal.


The second quarter got underway. With the lights on, the Hawks started well with a goal to James Sicily. We like him. Soon after, another came our way via Ceglar to Gunston and speedster Billy Hartung on the run. We like him too.


With a couple of goals in a row we needed to capitalise. But the Suns wouldn’t set.


At half-time Gary Ablett had accrued 22 possessions and Gold Coast held a one-point lead. We decided to ease the stress of an unlikely loss looming by venturing outside to the churro van. But before we did, we encountered the great man.


As always, Peter Hudson was very nice and to our surprise, he remembered us (well, Molly anyway). We chatted briefly. Huddo quizzed us on Hawthorn’s chances. We dutifully agreed we should get up and take the win as usual. It was another moment to cherish. Three from three, or what we like to call the ‘Huddo three-peat’.


The churros were not as good as last year, but it didn’t matter.


During the third term, despite the drizzle and the Suns’ continued effort, the Hawks began to find their way. Ceglar goaled and we were in front for the first time since Gunston’s opening. Ablett went off for only a minute. The Gold Coast needed him on if they were to have any chance of winning. He was certainly on, collecting 40 disposals for the afternoon, but it wasn’t enough to add much to the visitors’ score.


At three-quarter time, Hawthorn were two and a bit goals clear of Gary’s Gold Coast. It was better than what could have been, but it still didn’t feel like enough to put them away.


The Suns rose again with the opening goal of the final term. Hawthorn responded through Bradley Hill and thanks to the run and precision of Sam Mitchell. A mirror to Ablett, he too was just about everywhere.


In the end, despite a slow start and a resilient Gold Coast Suns, it was the mighty Hawks by 26 points. For us, the win was a plus because in the end, it was all about the Huddo three-peat.


Hawthorn  2.1  6.4  8.10 12.14 (86)

Gold Coast  4.4  6.5  6.8  8.12 (60)


Hawthorn: Sicily 3, Hartung 2, Gunston, Ceglar, Breust, Hill, Burgoyne, Duryea
Gold Coast: Lynch 3, Wright, Matera, Ablett, Day, Harbrow

Hawthorn: Hodge, Mitchell, Gibson, Birchall, Lewis, Sicily, Hartung

Gold Coast: Ablett, Lynch, Harbrow, Nicholls, Sexton
Umpires: Bannister, Hay, Meredith, Pannell


Official crowd: 10,121 at Aurora Stadium


Our Votes: Hodge (Haw) 3, Mitchell (Haw) 2, Ablett (GC) 1


  1. Good work Molly and a great experience lunching with the great one.

  2. Absolutely magnificent account of the game. What a wonderful treat to meet the great Huddo again and for the third time in a row and for him to remember Molly (but, who could possibly forget her? ) will be a fantastic memory she will carry with her forever.
    Thanks for sharing it all with us Sasha and Molly. xoxo

  3. Lisa Lennon says

    Love your story and the hat trick meeting huddo again.

    Can’t wait for next years story.

    Well done you two xx

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