Round 7 – North Melbourne v Adelaide: Four quarters, four pubs, four points (pints)




Inspired by seminal film-noir offering Animal House and the road trip taken by Otter, Boon, Flounder, and Pinto I realise I need a robust plan. How was I going to watch the footy on Saturday?


With Bass Strait likely to be beyond our modest 4WD, a road trip wasn’t possible, so I contemplated my options, and late one night the answer burst upon me like the Gospel chorus of “Shout” as performed mid-toga party by Otis Day and the Knights. I could hear Eric “Otter” Stratton saying, “I think that this situation absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture.”


Pub crawl.


And so, a Glenelg walking and refreshment tour happened.



First quarter: Holdfast Hotel


The Holdy reinvents itself often. It was once a brew-pub and now it’s trying to get down with the kids, as its website has an Instagram gallery. A couple months ago, I took our boys there for a bite to eat. Despite thousands of punters going through the inn in the interim, Lucy, the young bar server, remembered our boys. Probably because having brought a footy, they enjoyed some spirited end-to-end kicking in the bar. No, an outside bar. Yes, during an engagement party.


The game’s dominant themes emerge early: North, first to the ball and constructive; and Adelaide, chasing Roos like some misfits in Wake in Fright. The early goals then became regular scores and worry changes to disbelief and ultimately laughter at the absurdity of the events unfolding. I was reminded of Macbeth who remarks upon seeing the seemingly endless dynasty begat by Banquo: ‘What, will the line stretch out to the crack of doom?’


Our first quarter score matches exactly Bluto’s grade point average in Animal House as declared by Dean Wurmer: Zero POINT zero.



Second quarter: Broadway Hotel


The Broady is high-vis and TAB tickets, but it’s been renovated; the side wall’s been knocked through, and now there’s a cheerful beer garden. How great would this actually be? A garden which grows beer. But, I do wonder if the new hole was deliberate and not caused by an energetic brawl, all whirls of orange and flying Blundstones*, or a stolen WW2 tank.


Eddie Betts registers his 500th goal and then courtesy of ill-discipline, his 501st. But Jarrad Waite dominates for the Roos, while for the Crows Tex Walker may as well have sat in the Ricky Ponting Stand and had a few jars, given his uncustomary invisibility.



Third quarter: The Jetty Bar


Attractively located on Moseley Square, the Jetty is a fantastic boozer for nursing a beer and people-watching, but I’ve always thought it was a pub. And an exotic, earthy one at that. It formerly advertised “Half-price Brandavino” at Happy Hour. Apparently, it’s now a bar and is sometimes known as the “J Bar”. Stop it, you man-bunned assistant manager, you’re fooling no-one. It’s a pub. Apparently, it opens at 8am for those mornings when tea and toast just won’t cut it.


It’s a grim afternoon when among the second half highlights is a patch when North kicks the ball out on the full three times as the comically blustery wind blows across Blundstone Arena and the bay. Adelaide surges occasionally, but the Roos are easily able to withstand and then counter these attacks.


I note that just up the road from Blundstone is The Lost Sock Laundrette, and wonder if the afternoon may have been more productively spent in there, watching a stranger’s second hand sheets tumbling and tumbling while outside in the murk and swirl, an uncaring football universe rushes by.



Fourth quarter: The Grand Hotel


The Internets say that the Grand Bar is “smartly casual” and welcomes hotel guests and Adelaidians alike. All true, but I’d argue it’s actually “casually smart” which means your thongs must roughly match, or they won’t let you in. Their website (it could be an Instagram gallery, I’m unsure) includes photos of a surprisingly inert metal bucket with Corona beers (sic) and a jaunty yoof sporting a backwards cap.


Standing by the bar my Volleys are instantly glued to the floor. Ahh, The Grand, where the tiles are eternally sticky, and the beer’s not pouring well. This is the first thing all new staff are taught. “Repeat after me. That tap’s not pouring well. Can I interest you in a rare Japanese ice beer? They’re only $15.”


The last quarter plods away to its sure conclusion. Not many Crows players will want a DVD of this match for their CV while the Roos are led by Waite and Cunnington. We’ve been flogged at the ruck contests and North gets the ball inside their fifty nearly 80 times! The mathematical weight of this alone ensures that we were in trouble.


Still, we remain top, and it’s been a fun afternoon out and about in Glenelg. Next time I’ll also invite Otter, Boon, Flounder, and Pinto.



