U14-1 Brown 2018
Coach: Paul Broderick
0419 312 387
Assistant Coach: Richard Furphy
Assistant Coach: Matt Hornsby
Team Manager: Alison Beck
0402 217 366
Trainer: Mel Grant
Trainer: Linton Duffin
Team Page Editor: Cam Noakes
Photographer: Richard Allen
R15: Lions roar into finals
A FEROCIOUS Fitzroy has signed off on the home and away season with a dazzling display of foot skills, and enters this year’s finals series with all cylinders firing.
Taking on Doncaster at Ramsden St Oval on Sunday, the Roys withstood a fierce opening burst from the visitors, and responded with an impressive and ruthless counterpunch.
Doncaster booted two goals in the opening term and looked up for the fight, but the Roys piled on eight goals and another four in the second term to take a 65-point lead into the main break.
It was one-way traffic after that with the Lions adding another 10 goals to one in the second half to run out comfortable winners, 22.16 (108) to 3.3 (21).
‘Hurricane’ Harry Broderick and Dane ‘Norman’ Harvey did the damage around the big sticks, while new faces Michael ‘the Duck’ Daffey and Nicko ‘Special K’ Karamitros were in sparkling touch.
The highlight of the day, however, was the Roys’ pinpoint passing by foot that went to a new and mystifying level.
FINALS FORM LINE: The Lions will enter the finals in white-hot form. Their electric run goes back to round 10 and in that period they have enjoyed solid wins over the other three teams in the top four. It is a different story for second-placed Preston which has dropped its past three games, and fourth-placed Canterbury, which has limped into the top four – losing its past two games by a total of 184 points. Bulleen-Templestowe has muscled its way into third after defeating Preston in its final home and away game (the second time it has got the better of the Bullants).
FUN FACT: While it’s fair to say the Roys haven’t done too much losing this year (only three games), it’s interesting to note Dane Harvey is yet to play in a losing game in 2018. Dane broke his arm in round three – against Doncaster – and returned in round 10, also against Doncaster when the winning streak began. STAY. FIT. DANE.
Master Blaster: Paul ‘The Boss’ Broderick lays down the law.
Buddy and the Duck: Tom Dolkas and Daff in action. Picture: Richard Allen
R14: Lions lock in top spot, minor premiership
Our greatest glory is not in failing, but RISING every time we fall.
A RAMPAGING Fitzroy has sent an ominous warning to its rivals on the eve of finals, completely dismantling third-placed Canterbury at Ramsden St Oval on Sunday.
It is the third time the Lions have played the Cobras this season and, while the previous encounters have been close, Fitzroy has not been able to get the chocolates against its long-time rival.
However, all that changed on the weekend with the Roys running riot, winning 16.16 (112) to 1.5 (11).
‘Hurricane’ Harry Broderick bagged five goals to take his season tally to a mind-boggling 53, while Finlay Park (who wore an armband to acknowledge the passing of his grandfather) jagged three in a stirring performance.
The red-hot Lions have now defeated every team in their division and the win over Canterbury is a huge psychological boost ahead of the finals.
The victory means the Lions have now locked down top spot and are the minor premiers of Brown division in 2018.
It also means Canterbury is unable to leapfrog second-placed Preston, so the Roys will face Preston in their first final in a fortnight.
The top four is not settled, however, with a bit to play out in the final round this weekend.
Parkside, currently in fifth position, can still make the finals but it will need to beat Canterbury in the final round and hope Preston can down fourth-placed Bulleen Templestowe.
It’s not a given, though, with Bulleen Temp comfortably defeating Preston in their last encounter in R10, and Canterbury expected to bounce back from Sunday’s loss.
BLOWN AWAY: The Roys have started slowly against Canterbury in both games this year but that all changed in this clash. Canterbury started with a howling wind, but it was the Roys who dominated possession and inside 50 to grab the lead at the first change and set up the win.
BACK TO RAMSDEN: It is the first time the Roys have played at Ramsden St Oval this season, and curiously, they will be back there next week for the clash with Doncaster and their final game of the home and away season.
