Uni reigns as Foz and Biz drill them home


As I hunch over my antique desk, illuminated only by a flickering candle and the fading light of autumn through my velvet curtains, an intriguing contest is unfolding on the television behind me. In the brilliant West Australian sunshine, two teams with finals aspirations have kicked 5 goals between them to half time. With one eye on my work, but with one ear on the score, my first thought is, “Why am I spending so much on a Foxtel subscription, when I can’t even afford a desk lamp?” The second is why these professionals, with superb facilities, should choose to play ‘ugly’?

Instantly, I’m taken back to yesterday’s opening match at the Uni Main. With the turf carrying excess water and the clouds starting to darken, I can’t say I was expecting an illuminating exhibition of the finer skills of the game. That is until I saw Hamish Guthrie spoil a ball in the Trinity back pocket. Carrying bronze biceps, a no-nonsense gait and a wicked grin, Gutters managed to make dour defensive work look like something that should be videoed, edited and dubbed over by Nessun Dorma. Looking like he’d come straight from an RM Williams photo shoot, right after leaving Colgate and before he headed to RACV to give ‘Jase’ the flick, Hamish was the general of a backline that didn’t concede a score after half time. Nothing ‘ugly’ about that.

Another character who instantly caught my eye was Nick ‘Magnum’ Batten. In the interests of transparency, it should be noted that your humble narrator was once inclined to allow his upper lip area to be cushioned against the throes of winter. Back then, however, such indulgences were the norm, not the exception. Whilst white boots were once taboo, but now accepted, the opposite could be said for what Nick is now sporting. Being six foot tall, with half handsome prince/half ancient, deadly weapon looks and hair as thick as the centre-square mud, the boy Batten impressed all in attendance with his attack on the ball. Clearly, the bet he lost is not linked to the performance of the Blacks magoos as his passion for the cause is obvious.

Overall, this was a match played between two genuine finals aspirants and was fierce from beginning to end. With a high turnover of players due to injuries, suspensions, overseas weddings and footy trip planning (the moon boot isn’t fooling anyone Jack), it was satisfying to see this side combine so well. In the post-match presser, I put it to coach O’Connell that this team was capable of great things. With a look of disdain, the reply was, “Maybe. But you’re certainly capable of a better question”. Ugly indeed.


1st 2nd 3rd Final
Uni Blacks 3.1.19 5.1.31 7.4.46 10.6.66
Old Brighton 1.3.9 2.7.19 2.7.19 2.7.19


Goal Kickers

Clarke 2, Gaylor 2, Judson, Gardiner, Kalms, Dadswell, Batten, Woods

Best Players

Guthrie, Batten, Keegan, Turner, Woods, Dadswell



It’s nice to be remembered for something in football. The way Dermott Brereton’s chest expands exponentially whenever his ‘5 day, 5 night’ tagline is rolled out is proof that even those with the healthiest of egos are keen to be recognised by their peers. Your columnist even recalls the time when he was starting out as a cadet, and the Senior Sports Writer of the day was always introduced as the man who gave Tony Lockett his ‘Plugger’ moniker. If only he turned up to the reunions so we could reminisce about it….

In season 2012, it seems the Uni Blacks have developed a way to both recognise their peers, and inspire each other to reach similar heights. It is my understanding that certain training drills are being named after players. Considering that two of these players – Weekley and Bismire – produced outstanding games in the seniors on Saturday, it seems that the initiative is working a treat.

Whilst the weather oscillated between very cold to downright wet and miserable, both Weeks and Biz were consistent in their application of their trademark skills. For every time that Weeks gathered the ball off the slippery surface, sized up all options and hit a target with precision, Biz managed to get front and centre to a forward contest and finish his work with a coolness that would rival any of Jimmy Clarke’s post-match attire.

Although there is no word coming out of the Uni as to whether there is a Jordan‘Foz’ Foster training drill in the pipeline, one might speculate as to what it could entail. A possible outline could include: A quick check on the iphone to find the latest winner at Doomben, a dismissive remark regarding….anything, a warm up of left foot snaps from the boundary, a quick chat to the fans behind the goals, a few kicks off the ground for goal from 25m through a crowded goal-square, a word of advice to the goal umpire about how he should mark down the goals in his pad, and finally a blind snap with a waterlogged ball from 40m. On second thoughts, it couldn’t possibly take off since Jordie probably couldn’t be bothered explaining it to everyone.

With an already slippery playing surface and the game punctuated by heavy downpours, the match was played out over a series of dogged stoppages. There were many passages of play where the ball didn’t move too far, yet a large number of players threw themselves into the contest as a means to gain the slightest advantage. With the third quarter nearing a close, Brighton kicked two quick goals to make it a goal the difference and many Uni fans were wondering whether their side could continue their unbeaten run. Fortunately for those who braved the conditions, the Blacks kicked the first 3 goals of the last quarter and held off a fierce Brighton side.

With one game to go before the bye, let’s hope the lads can continue their winning ways. It’s fair to say that no one is keen to do the ‘Cancel the Ski Trip Because my Legs Aren’t Working’ drill.

1st 2nd 3rd Final
Uni Blacks 2.3.15 3.5.23 6.6.42 9.9.63
Old Brighton 1.2.8 1.4.10 5.6.36 6.9.45


Goal Kickers

Foster 5, Bismire 3, Richardson

Best Players

Weekley, Napier, MacGugan, Richardson, Thomas, Bismire

About The Black Hack

Loves scoops. Hates deadlines


  1. Andrew Fithall says

    I enjoy these reports. Keep them coming please.

    To the second correspondent, regarding your line: “Your columnist even recalls the time when he was starting out as a cadet, and the Senior Sports Writer of the day was always introduced as the man who gave Tony Lockett his ‘Plugger’ moniker.” The Senior Sports writer was a fraud. Tony Lockett inherited the “Plugger” nickname from his father and it was a nickname he sported at North Ballarat before making his way to St Kilda.


  2. There’s a scoop for you, Black Hack.

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