The Footy Almanac 2007 Round 14 – Western Bulldogs v Port Adelaide: Young Dogs win Heritage Round

The first printed edition of The Footy Almanac came out in 2007, before we had a website. In the absence of a real 2020 season, we will be publishing the 2007 pieces for the first time ever on Follow the season!



Western Bulldogs versus Port Adelaide

2.10 pm, Saturday, July 7

Telstra Dome, Melbourne



CAST ASIDE THE HOOPLA OF ANOTHER THEMED ROUND and recognise what was really important about this match between the Western Bulldogs and Port Adelaide: the Doggies won.


Certainly, this was a very important match for the Bulldogs if they were to regain credibility in their finals push and move on from the previous week’s shocker against North. Supporters would agree that there was much to take from this victory.


If the aim of the Heritage Round is to hark back to golden days, the return to form of Chris Grant and Luke Darcy warmed the Bulldog faithful, which took some doing, even under the roof, on a freezing, damp winter Saturday. Brad Johnson, too, showed vintage form and, most importantly, Jason Akermanis played clearly his best game for the Dogs; ultimately, he was instrumental in putting the persistent Power to the sword.


Equally exciting for the Doggies was the form of Tom Williams and debutant Andrejs Everitt, lending a glimpse of a future that might be over 175 centimetres.


Williams is, as promised, a wonderful athlete who just needs to learn the game. His instinctive smother off Brendon Lade, and subsequent turnover, at a critical stage of the final quarter indicated that his development will be worth watching. Conversely, young Everitt (a corny nickname awaits) has footy smarts and athleticism, but needs a bit more muscle.


Getting matches in to these boys while Grant is still down there to guide them must be a priority. The youngsters must have been inspired in this match by Grant, and also by Brian Harris, who leapt into packs and ran forward relentlessly in his great battle with Port captain Warren Tredrea.


It’s just as well that the Bulldogs had these good contributors, as the game ebbed and flowed, remaining in the balance until Matthew Boyd, another mighty performer, which was just as well considering Scott West’s second-quarter injury, sealed the win with a goal in the 28th minute of the final quarter.


The game was no great spectacle. It is an odd situation when you commemorate the 1970s and its contests and bog tracks while sitting under?a roof watching both teams push players back and counterattack. Often there seemed more space in the stands than in the forward line. When my son and?I arrived it was eerie watching Brett Montgomery, retired servant of these two clubs (somehow they resisted striking a cup for the battle), complete a motorised lap in front of about 8,000 spectators.


Just over 20,000 had arrived by the time Port Adelaide appeared in its famous prison bar guernsey. I grew up barracking for Glenelg down at the Bay, so the Port guernsey was a familiar and daunting sight. Footscray looked resplendent in their classic strip, but the red shorts conjured visions of Peter Featherby and muddy afternoons.


Errors were common and both teams dominated in patches. After a strong start from Port, the Doggies slammed on four in a row, only for the Power to respond with five either side of the first break. At half-time it was only the Dogs’ inaccuracy that had them eight points in arrears.


A medley of heritage tunes kept the crowd amused during the long break. It was amusing watching a dad mouthing The Angels’ No Secrets (“She kicks off her stockings and shoes… ”) while shepherding his three daughters back to their seats. He needn’t have hurried as an ear-splitting Nutbush City Limits was going when the players were taking their positions for the deciding half.


The third quarter was characterised by sustained pressure from the Dogs, exemplified by a fantastic chase and tackle (the really thrilling part of footy these days) by Matthew Robbins. Brad Johnson kicked two quick goals, bucking the trend of inaccuracy, and for once the saying, “Straight over the goal umpire’s hat”, was appropriate, as his kicks sailed over the traditional white dustcoat and trilby hat of the flag-waver.


Although the Dogs established the upper hand in this quarter, their dominance was not reflected on the scoreboard. Where they had a vital lead, I must confess, was in the lopsided free-kick count.


Port was now playing catch-up, waiting for ignition. There were several candidates. Domenic Cassisi was prolific all day and Chad Cornes, the son of a Glenelg legend playing incongruously (for me) in the Port Magpies kit, as usual showed the grunt, mongrel and awareness that has him ranked in the top few in the competition. Shaun Burgoyne lurked like Jaws, ready to wreak havoc.


It was left to Tredrea, beaten for most of the day by Harris, to try to snatch the match. Trailing by 21 points in time-on of the last quarter, he saw that the Dogs had switched to saving mode and pounced. Two goals to him and then one to David Rodan closed the gap to three points. Enter Aka, with two goals in successive minutes, before Boyd’s sealer meant that the Dogs had the chance to still look ahead rather than to their grim past.


Unlike Port’s boasts about past achievements, the Sons of the West prefer to make their history and heritage with this player group.



Western Bulldogs 4.4 6.9 12.11 20.13 (133)

Port Adelaide 5.3 8.5 11.7 17.11 (113)



Bulldogs: Johnson 5, Akermanis, Robbins 3, Boyd 2, Murphy, Grant, Hahn, Street, Giansiracusa, Cooney, Harbrow.

Port Adelaide: Tredrea 4, Motlop, S. Burgoyne, Rodan, Cassisi, Ebert 2, Lade, P. Burgoyne, Westhoff.



Bulldogs: Boyd, Harris, Akermanis, Johnson, Darcy, Grant.

Port Adelaide: Cassisi, C. Cornes, Boak.



Everitt (Bulldogs).



Kennedy, Woodcock, Pannell.



Cassisi (PA) 3, Boyd (WB) 2, Harris (WB) 1.



Boyd (WB) 3, Cassisi (PA) 2, C. Cornes (PA) 1.






For more Round by Round reports of the 2007 season click HERE


Printed copies of The Footy Almanac 2007 can be purchased here.


2007 Footy Almanac

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