Round 20 – Essendon v Adelaide: Revenge, A Dish Best Served Very Cold



18th September 1993


I’d spent the previous couple of weeks working in Perth, watching the Crows’ first two weeks of their first finals series from afar.


I’d watched them at Footy Park in the final fixture of Round 22 as they came back from a wayward start, to record the club’s first win over Collingwood to grab fifth spot.


I’d watched them punt the Hawks out of the finals on a Rank Arena 12” portable in the back yard of a South Perth maisonette, barbecue blazing in the background as the unlikely quartet of Smart, Liptak, Wigney and Bone racked up the bulk of our majors.


I’d watched them lose to Carlton from the comfort of a Willetton lounge room the following week, Craig Bradley kicking five straight, the Crows racking up a record ten rushed behinds and Justin Madden goaling after “that run”.


Somehow the vagaries of the McIntyre Final 6 saw us in the Prelim Final upon returning to my then home town of Adelaide.


As I watched this one from the in-laws’ Cheltenham lounge room, mug of Cooper’s Light in hand, I was a smug mug at half-time. The 12-12 (84) to 6-6 (42) score board had me planning my eastwards journey for the following Saturday. But a Musashi induced fart in the rooms, followed by an Andrew Jarman brain fart at the Punt Road end (not to mention a 15-32 free kick count) showed that the Crows weren’t yet seasoned enough and Essendon were through.


Ask any Crows supporter and that day still rankles.



15th August 2015


The day starts with a mini 1982 Adelaide Uni Blacks A9 Premiership Reunion. Coach Brian “Rocky” Austin, Peter ‘Silver Bullet” Maddern, Mike “Mad Max” Hughes, Dr Mike “Hurricane” Higgs and myself (with the Pie-Girl in tow) meet at a formerly derelict hotel near the ground. The pre-match hubbub was deafening, to the point that I had to let a call from Rulebook go through to voicemail. (I must call him back).


I shouted Pie-Girl her first grown up pub burger; it wasn’t quite the same as Rusty Griswold’s first beer, but as father-daughter bonding moments go, it will have to do.


We hear of a couple of late scratchings in addition to the pre-acceptance scratching of the guest of honour, so we will only be joined by one more grand final hero, Greg “Don’t Get” Moody, at the ground.


Gee, we were good back then, just ask us.


I was pessimistic about the Crows today. Two weeks ago I thought we’d collar the Swans, but we were pathetic. I wasn’t game enough to tip us against the Tiges the following week.


An early Tex major and we looked to be on, but that impression was temporarily cast away. Simple targets were missed, dumb decisions were the order of the day. The Dons piled on goals via Dempsey, a brace to Hooker and a snap to Laverde (where was Robert Shirley?) canceling out Eddie’s first. Paddy Dangerfield hustled our third, but we didn’t look like the 93% chance that the nation’s tipsters had predicted. To that point, whipping boy Josh Jenkins looked like he had come to play, quoits that is.


After the break, the Crows recalibrated, stiffened their resolve and ignored their opponents for the rest of the game. Early goals to tackle-happy Rory Sloane and Jarryd “Who’s That?” Lyons nudged us in front. Ten minutes of not much happening was relieved by an Eddie Betts walk-in goal. Then all of a sudden we were five goals up and it was half time. Enough time for us to lose if we went back into our shell.


The goals just kept coming in the third quarter, five goals in the first fifteen minutes without reply from the Tullamarine Traffic Cones. Even Jenkins gave me cause for applause, skilfully retaining possession in the Pet Food pocket to allow Charlie Cameron to score.


Vin’s lad asked the Crows to be ruthless at lemon-time and ruthless he got. (Would that have made Essendon ruthful?). Is Don, is cooked seemed to be the message as the Adelaide Crowtrotters towelled up the Essington Generals with a table tennis like 11-2 final quarter goal count. Apologetic Eddie threaded his fifth from the Bolte Bridge pocket, Row E.


Adelaide’s fourteen goal kickers were testament to the lack of intensity from their opponents after quarter time. Watson and Hurley would have made a difference to the Dons’ on-field leadership, but not 18 goals worth. I feel some sympathy for the plight of the players, but not the club. They’ve made a litany of bad choices recently (although they’ll still never top their foolishness in initially failing to release Wally May to Sturt in the 50s).


If there was to be a niggardly criticism, it would be that the Crows best players were the usual suspects. Daniel Talia gave Joe Daniher the proverbial football lesson and Tom Lynch continued his best ever season.


Like many a middle-aged husband, I’ve been faithful but not particularly attentive to my beloved Crows in recent times, but I’m pretty sure that this is the biggest win I’ve witnessed since moving the family to Melbourne twenty one years ago.


Apparently one of the followers of the red sash taunted some Crows supporters today by reminding them of the 1993 Prelim. We’ve had to deal with the loss of our coach, Essendon has to deal with the retention of theirs. I think we are just about de-rankled.



