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



I hadn’t been to this end of Bulleen for a while, it’s an unnecessary journey from the comfort of my Gorilla enclosure. Old Trinity awaited Fitzroy in a 7pm Friday night spectacular. It was cold, windy, and the scene and vibe entering the ground resembled something out of Apocalypse Now.

But, it was a game of footy, and one the Senior Men had to win. As per usual, there was a large contingent of Roys faithful in attendance. Four changes to the team, that’s 20 in a month. Grace, Borland, Minahan and Pyers came in for Baker, Megennis, Tauber and Turner.

It’s just as well we have depth.

The Roys started with the aid of what was probably a 2–3 goal wind. Quick ball movement seems to be the aim of most sides against us, and they kicked the opener. Marcel Laidlaw was prominent early, and Lambert kicked our first, a nice transfer from defence and slick handball from Grace. Marcel then kicked one from range, after serious defensive pressure from Professor Borland.

Ted Clayton was providing some serious in and under, so under in fact he needed to be careful he didn’t dig too deep in tunnel country. Their inter-league ruckman was doing damage, and Bill Clayton, McKay and the surrounding troops needed to be on their game to counter him.

I reckon it was 14–12 our way at the break, the scoreboard wasn’t behaving itself, but remember, we had the advantage of the breeze. I smelt barbecue smoke, but I also smelt trouble.

I didn’t go to the huddle at the break, it was over near Ferntree Gully somewhere.

The Laidlaw brothers combined for a great goal at the start of the second, and it was clear that we were playing with a bit more fervour. Seakins was dominating at half back, Green a supreme defensive spoiler, and Ligris mopping up everything. And then fiddling with it onto to his trusty left shoe.

McKay then goaled meaningfully and manfully from distance. I liked saying that. Ramshaw was providing great dash on the wing, and he found Lambert for another. Then Marcel Laidlaw goaled from long range with the benefit of a 50-metre penalty. Trinity had lost their cool temporarily, but recovered to kick two late goals. We had taken the foot off the gas a touch.

It was 40–25 our way at half time, and it was clear that a productive third quarter would be a key to the game. The atmosphere in the strangely constructed change rooms was positive.

Seakins again proceeded to dominate. He found McKay again on the lead for a major, and The Professor found the distance for another. Marcel Laidlaw then marked and goaled in a strong contest. Those Laidlaw boys have the habit of wrenching the ball out of the packs and the hands of opponents, like someone had stolen their toys when they were kids.

At the next centre bounce Ted Clayton barged and Toohey bombed forward. The resultant stoppage saw Davie swirl onto his left for a beautiful snap. Didn’t know Max had a left side.

It was 73–33 at the final break. That should be a good enough lead, as long as we did everything right, and provided the menace we showed in the second quarter.

Trinity kicked the opener, something we didn’t want, but for the next 30-odd minutes we defended stoutly, repelled attacks with acumen. Ligris an absolute standout in the last quarter.

A 77–48 victory, well deserved, a credit to sound coaching, player depth and a hard-nosed attitude. The Roys can now have a week off with a bye, and we confront Ajax at Brunswick Street on 22 July.

A Saturday avo where my gorilla vision will be able to ‘see things clearly now.’

Guy Gorilla

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