A WINNING RUN AND THE BACK SIX: The Lions are on a red-hot winning streak that started back in round 10 when they defeated Doncaster by 110 points. In that game the Roys’ back six conceded just one goal. There was just one goal conceded again on the weekend which is the fifth time this season our defence has had one goal or less kicked against it. Interestingly, top four teams Canterbury and Preston are included in the teams that have only managed one goal against us.
Let’s Dance: When Harry met Buddy: Picture: Richard Allen
R13: Roar power hits new level at Zwar
IT’S ONLY taken 13 rounds, but the Fitzroy Lions have clawed their way to the top of the ladder for the first time this season (and first time in many a year).
After defeating the Preston Bullants in a top-of-the-table battle at Zwar Reserve on Sunday, the Roys have finally pushed their way to the summit after spending the entire season locked in second spot.
The Roys did it in style, too, leading at every change to run out 27-point winners, 5.4 (34) to 9.7 (61).
‘Twin Fins’ Peake and Park led from the front, winning the inside battle with their ferocious attack on the ball.
But while we were fierce on the inside, we were fast and clean on the outside with running machines Dane Harvey, Oscar Allen and Archie Noakes showing the opposition a clean set of heels on the wide and windy spaces.
Tristan Duffin’s heroics in the ruck didn’t go unnoticed either, taking on one of the competition’s best in a massive battle.
Meanwhile, our defence’s reputation as a tough and uncompromising unit continues to grow, with Lenny Dean and Shol Buckley in rare form, and Connor ‘the Fortune Teller’ Dooley ruling the roost with his freakish ability to see things before they’ve happened.
TIMING THEIR RUN TO PERFECTION: With just two games of the home and away season remaining, the Roys are peaking at the right time. The Lions have not lost since the week off and are enjoying a four-game winning streak. However, Canterbury, the only team Fitzroy is yet to defeat this season, awaits.
TALKING THE TALK, WALKING THE WALK: Finlay ‘Itchycoo’ Park loves to get to know his opponents. He’s pictured here (below) telling his Preston friends a joke, that certainly amuses Toz and Josh.
THE LADDER: This looks real good.
R12: Roys red-hot in July
FITZROY’S electric charge for the finals has continued with a comprehensive win over Bulleen-Templestowe.
It was another impressive team performance by the Lions, who withstood some early pressure from the home team, only to blast four goals into the wind in the second term to set up a 42-point lead at half-time.
The eventual 63-point victory was soured, however, by a late injury to our co-captain Harry Broderick.
Harry will have scans on his back on Tuesday, but it is unclear if he will be right for the top-of-the-table clash against Preston on Sunday.
‘Nothin’ Leica’ Dane Harvey is starting to show why he is one of the most dangerous weapons in the comp, playing his best game since returning from a broken arm three weeks ago. Harvey’s silky skills and explosive running was a highlight and his form is building nicely ahead of finals.
Leo Sekhon, who has not played since round nine, also made an encouraging return to action, unleashing his typically ferocious attack on the ball and trademark aggression.
With Tom ‘Buddy’ Dolkas and Clancy ‘Sticks’ McCure on the sidelines, the lions’ share of the ruckwork was left for Tristan Duffin, who was again outstanding as the Roys’ No.1 tall on the ground.
‘Leaping’ Lenny Dean also spent time in the ruck, and his work in the backline was a highlight, as the Roys restricted the home team to just one goal in the opening three quarters.
BACK SIX MISERS: The Roys conceded just three goals for the game which makes a total of 12 goals conceded from our past five outings. For those who aren’t good at maths, that’s an average of 2.4 goals a game. Nice.
50 FOR FITZ: Corey ‘Hulk’ Hogan racked up his 50th game for the club. ‘The Hulk’ joined the Roys in U11 but played in Bendigo prior to that. He has a total of 86 impressive junior football games.
The ball whisperer: Archie Noakes jags one of three: Picture: Richard Allen
Torren ‘The Silk’ Arthur finds a way through traffic. Picture: Richard Allen
Get out of his way: Shol Buckley breaks free. Picture: Richard Allen
R11: Roys blow Devils away
THE FITZROY Lions have turned on their most complete team performance for the season with a comprehensive on-the-road win over finals-fancy the Parkside Devils.