ESSENDON      4.3   4.6    6.10   8.11   (59)
ADELAIDE       3.3   9.6    16.8   27.9   (171)


Hooker 2, Dempsey, Laverde, Hibberd, Edwards, Zaharakis, Melsham
Adelaide: Betts 5, Dangerfield 3, Walker 3, Jenkins 3, Sloane 2, Cameron 2, Lynch 2, Lyons, Van Berlo, Atkins, Knight, Crouch, Smith, Jacobs


 Heppell, Laverde, Hooker
Adelaide: Sloane, Betts, Lynch, Laird, Jacobs, Dangerfield, Talia


Malarkey Medal Votes – 3 Sloane, 2 Betts, 1 Lynch






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


  1. Dave Brown says

    Good read, Swish. Not sure why an Essendon supporter would bother going the sledge on the weekend. Bit like the bloke leaning over the fence and booing Eddie in the last quarter – was only going to end one way. I now have nothing but sympathy for the Essendon players. This has now dragged on far too long and time and time again they have been let down by their club. I do love the Tullamarine Traffic Cones!

  2. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Good stuff,Swish good sledge to ( go the greys and Rockys Rat Pack) s enjoyable lunch yesterday

  3. That 1993 Prelim Final is my go-to DVD in moments like these. As a matter of fact, that DVD been in pretty high rotation for the last five years or so. Abandon hope, all ye who enter.

    Eddie Betts was nothing short of sublime on Saturday. Joins Dane Swan, Wayne Carey. Brendan Fevola, Glenn Manton, Leigh Matthews and Sav Rocca as blokes who could play (and coach) against Essendon for 22 weeks a year if they could. He loves seeing the red sash.

    Great wrap up Swish. Well done Crows. *dips lid*

  4. Vin Camporeale – the bald bullet – and “comment Wally May” – all in the same piece. Go to the top of the class Swish.
    Your Crows will be a big test for my Eagles in a fortnight. Your tall forwards could worry us, and Danger is on fire. Nic Nait v Sauce could tell the tale.
    You got me thinking about Bombers that have graced The Barton Oval back in the day. Dick Reynolds, Bob Shearman (rat), Johnnies Birt and Cassin. Could all play a bit.
    1993 Prelim and 1962 clearance wrangle. Good to see that you don’t hold a grudge Swish. “In defeat malice; in victory revenge.”
    Regards to you and the Pie Girl. You are both lucky (and work hard to stay lucky).

  5. Enjoyable read, Swish.

    I never was a fan of “Laverde and Shirley”

  6. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    Wonderful images and pop culture references.
    Rusty Griswolds’ first beer. Like Clark, faithful,but not really attentive. Things can distract you in middle age Swish! It’s funny how things can become cultural/tribal/historical markers like the 1993 Prelim. Unless you beat them in a similar manner in a prelim or GF do you ever really get over it?

  7. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Thanks Dave, ‘Book. Which SANFL club is Eddie aligned to by the way?

    Bakes, stop making us old blokes look bad – enough with the roses for the better half. There’s such a thing as too attentive. The Crows version of that DVD comes with a scratch and sniff card. Apparently not a big seller.

    PB – good get with those Ess -> WT movements. The Dick Reynolds one always surprises me, he hardly left a fingerprint in the Festival State, despite his deserved reputation over here. A few went the other way in later years, Doug Cox, M Long and M Werner come to mind.

    Smokie – neither was I although I liked Lennie in Spinal Tap.

    Phil – thanks, I’d rather be in our position than theirs right now, but that half of footy from 1993 reminds me of the dangers of getting ahead of oneself. Cornes only lasted on more year, so we took it pretty hard all round.

  8. mickey randall says

    Excellent work Swish. You and Pie-Girl (and assorted Blacks) have had a good day out.

    Ah, ’93. ‘Twas the day before my first City Bay Fun Run (yeah, I know) and so I watched the match with a couple mates sans beer. It was a horror movie I refuse to look up on youtube. It makes The Exorcist look G rated.

    Saturday was a procession. We’ll learn much more against the Eagles.

    Enjoyed the Rusty Griswold reference. My favourite filmic vehicle is the Wagon Queen Family Truckster. Years ago in Anaheim I saw and photographed an identical model!

    Thanks Swish.

  9. Luke Reynolds says

    Doing my head in to remember how the 1993 McIntyre Final 6 circa 1993 worked. Makes the final 8 system seem basic.

    Great article Swish, loved the last paragraph.

  10. Mark Duffett says

    Thankfully my memories of the ’93 prelim aren’t that vivid, but only because the telly in the student share house was black and white.

  11. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Thanks Mickey – the scene where the Eugene Levy character fobs off said vehicle gets me every time.

    Thanks Luke – Crows can’t really complain about finals systems after 1998’s outcome

    Thanks Mark – lucky for you that you were too young to be scarred by Centrals’ straight sets exit in ’79 as well

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