Fitzroy Football Club: Great football, Great community, Great culture.



As I seem to say for most home games at the Brunswick Street Oval, a perfect autumnal backdrop greeted participants and spectators alike for Fitzroy’s Senior Men’s clash against the traditionally strong Collegians outfit.

Another huge challenge loomed for the Roys who it must be said haven’t been disgraced in any game in 2024. Collegians were Premiers last season, winning the grand final by 85 points. Now that is a challenge!

The Twos went down by 11 points in a performance full of pluck, but unfortunately lacked finish and polish. More pluck, more polish, the results will start to come our way.

Toohey, Grace and Vlassopoulos came in for Nelson, Butler and Kelly in the main game. It was to be hoped the Roys would come out smokin’.

Instead, we were like a lethargic Sunday morning teenager, needing to be kicked out of bed. By the 19 minute mark, the opposition had six goals on the board, we had barely ventured forward, we were hesitant and lethargic, Collegians bringing a high intensity, high pressure method to the game.

Finally, Toohey found Turner by hand, he got it to McKay up forward for our first. A free from the centre to Toohey saw a laser-like pass to McKay for our second. Then Laidlaw got on the end of another pass from the bloke on Coburg day release for a third. 38–18 at the first hooter (which woke up baby Cooper Ellis in the stand behind me).

Coach Ronaldson ventured toward a spray at the huddle, and implored our mob to reverse the pressure.

Collegians kicked the first two of the second, and the Grace found target McKay on the lead who duly kicked his third. He was converting with McKenna like precision (Peter not Bluey).

Minahan was being his normal busy, pesky-like self in the middle of the ground, and Ligris sharp as ever in defence. Collegians got six goals clear, until Wilson snapped one from a smart McKay tap. Then Kewell benefited from Ramshaw’s vision.

A Collegians' ruckman complained about a free. A wag a few rows up from me loudly proclaimed him to be a ‘big sook’. Haven’t heard that one in a while.

66-38 at the main break, it seemed like a bridge too far.

After the sojourn, McKay slotted his fourth when Minahan and Faubel got it forward. The Roys seemed keener to make a contest of it, but the boys from St Kilda Road (and all their other campi) had a habit of replying at will, as a stamp of authority.

Wright then artfully intercepted and arrowed it to the big man up forward, he converted goal number five. The margin was back to 21 points, and I wondered whether it was possible.

Magically, Collegians bounced one through to spoil the party. Their forward line was spaciously and invitingly open, and they were able to slingshot majors with relative ease.

Ramshaw arched a ripper from the pocket, unfortunately then missed a sitter from a set shot, and Collegians doubled the pain.

A scrimmage snap saw McKay kick number six, but it was 96-65 at the final huddle.

The coaching message was predictably one of intensity and work rate.

Let’s face it, Collegians are a very good outfit, and Fitzroy are still finding their way. There were some strange comings and goings on the field in the last stanza, but the damage was done much earlier. Ramshaw goaled again on receipt from Toohey who was revelling in midfield time. Collegians then replied courtesy of an unusual arbitration.

We couldn't bridge the gap, not for want of trying, but it 112-72 at the end. We paid a price for a very tardy start, and we were always behind the eight ball against a side regarded as the best in the comp.

Uni Blacks next week away, a bye, then Uni Blues, away again. Maybe two or three weeks staying at one of the Colleges might freshen the boys up, tighten the bonds, commence or continue promising academic careers, reduce travel time, make new acquaintances, so on and so forth. Maybe not.

Let’s take possession of the Rouge et Noir Cup next Saturday at the Melbourne Uni Oval. Be there, plan travel and parking beforehand.

Guy Gorilla. Stalking the streets and parkland of the northern suburbs.

Images courtesy Phyllis Quealy

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