Round 16 – Adelaide v Western Bulldogs: Jakes in Flight

We’ve had this weekend inked in for a few months now. With our youngest firmly in the middle of her final year of high school, she raised the idea of this Round 16 trip back to her ancestral home, at the time anticipating a cracker of a game against last year’s premiers.

 

Having unshackled myself from the burden of employment just the day before, I was still a bit vague as the three of us (Mr, Mrs and Swishlette) started out towards the airport. I almost missed the turn off onto Nepean Highway, my mind must have been elsewhere as I’ve taken this turn more times that I’ve had hot, er hot, you know, that meal that comes after the news.

 

But I safely made it onto the Tulla, no sudden detours, prangs or other causes of delays that seem to crop up when you can least afford them.

 

“Plenty of time” I said to myself as we choofed parallel to the Airport West tram line, readying myself for the left-hand turn onto Melrose Drive to our regular car parking place … was that it just then? Yikes, yes it was. Sheesh, my brain went into meltdown and one bad turn was followed by another thinking that I’d be able to double back by taking the Ring Road turn off.

 

Then, in the vehicular equivalent of Wake In Fright, each snap decision made things worse and worse until I find myself stranded in a Pascoe Vale Road servo far from both home and from my only real frame of reference, the multi storey car park a few hundred metres from the Bombers newish HQ. Lacking the requisite Jacanal knowledge, I asked a helpful looking courier if he could point me in the direction of the airport. After several flustered minutes of fruitless iPhone fuddling, my decision-making skills became almost Goddardian, my normally methodical brain turning into blancmange as my frying synapses talked me into turning left and hoping for the best.

 

I saw the sign that saved our bacon, 48 – Airport / Johnstone Street, but I still had no real idea where I was. My offsiders were extraordinarily patient in the circumstances, forgoing the chance to bag my stupidity, at least aloud, that is.

 

Somehow finding my way to Mickleham Road, we spotted a van from another airport off-site parking provider and followed them back to the Tulla. We weren’t lost, but we were late, but I had no choice but to find a park at the airport itself and hang the expense.

 

Well not quite. Even at this late stage, I decided not to attempt the short-term parking option as I’m not sure that I wanted to eat into my super just yet. Bap-bow, being school holidays, the regular long term car park was full, so we were shunted off to the “Value Long Term Carpark instead. There were a few spots left way off in the far-flung corners (we ended up in the Lima section, but I didn’t have time to ask myself why the closer sections were named after the Models’ first album and it was too late to pull the pin anyway).

 

(Get on with it Swish, its only 9:10am and you’re not even on the plane yet)

 

We made it onto our flight and lived happily ever after.

 

(OK Wiseguy, tell us a little bit more then)

 

As we entered Adelaide’s boutique airport, I spied a little bloke in a grey, lime trimmed tracksuit alighting our flight, walking into the arrival lounge like he was walking onto a yacht. As I ducked into the Gents, he was already there, his eyes darting left-right left-right, waiting for someone to recognise him. I tend to avoid eye contact in these locations, but not this bloke. He then proceeded to move from station to station handing out penalties to the startled throng for “holding the ball”, “too high” and, to one rather statuesque cove, “contact below the knee”.

 

I should’ve nicked his AFL-logoed luggage at that point while I was waiting for a break in the traffic; it would have been some sight if Ray Chamberlain was forced to officiate in borrowed togs, I’m sure Des Foster might have been able to spare some of his gear from 1978.

 

Our accommodation was modestly sufficient and after lunch, we headed down to our beloved Central Market. I made a detour to a nearby antique shop, hoping to capture some relics of the glory days of SA sport. It doesn’t come much more gloriouser than the SACA Annual Report 1983/84, which included this stunning example of responsible drinking Croweater style. I couldn’t get my $9 out quickly enough.

 

Darling, Bradley, Bishop, Parkinson, West End Light (labels digitally altered)

 

After loading up on wine gums, expensive celebrity chef-made pastries and some German language magazines for Ms Year 12, we rested up before the big game.

 

We had a fair walk down to the Oval and it pissed down rained rather heavily as we neared North Terrace, so we sheltered for a while at the Railway Station, making a quick dash across the footbridge and scampering up to our spots at near the front of the Riverbank Stand Level 5. Back when I bought the tickets, I thought that this would be a good possie, but the continuous rain threatened to make a mockery of my seat selection. Luckily the wind died down and we stayed dry. On the bright side, it would have been a darn sight wetter in our customary spot behind the scoreboard goals.

