Uni Into Reserves Preliminary Final, Dingoes Bow Out

University progressed to the Preliminary Final in the A Reserves with a great win on Saturday, while the Dingoes sadly bowed out after losing their Prelim Final to North Beach.

The good news is the Uni Pirates will play North Freo in the C5 Grand Final this Saturday from 2:45pm at Wyong Reserve in Bentley.

In the A Reserves, Uni will play North Beach at South Oval in Bentley at 1:05pm in their prelim on Saturday, so fans can get to both games conveniently.

While the Bulls are chasing a spot in the GF against Curtin Uni Wesley at Bassendean, the Pirates are pursuing a rare four flags in a row and an unbeaten season.

On to the weekend’s match reports and Jim Malone has prepared an epic. Enjoy!

4 PINES A RESERVES – Minor Semi Final

4 Pines Beer Uni Bulls 10.3 (63) def CBC Fremantle 7.4 (46)

Two old mates were chatting, probably for the last time. See one of them, Mick, was dying.

Bill, the other mate, was sitting beside the dying Mick talk, holding his hand, talking and reminiscing. They had been best mates since they started playing football together at age 20. They had played over 300 games together, both warriors and between them had won numerous finals and premierships. They had later gone on to coach together and be on the club committees together . Their entire life and mateship was built around football and the footy club and playing in finals and winning finals and premierships.

“I’m buggered Bill; I’ve got nothing left in the tank”  says Mick.

“I know mate. Can I ask one last favour? Mate after your gone is there one thing you can do for me?” asked Bill.

“Anything for you Bill old mate. What do you want” said Mick.

“I want to know if they play football in heaven” said Bill. “Can you try and somehow let me know”

“Anything for you Bill; I’ll do my best” said Mick and promptly lets out a groan and carks it.

Two nights later Bill is lying in bed when he hears a noise and a whistle and this voice in the dark calling “Bill, Bill”. Bill says “Is that you Mick?” The voice comes back “Yes it’s me mate”

Bill says “ Oh Mick you old bloody champion I knew wouldn’t let me down; you’ve come back to give me the news about football in heaven”

The voice says “That’s right Bill. Anyway mate I’ve got some good news and some bad news”

Bill says “Ok mate , give it to me in that order”

The voice says “Well Bill they absolutely play football in heaven. What’s more they play  finals and a grand final and its finals time now and the weather is warming up, its lighter and warmer at training, the grass is getting greener , the ground is firming up, it’s not raining anymore , it has absolutely perfect conditions for football and we are in the grand final this weekend”

Bill says “Well Mick that’s bloody wonderful,  so what’s the bad news”

The voice says “ You’ve been named on the half back flank this Saturday”

Anyway folks, that’s an old joke but its one I always liked to wheel out around finals time.

Its true the weather is warmer, training gets easier as its warmer and lighter longer, the grass is getting greener and the conditions dryer and every footballer worth his salt just loves finals time. And more than anything we love winning finals. And that’s exactly what the Mighty Bulls did on the weekend with a hard fought 17 point victory against old rivals CBC at Morris Buzzacott.

Flying the A Stream flag for 2020, the Bulls were able to pick a strong side for this First Semi-final cut throat clash. Unfortunately some of our regular soldiers were left out of the side which is a great shame given the efforts they made assisting us get to where we have ended up but that is football, especially when the A Grade side didn’t make the finals (which in itself is extremely rare). I know the guys who were left out, having coached most of them at some stage, and they are all quality blokes , great clubmen and they will bounce back and have their day in the sunshine in the future. One of the great things about playing for the University Football Club, whether your playing A Grade, Ressie’s, Pirates, Dingoes, colts or Ladies’ A’s or B’s, you never have to wait along time before your playing finals or in grand finals or winning premierships because we are a winning club and the UFC was invented for playing in, and winning, finals.

