The Footy Almanac 2007 Round 15 – Melbourne v Brisbane: A Portsea night to remember

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!



Melbourne versus Brisbane Lions

7.15pm, Saturday, July 14

The Gabba, Brisbane



THERE WAS A MAGICAL MOMENT sometime in the third quarter when Murph snr lined up the goal, ducked, weaved, fended off a bump, and made it back from the bar without spilling a drop of beer from three pots. The dangers lurking in the Portsea pub’s dance floor are many, but Murph snr is a match-hardened veteran.


A match report filed from that most traditional of boy’s nights out, a buck’s night, was an easy sell to the Almanac’s editors. It really did seem like a good idea at the time, and a fitting venue to watch Melbourne play Brisbane on the telly.


After all, Portsea lies in the heartland of Melbourne’s supporter base, and many fans would have been heading to the bar after the sacking of veteran coach Neale Daniher.


So, with Essendon-supporting Buck Murphy jnr decked out in a Collingwood jumper for the night, a painful afternoon of paintball out of the way, and a steak dinner partly digested, a dozen weary warriors headed to the sports bar.


Then Essendon versus the Western Bulldogs came up on the screen. There’s no accounting for the tastes of bar managers. So, while Melbourne were searching fruitlessly for their shorts (they forgot to pack the blue ones for this designated ‘home’ game at the Gabba), I was begging, bribing and appealing to the bar manager’s sense of greater good.


Neither Melbourne’s shorts nor a television with the match could be unearthed. With the Bombers on the screen, it was straight to plan B.


Get stuck into the beers.


Thanks to my mobile I ascertained that the shorts situation must have hindered Melbourne’s pre-match preparation. Even more so than Brisbane having to fly back from Perth, to play an away match at home.


Melbourne midfielder Cameron Bruce was a late withdrawal with a hamstring strain, and Jonathan Brown ran rampant. By quarter-time Brown had kicked four of Brisbane’s six goals. If it weren’t for a late goal from Nathan Brown, a minute before quarter-time, the Dees wouldn’t have troubled the scorer.


Also failing to trouble the scorer was Vinnie, one of the groomsmen, who had managed to weasel his way into a party of girls celebrating a birthday at the Portsea pub. Just as Brown was giving Queenslander Brad Miller a torrid time at the Gabba, in front of the defender’s family and friends, Vincenzo had taken it upon himself to cut one from the herd, much to the amusement of his mates.


Sadly for Vinnie, the quarry was moving too fast on the dance floor.


In the second quarter caretaker Demons coach Mark Riley moved Nathan Carroll on to Brown, with some success. Vinnie also opted for an older option, with mixed fortunes.


About four pots were consumed in the second quarter, which was apparently the best way to spend it. Melbourne managed to kick 2.3 and the Lions 1.7.


But a dozen pots had managed to bring a holy trinity of revelations.


The first: Essendon’s Adam McPhee doesn’t attack the disputed ball hard enough.


The second: beer goggles really do exist. The third: the Demons match was on the car radio. So, with the Bombers looking as ragged as some of Vinnie’s herd, and armed with a couple of travellers, out to the car park it was. All going well, readers would probably expect some wrap-up of the second half now, but it wasn’t to be.


My car was built in 1966 and, when parked on a hill, tends to leak a little petrol.


Hills like the one out the front of the Portsea pub. Where everyone smokes. While the Lions were putting the sword to Melbourne in the third stanza,  I was inhaling 98 octane petrol fumes trying to plug a leaky fuel hose. I did at least get the radio on, to hear that Brown and Jared Brennan booted two each for the quarter, as the Lions piled on seven goals to Melbourne’s two, keeping their slim finals hopes alive.


I also recall hearing the names Lappin and Black a lot. The fog of petrol and beer descended after that.


There are lots of terms for it. Driving the porcelain bus. Sneeze cheese. It was game over.



Melbourne  1.0 3.4 5.8 12.10 (82)

Brisbane Lions  6.5 7.12 14.14 18.18 (126)



Brisbane: Brown 6, Copeland 3, Brennan 2, Notting, Power, Leuenberger, McGrath, Drummond, Adcock, Rischitelli.

Melbourne: Davey 4, White 2, Brown, Robertson, Godfrey, Jones, Sylvia, McLean.



Brisbane: Brown, Lappin, Black.

Melbourne: Davey, Brown, McLean.



Charman (Brisbane) 100 games.



Ellis, K. Nicholls, Pannell.



Brown (B) 3, Lappin (B) 2, Black (B) 1.



Black (B) 3, Brown (B) 2, Charman (B) 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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