 

The first quarter was error-riddled, Adelaide not able to convert after Tex’s ice-breaker. The Dogs were scrappily in control of the clearances, three misses before Suckling latched onto a Sauce double-handed tap and his long torp was both their first goal and his last effective disposal. In the air, the Crows had all the answers, Jake Lever picking off the frequent Footscray forward forays with aplomb.

 

Adelaide took control without dominating the heritage listed scoreboard with Jenkins’ first, but a late lapse allowed Redpath to convert from a clever Stringer pass.

 

The Crows opened the second quarter scoring with a major to JJ, thanks to some earlier bodywork on the wing from the good-to-have-back Mitch McGovern. An Eddie-the-goose from JJ (rather than the usual vice versa) extended our lead. Ratkins brought up our fifth, but the visitors clangered away several easy chances for goal. A run of six misses, three to each side were costly both ways. Like the first quarter, the Bulldogs had the better of time-on, the Bont’s class showing with a pinpoint pass to Stringer whose last second goal followed up Bailey Dale’s major.

 

I thought that the ground operators were editorialising about Adelaide’s late term lapses when this showed up at half-time, but apparently, it was only an advertisement.

 

Rejected AFC nickname?

 

We had, as Tim Lane used to say to Smooth Booth, “the close one”, but to this point, the question about the Crows’ and the Bulldogs’ finals suitability was left dangling, a fate that I hoped didn’t befall any of these intrepid folks.

 

Voting with their feet?

 

All we could do was scarf down a few of Haighs’ finest maltichocs and wait for the second half.

 

And what a half it was.

 

Tex started the scoring deluge with a deceptively simple mark and goal from the first centre clearance.

 

B&F contender Matt Crouch followed up with a neat shot from the scoreboard pocket, but Walker unnecessarily shoved Johannisen dangerously into the goal post. The captain got off very lightly from the MRP in my view.

 

Eddie’s reflex soccer preceded Walker’s knife-through-custard barge through and goal and that was game over for Bevo’s bunch.

 

Adelaide’s aerial domination, on a night where you would expect the ball to be earthbound was proving to be too much for a now listless opposition. The two Jakes, Kelly and Lever grabbed everything that went near them, and Rory Laird provided the outlet option.

 

Seven straight sausages to three points tells the story of the third quarter. Rory Sloane relished being kept off the leash by the Dogs.

 

The last quarter was the proverbial procession. I’m glad I wasn’t at home listening to Bruce talk about Eddie’s looking for “his mate Charlie Cameron” as he passed it off to Sloane in the square for our first of the last. Sheesh.

 

Eddie’s slick one-handed pick up set up a rare Brad Crouch twin calico major six pointer. With the contest drifting to it’s inevitable conclusion, a McGovern hanger near the spot where they used to present the TS Hill Trophy was a final thrill for the night.

 

This was a good idea, Dad.

 

ADELAIDE                    2.2   5.5   12.5   16.8 (104)
WESTERN BULLDOGS   2.4   4.8   4.11   5.15 (45)

 

GOALS
Adelaide: Jenkins 4, Walker 3, Betts 2, Knight, Sloane, Atkins, M.Crouch, B.Crouch, Douglas, Cameron
Western Bulldogs:  Stringer, Redpath, Suckling, Dale, Dahlhaus

BEST
Adelaide: Walker, Jenkins, Sloane, Lever, Otten, Laird, M.Crouch
Western Bulldogs:  McLean, Bontempelli, Hunter

INJURIES
Adelaide: Nil
Western Bulldogs: Nil

Reports: Nil

Umpires: Chamberlain, Fleer, Meredith

Official crowd: 41,948

 

With the four points firmly tucked away in our carry-on luggage, the other important part of the trip beckoned the next morning.

 

The twin exhibitions IN A LEAGUE OF ITS OWN: CELEBRATING 140 YEARS OF SANFL and STRAIGHT THROUGH THE MIDDLE: FOOTBALL IN SOUTH AUSTRALIA were on at the State Library.

 

I expected that I’d be left to my own devices, but my offsiders decided to forego Rundle Mall’s delights and join me too. They know how to indulge me.

 

Unsurprisingly, given my experience of the day before, I missed the left hand turn into the main exhibition room and was bailed up by 1961 Magarey Medalist and recent inductee into the Australian Football Hall of Fame, John Halbert, who pointed us in the right direction. After I had somewhat cheekily introduced myself to him, he looked at me blankly (surely he’d heard of my brilliant career at Central Juniors, Ingle Farm and Adelaide Uni).

