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




This week involved an even longer drive across suburbs where I know no one: to Princes Park in Caulfield, former home of the ‘Bear Cave’, and a temporary respite for Ajax while their Albert Park digs recover from the Grand Prix.

Fitzroy does not have a good record at this venue, the home ground of Old Haileybury. From memory not a win there at all in Senior Men’s history. We’ll need to cast those demons aside against a team that is always fit, committed and with a fast ball movement game style.

I find it a bit of a worry that the Roys Twos have not had anyone come near them in six games. They need a challenge for future reference. However I won’t knock back a 144–27 victory. Borland and ‘the Flying Dutchman’ Fendyk were strong up forward, capitalising on the work of the usual suspects in midfield. The defence mixes mean disposition with attacking flair. Blokes will get a chance in the Ones in the next few weeks.

And this is the sort of play they’ll be experiencing: Faubel kicked a pair in the first quarter and as predicted Ajax played with intent. Seakins intercepted magnificently to kick our third, and Ted Clayton burst from a pack for another. The opposition was matching us for goals, and it was 25–24 our way at the first break.

They had a big supporter base urging them on. Another boggy Merri Creek centre square negated our normal midfield dominance. Had truckloads of Northcote Merri Creek mud actually been transported to Caulfield and beyond?

Coach Mahoney was typically measured at the first quarter huddle, by my reckoning he’s limited to three sprays a season. He questioned the positioning and intent at the stoppages.

It was clear that Ajax was paying attention to our midfielders, understandably. Seakins was defending grandly, and showing dash off half back. He found Baker for a goal. Again, Ajax replied and it was clear that we were in a contest. They hit the lead from a front and square conversion.

Grace then marked a pass from Wright to goal, they’d discussed this tactic in the car on the way down. Ligris was combining well with Ellis and Seakins in defence; the latter then surged forward to kick his second off half back. It was 48–37 our way at half time. No way were the Roys in complete control.

Hart kicked the opener in the third. I had a sense of second half De La deja vu, our tackling intensity had lifted. Baker then snatched one out of a ruck contest to goal, and it was now 24 points the diff. Of course, as soon as I wrote that, Ajax replied, making it 63–46 our way at the final break, only 17 points despite a quarter of dominance.

Our midfield had lifted, despite Wotherspoon being out for the day. Davie was filling the void, Ted Clayton and Toohey now on top, and Pyers was an interesting addition in there. It was our defence that ruled the roost however, rocklike in resolve that group. The coach called for us to dictate terms, not to be reactive.

Faubel had been favouring a fetlock, but he marked on the lead to kick his third. Ramshaw then calmly kicked another; he has a polished pair of feet. Hart took a speccy to goal, and the Ajax crowd, so strong in number early, had departed for an early night. Meanwhile, Ligris continued to repel and distribute. Ellis was the epitome of brick wall defence.

In the final minutes, Ramshaw found Wilson in a forward paddock on his own, Megennis marked, goaled and smiled broadly, and Baker got on the end of another Ramshaw surge. 99–56 at the final ‘$2 shop’ hooter.

We left comfortably numb and satisfied, well fed. Someone from the coaching staff however, maybe someone with forward responsibilities, had taken a couple of bites out of a Subway, hoping it was meatball but found chicken instead. He allegedly returned it to its resting place for some poor soul to be tragically short changed.

There was no ‘after match’, somebody had double booked the social rooms for a kids’ party, the main tenants presumably. Disappointing, Garry Gorilla and I were looking for a ‘couple’ and to maybe reminisce about the ‘Bear Cave’ days. Two Gorillas In The Mist in a Bear Cave on a Sunday night in the 80s.

Next week, our first big, real test against Beaumaris at Brunswick Street. The Sir Doug Nicholls Lunch and Welcome to Country Ceremony will also occur before the game.

See you there for what is sure to be a real humdinger.

Guy Gorilla

Scored the four points, but it was serious business in the mud against a typically tough Ajax at their home-away-from-home ground at Caulfield.

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