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



When I lumbered into the Williamstown ground a little later than normal, the Twos were a goal up, not having things all their own way, about the midway point of the second quarter.

We won 123–48, very good on top of the firm surface, playing exhilarating football when swift ball movement was applied. There were some great performers, none better than Martin Deasey. Simply put, he does it every week.

And as my New Hampshire mate proclaimed next to me on the school assembly bench seats next the boundary line: “And now to the main event.”

The big question all Fitzroy folk were asking themselves was whether or not we could start better than in previous weeks. Slow starts have cost us games.

Five changes again as is the custom: Butler, Grace, Marcel Laidlaw, Lowrie and Wilson in for Baker, Kewell, Lester, Long and Wotherspoon. Very unWilliamstown-like conditions prevailed. Pretty calm really, sunny breaks and we were kicking into a slight breeze to the bay end in the first quarter.

Willy dominated the early stages and kicked the opener. So much for a fast start. Toohey found Grace twice for no result, and then the opposition went end to end for a major. Best laid plans!

We missed another, then Toohey, prominent as ever, kicked our first. McKay then got on the end of a ground-breaking transfer from defence. Turner was working hard, but we were missing easy shots.

Grace then converted after another tracer from his midfield contemporary. Willy responding with a dribbler.

McKay was dominating the taps, then Tauber kicked a ripper on the buzzer. Not a seaside horn reminiscent of a misty Irish harbour though, more like a K Mart special. Get something to match the environment.

Four goals eight to three goals one tells the story. We were dominating play, but not putting the opposition to the sword. A lesson in ‘foot on the throat’ was required.

Coach Mahoney was complimentary, but warned of bad habits, lazy minds. “Numbers, pressure, wait and go.”

At the start of the second, Ligris manfully split four opponents, then found McKay for a goal and great opening to the quarter. We piled on the pressure, a couple of missed opportunities, and of course they responded.

It appeared then that we had taken the foot off the gas despite the coach’s warnings. They goaled again and it was back to six points, until Laidlaw goaled from distance.

It was 49–37 at the main break. Noting missed chances, I went for a pastie, not bad, but a tad too hot. You know how it is.

The third quarter was crucial , but then again, they all are. The combination of McKay, Pyers and Faubel found Turner for a sound start. Faubel then swooped again for another.

That bad man in the back of the head crept in again. Willy goaled after slack marking in defence, and they were gifted another.

We can’t seem to break free of this mob, credit to them, but they did have some help. Four goals from borderline frees in this session.

Ellis had been stellar in defence, but they then took the lead with another snap.

One thing I will say now. There are too many easy departures out of our forward half, placing extra pressure on a retreating midfield and defence. Too much watching, not enough trigger, tackle and chase.

Another borderline decision led to an upfield goal, and I wondered, “Where is the want?”

Toohey then will powered it twice out of the centre, and found Minahan on both occasions for goals. Now there was ‘want’.

Willy received another free in front of the big sticks, and led by a point, 77–76 at the final change.

I was in a bit of a haze at the huddle, but I did hear reference to ‘22’. Everyone needed to contribute.

Laird Ramshaw snapped truly and beautifully on his left to retake the lead for the Roys. Ted Clayton, then Wilson, goaled to spread the gap a little. Lambert marked on the goal line and converted, we now had an 18 point buffer.

We conceded a goal through an ill-considered kick out of defence, but in the end were victors 105–92. Mission accomplished, top two confirmed.

Next Saturday we confront De La Salle at Brunswick Street. A must watch for all supporters, get behind the boys as they prepare for another B Grade finals campaign, one that sees us challenge for A Grade.

Let’s have a real crack.

Guy Gorilla

Image: Phyllis Quealy

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