NORTH MELBOURNE   10.4   12.6   17.12   22.13   (145)

ADELAIDE                       0.0     5.6      9.7     13.8      (86)



North Melbourne: Waite 6, Higgins 2, Dumont 2, Wood 2, Brown 2, Cunnington 2, Ziebell, Clarke, Turner, McDonald, Hrovat, Atley

Adelaide: Betts 3, Cameron 2, Jenkins 2, Douglas 2, Lever, Walker, Jacobs, Atkins



North Melbourne: Waite, Cunnington, Wood, Tarrant, Thompson, Goldstein

Adelaide: M Crouch, Douglas, Laird, Jacobs



North Melbourne: Wagner (ankle)

Adelaide: Lynch (concussion)


Reports: Nil

Umpires: Chamberlain, Fleer, Mollison

Official crowd: 10,064 at Blundstone Arena



About Mickey Randall

Late afternoon beer, Exile on Main St playing. Sport like cricket, most types of football, golf, squash, horse racing. Travel, with Vancouver my favourite city, but there’s nowhere I’ve not happily been. Except Luton. Reading. Writing about family, sport, music, the stuff that amuses me. Conversation. Wit. Irony. McLaren Vale cabernet sauvignon, Barossa shiraz, Coopers Sparkling Ale. Jazz and especially Miles Davis. Lots and lots of music. I live in Adelaide with my wife Kerry-ann and our boys Alex and Max.


  1. Vic Gecas says:

    I hope you didn’t stay on to watch another power failure at the Adelaide oval!

  2. I hear the Eagles want to relocate to Adelaide Oval, given how much they enjoy playing and winning here. I think it’s a good idea. We’ll also send Port to Perth to make a neat swap!

  3. Luke Reynolds says:

    It too have a mate called Boon. Stocky and (very) short. Tipping your Boon may be built along similar lines?

    Reckon there could be a business opportunity with “Mickey’s Glenelg Walking and Refreshment Tours”.

    Especially loved the beer garden line.

  4. As a Crows supporter, it sounds like you turned a horrible game into a fun afternoon.

  5. Love a walking tour Luke. One of the best I’ve done is a ghost tour of Edinburgh through pubs, assorted sites and ending at a cemetery. Hosted by a local who reminded me of Dave O’Neill. Top night.

    Thanks Aidan. I did feel for friends who went to Hobart for the match. I’ll be interested in what they made of their experience.

  6. Ben Footner says:

    I wish I made the effort to get down and join your Mickey, Adelaide certainly mounted a compelling case for spending the afternoon consuming alcohol.

  7. Chris Cunningham says:

    The McDonnells of Singa, my 2 sisters , long lost son and I did a one pub tour of Bellerive, which was the highlight of the day. Catching a ferry across a beautiful bay to go to the footie is not an every day experience. Surprisingly cheap pints of Guiness was the highlight of our first stop, where many Kangaroo and Crow supporters mingled , all expecting the Crows to towell up the Kangas.
    whatever expectations Crows supporters had disappeared very quickly as a frenetic attack on the ball by the Roos shut out all of our stars. They started kicking goals from everywhere , some aided by a strong wind others aided by wind from a different direction, particularly Waite’s around the body snap.
    After that extraordinary quarter it was catch up, and most of us looked on in dismay at some of the extremely puzzling ruck infringements , which snuffed out our momentum at times when it looked like we were making some ground up.
    All in al a great coaching effort by yhe much maligned Brad Scott. It is worrying to think how we would go if Sloaney gets a long term injury. Well done to the Roos and their very friendly supporters, the yare hard to dislike

  8. Paul Young says:

    Enjoyed the read. Good way to watch the footy.
    Like Ben, I wish I’d joined you too. I reckon I might have enjoyed jumping off the recliner at Hallett Cove and venturing down the hill to the Holdy, Broady (do they call it that?), J Bar and the Grand. As a North Melbourne fan, it might have moved the afternoon’s mood from delightful to delirious. One quarter at each pub would have been enough for me….and the patrons.

  9. Thanks Ben. Next time!

    Chris- sounds like your party made the most of the day. It certainly looked like the weather may have been well suited to Guinness! Unless we all jump on Pop-Eye getting to the footy by ferry would be a unique experience. Roos too good. Agree that it gave a horrifying glimpse (as did Round 23 last year) of life without Sloane. I’m going to Hobart in July and this will be my Tassie debut! Will take a coat.

    Paul- Thanks for this. Galloping from pub to pub certainly broke up the afternoon and the viewing. Didn’t spot too many Roos fans during the afternoon, but I’m guessing you would’ve made yourself known!

