Commemorative day for 15 Young Men Lost.
Footy is played for fun so they say. It’s a little more serious when you’re injured, more so when its serious, and tragic when its worse. 125 years ago 15 footballers from Mornington met a tragic end to a fun day.
A story untold for so many years until now, this round was host to a commemorative day at Alexandra Park to remember those 15 Mornington footballers who perished in a boat trip back to Mornington after a day of footy in Mordialloc. The result that day was a draw. No winners. Not ever.
Game day starts when you pack your bag and leave home for the game. No matter what the sport, where, when, whatever… game day doesn’t finish until you get home, unpack your bag and wake up the next morning. Sadly for these 15 Mornington footballers, game day did not end. There were no bags unpacked, no next morning. They’re still playing.
That said, 125 years later, footy is still fun and the Peninsula Raiders came to play. The Legends got to kick the dew off the ground at 9.30am in what was a prelude to big day of footy.
Here then lies the tale of the Legends game on this day. A depleted Mordialloc turned up and after the Raiders donating half a team to the cause it was game on. Raideralloc vs Mordyaiders. Playing 3 quarters in the Mordy backline it was hard to gauge how good we were, but the 3 of us got sick of watching tugboat, Rossco, Knuckles and Robbie Criv pepper the goals. Being treated for whiplash at quarter time it was more of the same until half time. Dynsey being the good bloke he is transferred a few of our match winners over to Mordy and the second half was a fun game of footy. The Rock Doctor was gutsy no matter what colour jumper he was wearing, but no doubt the Mordy jumper was flattering, almost slimming.
Last quarter and the game was on a knife edge, the Raiders held a paultry 16 goal lead with minutes to go. Someone had to stand up. As a long raking kick made its way past the 3 mile limit to the raider goal line, hearts were pounding and the atmosphere electric. The ball was falling short, players jostled, elbows flew and doves cried out. (could have been seagulls) Then, like a North Korean missile test, Clarky launched himself skyward, and very much like a North Korean missile test, failed to leave the ground. Nevertheless, the heat seeking Sherrin found his out stretched hands and impacted itself in his vice like grip. As the umpire indicated the impossible angle he was to kick from, Clarky steeled himself, as maybe, just maybe a little bit of wee came out. A ninety-eight degree angle put Clarky over the road under the Woolworths sign. Impossible they said. Never was the reply. There wasn’t even space for an oxygen molecule between the goal posts, let alone daylight but nonetheless the Sherrin, found it’s way through.
A goal and immortality.
It’s the sort of stuff that keeps flags flying, eyes moist and the myth of the little Aussie battler alive and well. In years to come when you tell your grandchildren who are sitting on your lap in their little flannelette jim jams that you were there that day and they give you a big hug and a sloppy kiss, you’ll realise that playing footy was worth it..
PS. Clarky didn’t write this.
Raiders 21.10.136 Def Mordialloc 4.3.27 Best were Knuckles, Rossco, Robbie Criv, Tugboat Goals to Tug (3) Rossco (3) Robbie, Big Col, Normy,Whiskey, Williams, (2) and singles to Trev, Vinnie, Morgs, Knuckles, Dunn and Clarky