SANFL – Finals double-header: Winx, Winx, say no more



“No, I don’t think we have one,” a senior gatekeeper replied when asked the location of the TAB at the Adelaide Oval.


“No, we don’t. Sometimes there’s a portable one outside, but I don’t think it will be here today,” he added.


“Today” it’s the elimination and qualifying finals in the South Australian National Football League at the Adelaide Oval. There’s little going on in Melbourne, but up in Sydney, the seemingly unbeatable mare Winx is going for 19 on the trot, so to speak.


A short walk across a pedestrian bridge from the footy ground – which is better known as a cricket oval – is the Adelaide Casino. So it’s over to there. Winx delivers yet another knockout blow, but not before she came from well behind on the referee’s scorecard.


Over at arguably Australia’s most picturesque sporting ground, the Bulldogs (Central District) have well and truly delivered a knockout punch to the Redlegs (Norwood). It proved their upset win of two weeks earlier when they visited The Parade was no fluke.


The Woofas had done their pre-match warm up beside the life-sized statue of Boof, former South Australian batting great and present day Australian cricket coach, Darren Lehmann. Minutes later, they ran out to the tune of the Hawthorn song. The red and blue coloured Redlegs enter with the ‘Grand Old Flag’ playing in the background.


Two minutes and 22 seconds in – or, as the late and great Richie Benaud would say, “two for twenty two “– they had their first runs on the board. And then they went bang, bang, bang before the Redlegs got it back to six points at the main break. However, an 11 to five goal second half made it a runaway for the hounds, whose fans were barking loudly.


“We cannot hear you, we cannot hear you, we cannot hear a f……. thing,” they sang into the ears of sullen Redleg followers.


Orange time – when all four clubs were on the ground at the same time (qualifying contestants Port Adelaide and Sturt warming up) – provided the only sense something may happen. It didn’t.


And little could be said of the following contest – until the lights went on at half time to brighten the dull looking scenery.


Somebody also hit the flick switch for reigning premier, Sturt. They trailed by five points more than they had scored (28) to the main break – but got it back to eight at the last change.


The game had come alive – and so had the crowd standing in front of the Sir Donald Bradman stand.


That’s where a flame-headed Sturt female follower was giving bucketfuls of lip to Magpie fans. She was getting it back in spades – but kept coming off the ropes. So did her side. The footy, like the word warfare, went to the line. In the end, it was Port, the club you love or hate.


There’s more of the same next Sunday at the Adelaide Oval – with the biggest drawcard being a Port-Eagles (Woodville) second semi-final. Just hours earlier, Port-Eagles (West Coast) meet in an AFL elimination final.



  1. I can’t believe you wrote an article about the picturesque Bob Neil Number 2 Oval and din’t mention CHICKEN SALT.
    Go U Dogs!!!!

  2. Nicely constructed story and back to the double-header at the end.
    About time we heard from the rabid dog’s fans

  3. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    If all goes to plan (yeh, right), there will be a big weekend of footy at Bob Neil #2 in a few weeks time – AFL Prelim/SANFL GF.

  4. We must have been sitting near you, Peter. That Sturt supporter had us in stitches a few rows behind her. I loved how each and every Port player at some point got “you AFL reject”. Much needed comic relief after that Redleg capitulation (although some of Terlich’s and Jefferies’ turnovers were comedy incarnate) and enduring the louder Centrals supporters in all their graciousness in victory. On the other hand, Swish and Mark very kindly did not @ me.

  5. Mark Duffett says

    To be honest, Dave, I think I was still getting over the shock that Centrals were even there. Having done so, though, a purely objective assessment suggested the result wasn’t such a surprise – the numbers described quite divergent form lines in recent weeks, not least the above mentioned meeting at The Parade a fortnight previous.

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