In misty rain, the bus with only a hand full of Dino’s on board left the car park. We had two stops to make before the Boyanup Oval as Basky needed a pickup from home after a rushed return home after an evening with John Butler (and some serious hair envy) in Perth and Miller was waiting for us in a bus shelter (his shopping trolley and blanket well hidden) in Gelorup. Despite the all stops route with Hoosty at the wheel, we arrived before the Eaton boys as their bus driver got the departure time incorrect so at this point it was difficult to tell which side was more laid back. Full credit to both team’s supporters as there were about 20 cars around the ground in miserable conditions.
Well… the time had come after 8 long months in mothballs, a long preseason, a dozen new sponsors and the acquisition of our first trainer in Leon (highly recommend his services to those that didn’t get a rub before bounce down), the Dino’s were on the field for the first time in 2014. The curtain raiser had run its course and the Eaton Boomers league side had decided to forgo bruised egos by watching the Dino’s in action and had left the coliseum.
Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah went the siren and Hutton’s Heroes went to work.
Kicking with a slight breeze we took an early hit before regaining a small lead before the end of the quarter.
After running with the Boomers earlier in the day, Hally was back where he belonged in the tangerine and racked up of some clean ball across the middle. The midfielders, Miller, Juice, and Basky were operating and the spine of PD, Gunja and Leroy were getting enough to suggest we would be competitive. The second quarter saw Eaton pull away by a couple of goals but Hutto was happy with the switching of play and link up hand ball so we had a positive chat at the break.
Poor old Nobba got a kick in the face but played on and incredibly,the other guy went to hospital with a knee injury.
Meanwhile another newbie, Willy was showing he could develop into a handy player as his knowledge of the game grows and Mark was lifting to the challenge of replacing PD at Full Back when he had a run in the middle. The 3rd quarter was all the Dino’s…4 unanswered goals meant we went into the last quart a goal or two in front. Kingy kicked goal of year with a signature check-side left, Gunja asked us to ‘love the footy’ at half time and he blitz em with Juice turning it on. The last quarter siren went and the boys from Jurassic Park continued on their merry way with the first 2 goals but Eaton were not going to lie down and kicked the last couple of the game for a result that would have been within one straight kick. Just in case we had won, we sang the song with the new boys, Mark, Nobba (hardest man in Masters AFL) and Willy in the middle.
After a few beers and a shower it was off to the Bull and Bush for the presentations, dinner and a bit more hydration. The coaches awards went to Juice and Willy (couple of $25 Sports Marine vouchers) and the raffle ($100) went to Hutto (Craig ‘Adriana Xenides’ Hall called his own number during the draw which should see him $2 lighter on Thursday). Birthday boy Muzz took out the drinkers chalice for all his efforts in the lead up to the game (Leon, rub table, organizing dinner) and by the time I left him, he had just about worn out the corner he was drinking from. If Jonah hadn’t been on compassionate leave with The Panthers, he would have reminded me, like he has on so many occasions, that ‘it is Wharton World and we just get to live in it’.
One of nice things about being financial this year is being able to afford to show our appreciation and build a name in the competition for being a generous club. Eaton have given us some close games, played in the right spirit and that was reflected immediately after the game as both teams mixed well to chew the fat and have a frothy. The Boomers have also supported our Gentleman’s Afternoon Tea fundraising as good as any group so with these credits, we picked up the costs of their dinner of $230 which was very much appreciated. That generosity can only stretch so far so for those Dino’s that had dinner, please pop $10 into the till at training.
After the Boyanup pub, the bus went onto the Dardy pub, Huttos place and then back to the car park at 10.30pm (Haousty emptying half a stubby over his naked torso trying to replicated the classic Sprite ad was a nice way to finish the evening).
A big thanks to Haousty for the wheels (and for quietly dumping $200 on the bar for drinks), to Basky for driving home, to Mangers for organizing the drinks (go a bit easier on the softies next time big fella) and working the board, to Griever for looking after the jumpers, balls, and first aid kit and to Muzz for getting hold of the massage table and recruiting Leon ‘Hands’ McRub.
All in all, a very positive start to the season proper both on and off the field. Now it’s onto Hands oval in two weeks to take on the behemoth of the competition , the Bunbury Sharks and play for the Welsh-Piggot Shield.
….and we’ll win some more!!!!