Jayden Hunt has finally picked up his car from the MCG after AFL players fled Victoria in July
Jayden Hunt has finally picked up his car from the MCG after AFL players fled Victoria in July

Hunt smashes Dusty’s MCG carpark record

The urgency of the situation wasn't lost on the Melbourne Cricket Club.

So out of the goodness of their hearts they figured the least they could do was help out some footballers in need.

Back in July the AFL competition was in disarray with teams told to get out of Victoria as quickly as possible as state borders started closing.

Melbourne played Richmond at the MCG on Sunday July 5 with players and officials told they were to go straight to the airport after the game.

 

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The sudden departure meant a number of players were forced to leave their vehicles in the underground carpark.

This is normally something the MCC try to avoid but they were happy to oblige given the circumstances and expected time frame of 30 odd days.

Fast forward almost five months and the last car from that game has finally left the carpark.

That honour belonged to Melbourne's Jayden Hunt who nervously made his way to the MCG on Thursday to pick up his Subaru.

Hunt stayed up in Queensland after the Demons season ended and has only returned to Melbourne this week.

Naturally he had concerns about his car starting and even posted a poll on social media where fans could vote yes or no about the engine clicking into life.

After a few anxious moments, Hunt's car did roar to life which got this response from him: "Well, it wasn't easy but the old gal pulls through."

Richmond star Dustin Martin famously left his car underneath the MCG for 65 days after the Tigers 2019 Grand Final victory.

 

Hunt was a relieved man when his car came to life. Picture: Instagram
Hunt was a relieved man when his car came to life. Picture: Instagram

 

MJ LAYS TRAP AT OWN FAIRWAY

Michael Jordan's obsession with golf and with winning is well documented.

The greatest basketballer in history loves punting on rounds of golf and it will come as no surprise that he now has his own private golf course which he designed.

It is called The Grove XX111 (23 after his famous Chicago Bulls number) but has been nicknamed Slaughterhouse 23 for a reason.

Apparently Jordan has been ambushing some of the world's best golfers at his course which is essentially designed specifically to suit his game.

According to 2015 Players Championship winner Rickie Fowler the course cuts out the advantage of professional players who can hit the long ball.

"The shorter you hit it, the wider it is," Fowler said.

"He's great with wedges in his hands, around the greens, he'll putt anyone straight up."

Fowler says he gives Jordan a 10-shot head start in their games because of Jordan's handicap.

But the NBA great will always be putting his hand in his pockets for bets during the round.

"He'll play you for whatever you want. Whatever makes you scared," Fowler said.

"Playing with MJ and getting those juices going, those are some of the best preps for going out and being ready to play tournament golf."

 

Michael Jordan’s golf course has been nicknamed Slaughterhouse 23.
Michael Jordan’s golf course has been nicknamed Slaughterhouse 23.

 

DONS STAR BAFFLES COUNTRY CRICKETERS

The Zach Merrett cricket roadshow rolls on with Victoria Premier Cricket its next stop.

After making an impact in his hometown of Cobden last weekend, the Essendon star is now set to line-up with Fitzroy-Doncaster.

Merrett's name appeared on the competition's clearance register with his link to the club through first X1 captain Ejaaz Alavi.

The former underage Victorian cricket representative is expected to line-up in the thirds.

Merritt made a hit-and-run visit to Cobden where he lined up in C-grade with a childhood mate and made an extraordinary 152 not out.

Incredibly it took his opponent Mortlake until he was into his 30s to figure out it was the AFL star underneath the helmet after a couple of "Don Bradman-like" cover drives.

"He got to about 30 and they were looking around going, 'Who is this bloke?'," Cobden captain Josh Fagan told RSN Central.

 

 

"Then word got out and then they didn't know where to bowl."

Merrett had joined Fagan at the crease with Cobden 3/84. When the pair walked off after 40 overs, the scoreboard read 3/278.

Merrett's unbeaten 152 included 12 sixes with half of them being switch-hits.

