Round 20 – Adelaide v Port Adelaide: Barney 43


I blame the shameless brewers of that most horrific muck West End Draught. Where were the dissenting voices at that fateful marketing meeting? Here we are, into the third decade of the state’s biggest football event and it’s still, somehow, called the Showdown, as determined by the fifteenth best beer manufacturer in Adelaide.


However, it’s also another example of American linguistic imperialism. If we were talking about Ole Miss and Arkansas in the Cotton Bowl then the word would work, but here in South Australia we should’ve gone with Dust Up, Yike, Blue, or my preference, Barney.


“We’re underway in Barney 17.” Or-

“There’s the siren. Adelaide has won a thriller in Barney 31!”


For the first time this millennium I’m on the Hill, just down from the world’s best scoreboard. We’re in a tidy quintet of chaps. There’s ferocious rain and wind and the sky is like an aubergine. The mud and slushy grass is tundra. Old mate behind us has on a Power scarf and is in shorts. My phone says it’s eight degrees. Jason pulls out his sunglasses, “Reckon I’ll need these soon.” We laugh, and Chris asks, “Did anyone bring the 50+?”


With a significant wind-assistance Adelaide traps the ball within their arc, and like an over-zealous debater, makes point after point after point before The Hoff collects his own kick and soccers cleverly. This, I’m delighted to report, would be the Power’s sole major until about ten minutes into the third quarter.


The Crows dominate across the ground and despite the conditions are clean and sure in disposing by hand and foot, which is a happy contrast to their dismal first half at the MCG last Sunday. Tex Walker appears impatient with his side’s inability to punish the Power so, both as captain and big forward, monsters his teal competitors in taking strong grabs and slotting telling goals.


Paddy Ryder has been in colossal form and various denizens of the Hill voice their anxieties about how Sam Jacobs might handle the Power star. They needn’t have worried for while their aerial and ruck duels are spirited, the boy from Ardrossan is also outrageous at ground level and kicks a great pack snap for a rooster who’d bang his red-combed head on the hen-house rafters.


Despite now missing his appendix Eddie Betts kicks some amazing goals, including one from his pocket just down in front of us. As the ball bent through, the heaving crowd about me leapt and there were ponchos and scarfs bouncing and flapping like a Latino dance party. The only deviation from the Happy Days script is when yet another goal-of-the-year contender is deemed by the evil umpire to have been touched by an evil Power player.


And what of Port? They’d appeared to be entirely unlike Port such is their pedestrian spectating. They seem disinterested, and must be waiting for The Choir Boys to reform. In the sheds at half-time, only Robbie Gray has earnt his hot cup of Milo.


September looms and pleasingly Sloane finds plenty of it, and creates well. On the Hill, I spy a gent wearing a bespoke shirt featuring a picture of Rory’s blonde bonce with this accompanying prose-


Men want to tag him

Women want to shag him


The crowd is boisterous and enjoyable. I see lots of Crows fans standing with Power faithful, and the banter is lively. Not Disney channel, but not Tarantino either.


Suddenly, Charlie Cameron has it and he accelerates through the middle. It’s among our game’s most exhilarating sights, but while his pace is Lamborghini, his kicking is still often Holden Gemini.


Then Brad Ebert gets one, but unlike last Saturday against the Saints, it really is too late, and the Port supporters are shuffling towards the gates like an Alabama chain-gang. The Nissan Urvan will soon be pointed towards the Lefevre Peninsula, and I just hope that Uncle Ernie managed to fix the heater when he popped round yesterday.


Adelaide records its biggest winning margin against the INXS wailers, and after two decades, now lead 22-21, in these most magnificent of contests, the Barney.


I must get back to the Hill again.



ADELAIDE              1.9   5.15  12.18   18.22 (130)

PORT ADELAIDE     1.1   1.3     4.4       7.4 (46)


Adelaide: Jenkins 4, Betts 4, Walker 3, Jacobs 2, Laird, Greenwood, B.Crouch, Lynch, Sloane

Port Adelaide: Dixon 2, Westhoff, Polec, R.Gray, Ebert, Hombsch


Adelaide: Jacobs, Walker, Sloane, B.Crouch, Lynch, Laird, Betts, M.Crouch

Port Adelaide: R.Gray, Boak, Dixon


Adelaide: Mackay (corked thigh), Talia (groin) Port Adelaide: Nil

Reports: Nil

Umpires: Stevic, Stevens, Dalgleish

Official crowd: 45,028

Our best: Walker, Betts, Jacobs


About Mickey Randall

Favourite film: The Shawshank Redemption Favourite song: Khe Sahn Favourite holiday destination: Gold Coast Favourite food: steak Favourite beer: VB Best player seen: Dogga Worst player seen: Frogga Last score on beep test: 3.14159 Favourite minor character in Joyce’s Ulysses: Punch Costello


  1. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Did “Stoush” get a run Mickey? And I think you spelled “Hiww” incorrectly.