 

Once inside, I finally met in person another noted SANFL cohort, Mike “Footy Places” Hugo and introduced him to my family as “that bloke who keeps going to the Footy Budget shop for me and who has designed much of my t-shirt collection.”

 

There was plenty to see, the centrepiece being the fifty or so Magarey Medals on display, but I was equally taken by a large display of club ephemera including club membership badges, plastic tokens from snack foods packets and the high point, a Norlee crew back with the SANFL 100 Year logo from 1977.

 

68 Robran, 70 Robran, 71 Ebert, 72 Blight

 

Culturally significant relics (no, not Mike and I, I meant the badges)

 

Possibly more sacred than all fifty Magarey Medals combined.

 

I know from others that have attended that they would have liked a bit more context around many of the articles, but I’m hoping that these exhibitions are a teaser to a more permanent display of this vital part of SA life. I’d hate these stories to be lost to future generations.

 

At the end of the exhibitions, I made sure that I had a shot of myself with the replica West End chimneys, in honour of all the Centrals premierships that I couldn’t be bothered coming over for followed closely from over the border.

I saw precisely none of these.

 

Yes, it was worth the trip.

 

About Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt

Saw my first SANFL game in 1967 - Dogs v Peckers. Have only ever seen the Dogs win 1 final in the flesh (1972 1st Semi) Mediocre forward pocket for the AUFC Blacks (1982-89) Life member - Ormond Netball Club -That's me on the right

Comments

  1. Hey Swish, what happened to your mop of long curly hair? Or did that go when Leo Sayer dropped off the charts?

  2. Luke Reynolds says:

    That’s a fair weekend Swish. Well played.
    Love the SANFL memorabilia, important that they are kept and displayed.

  3. Nice one Swish. Welcome to the ‘soggy porridge brain’ stage of life. Where Sally Saywell is the greatest full forward of all time, and the Crows captain has a funny American name. Arkansas? Utah?

  4. Rulebook says:

    Great stuff Swish agree to differ re Tex simple footy accident imo unlucky to get a fine.Swish you could have got a award if you belted,Razor Ray.Love the SANFl memorabilia thank you

  5. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says:

    Smithy, it’s been a while since I rocked the poodle mullet ‘fro combo, but I reckon I still could if I wanted to.

    Thanks Luke. The metal detectors at the State Library don’t work (apparently)

    Ta PB, Sally was second behind Gary Jones. After Wingnut Idaho, I think.

    It was tempting ‘Book, it was tempting.

  6. Good to finally meet, Swish. Have you found those missing Magareys yet?

  7. Swish- excellent travelogue with some footy thrown in. Great photos- especially the cricket one. I’m boycotting Adelaide Oval until the Mitani Chicken Salt hoarding is put back up. Might sneak into the SANFL exhibition next week.

    Hoping our journey across to Melbourne tomorrow is less traumatic than yours. But, I do have long-term form in this!

  8. Ben Footner says:

    Sorry Mickey, but Adelaide’s set shot work has been markedly better since the Mitani Chicken Salt ‘target’ was removed from behind the goals. Clearly it was putting them off, so I hope it never comes back.

  9. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says:

    I’m on the case Mike, thanks.

    It’s Skybus for me from now on Mickey. Don’t trip over any bollards when you get here.

    Sacrilege, Ben.

  10. Dave Brown says:

    Where they, once more, present the TS Hill trophy, Swish (despite the fact that the vast majority of the crowd are on the Eastern side). Glad you enjoyed your visit and the Crows made it worthwhile. Agree re. a permanent home for SA footy history, not sure where that might be, though. There are so many footy historians in SA that with a concerted effort they’d never be short of context.

  11. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says:

    Thanks Dave, my wallowing got in the way of my fact checking.

    I’m not sure where a permanent home would be either, unless it was part of a general SA Sports Museum. I’d move back just to vote for whoever would fund that.

  12. Lyndon Andrews says:

    Next time venture up into the upper corridors of the Riverbank stand There I have discovered a photo of of the victorious Bulldogs after their first ever final in in 1971

  13. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says:

    Thanks Lyndon, that would be the game where you gave Bob Shearman a bath, wouldn’t it?

  14. Lyndon Andrews says:

    I did have a good day I have always thought that that victory good as it was the celebration may have cost us getting to the Grand Final .Even though it was our first time beating Sturt and in a final we should have focussed a little better on our next match and then we may not have to wait until The year 2000 for a premiership

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