The rivalry with the Devils goes back to U9 days and little has separated the teams since.
However, on Sunday at CH Sullivan Memorial Park, an undermanned Fitzroy flexed its considerable muscle to stun its cross-town nemesis and put a huge speed-bump on Parkside’s road to the top four.
Meanwhile, the Roys appear to be finals bound after securing a crucial 51-point win, 3.6 (24) to 11.9 (75).
Led by Connor ‘the General’ Dooley, the Lions’ back six conceded just three goals for the game and kept the Devils goalless in the second half.
Shol ‘Get in the Hole’ Buckley and Finley ‘the Warden’ Ward played with flair, dare and courage, while Kyan ‘Mr Smooth’ Dooley’s rebound 50s and attack of half-back was a highlight.
Archie ‘the ball-whisperer’ Noakes set the scene early with pure gut-running on the attacking wing, and the front six were clean and efficient to make sure every forward entry was damaging.
Playing without a recognised ruckman, pressure was on Tom ‘Buddy’ Dolkas to step up in the ruck. He slipped on the No.23 jumper, swaggered out on to the ground, and ‘Buddy’ Dolkas delivered in spades.
200 PER CENT EFFORT: With another comfortable victory, the Roys’ percentage has climbed to over 200, the best in the division. The Lions are still in second, one game behind ladder leader Preston, and one game clear of Canterbury. They are three games clear of fourth-placed Bulleeen Templestowe.
17 AGAIN: The Lions once again went into battle with 17 men, missing ruckmen Clancy ‘Sticks’ McCue and Tristan HR Duffin Stuff, and Leo ‘the Lionheart’ Sekhon. While Clancy will be out for several weeks with an ankle, there is hope Fitzroy could have 19 fit players next week. A full team? What will we do?
THE WIND CRIED JOHNNY: Conditions were certainly a little tricky with a howling wind blowing to one side of the ground. The forward line handled the wind remarkably well, however, there was one moment (a 10-metre set shot, directly in front, that just scraped through for a point) that we’ll simply mark down as a ‘missed opportunity’. We won’t name and shame, Furph!!!
LATE ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: Last time the Roys stepped out, a number of the players spontaneously shook hands with the umpire following the game. It was a great touch and showed great sportsmanship. Keep it up, Roys.
Ball Hunter: Fin ‘Stones in the’ Park gets desperate: Picture: Richard Allen
Jailbreak: Finley ‘The Warden’ Ward roams free. Picture: Richard Allen
R10: Roar power: Lions bounce back
IN A weekend of twists and turns, an undermanned Fitzroy has returned to the winner’s circle with a commanding performance over Doncaster at Brunswick St Oval on Sunday.
A red-hot Harry Broderick set the Roys alight, bagging a whopping 11 goals to inspire the team to an 120-point victory, 20.10 (130) to 1.4 (10).
While ‘the Hurricane’ was in full destruction mode up front, the Lions’ back six was equally impressive, keeping Doncaster goalless for the first half and conceding just one goal for the game.
Tristan ‘HR’ Duffin Stuff was heroic in the ruck, flying solo in the absence of regular ruck partner Clancy ‘Sticks’ McCue and back-up tall, Tom ‘Buddy’ Dolkas.
The Roys were also missing Leo Sekhon (shoulder) and Lenny Dean (ankle), and played the game with just 16 men.
It was, however, a successful return to football from Dane ‘the Express’ Harvey, slotting a goal and showing his trademark dash and clean ball skills.
Dane’s last game was in round three, also against Doncaster, in a match where the Roys had to fight tooth and nail for a seven-point victory.
This encounter was vastly different, with the Roys blasting through 12 goals in the first half, including seven in the second quarter, to put the game beyond doubt early in the piece.
SNAKES AND LADDERS: While the top four didn’t change, the big win was a significant boost for Fitzroy’s percentage. With ladder-leader Preston losing, and third-placed Canterbury also going down, the Roys now have the best percentage in the division.
THE HURRICANE: Harry Broderick’s 11 goals takes his season tally to 41. The big bag also betters his father’s personal best, however, big Brodders does have a few milestones and claims to fame up his long sleeves (see below) – you will have to ask him!!!
