The 2018 No Zones Cup – Finals, Week One

Greetings Tipsters

The GHS triumvirate have been so good for so long that the weekend results deserve a moment’s reflection… Done it? Good.

Hawthorn were at least competitive for a little while, but so much for big game experience, they shanked first term shots I could’ve kicked wearing thongs. Doc Martin got going in the second and the match was decided in the third, I went to bed with a book about Bomber Command aircrew. 51% killed on operations, 9% in training, after accounting for prisoners and serious injuries, 24% survived more or less unharmed.

Physically, at least. My uncle, Owen O’Neill, was one of the 24%, flew 35 missions as an upper-mid gunner on a Lancaster, fortunate that he didn’t start until 1945 when the Luftwaffe was all but gone, came home and kept on drinking until it caught up with him such that he didn’t recognise his father by the late 80s.

Air gunners had the best view and little to do unless being attacked by Ju88s and Fw190s, Owen had a perfect view of the Lancaster bearing his mates he’d been playing cricket with that afternoon when it exploded in flight. He was a teenager.

Friday, I kept expecting Geelong to do their thing, kick six goals in ten minutes but it didn’t happen. 6.12 to 3.7, something like that when I went to bed with a book, King Solomon’s Mines this time. It wasn’t much of a game. Melbourne were nervous and hesitant and made some silly mistakes but too good for the kind of Moggies you keep taking to the vet cos there’s just another thing that worries you about them.

Is it possible to have too many topline footballers in one team? Especially if they’re all midfielders and their walking frames get in each others way. Gaz got caught out a few times for lack of pace, he could still be a lethal forward and, by the gods, the Pivotonians need more than Tom.

It was a good first-final-since-’06 matchup for Melbourne. They blew it open in the first and only had to hang tough thereafter. They’ll be much the better for the outing.

By 1635 Saturday; let us take a moment to abuse the ‘AFL’ for its cacky scheduling which relates to Steve Hocking’s quest for more goals, being code for more teev advertising, competitive fairness and fans’ convenience be damned; I was slightly confident. How many players can you bring back at once?

There’s a tale that Brent Crosswell, perhaps goaded by his teammates at North, approached the selection committee and suggested that as he played his best in finals he should start his season in June. Zac Williams has that down. Sydney were slow and reactive (barely), Aliir was instinctive, they need more of that. Too slow, too worrisome. Heeney ought captain next year.

There were moments when the Monaros just trotted down the field, handballing between themselves w buggerall defence to worry about. Kicked six posters. Allowed two easy goals to Sydney late. As bad as it was for Swans, it could’ve been a helluva lot worse.

Then over to Perth for a dadgum contest! The Wiggles got a quick start outa the blocks, the 4&20s reeled ‘em in, got ahead, then, with it all before them, ran outa puff in the last. I predicted that. Go me!

One of the B&W youngsters said in a pre-game int w Peter Bell that he liked the booing. I get it, a footballer can feed off that. When most all of a stadium roar for your oppo, tho, that’s different. Wiggles would’ve been pumped in the last, with the crowd behind them.

How does it feel? (1968, The Creation, covered it in the last good band, ten years ago.) To run onto the ground with 90000 people stacked above you, yelling for you or at you, the centre of attention. That might work for Collingwood Satnite, they’ll sure have the crowd, but the Monaros played a prelim against Richmond, they know what it’s like to be hated. Gotta win three straight at the MCG if they’re to claim a flag. Perhaps they should book out all the pub rooms in Richmond and walk around braggartish. Might as well get used to it.

Jer Cameron gotta find his mojo. He was supposed to be the new Wayne Carey by now.

Melbourne might run all over Hawthorn, beat ‘em in the packs. I’d like to think it’d be straight sets for H&C. But there’s little in it.

Geelong, 13 wins, 131.6%
The 3 from 12 finals stat is damning. Fact is, Chris won a flag with Bomber’s team and has trod water since.

Sydney, 14 wins, 109.5%
Even injured as he was for most of the season, Lance should have kicked 80 goals. He is that good. That he didn’t, that Swans were a terrible scoring team, lost seven at home, speaks of an intrinsic destructive conservatism. Should’ve sent John to Carrara and promoted Stu.

Geelong and Sydney are in similar positions and may need take drastic steps. As bad as it is for them, it’s where St Kilda, Carlton, Brisbane, etc, would like to be, “Goldurn it, we haven’t won a final since the ’16 prelim!”

Cheers Tipsters

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Brought to you with the assistance of ‘It’, 1927, starring the beautiful Clara Bow.

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. Excellent moment of reflection, Earl.
    I needed that.

    Looking forward to the contest:
    B&W v Monaros

    Are they flat-track bullies?
    Are they a group of superb footballers (as opposed to being a “team”)?
    What does that even mean?
    Who are these Monaros?
    Curiouser and curiouser.

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