Round 15 – Hawthorn v Fremantle: Seventh heaven (and the return of Peter Hudson)


Hawthorn v Fremantle

3.20pm, Sunday 12th July

Aurora Stadium


Molly Lennon and Sasha Lennon


What began back in 2009 as a one-off Daddy-daughter weekend trip to Tassie to cement a six year-old’s passion for the brown and gold has since become an annual pilgrimage, making this our seventh consecutive tour to watch our mighty Hawks play in Tassie.


While each visit has its own significance, last year’s chance encounter with the legendary Peter Hudson rates among them as perhaps the most memorable – a once-in-a-lifetime meeting with one of the greats of the game, something to be cherished and which surely, couldn’t happen again…or could it?


Walking to the ground, we jostled with Antarctic winds making their way north, not saying too much. With Freo firmly in top spot and the Hawks capable of anything, we were both a little nervous as anything could happen. A newly-purchased footy jumper commemorating Hawthorn’s back-to-back flags helped sooth the nerves (and lighten the wallet).


We took our seats in the RACT Stand and our mild anxiety was soon eased as Hawthorn got off to a flyer, a beautiful snap shot to Luke Breust off a Freo fumble a cheerful way to begin proceedings.


This was followed by a booming set shot from Taylor Duryea who, after receiving a heavy knock courtesy of Fyfe, secured a 50 metre penalty to put him just within range. Nice.


Persistence in the face of immense pressure from Hawthorn’s heavy tacklers saw Freo score their first goal of the match. The tension returned and we agreed we needed another quick goal to retain the quickly-earned lead.


Although the Hawks were scratchy Poppy was nipping at heels and Mitchell was showing some early form. This was going to be a great match (for Hawthorn supporters).


Hodge was playing middle, back and forward while directing his troops as he does. The Hawks were laughing as the Hawthorn captain took a courageous mark and kicked his first of three goals for the afternoon. This was followed by big boy McEvoy who, looking pretty imposing up forward, emulated his skipper’s strong marking and an accurate kick for goal.


Hawthorn kept attacking but Duffield managed to save another almost certain goal.


At the first break the margin was what felt like a comfortable 19 points. Yes! It could have been worse. We sensed this might be a great match for our Hawks.


The second quarter got underway as we both tucked into a new-found footy food favourite (chunky sausages in thick bread rolls – OMG!). And as the traditional churro was not available we decided on the sweet fairy floss.


Hodge and Mitchell seemed to be everywhere (probably because they were), the latter using a combination of stealth, skill and rapid-fire delivery to find ‘SPANGHER’, who ran hard to link up with that big boy McEvoy who scored his second goal of the afternoon. We were on fire!


Then Hodge kicked his second, slotting it through the big sticks from tight on the boundary line.


For a short while after that, a lull hung over the ground as Freo tried to slow things down a bit. As if to spark the game back into action, with the ball floating Hawthorn’s way, Cyril soared with one of his customary twisting springs some 10 feet high above a small pack of Dockers and Hawks, only to see the bright yellow ball slip between his fingers. Ouch!


Thumping the ground, Cyril appeared tremendously annoyed. Agreeing that the spectacle outweighed the significance of the ball being held for long enough, we decided Cyril deserved something. So we nominated him “best almost mark of the year.” He’ll be hard to beat.


Re-ignited by Cyril’s aerial acrobatics, Hawthorn clicked back into gear, building on their lead as kicks and handballs became more powerful and polished with each passing moment. A fast-moving ball found its way out of Hawthorn’s back line making a hard day’s work for the Dockers. Brian Lake and Josh Gibson (Hawthorn’s coolest player by far) made sure of that.


As half-time loomed, a speedy review and confirmation from upstairs saw a dogged little Poppy secure a goal to put the Hawks into a very comfortable 38-point lead at the main break. This was a great lead, go Hawks!


Half-time was about the food. We went for a stroll to view the big picture of former Tasmanian Hawthorn premiership players, one being Peter Hudson. Then it was back to our seats.


The Dockers started the third quarter better than the first two, but after kicking the opening goal, they fell victim to a machine-like Hawthorn.


Bradley Hill, who was running all day, kicked a goal that was well-deserved. Then, as day turned into night, Breust kicked one, and then another! “Broooost,” went the crowd. More goals followed with Smith and Hale taking part, followed by Hodge with his third.


At three-quarter time, the Hawks held a ten-goal lead. The Dockers were done. We ate more fairy floss, yum.


Billy Hartung joined in on the fun and then Sammy kicked truly to make the margin 99 points. We couldn’t be happier. A second to Poppy and we were in the hundreds. We were surely going to win.


The goals kept coming and when Breust dribbled through his fourth, the Hawks were 80 points in front! But not for long as the Dockers reduced the margin a little bit with a few late goals. But in the end, it was the mighty Hawks by 72 points. It was a game to remember.



Making their way out of the stadium they reminisced about meeting the footballer here after last year’s win over the Western Bulldogs. They agreed such moments are rare and to be cherished.


He played before her time, before his. But he was the reason they followed this team. They both understood the luck of that, and meeting him – once in a lifetime.


The girl was hopeful but the man was sure they wouldn’t meet the footballer this time.


The girl understood but couldn’t hide her disappointment. The man, always keen to please his eldest, spoke fondly of the match and its many highlights. It was a significant win.


He reminded the girl of the new guernsey she was sporting. The man said he looked forward to next year (he always did).


The girl smiled.


They’d have dinner at their favourite Launceston restaurant. She’d order something different for the first time.


They’d have an early night and an early start the next day – a flight to catch home to Brisbane. The holidays were over now and school was back in.


Looking ahead as they left the stadium the man spotted a familiar figure, head and shoulders above the throng of happy spectators. He asked the girl to run ahead. She could check. She’d remember his face.


The girl ran on. She looked hard but wasn’t certain. There were too many people.


The man caught-up. He made no mistake. It was the footballer.


The girl worked up enough courage to tap the footballer on the shoulder, or as high as she could reach.


The footballer stopped and turned. He was more than accommodating, just as he was the year before. They only conversed for a minute but it was worth much more.


She reminded the footballer of last year’s encounter. He remembered and posed for a photo.


L-R: Molly Lennon, Peter Hudson and Sasha Lennon.

L-R: Molly Lennon, Peter Hudson and Sasha Lennon.



The footballer bid them farewell. Captivated by their good fortune, the girl and the man skipped their way up Invermay Road over the sparkling Esk River and towards City Park, in heaven.



Hawthorn 4.3  7.6  13.8 17.13  (115)

Fremantle 1.2  1.4 3.7  6.7  (43)


Hawthorn: Breust 4, Hodge 3, McEvoy 2, Puopolo 2, Hill, Hale, Smith, Lewis, Mitchell, Duryea.
Fremantle: Mayne, Mundy, Neale, Barlow, Pavlich, Walters

Hawthorn: Hodge, Mitchell, Gibson, Breust, McEvoy, Rioli, Birchall, Duryea, Hale, Puopolo, Hill, Lake

Fremantle: Barlow, Mundy, Sandilands, Fyfe, Mzungu
Umpires: Ryan Chamberlain, Rosebury


Official crowd: 16,792 at Aurora Stadium


Our Votes: Hodge (Haw) 3, Mitchell (Haw) 2, Breust (Haw) 1


About John Harms

John Harms is a writer, broadcaster, publisher, historian, speaker and teacher. He loves stories.

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