ACT News

Hawks faithful savour back-to-back flags

Canberra's AFL fans huddled around televisions and projectors in football clubs and watering holes across the city as Hawthorn trounced the Swans by 63 points in the AFL Grand Final.

There was passion aplenty, but perhaps the most fanatical fans were three youngsters in prime position at the Ainslie Football Club who leapt out of their chairs whenever their favourite Hawks touched the ball.

Alice Ryan 12 Mitchell Ryan 7 and Matilda Ryan 9 at the Ainslie Football Club.
Alice Ryan 12 Mitchell Ryan 7 and Matilda Ryan 9 at the Ainslie Football Club. Photo: Graham Tidy

For 12-year-old Alice Ray it was Jarryd Roughead, for her seven-year-old brother Mitchell it was his namesake, Sam, and for nine-year-old Matilda it was the "special" one, Cyril Rioli.  

Perhaps showing loyalty to their Victorian team colours, it was a mostly Hawthorn affair at the Ainslie Football Club, with a select group of Bloods fans looking gloomy in one corner of the bar.

Alice Ryan, 12, Mitchell Ryan, 7, and Matilda Ryan, 9, cheer on Hawthorn at the Ainslie Football Club.
Alice Ryan, 12, Mitchell Ryan, 7, and Matilda Ryan, 9, cheer on Hawthorn at the Ainslie Football Club. Photo: Graham Tidy

In a match predicted to be a cliffhanger by pundits across the country, it seemed young Alice Ray was right on the money halfway through the second quarter – "There's no way the Hawks are losing this," she said.

The traditional half-time kick-to-kick was alive and well across the road for those brave enough to sacrifice their seats inside the packed club.

South of the lake at rival Eastlake Football Club, gents in Swans polos and scarfs had anguished looks on their faces.  

Upstairs was a VIP experience where the number of wine drinkers far exceeded those who favoured schooners, with the more animated crowd choosing to congregate around the downstairs bar.

One lonely Swans supporter struggles with the result of Saturday's AFL Grand Final.
One lonely Swans supporter struggles with the result of Saturday's AFL Grand Final. Photo: Graham Tidy

Further south at the Southern Cross Club in Woden, where the official ACT Hawks and Swans fan clubs gathered, the faded South Melbourne red of some supporters' jerseys matched the club's carpet.

The outcome of the match may have been obvious at three-quarter time, but that didn't stop Hawthorn fans savouring the sweetness of back-to-back flags.