Hot Harry: Harry Broderick gets his kick away. Picture: Richard Allen
Jumpin’ John ‘Flash’ Furphy clunks one. Picture: Richard Allen
A golden oldie: While we’re on the subject of Brodericks, this one’s from 1996.
R9: Roys freeze in a Cobra storm
FITZROY is clinging to second spot on the ladder after losing to Canterbury for the second time in four weeks.
The game started in a similar fashion to their previous encounter, with the Cobras jumping out of the blocks and leaving the sleeping Lions with work to do.
Canterbury’s first-quarter goals in trying conditions ultimately sealed Fitzroy’s fate, the Roys going down by 21 points, 4.13 (37) to 1.10 (21).
Tristan ‘HR’ Duffin ‘Stuff’ gave the Lions some hope when his shot on goal sailed through the big sticks. While that one was all clear, controversy reigned when Clancy ‘Sticks’ McCue’s soccered ball appeared to skid through the goals but was called touch (ahem … Wardy???).
The Roys had their chances to whittle away Canterbury’s lead, but wayward kicking and poor decisions in the front half put the heroic fightback on hold for this week.
The Lions are now on equal points with Canterbury on the ladder, with only percentage separating the teams. Preston is two games clear on top and Bulleen Templestowe is fourth after a surprise win over Doncaster.
Fitzroy faces Doncaster in R10 at Brunswick Street Oval.
ROCK ON LENNY ‘Don’t call me Jimmy’ DEAN: With plenty of players below their best, Lenny Dean’s heroics in the backline helped keep Fitzroy’s faint chances of a comeback alive throughout the game.
EARLY SHOWER/SPRAY: Master coach Paul ‘the Boss’ Broderick later questioned whether the sending out the Roys in fierce rain to do their warm-up was the right call. While the jury may be out on that one, his quarter-time spray certainly hit the mark with the Lions waking from their first-term slumber.
BOGEY TEAM: Canterbury has given the Roys plenty of trouble over the years and many of the players will recall an U11 game when the Lions were expected to make finals but lost their last game of the home and away season to fall just short of the top four. The culprit? Canterbury. But Fitzroy has played some good footy against Canterbury and beat them the following year on their home deck. The next clash with the Cobras in R14 is sure to be enthralling – this one will be at Ramsden St and could have a huge bearing on the top four.
MISSING IN ACTION: Josh Hornsby and Leo Sekhon were sorely missed on the weekend. Josh will return from his Queensland holiday and Leo (shoulder) is also expected to be back. Dane Harvey (arm) is a chance of returning after breaking his arm in round three. In an odd coincidence, if Dane gets up, he will be playing against that same R3 opponent. Could we have a full team???
Ball hunting: Tristan Duffin showing good desperation. Picture: Richard Allen
Covered in Cobras: Shol Buckley working hard. Picture: Richard Allen
R8: Lions grab the Bullants by the horns
A COURAGEOUS Fitzroy outfit has defeated ladder-leader Preston in a physical encounter at Koonung Reserve in Bulleen on Sunday.
The Lions refused to take a backward step against the Bullants and kept their focus on the football, leading the bruising battle from start to finish.
The Roys pressure was immense and unrelenting, piling on five first-half goals while keeping Preston scoreless.
Preston managed to hit the scoreboard in the third quarter, but the Lions’ midfield reasserted itself in the final term and the Bullants again went scoreless, losing 7.6 (48) to 1.1 (7).
Co-captain Finlay ‘Jurassic’ Park was inspirational, and was rightly awarded the Joe Johnson Medal.
But it was a complete performance from the Roys under difficult circumstances, and a win that will go a long way to shaping their season.
The Roys now go into the break one game (and 213 per cent) clear of Canterbury on the ladder, and one game behind Preston. After the weekend off the Roys head back to Koonung Reserve to play Canterbury, before returning to Brunswick St Oval to host Doncaster.
WHY KICK A DROP PUNT? Because they go straight!!! But that fact didn’t deter Toz ‘the Silk’ Arthur who booted the first goal of the game with a sliding dribble kick.
