At the Football Match: Last Saturday by Edward Dyson

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("From the first bounce of the ball, it was evident that ardent spirits on both sides had entered the field determined to play the men, and not the ball."..."Tripping and shoving behind were the chief features of the first quarter."..."Up to this stage, two players had been rendered useless."..."He made a dash forward, and was downed by Martin, of Essendon. Hugh Purse rushed up and struck Martin. In a twinkling a dozen players were punching one another...Nolan rished wildly down on the mob, and lunged at the nearest Essendonian...Nolan and Martin came to blows...A score of players bunched and fought viciously...Parkinson received a punch in the face from Nolan's fist...Again Nolan's fist was in the way, and down went Stevenson. A couple of trainers spent the next few minutes in reviving him...Nolan sent Busbridge spinning." Pleasant extracts from the "Age's" account of Essendon v. Melbourne.)
Begob, it was a lovely game, a game iv blood an' hair,
Wid a trifle iv torn whiskers an' an eyelid here an' there,
And iv all th' darlin' bla'guards that was afther raisin' cain
There was niver one like Nolan. Whoop for Oireland once again!
      Yer a jooel, Mister Nolan,
      Yer a bhoy there's no conthrolin',
And when Erin wants a Saviour, sure we'll send our noble Nolan.

When the foight was at its hottest how he charged th' writhin' mob,
He whirled his fists, and yelled "Whooroo!" and punched 'em in the gob,
The riots Home in belfast they was nothin' worth a word
To th' lovely dose of throuble that on saturday occurred
      When the splendid hero, Nolan,
      Sent the other divils rollin',
And all Essendon was crippled by our lovely fightin' Nolan.

Poor parkinson was waitin', an' he got it in the jaw,
And for anything that followed, 'sor, he didn't give a sthraw.
On the ground th' bye was lyin' wid his eyes up to the sun,
While his conqueror was layin' out the others one by one --
      Was the dashin' Mister Nolan.
      It was bowls and he was bowlin',
Wid th' bodies of his rivals, was th' harum scarum Nolan.

He jammed th' ball down Martin's throat, he did upon me soul,
And then he shwore the umpire blind he thought it was the goal;
He whirled the players cross th' field like feather in th' breeze,
He punched them wid his bunch of fives, he dug 'em wid his knees,
      Did that playful divil Nolan.
      Och! his style is so cajolin',
Ye must have a heart of iron if ye're not in love wid Nolan.

At th' finish he was thereabout, his heart so full of fun
That th' umpire couldn't shtop him wid a poleaxe or a gun,
An' when he'd filled th' Hos-pit-al wid players that was there,
He yelled: "Bring in all Essendon, its Council and its 'Mare!'
      For I'll whip them all," said Nolan.
      He's a bhoy there's no conthrollin',
And when Ireland's wantin' Home Rle, begob! we'll send her fightin' Nolan!

First published in Melbourne Punch, 22 August 1907;
and later in
The Great Australian Book of Football Stories edited by Garrie Hutchinson,  1989.

Author reference sites: Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Biography, Australian Poetry Library

See also.

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on August 22, 2012 8:52 AM.

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