Martin Blake

Martin Blake

Martin Blake has been a senior writer for The Age since 1986 and has covered numerous AFL seasons, three cricket World Cups and various Australian cricket tours overseas, two Olympic Games, three Commonwealth Games, and a plethora of other major sports events including the British Open Championship and the US Masters. He covers all sports with an emphasis on Australian football and golf.

Pies ignite after early denial to secure top four berth

Martin Blake COLLINGWOOD are into their fourth preliminary final in a row after a tough and emotional 13-point win over West Coast at the MCG last night.

Swans set to end Magpies' streak

Martin-Blake-sport-dinks

Martin Blake Everyone falls in love with the qualifying final winners and dumps the losers, but recent history shows that it is not necessarily a good guide to the preliminary finals.

From cheers to tears for Magpies

Dane Swan

Martin Blake Emotional Collingwood players broke down in tears in the MCG dressing rooms last night as the death of former teammate John McCarthy hit home and they willed themselves into a preliminary final for...

AFL

State of mind gives Pies the wood over Swans

Collingwood beats the Swans in round 20.

Martin Blake Collingwood's streak over Sydney looms large, writes Martin Blake.

Martin Blake

Preliminary discussions: Part three

Martin Blake Travis Cloke is the one. He has a history of troubling Sydney and is key to the Pie's chances.

Football

Oh brother, a family's dilemma

Ben Reid

Martin Blake For the Reid family of Bright, it will inevitably be a bitter-sweet preliminary final day.

Bloodlines run deep: Bolton set for his 300th game

Sydney's Jude Bolton

Martin Blake I GUESS Jude was always going to be tough. He had to be. Growing up with two sporty elder brothers, their grand finals and Test matches in the Ballarat backyard were brutal.

Schoe and tell: Hawks' most relieved man

Ryan Schoenmakers

Martin Blake Arguably the most relieved man at Hawthorn today was Ryan Schoenmakers, the Hawks' centre half-back whose brain-fade late in the final quarter gifted a goal to Adelaide's Jason Porplyzia and almost...

Football

Hawk puts brain fade behind him

Ryan Schoenmakers.

Martin Blake Arguably the most relieved man at Hawthorn yesterday was Ryan Schoenmakers, whose brain fade late in the final quarter almost cost his team a spot in the grand final.

Football

Hawks haunted by grand Swan

Josh Kennedy

Martin Blake Next Saturday, former Hawk Josh Kennedy presents arguably the biggest single threat to Hawthorn's quest for an 11th premiership.

Hawk Smith is an up-and-comer

Isaac Smith

Martin Blake Isaac Smith is determined to go with the flow in his first experience of grand final week.

No place to run, or hide

Buddy Franklin and Ted Richards

Martin Blake Ted Richards is the modern backman personified; adaptable, competitive and strong.

Brownlow quirks and oddities

Brownlow anomalies.

Emma Quayle and Martin Blake Some of the more notable anomalies arising from the AFL's biggest award.

Comments 39

Sewell to keep Hawkeye on Swan

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 16:  Josh Kennedy of the Swans gathers the ball under pressure from Brad Sewell of the Hawks during the AFL Second Semi Final match between the Hawthorn Hawks and the Sydney Swans at Melbourne Cricket Ground on September 16, 2011 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Mark Dadswell/Getty Images)

Martin Blake Brad Sewell is the most likely marker for Josh Kennedy on Saturday.

AFL

AFL moves to allay fears weather will stop grand final parade

Rain

Martin Blake and Daniel Mackney Tomorrow's grand final parade will be cancelled if Melbourne's forecast bad weather is too inclement, AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou has admitted.

Comments 31

AFL moving on grand final twilight game

Andrew Demetriou and Gillon McLachlan.

Martin Blake The AFL continues to warm to the idea of a twilight grand final.

Comments 36

Football

Malceski's snap is one for the ages

Sydney's Nick Malceski kicks the final goal of the match to give Sydney the premiership.

Martin Blake Sydney half-back Nick Malceski took centre stage in the final act of the classic.

AFL

Pies fined over salary cap error

Salary cap breach.

Martin Blake Collingwood has been fined $20,000 by the AFL for breaching player rules relating to the salary cap.

AFL

Reward at last for Dons' skipper

Brownlow medallist Jobe Watson polled in a record 14 games.

Martin Blake Jobe Watson caps off his third consecutive outstanding year with the game's most prestigious and famous individual honour.

Comments 46

Magpies fined for 'administrative error'

Collingwood jumper

Martin Blake Collingwood has copped a $20,000 fine from the AFL for breaching player rules relating to the salary cap.