Fagan was left to just sit back and enjoy the show.

"I hit about 30 singles and a few twos as my job was just to get him on strike as I could see from the other end he was really on," he said.

"After the drinks break, I think he was 49, he pulled out a switch hit which went onto the roof."

Merrett kitted up to head out for Cobden. Picture: Colac Herald
Merrett kitted up to head out for Cobden. Picture: Colac Herald

In the spirit of giving everyone a crack, Fagan elected not to throw the ball to Merrett in Mortlake's innings who were clearly still rattled and bowled out for 46.

Merrett's cricket skills are well known down the Western District and as a junior he was heading more down the cricket path than football.

He was awarded a scholarship to Melbourne Grammar for cricket and made Victorian U/13 and U/15 sides before deciding to follow his older brother, Jackson, into the AFL.

Another game on Merrett's itinerary is back at his old stomping ground of Melbourne Grammar where he will line up in a Crusaders team against his school's first X1.

 

DAISY DIGS IN OVER WEIGHT GIBE

Dale Thomas is a jokester most of the time but even he has had to draw a line.

The former Collingwood premiership wingman took to social media after receiving some sledging about his wasteline.

Like most during lockdown, Thomas may have added a couple of kilos here and there which he acknowledged in his measured response.

"Thanks to everyone who's been kind enough to realise I've put on a few kgs," Thomas tweeted.

"Although I'm happy to laugh it off and understand eating was my way of dealing with Covid, before you throw a barb to a mate or a family member, maybe ask if they are OK first? We all cope different!"

Thomas received support from many in the sports community to his classy response including former Hawthorn premiership player Xavier Ellis who wrote "feel ya mate".

After enjoying his first summer without a pre-season for 20 years, Thomas dropped almost 8kg when finishing runner-up on 'I'm A Celebrity … Get Me Out Of Here! earlier this year.

 

Dale Thomas before ...
Dale Thomas before ...

 

... and after I’m A Celebrity.
... and after I’m A Celebrity.

 

TEA RESTRICTIONS A TRAVESTY

The traditional cricket tea is in jeopardy with England's largest league told it won't be mandatory to provide refreshments for players in-between innings.

The Sussex Cricket League, which comprises 335 teams and 140 clubs, has announced it will now be up to individual clubs whether they serve the normal selection of cakes, scones and sandwiches during the interval.

Clubs will only be required to provide hot and cold drinks to players.

The coronavirus pandemic had caused the traditional cricket tea to be tweaked with players told to bring their own food for safety purposes.

The financial cost was raised by some clubs as a reason for cutting out afternoon tea but there are some in Sussex competition who have vowed to continue the tradition.

 

 

SIMMONS SENDS NBA INTO SPIN

If you think we're jumpy in the AFL world about rumours during trade week, it goes up another level in the NBA.

Ben Simmons' sister is the latest to send the basketball world into a tizz with a cryptic tweet.

"Can't wait for trade news on Tuesday …", Olivia Simmons tweeted out on Monday.

That's all it took to stoke the social media masses as she was flooded with requests for details.

Her brother has been a constant source of trade rumours with the 76ers as his relationship and ability to play alongside fellow star Joel Embiid has been closely monitored.

And with the 76ers having a new coach in Doc Rivers, replacing Aussie Brett Brown, and a new team president, it was presumed everything might be on the table in Philadelphia.

Olivia has since tweeted: "Because nobody wants to hear anything on a Monday. Fkn relax guys."

"Who tryna start off their day with some wine. Some of y'all in my mentions need it …"

 

 

 

THE WHISPER

 

Which TV sporting couple's fairytale wedding hardly made it out of the barriers after a swarthy third party came batting into action?

 

O'RIORDAN LIVES HIS DREAM

 

Sydney's Irish defender Colin O'Riordan has fulfilled a lifelong ambition by helping his home county Tipperary claim its first provincial senior football championship title in 85 years.