It was our “home” game at the CBC fortress , Morris Buzzacott. Not sure who Morris was , or what he did to have an oval named after him (there is an accounting firm in London called Buzzacott’s) but Mr Buzzacott would be proud of the ground named in his honour as it is a lovely oval , lined by Norfolk Pines and almost in the shadow of our little cousin, Murdoch University. Obviously Murdoch Uni is well known for its hippy, greenie, lefty student base; for many years it’s biggest club  was the communist club and whilst UWA’s most famous club , The Uni Football Club, were famous for winning football premierships, the Murdoch Uni communist club members were famous for marching on parliament house and lying in front of police cars in the city or mining fleets outside mine sites.

To the newcomer, the fact that CBC Football Club plays at a nice suburban venue like this in near proximity to the sort of Uni that  the T-Fergs’ of the world usually attend, might lure them into a false sense of security but let me tell you, the Boys from CBC are decidedly more Fremantle than Murdoch and are always up for an unmerciful scrap and don’t take a backward step. So we knew we had a dog fight on our hands and it would go the full 72 (COVID times) minutes.

We were fortunate to win the toss and kick with the Fremantle Doctor that was about a 4 goal breeze to the city end. We were out of the blocks like a Bondi tram and before you could blink an eye we had three unanswered goals on the board. We maintained the rage for the quarter and led 4.1 to 0.1 at the first break. Unfortunately, one of our soldiers and Bulls, Aiden Wilkins went down with a knee injury which we suspect is an ACL and was out for the game. Its terrible news for Wilko because he has been a class act since he captained Hale School’s First XVIII to Alcock glory but he has had a series of injury setbacks since which have put a slight handbreak on what will no doubt end up being a wonderful career. We are thinking of you mate and wish you a speedy recovery and hope to see you back playing for the Mighty UFC in late 2021 or at least in 2022. You have youth on your side, you’re a great talent and a ripping bloke so keep the chin up and stay positive. We all want to see you play 150 games for the UFC mate.

We were good in the second until the last five minutes when CBC got two late goals and our lead had been cut to 1 goal at the long break.

We out scored them 3 goals to one in the third. Would a three goal lead, with the Doctor now worth 5-6 goals and turning from a zephyr into a howling gale, be enough?

Coach McDonald urged the Bulls to be brave and take the game on; after all fortune favours the brave. I am pleased to say the boys responded brilliantly and kicked the first three goals of the final quarter taking the game beyond CBC. We did experience a little “Squeaky Bum” period when they kicked three goals in three minutes late in the last quarter but in the end the hard work had already been done and we ran out 17 point winners and progress to play arch rivals North Beach at South Oval in the shadows of another younger cousin and another lefty learning institution, Curtin University.

We had good players all round. Ashford once again was always there when needed and is a superb footballer. He was assisted in the guts by the very tough players King Bull Shackles, Breads Wilson and Steelo Curtin. Junior Boomy Regan Smith was very good and probably BOG. He is fast gaining a reputation at a young age as a big game specialist. Champagne Charlie Mitchell was creative and looked a million bucks as always. The Colt, young Lachy Davis was all class out on the wing and the Slicer of Polish extraction, Gajewski, was running amuck on the other wing. The veteran Darcy Thompson put in a solid game and another big game specialist Ryan Williamson started the whole thing going with the first goal of the match and was strong throughout. Sam West rucked for about 95% of the day and despite giving up some size to Pollard the CBC ruckman, got the better of him and gave our mids first look at the pill at the ball ups and stoppages.

Down back, the bulls are a team within a team. Led by the Grand Old Bull Bradley Mumford, defying his age with another magnificent performance, Hanner’s beat a highly rated opponent once again, his wingman, T Ferg, after only just surviving a case of severe bruising, internal bleeding and broken ribs from an exuberant pre-game rev up from Captain Shackles, was absolutely brilliant. I thought of a little ditty for T Ferg;

“With his young, cool and disinterested looks, his opponents don’t give him the slightest chance, but by the end of the game , T Ferg has led them on a merry dance!”

Talking of youth, young Ben Culloton , well what a gutsy defender this chap is. He throws himself around like a mad nun  and is as cool as T Ferg. He is totally fearless and one on one is very hard to beat. Everything you want in a defender.  Pat Wilson played a fantastic game and was never beaten and backed up nicely in the ruck when called upon. Well done Pat. My old mate Bogus Taylor proved once again that, not only is he the best bloke and best looking of the Taylor brothers, he is also the best footballer with a vintage display of attacking defence.