    Other than that, that’s a fair old crowd considering the pizzle that seemed to be pizzling for most of the evening. You wouldn’t have known it from the Crows’ ball-handling.

    Hope they bring that performance with them next Saturday night.

  2. Love it Mickey with numerous brilliant 1 liners ( love the Sauce bit and the INXS wailers get my bog votes

  3. Dave Brown says

    Lots of laughs, Mickey. Have been on the hiww for two Showdowns (both Power home games) and have found the atmosphere to be overwhelmingly convivial. Jacobs, Sloane, Betts, Walker and the Crouch bros just wonderful. Jacobs’ demonstration on how to ruck against Ryder will have other ruckmen taking notes (if you’re stronger but less athletic, play in front and keep him an arm’s length behind you. If he gets in front, get around the side and sink your hip into his). Still need to win two more to be guaranteed top two. Play like that again and they’ll get there.

  4. Good way to start the week MR, reading a happy as piece from you on the Barney 31 game and outcome.

    Much to enjoy but can I call you out on a PA slight. I loved the line, “must be waiting for The Choir Boys to reform” suggesting your opposition’s bogan heritage. Noice. But less a sentence later you draw our attention to and seem to celebrate an Adelaide supporter’s t-shirt, which is the epitome of barely disguised boganism. I more enlightened t-shirt might acknolwedge that women want to tag him while men want to shag him. No?

    Kudo for mentioning the Nissan Urvan. I have a story or two of my short time owning one in the 80s. (Psst, it does not end well).


  5. Neil Anderson says

    I hope the Crows haven’t poked the bear on Sunday. I don’t want them breathing fire when they cross the border on Saturday week when they play the Dogs at Ballarat. Let’s hope it’s still hibernation rather than hyper-action with those Power-failures.

  6. Ben Footner says

    a) some cracking one liners in there Mickey;
    b) I want one of those Rory Sloane t-shirts;
    c) Don’t slag off the Gemini, that was my first car (beige and bought off an old lady at church no less) and it was a trusty steed despite my brothers and I flogging the absolute shizen out of it. Port Adelaide could do with a couple of Gemini’s in their line up.

  7. Living the dream Mickey. Love match reports that make me smile. Given the limp Port efforts recently perhaps it should be called “the disagreement”.

  8. Swish- “Stoush” would also be better than its official title. There’s a growing school of thought that a wild and wet September would suit us. I can see that.

    Thanks Malcolm. I also heard the Saints’ pre-team song crowd warbling recently. “You’ll Never Walk Alone” has much to answer for. But, to each their own.

    DB- Jacobs was fantastic, again. Must be on the AA short list.

    Rick- I imagined that the Hill would be aurally lively, if not sophisticated. It was better than that, and the shirt caught my eye as a gentle parody, and a rare example of visual humour in that space, with the ‘tag’ line topical and faintly amusing. I agree that the second line of the couplet is obvious and somewhat unreconstructed. Fair point! I’ve never heard many happy Urvan stories.

    Neil- Port’s form seems to be running the wrong way. If they were hibernating on Sunday, in Ballarat they might all be like the Man from Hauslabjoch, the famous natural mummy found in the German Alps.

    Thanks Ben. Did the Camira replace the Gemini? If so, that’s a poor night at the selection table for GMH.

    PB- I can’t recall a Port side playing in such an un-Port way. Yes, “the disagreement” or “a polite exchange of emails.”

  9. Mathilde de Hauteclocque says

    I love almost everything about this Mickey. Except Adelaide’s form.
    The location paragraph with its quintet of chaps and its aubergine sky is just beaut.
    I wish I could join you on the hill for Round 22.

  10. Mathilde – I understand that the Round 22 clash is a sell-out. It should be a mighty match. Sometimes the flag is won by the season’s best team, and sometimes by the team which plays the best footy in September. It’ll be fascinating to see how 2017 unfolds. Thanks for that.

  11. Luke Reynolds says

    Loved this Mickey. The hill brings out the best in you.
    What a missed opportunity not calling the Adelaide derby the Barney, though think calling it the ‘Ramsgate’ , for historical reasons, might be more appropriate!

  12. Thanks Luke. With reference to that infamous pub incident the match is sometimes called the “Ricciuto Carr Cup.” People talk about the barney in the carpark, but as near as I can tell, the pub has no carpark to speak of so the altercation must’ve happened on the street. I may call my fictionalized version of that evening, “The Carpark That Never Was.”

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