Tag Archives: Hawthorn

A New Rivalry

North Melbourne Football Club has been robbed of its traditional rivalries in recent years. But an AFL Gold Coast team presents a unique opportunity for NMFC to capitalise on a very real rivalry.

While rarely acknowledged in the media, North Melbourne has some fascinating traditional rivalries. Continue reading

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North’s Heartland

First, brunch with Lady Shinboner (Grigons & Orr – good choice). Then, footy at the Limerick Castle.

The Limerick is vintage North Melbourne. Just a few minutes walk from the gentrified island of Errol St, it takes me to an era before my time. A bustling TAB dominates the atmosphere of the front bar – the new smoking laws would’ve hit extra hard here. It also seems like one of the few places where workers, deros and latté drinkers all seem to get on. Just around the corner is a simple dining room with big screen. A group of about 15 people, mostly middle-aged women,  finish off lunch. I’ve seen these people before – they know their footy, and they know their suburb. This is the heartland.

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Easter Sunday

Easter was a Flinders Island holiday with Lady Shinboner’s family this year, but I’d been looking forward to the footy all week,  particularly after all the off-field distractions. Nothing like a good win over the reigning premiers to kill the sensationalised headlines, I thought.  A ripper day and the stunning view of the beach from the holiday house wasn’t going to stop me enjoy it; satellite television was the only feature of the place that interested me.

North came out angry and held their own early. Hamish had the ruck covered. Simpson and Swallow consistently worked his taps forward. Gibbo was back on Buddy and proving his worth again. A few missed chances, but I was upbeat and relaxed. North weren’t going to let this one slip.

The second quarter tempo seemed to double at about the 5 minute mark. All of a sudden it was a game of run and carry, and no-one was afraid to take ’em on. The Hawks looked more polished. Hodge out of defence and Roughead up front. Mitchell was everywhere. Hansen took a screamer, but the Roos’ forward line couldn’t convert. Then Simmo winded the stuffing out of Hodge and I knew that North were still in it. Lady Shinboner asked if I wanted to go kayaking: “Not today.” 5 goals down at half-time.

Third quarter started with a couple of quick North goals. From marks, which was a nice change. I strapped myself in for a thriller; the boys were gonna make me proud again, win, lose or draw. But then the Hawks run came back and threatened to blow out the margin. North’s disposal was poor, the forward line cluttered and dysfunctional. Rebounds were punished. How’d the Hawks manage to find a paddock up forward? The 6 goal mental barrier was broken – time to visit the fridge.

Last quarter starts. There’s still a chance, I tell myself. Hawks kick the first couple – no chance now.

Then I see something I haven’t seen before. First Pratty, then Thomas and Wells, all lose their shit. Angry muttering, umpire abuse, stupid free kicks. And then Boomer?! This isn’t the team I’ve watched for so long, I thought. It really must have been an extraordinary week. Return trip to the fridge.

Lady Shinboner returns: “How they going?” I should have gone kayaking.

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