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



Fitzroy Men knew this would be a hard one. Beaumaris was one step below us on the One’s ladder, involved in a points imbroglio, still capped up to the max, and not a bad side either. We probably share a healthy respect or disrespect for each other, depending on how you look at it.

The Twos confronted a fierce challenge. Beaumaris were playing arrogantly on the edge, and led for the entire game. In the last quarter, Fitzroy were coming on strong, but fell short by 12 points. A bit of luck, maybe a decision or two falls our way, and we win the game. Kewell and Nelson were inspirational. Coach Bernie and I concurred, “a moral victory”.

The Ones had three changes on Thursday night, but two late outs before the game. This upset the mental apple cart a bit. Ellis, Roberts and debutant Tom Holmes came in for Kewell, Lambert and Ligris. One thing you noticed when Beaumaris was doing their warm up, they are big – ruck and up forward especially. That was one of the challenges.

Clear skies, their ground in better nick than normal, and a breeze favouring the club rooms end.

In the first quarter, the Roys competed well, the opposition had first use of the breeze, and we largely nullified their threat. Ted Clayton kicked a couple, and Seakins was repelling attacks repeatedly. A great transfer from Laidlaw found McKay on the move for a major.

It was 23–19 their way at the first break, a pretty good return considering we hooked up anchor into the breeze. Coach Mahoney was positive at the huddle.

Pyers opened the second with a couple of big tackles. Holmes was composed in defence. Unfortunately, they kicked the opener of the second, adding to the rabid mentality. Then another. We needed to be more proactive at the centre bounce.

Wilson had taken a big hit and looked to be out of the game, rib cage assault. Our forward entries were constant but erratic, and we couldn’t buy a goal. Ramshaw was dominating his wing, and Tauber doing well on the other side of the ground.

Finally, Grace marked well and duly converted, but the one goal six-point quarter didn’t reflect reward for effort. Beaumaris led by five points at half time.

Bill Clayton kicked the first major of the second half after intelligent, bustling resolve by Minahan. The same man then got on the end of one for a goal after a skilful interception by Ted Clayton.

As was constant throughout the game, Beauy quickly replied through one of their tall timber. Furious Ferocious Pyers then snapped a ripper. But, again, they replied.

My concise, clear-thinking football brain told me at this point that if we can get it forward enough, we can win. Derr! I reckon their defence is a bit flakey.

Then a match changing moment occurred. Big Chas Roberts went down with what looked like a repeat knee dislocation injury. We simply could not afford to lose another big man.

We were down to one rotation on the bench, stretched to the limit. Simultaneously and miraculously, Laidlaw snapped on the outside of the boot for a goal, as the ship siren rang to end the quarter.

We trailed 61–56, and playing with our customary resolve. One thing you cannot doubt about our boys, resolve. The coach stressed “own, chip, run” at the huddle, emphasising that this was the way to negate their big man advantage.

Beaumaris kicked the opener after two dodgy decisions. Then another similar set of circumstances conspired against us at the centre bounce. Clearly their tall timber was now dominating, and they were all over us. I won’t write much more because I’ll change tack towards the controversial.

One thing I will say is that the level of moronic invective directed towards our players from behind their goal in the last quarter, and at other times during our visit, was unsavoury at the very least. I won’t attempt to explain, other than to say we have to, and do, cop it on the chin.

And be stronger. And as the coach remarked after the game, lock it away in the memory bank. We went down 99–72, but not without valour.

We confront ladder leaders St Bernards next Saturday in a twilight game. 

I urge the Men’s sides to do a final inspection of their kit bags before leaving home for this contest. Make sure it’s full of your own tidy skill set, a pouch of team-first mentality, a manual on following coach instructions to the letter, and a before-game mini meal of Roast Roys Resolve. I can be contacted for the recipe.

Oh, and by the way, don’t forget your gear.

Guy Gorilla

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