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.

Blues battlers to the end

Martin Blake Brett Ratten's last game for Carlton ends in more heartache, with St Kilda winning by 15 points.

Collingwood won't be playing tag with Hawk midfield aces

Collingwood Magpie Scott Pendlebury.

Martin Blake Magpies star says winning the contested ball will be the key to the qualifying final.

Stevie J pays a high price

Steve Johnson.

Martin Blake Surely the Steve Johnson bump on Dan Hannebery does not constitute a reportable offence?

Comments 31

Dawes finds an opening as Magpies bolster ruck

Chris Dawes

Martin Blake Collingwood has made a last-ditch punt on Chris Dawes for the qualifying final against Hawthorn at the MCG tonight after the out-of-form ruck-forward was dropped for the last round of the...

AFL

Dawes finds an opening as Pies bolster ruck

Chris Dawes

Martin Blake Collingwood has made a last-ditch punt on Chris Dawes for the qualifying final.

From Scarlett to purple

Down and out: Matthew Scarlett leads the grim-faced Cats off the MCG last night.

Martin Blake Fremantle pulls off the most momentous win of its 18-year history in the AFL.

North v West - which direction?

West Coast v North Melbourne

Martin Blake The Kangaroos will be seeking space, but they are likely to find it occupied by the Eagles.

Lyon gets quick results with Freo

Fremantle coach Ross Lyon

Martin Blake Ross Lyon and Fremantle are working well together, writes Martin Blake.

Comments 26

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.

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.

No place to run, or hide

Buddy Franklin and Ted Richards

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

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.

Wreck and ruin

Sydney v St Kilda

Martin Blake, Sydney St Kilda rueing what coach Scott Watters calls a ''lost opportunity'' after a late fade-out.

Up front and personal, just the ticket

Saints be praised.

Martin Blake St Kilda on track for a small profit in 2012, and Saints taking old-school approach to raising money.

Blues delay contract talks with McLean

Carlton's Brock McLean

Martin Blake Brock McLean has no guarantee of a place at Carlton next year, despite being arguably the club's best player in the past month.

AFL

'As a kid I hated Hawthorn': Hird gets personal

James Hird

Martin Blake Essendon coach James Hird is looking forward to renewing his club's rivalry with Hawthorn at Docklands tomorrow night, although he has bigger things on his mind.

Hodge back for Hawks

Hawthorn captain Luke Hodge

Jared Lynch, Martin Blake Luke Hodge is set to captain Hawthorn for just the third time this season in tonight's clash with Essendon, while Bombers speedster Jason Winderlich will play his first game for the season in his...