Story and pictures by Peter Sweeney, president Mullewa Football Club.
THE “must be there” darts tournament in Geraldton was on the wrong weekend for Timmy Simpson.
Whenever Mullewa has a home game in the Great Northern Football League, Timmy is usually found working his beloved scoreboard.
Such wasn’t the case last Saturday. Timmy opted to throw darts and missed out on seeing something nobody had seen all season – a Mullewa win.
The Saints, this year celebrating 50 years since their inaugural premiership in the GNFL, have had a drought in 2016. For whatever reasons, the players hadn’t come to play. Thus, there has been no scoreboard pressure applied to visiting teams.
And with the Saints hosting Northampton – a similar sized town of 700-800 people who have, population wise, arguably produced more players in the VFL/AFL than any other town in the country, things didn’t look too promising.
First challenge of the day? To organise a stand-in for Timmy for the reserves clash (Northampton couldn’t make up the numbers in the colts, so there was a forfeit). Nineteen-year-olds Morris Comeagain and Zac Papertalk, league players and two of the most promising up and comers in the GNFL, gladly stepped up to the mark for the first three quarters, before stripping and preparing for the main encounter.
Then yours truly, far from young and further from promising, did the last term and the league match.
I loved it, so much so that I shooed-away life member and long-time Mullewa farmer Charlie Messina, who had walked across the ground at quarter-time and offer his hand. The sun and the solitude were so enjoyable; the game much more so.
The right numbers came up for Mullewa last Saturday, even if yours truly had trouble finding them. Next time you’re at country footy and have a go at the scorer, have a crack at doing the job. It’s not as easy as it looks from the other side of the ground.
As for Timmy? Well he will be back for the first home game – and every other clash – in 2017. We will check the darts fixture, and make sure no tournaments clash with our home games.
Filling his shoes applied too much scoreboard pressure to us.
Footnote: In 14 home and away matches this season, Mullewa kicked 945 points and had 1947 points kicked against it. The score in the Saints sole win was 13.9 (86) to 9.17 (71).
Northampton is the home town to the likes of Josh Kennedy, Harry Taylor, the Lockyers and Cripps, Paul Hasleby, Daniel Chick and others.