  10. Dave Brown says:

    I wonder if there’s an official age where a pub crawl becomes a walking tour? Sorry I couldn’t make it Mickey, being in a pub (or four) during that horror show is probably the best place to be. Spent more nights of my youth at the Grand than would be deemed sensible (i.e. more than one). Could never quite place what it was or why. Much like that Crows performance.

  11. DB- a broad definition might depend on how you get home: crawling or walking! I comforted myself with the Google-referenced knowledge that the afternoon entailed about five kilometres of gentle exercise. That made for a net gain, which is of course a loss. If my viewing had been couch-bound I’m sure the experience could’ve left me somewhat murderous about them Crows.

  12. I really enjoyed this, Mickey (and the game obviously).

    My knowledge of Adelaide is limited. I was introduced to it by Redgum, visited on a number of footy trips, and have holidayed there with my family. And one thing I love about Adelaide is the old pubs. I really hope that the those in charge have the foresight to hang onto them.

  13. Thanks Smokie. Like many places Adelaide’s losing pubs, particularly in the city itself. I’m always alarmed and a bit saddened when I read statements like “Fifty pubs are closing each week in the UK.” Horrible for those communities, but I also note that some in England have been purchased by the communities themselves and now function as local centres too with an array of clubs and groups using these too. Brilliant.

    I think Glenelg’s pub scene is probably typical for any beach/ tourist destination in that there’s some landmark pubs interspersed with smaller and newer bars. Apparently one of Glenelg’s less fancied pubs- a charmless, besser-block affair has been sold and will make way for some, you guessed it, luxury apartments. But, I’m not sure this will represent a great pub/ cultural loss.

    As Donnie from Devonport would say, “Let me know when you’re in town and we’ll go and have a beer.”

  14. Peter_B says:

    I have a very jaundiced view of the “convivial local pub” in the eastern states. Pubs are “addiction houses” kept alive by their pokies, and to a much lesser degree their TAB’s. Pubs have gone broke in droves in Perth over the last 20 years because they rely on drink and food sales solely. With no noticeable social loss. Drink driving laws, RBT’s etc have played their part. Together with the much lower price of take away grog and other (illegal) intoxicants.
    You couldn’t do a pub crawl/walk in Perth suburbs these days because they are all 5 kilometres apart. “Pubs” like “bookies” are now largely corporate entities run by scum like Woolworths, Coles and Crown to prey on the vulnerability of others. The convivial front bar is a front for the misery purveyed in the back rooms.
    Regards, Curmudgeon of Perth
    PS – We went to Bassendean Oval on Saturday to watch our nephew play his first league game for the season for Swan Districts. With them trailing by 8 goals at 3/4 time we adjourned to the club bar to watch the last quarter of the Eagles and Port Adelaide on TV. Made my beer taste all the sweeter.

  15. No pokies at the North Fitzroy Arms.

    Just cold beer, friendship and good conversation. And a sense of the front bar being yours.

  16. Peter_B says:

    Glad there are still a couple surviving on a communal business model. There would be 50% less without pokies. The exception proves the rule.

  17. I love how English pubs see themselves as an extension of your living room in function and often, form. The rules and expectations of conduct are the same too.

  18. Rulebook says:

    Mickey the conclusion then is never ever go the Holdfast again clever write up ate

  19. Either give up on the Holdy or, assuming the Crows are not yet at their zenith, watching Adelaide play first quarters. At one point a member of our crew remarked, “They’ve kicked seven, they might as well boot ten!”

    Thanks Rulebook.

  20. E.regnans says:

    That’s a fine idea, Mickey.
    Isn’t RT Ponting a Roos man?
    Imagine sitting back with a “jar,” watching your team smash their undefeated top-of-the-ladder opponents, from seats in A GRANDSTAND BEARING YOUR OWN NAME.
    Any sign of the great man down there?

  21. E.r- Of course your RT Ponting notion put me in mind of the late Irish footballer Sir George Best whom, one could argue, is the RT Ponting of soccer. I’m unsure if he was in his eponymous stand for the Crows annihilation, but this well told anecdote seems apposite (in a decidedly olde worlde way) –

    George Best recalled how he had been dating Miss World and took her the races. They won £5,000 and went back to their hotel. They started counting the money on the bed when a waiter arrived to bring them champagne.

    The waiter looked at Miss World, the money on the bed, the vintage champagne and with no trace of irony said to Best: “George, where did it all go wrong?”

    Actually, I hope that Ricky wasn’t in Tassie last weekend, and instead, was hacking his way to a 97 at Royal Baghdad.


Leave a Comment