Finals is all about kicking goals and we had multiple scorers and our forward pressure was elite.

The Stallion, Kirk was very good and provides a bit of X factor down forward. Not only does his coach and his teammates have no idea what he is going to do half the time, neither does he but most importantly neither does the opposition.  Tom “Hoagy” Carmichael was very effective and cause a lot of chaos the way he attacks packs and contests. If he doesn’t mark it he always brings the ball to the ground along with a couple of opponents. Pat Donovan is a big target that requires a solid defender and he also kicked a couple of very important goals and his experience will be a real tonic for us in the next few weeks. Jack Durward works his little ring piece off all day and added to his pressure was a lovely goal and a couple of good assists.

Good luck next week to Jake “Premierships” Day and his Pirates. If they win the flag it will be the UFC’s 100th premiership in all competitions , an Australian and AFL football record. 

BDO C5 RESERVES – Preliminary Final

BDO Uni Dingoes 5.7 (37) def by North Beach 8.10 (58)

The Dingoes headed to Gil Fraser for a must-win preliminary final against age-old rivals, North Beach. The Dingoes had come off a disappointing qualifying final loss to top-of-the-table Wesley-Curtin and were looking to bounce back for another crack at the top dogs. However, with a couple of key-ins (IFBB Champion Grock and finals debutant Onesy) and with a convincing win over North Beach earlier in the year, the team headed in full of confidence. The luxury of the North Freo home changerooms was not lost on the team; all the boys taking advantage of the complimentary coconut oil sunscreen and demanding rub-downs on the multiple physio beds. An unfortunate late injury to Tarzan in the warm-up saw the Dingoes spiritual leader, Braggy grab his boots from the back of the car and complete a 10 minute warm-up in classic Dingoes fashion.

The game started hot, with both sides bringing immense pressure to the contest. The Dingoes were moving the ball well, with some slick handballs on the wing leading to some coast-to-coast play. Unfortunately, North Beach were the first to trouble the goal-umpires, with the swirly breeze taking the ball over the back of the Dingoes defence. The boys were playing well, but weren’t getting value for their hard-work, and it wasn’t until Sarge goaled late in the term that they got their reward. The Dingoes heading in to quarter-time down by just 4 points.

The second term was a similarly spicy affair with both sides tackling with finals-like ferocity. The Dingoes got on top with the breeze at their backs and regularly sent the ball inside 50. As the midfield lifted, the backline through Muzza and Bobby got on top, controlling field position for the rest of the quarter. A couple of cracking goals from young guns, Onesy and Oakesy saw the Dingoes come roaring back, heading into the main break up by 2 points. The improved performance was unfortunately soured by two key injuries: Senior and OJ, two experienced backmen both going down with muscle strains and leaving the Dingoes short on the bench.

The message at half-time was a positive one – maintain the pressure and the goals would come. Sadly, when the third quarter started, North Beach started better and kept the ball pinned in their half for the majority of the term. Some ill-discipline and some questionable umpiring didn’t help matters, and the Dingoes conceded 4 goals to none to end up 26 points down at three-quarter time. While the Dingoes battled manfully in the last-quarter, and certainly threatened to cause a boilover, the lack of rotations and margin proved too much for a brave Dingoes side to overcome.

Overall, a disappointing end to a very promising campaign for the Dingoes. Going out in straight sets is never fun, particularly with both losses coming about as a result of one poor quarter of footy. However, in true Dingoes fashion, the close-knit group didn’t dwell on the loss for too long, a steam at the OBH transformed into a big night at the Tate St Shed and some very weird antics in a backyard.

Congratulations to all the Dingoes who represented the side this year. Fitting 49 blokes into a team each week was never fun, particularly with the shortened season, however there were some great highlights on and off the field, and the ultimate success is not far away for this talented group. Finally, thank you to Roids and Morey for all your hard work getting the team admin sorted, and most of all to Erk Dog; 377 games and 10 flags of experience, yet he still gives up his Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday to teach the young blokes how to play the game – truly the greatest clubman of all.

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