So it’s now well and truly April, and starting off this week’s historical anniversaries…
Sunday was the 40th anniversary of Gary Ablett Snr’s VFL debut, playing for Hawthorn alongside brother Geoff, ironically enough against Geelong, at Princes Park.
In the first of his 6 league games for Hawthorn in the unfamiliar No.35, Ablett kicked just 1 goal, the Hawks won the game by 15 points, and at the end of a tough year in the city, Ablett and the Hawks parted ways, he moved out to Myrtleford in 1983, where he then caught the attention of Geelong, who eventually signed Gaz for 1984.
Somewhere in the space-time continuum, Estelle Harris and Jerry Stiller are getting into repeated shouting matches for no reason
“Georgie, would you like some jello?”
“Why’d you put the bananas in there?”
“George likes the bananas!”
“SO LET HIM HAVE BANANAS ON THE SIDE!”
North Melbourne’s last 2 games on April 2
April 2, 2021:
April 2, 2022:
Based on this sequence of numbers, if North play on Sunday, April 2 next season, they’ll only lose by 88 points.
The return of the Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park this weekend means we’ll finally get to see the 2021 track changes in action
In case you missed the last 2 years since the F1 season was sent into hibernation in Melbourne thanks to 2 positive McLaren mechanics, Turns 1, 3, 6, 7, and 15 have been widened to aid overtaking, and the biggest change is that the old slow right hander that was Turn 9-10 has now been re-profiled into a back straight, which means the cars are now full throttle from Turn 6 all the way down to Turn 9.
So that now means there’s a grand total of 4 DRS zones on the track, making it the first World Championship track since the introduction of DRS in 2011 to have 4 detection zones.
McLaren’s partnership with an Indigenous Australian start-up for the Australian Grand Prix
Daniel Ricciardo won’t be the only Australian featuring in McLaren orange at the Australian Grand Prix.
He will be joined by DeadlyScience, a local nonprofit which is set to become the first Indigenous brand displayed on a Formula One car. Its logo will join major sponsors on the McLaren livery and be seen by millions of viewers around the world as Melbourne hosts its first GP since 2019 after two consecutive Covid-19 cancellations.
DeadlyScience’s logo will feature on cars as part of a new initiative between McLaren and software sponsor, Smartsheet. Called Sponsor X, it aims to put a worthy cause front and centre by offering up Smartsheet’s prominent logo spot to less-generously-resourced organisations.
Founded by Kamilaroi man Corey Tutt, DeadlyScience provides remote Australian communities with educational resources and mentoring, and has so far shipped more than 20,000 books and other science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) resources to more than 100 communities across Australia.
The first time I read it I thought McLaren were going to be pulling off an Indigenous livery on the cars, which would also be a first in Formula One, nevertheless, it should still look very nice on the McLaren cars while they’re running around in 14th and 15th.
The Manning Eagles win the WA Metro Saturday Premier League title for the third time
So this past weekend was Finals time for both genders in WA Metro Saturday pennants, and for context, the tale of the Saturday Premier League season is that through disease and heated out games, Cambridge and Doubleview occupied the Top 2 places for 99% of the season, but in a crazy final week, Cambridge got smashed at home by Doubleview, meaning it would be ‘The View’ who finished top, while the hard-charging South Perth Millers finished 2nd, ultimately missing out on home green advantage by half a bloody point (91 vs 90.50), which was a huge outcome, because South Perth play on Synthetic, a surface that a surprising number of players aren’t used to in top grades.
Meantime, Manning started the season well with a host of new recruits, but at one stage the Eagles fell to 6th spot (Out of 10) in February, as the starting 16 struggled with COVID-related selection issues (Vaccination mandates and positives galore), but the always popular selectors got the lineups settled in March, the many egos were left at the door, and the Eagles eventually jumped back up to 4th spot with a few rounds to go, ultimately making the finals by just 3 points, as defending premiers Osborne Park finished way down in 7th and were never a factor.
Now, the finals format is quite simple in Premier League – The 4 teams start on Saturday morning at the ladder-leading club, who play 2nd in a Qualifying Final, 3rd plays 4th in an Elimination Final, then the winner of that plays the loser of 1 vs 2 on Saturday afternoon, and the Grand Final is played at a neutral venue on Sunday morning.
In short, Manning needed to win 3 games in 24 hours to win the title, but as a very confident AJ Heal of Beacon told me on Tuesday night, it was a piece of piss.
So come Saturday morning, Manning played 3rd placed Cambridge in the sudden death final, and it was as cut throat as could be, with the biggest winning margin on any rink being 3 shots, but thanks to late runs from Shane Knott and Tom Mitchell’s rinks, Manning won 3 out of 4 rinks to take the aggregate 76-71, as Cambridge needed a Hail Mary hold of 7 on the 84th and final end to force a draw, but Clive Adams didn’t quite see his prayer answered as Manning knocked out ‘The Knights’ to make it past lunchtime.
After the lunch break and another top notch motivational speech from Brad Hogg, Manning played hosts Doubleview, who were red all over after being belted by South Perth 89-67 in the Qualifying Final, and it was a brutal case of deja vu for The View, as the Eagles rode their momentum as the afternoon wore on, soaring away to a huge aggregate win 86-62, getting so far ahead they didn’t have to play the final couple of ends, giving them more time to load the esky up before they came back to Challenger Avenue for a debrief.
Thus, the 2021-22 Premier League title came down to a live-streamed shootout between the age old local rivals Manning and South Perth at the neutral venue of Yokine, with South Perth, who lost the 2021 Premier League Grand Final to Osborne Park, getting another shot at a first Saturday top flight title since 1970-1971, in what is the Perth bowling scene’s answer to the Colliwobbles.
