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




A double top-of-the-table clash confronted Fitzroy Men Senior and Reserves sides against St Bernards. With all four sides undefeated for the season, the car wound its way to the bottom of the Snake Pit. Perfect ground conditions and a dry cool day.

My first sight of the Twos revealed large player turnover, and we quickly conceded a four-goal start. One thing is for certain however, you could never fault the fight and endeavour of the playing group, exemplified by Curcio’s never say die performance. A 9-point loss in the end, and loss of our top spot, but it would be fair to say we can confidently look forward to a return bout.

Three compulsory changes again for the main game: Lambert, Deasey and Sean Laidlaw in for Grace, Bill Clayton and Davie. Our depth was being challenged, especially in the big man department.

The Snowdogs (I think that’s their nickname although a snow dog in a snake pit is hard to envisage) were on the board early with two majors and they were constantly outnumbering the Roys at the contest. An end-to-end chain from a kick in got it to Lambert for our first. St Bernards responded immediately. But Pyers loves a snap, and duly snapped a goal.

Roberts was challenging in the ruck, and Ligris was again racking up multiple possessions. Bernard’s closed the escape hatches from defence however, and we were under constant bombardment.

Coach Mahoney called for a brave, bolder disposition at the huddle, and exhorted his charges to get the ball to ground on our forward line. A 36–14 deficit stared us in the face.

Toohey marked strongly at centre half forward to kick our first for the second quarter, and we attempted to apply increased forward line pressure. Sadly though, we lacked height and firepower despite the increased effort. Ted Clayton won a free and milked a large Big M with a 50 to goal.

The aerial contests were our biggest problem. They kicked their first for the quarter at the 15-minute mark, and a mate remarked that Bernard’s weren’t doing all that well. Of course, the floodgates opened up at the Snake Pit southern end as soon as he said it, with multiple goals following. Things were turning ugly. Green, Lowrie and Ligris continued to stand up under pressure, but it was 64–27 at half time.

The third stanza was not good. Sustained attack by the opposition, and a very deep and talented midfield group swamped any resistance. It was something like five goals to one solitary point. It was hard to find comfort.

The main message at the final huddle was to dig deep for pride, and not concede. Sean Laidlaw went to the midfield and won possession, finding Minahan for a goal. Wilson was guts personified. The realisation struck me – we were playing a very good side, and they’d struck us at our weakest, manpower-wise. Reality bites.

Sean Laidlaw goaled after a period of fierce contest, and it was clear we weren’t rolling over, despite the hefty margin. The Wrecking Ball goaled again – he was showing his customary grunt.

At the final siren, it was 116–49, but no lack of effort in the last.

So we are 7–1 and let’s face it, we’d have happily taken that at the start of the year. A week off to lick our wounds and the coat tail of a newly proclaimed King, and then it’s St Bede’s Mentone at Brunswick Street on 17th June.

The coming weeks will require commitment, creativity and, as the coach proclaimed on Saturday, care for each other. Let’s bring those 3 Cs to the table.

Guy Gorilla

Image: Phyllis Quealy

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