USING YOUR HEAD: Fitzroy’s attack on the ball was plain to see from the opening bounce to the final siren. In fact, moments before the end of the game Finlay and Archie ‘the ball whisperer’ Noakes wiped out each other as they both charged at the footy with head down and without fear. A collision of heads followed but fortunately both boys were OK and able to play out the game.
MISSING ACTION: The win was made even more heroic when you consider the talent on the sidelines. Oscar Allen (school commitments), Zek Hooper (leg) and Dane Harvey (arm) all missed the game. Dane is expected to return in 2-3 weeks.
Crunch: Connor ‘Bonecrusher’ Dooley puts on a big tackle. Picture: Richard Allen
A walk in the park: Finlay with his medal. Picture: Richard Allen
Let’s dance, Clance: Clancy ‘Sticks’ McCue in action. Picture: Richard Allen
R7: Lions lick wounds after Canterbury battle
THE HIGH-FLYING Fitzroy Lions have taken a reality check against the Canterbury Cobras, going down in an enthralling contest by 16 points.
Due to an injury delay in the previous game, the start to this contest was pushed back by more than 40 minutes, and Canterbury settled first, punching through two goals into the wind.
The Roys hit back and managed to grab a slender lead at the first change, but that was whittled away in the second quarter as Canterbury blasted 2.5 for the term to grab a five-point, half-time lead.
Playing with 17 men, the Roys were dealt a further blow when Finlay ‘Itchycoo’ Park went down with a knee injury and was carried from the field.
Meanwhile, Canterbury continued its assault, despite the best efforts of Connor ‘the Interceptor’ Dooley who was doing his best to grab every high ball in sight and stop the dam wall from bursting.
The Cobras extended their lead in the third and started the final term with a 16-point advantage.
Finlay was able to claw his way back in the contest and the Roys were suddenly revitalised, despite kicking to the non-scoring end.
A left-foot cracker by Oscar ‘Woody’ Allen put the Lions within a kick and suddenly hope was in the air and it was game on.
But late goals from Canterbury snuffed out any hope of a miraculous come-from-behind win, the Roys eventually running out of gas, 9.10 (64) to 7.6 (48).
SNAKES AND LADDERS: Fitzroy is clinging to second on the ladder, two games behind ladder-leader Preston and just one game clear of Canterbury. With games against Preston and Canterbury (again) to come in the next two rounds, we’re about to learn more about the Roys’ finals credentials.
TOMMY ‘THE TAGGER’ DOLKAS: We’re used to seeing ‘Buddy’ Dolkas as a lead-up forward, but with Canterbury’s midfield doing plenty of damage, Tommy was called upon to do a run-with role. He did it with aplomb to ensure the Roys stayed in the contest when the heat was on.
INJURY UPDATE: The Roys are set to welcome back Harry ‘the Hurricane’ Broderick (back/hamstring) and Shol ‘It Ain’t Rock ‘n Roll’ Buckley (who was unavailable due to a commitment with the Melbourne Youth Orchestra) for the big clash against Preston at Bulleen. Dane Harvey (broken arm) is 3-4 weeks away.
NUDE-PORTRAIT SCANDAL (PART TWO): Embattled assistant coach Richard ‘Rembrandt’ Furphy would not confirm or deny the controversy that has rocked the club in the past week. However, Furphy revealed he is a former teammate of AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan and was seen talking to the AFL’s head of umpiring Grant Williams on Sunday. Does this scandal go all the way to AFL House??? Stay tuned.
Eyes on the prize: Tristan Duffin in action in the ruck. Picture: Richard Allen
Running man: Oscar Allen in space. Picture: Richard Allen
Can’t let go: Former mentors Cam ‘Knuckles’ Noakes (runner) and Hamish ‘the Hammer’ Park (water carrier) with the boys before the game.
R6: Lions show claws in big cat battle
AN ELECTRIFYING team performance from Fitzroy has helped it cruise to a comfortable win over Richmond at Victoria Park on Sunday.
Kicking against the wind in the opening term, the Lions dominated possession but were wasteful in front of goal.