After an even start on a humid Sunday morning, it was pretty clear by the halfway stage that a supremely confident Manning team had dropped a bomb on the Millers, with all four Eagles rinks (Skipped by Will Hyatt, Tom Mitchell, Shane Knott and Dan Trewhella) holding multiple shots on end after end, notably Knotty’s rink (Joe Angel, Mark Ellis, Nathan Jones) holding a 6, while the TV streaming rink featuring Will Hyatt, Mitch Walker, AJ Heal and Dave Downey (Against Otto Dawson, Mitch Biglin, Scott Walker and Ross Bresland) did their best work with the cameras focused on them, much like a desperate Kardashian sister, going from 2-3 down to 13-4 ahead.
So with 43 out of 84 ends played, Manning led by a healthy 34 shots, a lead that would grow to 38 shots a few ends later, and there were Catholic priests on hand ready to give South Perth their last rites.
Still, South Perth showed why they finished 2nd on the ladder, and the rink of Dan Brown, Joe Galipo, Tom Antonio and former Eagle Lee ‘Lord’ Such hit back at Knotty’s foursome with a massive hold of 7 (Knotty claimed he’d actually cut it from 8 down to 7), then the Miller got another 5 a few ends later, Glenn Pauling’s team picked up shots on DT’s team (Scott O’Brien, Peter Ker & Blake Butler), and Ross Bresland’s team finally broke through against Will’s team, which meant the aggregate margin was down to as low as 12 shots with 15 ends to play overall, and the travelling South Perth support were up and about.
Eventually, time became the enemy of South Perth as the Eagles steadied, with big Tommy’s team (Miles Kemp, Brad Hogg & Lewis Grigg) closing out their rink 19-11, Knotty’s team kept the scoreline respectable and went down 22-26, just the second rink Manning had dropped all weekend, and when DT drew shot on the last end of his rink to win it 21-18, the lead was 14 shots with 2 ends to play on the Hyatt vs Bresland rink, and when South Perth couldn’t kill the end, they accepted reality, shook hands, and Manning were Premiers by a score of 81-67.
They took the longest possible road to get to the flag, but the Eagles had successfully rallied off 3 aggregate wins against the Top 3 teams in 24 hours thanks to some stellar team bowling, in a classic case of a talented team who absolutely clicked come finals time, not too dissimilar to the 2016 Western Bulldogs.
It’s yet another feather in the cap in an almighty season thus far for the club on Challenger Avenue – Wins in the Men’s & Women’s State Singles, the Women’s Tuesday Premier League title for the eighth year running, 17 wins in a row to take the Men’s Thursday Premier League South title for the first time, and a third Saturday Premier League title in the last decade.
When you think about it, we’re the only club in WA called the Eagles that can actually win something.
I did discuss the outcome with Richard ‘Half’ Price today, and he immediately pointed out that this result makes Brad Hogg the first player in history to win a Manning Jack Attack title and a Saturday Premier League title, which is considered the pinnacle of Western Australian men’s pennant bowls.
It’s further proof that Manning Jack Attack is the breeding ground of CHAMPIONS…. and based on the recent Australian domestic cricket season, so is the WACA.
If you ask me, what would make the AFLW Grand Final between Adelaide and Melbourne even more epic is if Daisy Pearce and Erin Phillips made a bet
Simple terms – The loser has to retire from the AFLW…
After that, the winner will probably retire anyway, because they want to bow out a winner.
Craig Starcevich allegedly made a bet that if Emily Bates won the AFLW Best & Fairest, he’d perform a shoey during the ceremony
Being an expat Collingwood bogan, Craig was more than prepared to live up to that bet when Emily won the medal by all of 1 vote on Tuesday night.
The perspective of WA’s Sheffield Shield title
WA captain Shaun Marsh debuted for the state as a 17-year-old in March of 2001, and had endured 21 seasons of nothingness in red ball cricket, save for 2 seasons (2013-14 & ’14-15) where WA made Finals they had no chance of winning, although conversely WA has arguably been the best state in white ball cricket over the last decade.
By comparison, 17-year-old Teague ‘Tugga’ Wyllie, born a mere 4 years after SOS debuted for Western Australia, debuted for WA in the previous game against Victoria on March 23, and is now the youngest player in the history of Australian first-class cricket to win a Sheffield Shield title, while he’s also the second-youngest player to play in a Shield final, a mere 31 days younger than current Australian Test captain Pat Cummins, who played for New South Wales in the 2010-11 Final against hosts Tasmania, who won the Final outright by 7 wickets.
21 years versus 2 weeks… It’s a funny world.
So that means the only state which hasn’t won the Sheffield Shield title in the 21st Century is South Australia
WA won it this season, Queensland won it in 2020-21, New South Wales in 2019-20, Victoria in 2018-19, Tassie last won it in 2012-13, while the Redbacks’ last Shield title was way back in 1995-96, when they clung on for a draw against Western Australia in a heart-stopping final at the Adelaide Oval, as WA fell just 1 wicket short of an outright victory on the final day, meaning SA won the title by virtue of being top of the ladder.
Since then, the Redbacks have only made the final twice, and they’ve finished last 15 times.
Jockey Tyler Schiller getting bucked off his horse and thrown into the 1600m sign at Gundagai
And summing up just how tough jockeys have to be, this was Schiller’s quote after getting torpedoed into the mile marker:
“I was trying to stay on him and when he didn’t want to stop at the rail, he just lined up with the sign perfectly, but it looked a lot worse than it was, it didn’t really hurt that much.”
“When I hit the sign, it sliced my arm and I have just got a bit of a black eye but that’s about it.”
And the horse Come On Harry, despite going straight through the running rail without being impaled, was completely fine as well.
That South African bloke who put a new spin on the phrase “Do shopping trolleys have wobbly wheels?”