1.49pm, Saturday 16th June, Uraidla Oval, Uraidla, Adelaide Hills, South Australia
Afternoon, folks, and all over South Australia on a Saturday it’s all about going to the footy. From 8.30am when the under 13s start, on into the A Grade, there are lads playing their hearts out for their local jerseys. Mums and dads do everything from being goal umpires to serving sausage sandwiches off the BBQ, and the younger kids turn their playing jerseys inside out after their games and go boundary umpires for the next grade up. You can drive your car right up to the fence for a ringside look at the game, and stand around your team for the end of quarter instructions from the coach. It’s old school, and I love it.
Right now it’s 3 quarter time in the B Grade match between two teams in the (Adelaide ) Hills League – the Uraidla ‘Cabbage Cutters’ 6 goals 7 points and the Blackwood ‘Woodies’ 4 goals 6 points. They call the Uriadla side the Cabbage Cutters because their team is made up from a tiny hamlet – Uraidla – and the surrounding market gardens and orchards in that part of the Adelaide Hills. Most of the lads in all divisions at the club play much older and stronger lads from the bigger towns and cities in the Hills, and you can see the same apple, strawberry, pear, lettuce, onion, potato and cabbage growing family names down through all the team lists – that’s why they call them the Cabbage Cutters.
So hang on to your hats – one quarter to go, and there’s a lot at stake besides local pride. Winner stays second on the ladder, loser drops to fifth. Then it’s the A grade game, then it’s the mandatory after match dinner at the club, with the added attraction tonight being the judging of the Uraidla Football Club ‘best beard grown for the winter’ competition. You can’t beat country footy!