Nine scoring shots only resulted in 24 points, but – more importantly – Richmond’s forward thrusts were nullified as the Lions’ back six turned defence into counterattack.
The second term was more impressive. The Roys put their kicking boots on and blasted 8.2 for the quarter to take a 68-point lead into the main break.
Connor ‘the Highlander’ Dooley was a rock in defence, despite a sore calf, and Leo ‘Hang on A’ Sekhon impressed with some bonecrunching tackles and creative use of the footy.
Meanwhile, the mosquito fleet of Oscar Allen, Kyan Dooley, Archie Noakes and Finlay Park moved the ball with pinpoint accuracy, worked the angles and gave the forwards plenty of opportunity.
The Tigers staged a mini-fightback, booting the last goal of the second quarter and another two in the third.
But the Lions, who were playing on a big ground without a bench, managed to claw back the ascendancy to kick seven second-half goals and run out 99-point winners, 18.11 (119) to 3.2 (20).
OH BROTHER, WHAT A SMOTHER: Richmond must have thought it would never score with defence like this. The Tigers had finally broken through but a desperate ‘Lenny Dean’ smother killed the shot on goal and set the early tone for our miserly back six.
BRODDERS’ BAGS OF SNAGS: It was another big day in front of the big sticks for ‘the Hurricane’. He jagged six (plus a few stray ones) to take his season tally to 28. Rumour has it, however, the coach has slapped the sharpshooter with a ‘barrel ban’ after a monster torp was last seen sailing over Ikea.
NUDE-PORTRAIT SCANDAL: While the Roys were getting the job done on the field, an off-field scandal was emerging. This reporter understands that assistant coach Richard ‘Rembrandt’ Furphy has been embroiled in a lingering nude-portrait scandal that has continued to haunt him since his days as a student at Melbourne Uni. More will be revealed in the coming weeks. Watch this space!!!
THE LADDER: The win has helped the second-placed Roys move two games clear of Canterbury and Doncaster, more than 200 per cent clear of the latter (Doncaster is third). Ladder-leader Preston is still undefeated after moving up from Green and has a percentage of over 760. The Roys will play Preston in round nine, and have Canterbury (fourth) this week.
G’day Finlay: Fin Park says hello to some of the Tigers. Picture: Richard Allen
The big men fly: Tom ‘Buddy’ Dolkas in action. Picture: Richard Allen
Smooth mover: Kyan Dooley calm under pressure. Picture: Richard Allen
R5: Sons of mums sizzle on Mother's Day
A TEN-GOAL-TO-ZERO opening half has steered Fitzroy to a whopping 131-point away victory over Banyule on Sunday.
A disciplined defence led by Josh ‘the Junkyard Dog’ Hornsby, Shol ‘Get in the Hole’ Buckley and Finley ‘the Warden’ Ward helped keep the home team scoreless in the first half and restricted Banyule to just one goal for the game.
Master coach Paul ‘the Boss’ Broderick asked for a statement from the start and the boys clicked into gear early.
Getting through the back six was like getting around the Great Wall of China and, at the other end of the ground, Oscar ‘the Iceman’ Allen was running amok.
Oscar bagged seven goals (a personal best) and rumour has it when he slotted his seventh he punched his chest and shouted to the sky, ‘That one’s for you, Mum!!!’ (hmmm … I don’t think so either, Leesa.)
It was a commanding and relentless performance from the Roys, saving their best quarter for last with a seven-goal final term to win 1.3 (9) to 21.14 (140).
Ruckmen Trisso ‘brought to you by Tissot’ Duffin (18 hit-outs*) and Clancy ‘Sticks’ McCue were dominant at the stoppage to give our midfielders first use of the ball.
And ‘Shark’ Fin Peake (37 disposals*) and Torren ‘the Silk’ Arthur (31*) mopped up everything around the ground, collecting 68* disposals between them.
Jumpin’ John ‘Flash’ Furphy also impressed with a three-goal, 20-touch* performance on the wing.
HOGAN HERO: Corey ‘the Neverending Story’ Hogan tweaked his injured gluteus in the warm-up and was noticeably hobbling early. He bravely played out the game and was able to do a job in defence, despite the fact he could barely run. The early diagnosis is a two-week lay-off.