An emotional O'Riordan thanked the Swans, and in particular coach John Longmire, for allowing him to play Gaelic football while back home during the AFL off-season.

Tipperary were the underdogs in the Munster final, defeating Cork 0-17 to 0-14 behind closed doors at Cork's Páirc Uí Chaoimh stadium.

Collingwood's Mark Keane, who was the hero of Cork's semi-final victory with a last-minute goal, came off the bench in the final at the 59th minute.

The result was particularly poignant as it came the day after the 100th anniversary of the Bloody Sunday massacre, when 14 people were killed at a Gaelic football game between Dublin and Tipperary - including Tipperary defender Michael Hogan - when British forces opened fire on the crowd.

 

 

 

O'Riordan celebrating a goal for the Swans. Picture: Phil Hillyard
O'Riordan celebrating a goal for the Swans. Picture: Phil Hillyard

 

O'Riordan, who has played 23 games since making his AFL debut in 2018, said he was "extremely grateful" to the Swans for allowing him to play.

"They were 100 per cent within their rights to say no to me and to refuse me permission to play but they had no problem," he said.

"John Longmire and all these lads over there with the Sydney Swans are an incredible organisation.

"It's an emotional day for me. A few weeks ago I didn't think I'd be here and just to be out there with the lads, giving it your all for the sake of Tipperary - I can't put it into words.

"It's the best feeling I've had in many years and it just fills me with pride so much.

"I get emotional even thinking about it but to me, it's one of the best days of my life - [I'm] just over the moon."

Tipperary wore a special commemorative jersey, replicating the one worn on Bloody Sunday.

 

GIL LANDS A WINNER

 

AFL boss Gillon McLachlan's phone was ringing off the hook on Saturday night but it had nothing to do about any football crisis.

This was all about his French horse, which he'd bought to win the Melbourne Cup, saluting in the last race in Perth.

European stayer Neufbosc has certainly tested the patience of McLachlan and his right-hand man, AFL legal counsel Andrew Dillon, since they shelled out some decent cash to buy a share.

The Mastercraftsman gelding contested last year's Melbourne Cup for the Hayes-Hayes-Dabernig training partnership, but failed to live up to expectations when he finished 21st of 24 to Vow And Declare.

And it hadn't done anything since so in desperation the ownership group decided to send it west to trainer Neville Parnham in the hope that a change of scenery might spark a form reversal.

Well, on the final race of Railway Stakes Day Neufbosc stormed down the outside over the unsuitable distance of 1400m to claim its first Australian victory at the nice odds of $17.

We hear Gill not only didn't tip it to his mates but a flat phone battery meant he didn't even see the race, let alone have a bet himself.

Horse racing lover Gillon McLachlan won the last race at Perth on Saturday with an expensive French galloper he bought to contest the Melbourne Cup.
Horse racing lover Gillon McLachlan won the last race at Perth on Saturday with an expensive French galloper he bought to contest the Melbourne Cup.

 

GRIFFITHS WINS BEN KICKING BATTLE

Ben Griffiths has won a kick-off with former teammate Ben Lennon in a Richmond flavoured American college match-up.

The pair spent three years together at Punt Rd before both left at the end of 2017 to pursue dreams of being an NFL punter.

Griffiths found a home at the University of Southern California while Lennon made the University of Utah roster in 2018.

On a bitterly cold evening in Salt Lake City, it was Griffiths' USC Trojans who prevailed 33-17.

In the head-to-head match-up Griffiths also came up trumps with his four punts going for 175 yards at an average of 43.8.

Lennon's four attempts only mustered 144 yards at an average of 36.

It was the first time in 12 years, the Utah Utes were defeated in their home opener.

 

Ben Lennon.
Ben Lennon.

 

 

 

Originally published as Hunt smashes Dusty's MCG carpark record

Jayden Hunt asked fans if his car would start. Picture: Instagram
Jayden Hunt asked fans if his car would start. Picture: Instagram
Ben Griffiths.
Ben Griffiths.

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