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An Ordinary Day at the Office


The Roys Men approached their contest with Ajax at Elsternwick with confidence, on the back of their last quarter surge a week ago against Beaumaris. There were four changes to the side however, with Jack Mackay, Luke Minahan, Cam Mitchell and Will Symons out through either injury or confinement. 

Pas Curcio came in for his debut, add another Curcio to the Fitzroy playing list, along with Toby Hudson Bevege, Jimmy Butler and Charlie Faubel. The Reserves won comfortably enough in the end, the most notable feature being the premiere of the Laidlaw brothers, Sean and Marcel, on the park together for the first time in the same side.

Weather and the ground shape were key factors in determining the outcome of the main game. A strong breeze favoured the Brighton end, but it required attacks to be conducted from the main oval side of the ground. A short ground with no pockets.

Using the conditions to advantage was critical. Captain Jack Hart kicked our first in the fluky wind, Ajax defended exclusively to the St Kilda Street side, the dead side. Charlie Hogg and Layne Holden both goaled, we were in control, until we gave away another 50, a bad habit creeping in, then they kicked a couple. Georgie Pyers snapped truly, displaying smooth Italian soccer skills.

The quarter was a real mixture but we led 28–14 at the main break. At the huddle, Coach Mahoney commended the pressure, noting how it created reward. Would it be enough? Gorilla ears heard the Ajax coach stress: “long into the forward line, on the main ground side.”

They were wasteful but kicked the first. Big Bill Clayton was doing well in the ruck, and we were peppering the goal mouth with little return. Ajax were playing a more cohesive, team-first style. Rhys Seakins was again dominating in defence, and Darcy Lowrie was repelling all attacks. Faubel showed verve. 

It was a point the difference at the main break, truth is we should have led. Having the wind at our backs in the third, we needed to put the score on the board.

But we spent large slabs of the quarter on the dead side and then, of course, one entry into the Ajax forward line led to a goal. Harrison Grace goaled in reply, but they goaled twice late, taking the lead, and celebrating like it was an early Easter.

The last quarter was debilitating. Heath Ramshaw surged the ball forward with the speed of a leopard, and Pyers snapped truly. Lowrie went into attack, and clunked one through for a major.

Problem was they were scoring with the wind, and in the end it was a 23 point deficit after, you guessed it, another 50 metre penalty. My scribbled notes reveal that I wrote no more.

Week off for Easter, seems strange after 2 rounds, and then a very important match against Williamstown on Anzac Day Monday. At the Brunswick Street Oval. Be there.

Guy Gorilla

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