The 2017 Bob Skilton Cup

Greetings Tipsters


The end of the H&A rounds has always felt like the end of the season. All of a sudden, there is no more constant flow of news to distract me, no more choice of matches every weekend, no more of what Perky Girl describes as one of her favourite things to do, sitting on the couch with me and Chappy the Super Terrier watching football for hours every weekend.



The idiotic pre-finals bye makes this all the more acute. A whole week off, then nine games spread over four weekends. I watched all four finals, well, mostly…


Crows v Monaros
Too tall, I thought when I saw the Monaros team list. Barely room for Lobb let alone Himmelburg. That wasn’t the real problem, tho, the Crows played a supremely switched-on style of football that didn’t miss a beat when Smith left the field. This is a very well-drilled team, everyone knows what everyone else will be doing, where they’ll be running. The Monaros were clueless with the ball, slow without it, soft when it was in dispute. A Crows win was expected but the nature of the defeat was dispiriting.


Cats v Tigers
Most would have figured this for the closest contest of the four finals but it was clear from the first bounce that the Tigers were by far the more intense team. Crikey, it was impressive! They were not to be denied and if not for woeful goalkicking – an Achilles heel that may yet haunt them – could have been in a commanding position at the first break. After that, the Cats dragged them down to their level and it was a scrappy mess. Midway thru the third, it was 3 goals 8 each when I fell asleep. Awoke post match, saw the final score and thought that maybe it had been the second term when I dozed off. Until I checked the score online. Tigers really did kick ten goals to two in forty minutes of football.


Swans v Bombers
This match played out much as expected. Even the highest second term score of all finals wasn’t that much of a surprise. A few minutes of play after halftime had me thinking that there ought be a mercy rule.


Power v Eagles
Was this to be the fourth of four one-sided matches this weekend? Sure looked like it when the Eagles shot out to a five goal lead, the home team were floundering – and then I fell asleep again. I raised an eyelid a few times, the Power came back, Eagles goalkicking had stalled, hometown fervour might do the trick – what’s this ET on the telly? Extra time, but of course! I dozed off before the end.


Moto GP, Misano
I fell asleep before the end of the first lap. Awoke for one lap mid-race, again for the post-race results.


By making the finals, Essendon had a pretty reasonable season, all things considered, and John Worsfold has done a hell of a job as coach. John, quit the black hair dye, we all know your natural colour. If you do insist on black, put a red stripe thru it, like Steve Connolly’s Stratocaster. Port also made the finals but without as much merit cos more might have been expected of them. What are we to make of a club president who immediately after a very tight, tough final questions the team selection and the players’ motivation?


Gee, it aint quite like the glory days of crazy presidents, Diamond Joe, Big Jack, Dicker the Condom King, but good onya for having a go, Kochie. Keep it up and your ‘Ten year coach’ might decide to hightail it to South Queensland.


And so to this weekend. Geelong are, by all accounts, about to be slammed into insignifigance by Sydney, again. It’s a bit of relayed Kennett Curse, maybe, but looking at these two teams, the players, the style, the form, it’s hard to see the Bay beating the Harbour. The Swans will appreciate the chance to have a run on the MCG.


West Coast will have had two days’ less recovery time and several hours more travel time by the time they get to the Showground. The Monaros should win but of an overly top-heavy team have lost the two best big blokes. Cameron, Patton and Mumford can all play in the same team, but not the rest of the sequioas.


It works for Richmond. Too much time off the field for a team that is racing a groove they haven’t known for decades could be dangerous but on the evidence available they aint about to drop their next match.


Hard to be so sanguine about Adelaide. Let’s assume, for the sake of reality, that they’ll play Sydney, who beat them a few weeks ago despite being behind on all the usual statistical indices. As good as they were Thursday eve, they weren’t playing a team capable of the sheer grunt of the Swans. Five or six weeks back I got the distinct impression that Lance was gonna win the flag off his own boot if necessary.


Cheers, Tipsters


P&C, a Stop Privatisation Of Footy Production, a division of Trans-Dementia Inc.
Brought to you with the assistance of the Alltime Hotshit Compilation I’m making for Perky Girl’s birthday party.

About Earl O'Neill

Freelance gardener, I've thousands of books, thousands of records, one fast motorcycle and one gorgeous smart funny sexy woman. Life's pretty darn neat.


  1. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    That’s what happens when a pharmacist mixes up some left over past its date Grecian 2000 with the contents of those vials hidden at the back of the bar fridge in the coach’s office.

    What’s that you’re drinking there Earl?

  2. Earl O'Neill says

    Vodka and lemon, Swish. Bonus points if you recognise the T-shirt logo.

  3. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    It looks a bit like the (Arthur Lee) Love logo but my eyes aren’t that good these days.

  4. I can recommend the gin tonics in Bilbao Earl. Brekky footy in a later time zone gets me past the Friday night game snoozes. Basil and BT will do that to a man (at my – or any – age).
    Must get Perky Girl and the Avenging Eagle together to compare notes some time. Similar interests – footy and old fools.
    Sounds like injuries have done the job of the Match Committee at your Monaros. Not sure if Pridda, Mitch and Petrie can back up. But on form and heart I have us by a nostril. Light bends around Rory. Reckon he’s got a couple of last quarter turnovers in him.
    Have got Jason Isbell on high rotation in the Citroen. Cumberland Gap and Molotov and Last of My Kind off his latest. Do yourself a favour.

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