Round 4 – North Melbourne v Western Bulldogs: Over the top with Les



Was someone trying to tell me something? Heading home to watch the Dogs/North game I misjudged the curb and crashed my bike. Over the handlebars I went. Coincidentally, I did the same thing on Christmas Day. Good Friday? Christmas Day? Stop riding my bike? Be more religious? No footy on Good Friday AFL? Like…er, concentrate!


Admittedly, I had started to think about the football – not on what was on the path in front of me. Oh well, I’m still in one piece, I’m not letting go of bike riding nor am I going to stop thinking about the Dogs. You can’t change the spots on a dog.


To the game. The TV commentators have gone through their pre-game analysis, my Hot Cross bun is going down well with my cup of tea (no beer today either) and I’m ready. GO DOGS!


After a great run from the backline, Stringer goals. He makes a bunny ears salute, which I later find out was to a young kid he visited at the Royal Children’s Hospital. Nice.  After a chain of passes Brown gets one for North. From a free kick in the backline, Bont goals. Goldstein goals. Matthew Boyd gets caught dropping the ball but Jy Simpkin’s kick doesn’t make the distance. The Dogs are attacking but the siren beats them. A tight opening quarter with North 2 points in front but they should have been more. They seem to be making a lot of unnecessary mistakes. I can feel this game is not going to be easy at all.


In the second quarter Cloke misses two, then Dahlhaus makes a bad handball resulting in a goal to Brown. Murphy makes a mistake and Brown gets another. North are up by a goal and Brown is starring. At half time North have increased their lead to 11 points. The Bulldogs managed only 6 points for the quarter. It has been a tight scrappy affair but 2 goals up until half-time? C’mon Dogs?


The third quarter was amazing – a totally different game. North piled on four goals to shoot out to a 25 point lead and it suddenly looked disastrous for the Dogs. Suckling had been horrible in the first half but finally with the oddest looking kick you will ever see put one through for the Dogs and more importantly got them back in the game, From there it was more goals to the Dogs and at three quarter time they had pulled back the deficit to only 2 points.


The final quarter was an absolute thriller. The lead see-sawed .The Dogs got out to 10 points in front to have it whittled back to 4. With 2 minutes remaining it was all defence. In the dying minutes Thomas had two opportunities. The first was marked by Johannisen. The second was a running shot on the siren but fortunately for us it went through for a point. It could easily have been the match- winning goal for the 200 gamer.


In the end we just made it through to get ourselves back in the top eight. Dahlhaus and Bontompelli were brilliant and Cunnington never stopped for North. It is really tough now for the Kangaroos. They lost two tight games they should have won. To be down 0-4 seems unfair. They are a better side than that.



North Melbourne 2.4     4.9          8.11        12.14.86

Western Bulldogs 2.2     2.8          9.15        12.17.80


North Melbourne: Brown 4, Turner 2, Simpkin 2, Higgins, Goldstein, Garner, Ziebell

Western Bulldogs: Stringer 2, Suckling 2, Dahlhaus 2, Bontompelli, Cloke, Dunkley, Murphy, Macrae, Liberatore


North Melbourne: Cunnington, Brown, Thompson Ziebell, Goldstein, Macmillan, Hrovat

Western Bulldogs: Dahlhaus, Bontompelli, Lin Jong, Stringer, M.Boyd, Macrae, Murphy

Our votes: Dahlhaus, Cunnington, Bontompelli

Umpires: Meredith, Williamson, Findlay

Attendance: 42,814

About Les Currie

I'm a passionate lifelong Bulldog supporter born and raised in Melbourne, After stints in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne I have now been in Sydney for the last 30 years. I have been involved in the arts all my life predominantly as a Theatre Producer and Manager with early stints in film and television. I am now getting back into writing and enjoying developing the character of Zuka the Flying Wonder Dog and working on a novel set in post '54 Footscray. When not working, writing, watching plays or movies or watching footy I'm at the beach or in the bush avoiding traffic.


  1. Neil Anderson says:

    Good one Les. I wrote a lengthy comment in reply …but the computer said no. I’ll try and summarise:
    Be careful riding your bike on religious holidays when you could be smote from above…
    I’m not worried that the Dogs are just scraping in to win because we have some A-graders back for the second half of the year…
    Reading your bio, I wondered if you were amused by Stringer’s ‘bunny ears’ piece of theatre in this age of ‘just concentrate on the next passage of play and don’t lairise’…
    Also re your bio, I would like to talk to you sometime about writing one-act plays which has been a hobby of mine in recent years…
    Finally, I will be most interested in reading your novel on post-54 Footscray which is very close to home for me.

  2. Thanks Neil. Yes, I did think Stringer was unnecessarily lairising but forgave him after I heard the comment. He does worry me though. Like Griffen used to, he tries to break all tackles. Most of the time he succeeds but I would love to see him less selfish ,less of a whinger for free kicks and less of a school yard hero going for unrealistic hero marks. That being said, despite my frustrations with him he is spectacular to watch. A bit like Richo – you never know what you’re going to get.

    As for he writing, as much as I’ve been in theatre all my life, writing has been difficult for me.. I’ve started going again to The Writer’s Studio in Bondi. They also do on-line courses. I’ve found that help with structure is really important. I also did some playwriting courses at one stage. My advice would be to keep writing but work in with a group if you can because feedback helps so much. As you probably know, writing can be therapeutic, but a pretty lonely existence.

    My father passed away last year and I promised him I’d finish the novel as it was inspired by him but not really about him. I will let you know once I finish it. I dropped it 13 years ago and have come back to it so suspect it will still take some time. it is about a fallen footy hero and his road to redemption so lots of footy people will probably be read into it but he is a composite of many. Cheers, Les

Leave a Comment