TALENT ON THE SIDELINE: The Roys were missing Finlay Park (concussion), Dane Harvey (broken arm), and Connor Dooley (calf) but great to see all the boys at the game supporting their teammates. Finlay and Connor are expected to return for round six.
*MOVE OVER CHAMPION DATA, IT’S CHAMPION ARTHUR: Bruce ‘the Moose’ Arthur provided us with detailed stats from the game hence why this report is data rich. Thanks ‘Moose’!!!
Flyin’ Kyan: Kyan ‘The Killer’ Dooley burns off the pack. Picture: Richard Allen
Hide and Sekhon: Leapin’ Leo Sekhon in space: Picture: Richard Allen
Get out of my way: The Hornsby Express takes off. Picture: Richard Allen
R4: Sharks pip Lions in Vic Park thriller
A WOUNDED Fitzroy has been overrun by the Park Orchards Sharks in a day of high drama at Victoria Park.
In a pulsating finish to the grading games, the undermanned Roys led at every change but ran out of gas in the final term, losing 9.4 (58) to 8.13 (61).
The fierce battle took its toll, too, with co-captain Finlay ‘the Ironman’ Park sitting out the second half after failing a concussion test, and Fitzroy’s other captain, ‘Hurricane’ Harry Broderick, forced to sit out the final quarter with a shoulder injury.
It was a sluggish start to the game by the Roys but they soon awoke from their slumber to rattle on four goals and pinch a two-point lead at the end of a free-flowing opening quarter.
An arm wrestle followed, but Fitzroy extended its lead to nine points at the final change despite having no bench.
Park Orchards found another gear at the start of the last, but when Tom ‘Buddy’ Dolkas marked strongly and kicked truly, there was hope the Roys might hold off the fast-finishing Sharks.
It wasn’t to be, however, as Park Orchards continued to pepper the goals and stick its nose in front when the final siren sounded.
PARK ORCHARDS v FITZROY CLASSICS: The rivalry with Park Orchards goes back to U10 with Fitzroy playing them every season over the past five years (with nearly every game being a thrilling encounter). The very first game between these teams was a dramatic draw, and little has separated the teams since. This was, however, this Fitzroy team’s first EVER loss to the Sharks (a fact the coach will have to come to terms with … at some point).
THE ARCHIE NOAKES POCKET: Running to the boundary line and away from the goals, Archie ‘the Ball Whisperer’ Noakes reached into the trick bag and snapped the ball with his right boot to thread it through the big sticks – despite it curling the wrong way. Huh?
TIRED TOZ: This reporter has watched every game Torren ‘the Silk’ Arthur has played for Fitzroy since U9, and never have I seen him as cooked as he was on Sunday. He worked himself into the ground through pure gut-running on the vast spaces of Vic Park.
WALKING WOUNDED: With Dane Harvey already watching on from the sidelines with his broken arm, losing Finlay Park (concussion) and Harry Broderick (bruised shoulder) proved costly, particularly on the big ground. Finlay will sit out next week and Harry is a test.
Below: The coaches watch on as ‘Jumping’ John Furphy makes his getaway
The big men fly: Clancy ‘Sticks’ McCue in action: Picture: Richard Allen
Below: A sore Harry Broderick leaves the field. Picture: Richard Allen
R3: Roys dodge a big Doncaster bullet
BRUISED, battered, down, but not out. Fitzroy has pulled off a heroic come-from-behind win against Doncaster at Schramms Reserve on Sunday.
The Roys trailed for the entire game but rattled on five goals to one in the final term to edge past the home team when the final siren sounded, 9.7 (61) to 10.8 (68).
Intensity was high from the opening bounce with a spirited Doncaster blasting out of the blocks with fierce tackling and a five-goal-to-two opening quarter.
With the aid of the wind, the Roys hit back in the second but were a tad wasteful in front of goal, booting 3.5 to trail by three points at the main break.
Fitzroy’s defenders were outstanding in third term, restricting Doncaster to just two goals and keeping the margin (16 points) within reach at the final change.
