with Wolfpack, The Meanies, Celibate Rifles
Henson Park, Sunday 18th March 2012
NB: Due to an injury on the day Front End Loader did not play.
Western Walers 7 4 (46)
Sydney Sailors 5 7 (37)
I have been going to the Community Cup in Melbourne for ten years and it is always the highlight of the year for me, so I was interested when I heard it was going to be held in Sydney. All I needed was a definite date for the match and it was enough for me to book flights and accommodation for the weekend a month out from the game. I wasn't even sure I was going to be working around the time of the match, but luckily was able to get the time off I needed.
As it turned out I was already very busy with the Carnival of Suburbia and going to see the Dirty Three the night before I flew up to Sydney, but arriving the day before gave me enough time to settle in and even go to see Fred Negro at Sexpo and Bob Log III at the Vanguard that night. Lowlights were the humidity, train line works and falling over in the street in Newtown (I wasn't even drunk!)
I had planned to walk from Newtown down to the ground that morning, but that was abandoned and I ended up getting the bus instead, got to the ground pretty early and it was a good sign that within an hour I had spent $70 on merchandise and raffle tickets. I am pretty busy on the day so I really didn't drink that much compared to the night before.
First band on for the day was Wolfpack, they were pretty loud and good sports to go on first and also at half time when one of the band members of Front End Loader broke his shoulder playing kick to kick before the game.
The Meanies had played a few shows up in Sydney and surrounds on previous nights and Link was feeling the pain during their set, but he still managed to kick a footy off the stage when it ended up there.
As the rooms were a lot smaller than the grounds in Melbourne, I only got to go in a for a couple of minutes to take photos. It was good to go in and say hello though.
The teams were a bit different than Melbourne and it did seem the Sydney Sailors were the more popular team for some reason. The Western Walers also included two Money for Rope members who flew up on the day and Dan Sultan as captain. There were a lot of ex-Melbourne residents including one who gave me a lift back to Newtown after the game after I was hobbling out the gate.
I did watch the game more than I usually do, it went a lot better than I thought considering many of the players have not played that much of the game. The umpires Evo and Brian Nankervis got a fair amount of abuse in fun, but I don't remember the umpires actually blocking players before. Chris Gill pushed over Evo at one point to much hilarity.
Even after a comeback by the Western Walers, the Sydney Sailors were too good. Best on ground for the Walers was Michael Cini and Alex Dyson for the Sydney Sailors.
Post match entertainment was amply provided by the Celibate Rifles who even got to do an encore, something which never happens at the Melbourne match for bands due to time restrictions.
I don't know how much was raised on the day, but the crowd was 2,500 and more than I expected would be there for the first match. As usual, Reclink was the real winner on the day and hopefully the people who were there will tell more people to come next year. I will see how I go about coming up next year.