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



Perfect conditions prevailed for Fitzroy Men’s ‘south of the river’ clash at Como Park against newly promoted Old Geelong. The word around the traps was that they had kept most of their list from C Grade and had recruited strongly to confront the challenge of B.

Again, the Twos were comprehensive winners and to my eye would appreciate a stronger challenge to ascertain where they’re really at. In the Seniors, Turner was out lame, and Green crook. Minahan came in for his first game of the year, and 17-year-old Laird Ramshaw debuted.

Old Geelong was on the board very quickly. Thought to self, “we need to be on the money here”. They play a quick, multiple possession, rapid transfer-based game. They were all over us in the early stages. Ramshaw showed his smarts off the wing and found Hart for a goal. Roy pressure was critical. Hart then intercepted a wayward transfer for his second.

For the remainder of the opening stanza, they were killing us in the clearances and at ground level. Thankfully, the Roy’s defence stood up, especially Lazzaro, Lowrie and Ligris. A day for the ‘L’s. Mum and Dad Lowrie told me pre game that Darcy’s great uncle, Tom Lowrie, played with the Roys in the 1916 Grand Final. Another family connection.

It was 16–14 their way at the first break, and the coach demanded at the huddle that we get the game on our terms.

We went forward from the first bounce of the second quarter, Grace marked, found McKay, he goaled. Our urgency had lifted, and the defence remained stoic. Lazzaro was providing great run from the back half; the ball ended with Minahan who applied great tackling pressure, and he goaled. We were now 10 points up in a low scoring affair.

Just as I thought we were getting on top, a lack of awareness and some carelessness led to two opposition goals. There were too many easy Old Geelong releases from our front half.

McKay marked 45 out, the siren rang, then big Jack swung one from a distance, just like a Terry Alderman outswinger, for a magic goal and a one-point lead at the main break. There was plenty of room for improvement in our game – we were playing like we had come off two soft victories.

For the opening 10 minutes of the third, we attacked constantly without goaling. Roberts was again dominating the taps. His partner in crime McKay was doing likewise, and provided a constant threat up forward. Using a man-on-man approach, we locked Old Geelong permanently into our forward line. The problem was we weren’t scoring the goals required.

As is almost always the case in these situations, the opposition went forward twice and goaled on each occasion. It was back to a point, 49–48, at the final huddle. Coach Mahoney demanded that we maintain ‘The Edge’.

Faubel snapped the opener off a forward pack. The game then became a war of attrition. A careless 50 gave them an easy shot at goal, and a loose ball in the Old Geelong goal square put them in front. This was around the 20-minute mark.

Captain Clayton then put his head where eagles dare, won a free and goaled. Back in front.

A lack of concentration and/or a lack of legs in defence allowed a goal to the opposition, time was running out.

Then, a great clearance from the centre bounce by Wotherspoon, solid all day, got it to Faubel. He marked strongly, won a 50, and calmly goaled from about 20 out. At 27.40 of the last quarter, we were a point up. Again.

The siren went as they ventured forward, 68–67 our way, a terrific victory. Pleasantries were exchanged.

The coach mentioned ‘The Edge’ again in their cellar after the game. A riotous version of the club song. Jimmy Butler stage central in his 100th. Debutant Ramshaw wondering how good this could be.

Maintaining and building ‘The Edge’ could take us a long way. A bigger edge over Old Trinity at Brunswick Street next Saturday would be nice, especially where players past and present can celebrate the club.

Guy Gorilla

Image: Part of a great Fitzroy family, 17-year-old Laird Ramshaw received his jumper from big brother Heath, now a member of both Fitzroy and Carlton, before Saturday’s game against Old Geelong.

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