Master coach Paul ‘the Boss’ Broderick pleaded for belief in his three-quarter time address and the Roys bought in, but it came at a cost.
Speedster Dane Harvey broke his wrist mid-way through the final term and Connor Dooley also left the field with a knee injury.
With their backs to the wall, and already missing Zek Hooper and Kyan Dooley, the Roys were able to find another gear to storm home and pinch a thrilling seven-point win.
SNEAK PEAKE: If Fin Peake’s final-term heroics are anything to go by, he’s in for a massive year. Peakey’s work at the stoppage was huge, winning clearance after clearance in an inspirational performance.
THE HORNSBY EXPRESS: Josh ‘Junkyard Dog’ Hornsby’s line-breaking run in the second half was unstoppable.
THE ALLEN KEY: He was under more heat than a cheese toastie in the griller, but Oscar ‘the Ice-Man’ Allen’s set shot at goal in the last was gun-barrel straight.
LEAPING LENNY WHO? Straight-running defender Lenny Dean has added a new string to his bow – high-flying pack marks. His aerial acrobatics have gone to a new level.
ENTER NIKO AND JETT: Playing their first game in Brown division and third game for Fitzroy, Niko Karamitros and Jett Zacharias held their nerve in a tense affair.
DANE PAIN: Thoughts go out to Dane Harvey (and family) after scans revealed a break and a 6-7 week recovery period. Mend fast, Dano!!!
The clearance king: Fin Peake in action: Picture: Richard Allen
Below: Leaping Lenny drags down another big mark. Picture: Richard Allen
R2: Roys run riot on the road
A MONSTER 11-goal opening term set up a huge 217-point win for a dominant Fitzroy outfit in its away clash with Park Orchards at Stinton Reserve.
Fitzroy piled on another 22 goals in the next three quarters while keeping the home team scoreless, winning 33.19 (217) to 0.0 (0).
The one-sided result demonstrates the need for grading games, with Park Orchards joining Brown after winning the Green premiership last year, and Fitzroy in Brown following a season in Gold.
It was a complete performance from the Roys with 13 goal scorers and a water-tight defence.
The 33 goals is a record for this team and the biggest score these boys have contributed to in their five years at the club.
THE HURRICANE RAGES: ‘Hurricane’ Harry’s red-hot form continues with a big bag of eight goals (a personal best).
ZEK THE GOALSNEAK: Zek Hooper, who played mostly as a defender in 2017, has been recast as forward in 2018 and snagged three goals in the big win.
CONNOR ‘INDESTRUCTIBLE’ DOOLEY: A bone-crunching hit on Connor Dooley couldn’t stop him. After the blood was cleaned up from his lip, he returned to the field and quickly joined the goal rush with a barrel.
ENTER THE DANE TRAIN: Back from his European vacation, speed demon Dane Harvey played his first game for the season and was quick to show his class and selflessness around the big sticks.
The hands of Toz: Torren Arthur takes a strong grab. Picture: Richard Allen
R1: Hurricane Harry blows 'em away
A FIVE-GOAL bag from a red-hot Harry Broderick has inspired Fitzroy to a 55-point victory over Bulleen-Templestowe in its season opener at Brunswick St Oval.
The Roys’ back six were under siege early with the visitors, aided by a howling gale, jumping out of the blocks.
But the Fitzroy defence stood strong and was able to launch several counterattacks to help the home team grab a 16-point lead at the first change.
Kicking to the Alfred Crescent end, the Roys were dominant in the second term but were wayward in front of goal, booting 0.7.
The rain set in and conditions became extremely slippery, but the Roys managed to outscore the opposition in the third and fourth terms, piling on another six goals in the second half to run out comfortable winners, 11.14 (80) to 3.7 (25).
FINLAY’S FALCON: Fin Park attempts incredible mark … with his face.
GOAL DROUGHT BROKEN: Defender Lenny Dean slots first major (and fifth career goal) in two years.
BUDDY DOLKAS: Tommy Dolkas dons the No.23 and then weaves through traffic to snap a flying goal into the wind.
BELOW: Tom ‘Buddy’ Dolkas wows the crowd. Picture: Richard Allen