Disaster averted, Swans live to fight another day

by Tom Bally

Stormy unnerving winds greeted us on Sunday morning.  Was this some kind of omen?  Were we in for a tempestuous struggle at the notoriously tricky ANZ?  With Tony ‘$450 flight’ Reed unable to join his fellow Enemy commoners at the ground I resorted to phone abuse.  He didn’t agree with my prophecy of a round sixteen repeat.  The thought of his beloved team being beaten like a cheap drum kit filled him with so much horror his mind simply switched off.

Just as well he missed the first quarter.  Sustained pressure put Jack in a position to snap one in.  Shaw nailed a massive bomb.  Feeling left out Jetta tried a similar manoeuvre but to no avail.  Taking a fantastic mark White scored too.  Shaw gave away a free for a coat hanger tackle but luckily The Enemy’s kicking was off and it only resulted in a behind.  Jetta sprinted forward booting it to Shaw who got it to TDL and we were in again.  However The Enemy started to slip through a loosening net.  We were squandering our early advantage.  Bevan got caught resulting in an Enemy free and a goal.  Picking up the intensity Mumford floored an Enemy player with his shoulder.   Jack slammed Judd into the turf and it looked like we were in for an all in brawl.  Goodes again proving too strong took a great mark and scored.  Mattner had a crack at a long bomb on the siren but it was out on the full.  42-27 to us and I felt like Nostradamus.

The second quarter was a scrappier affair; everyone fighting harder for the ball.  TDL got one.  A scramble uptown saw ‘Rising Star’ Hannebery score.  The Enemy dribbled one through off our stupid fumbling.  We didn’t seem able to mark in the attacking fifty but were luckily being left off by inaccurate Enemy firing.  Shaw slipped through for his second.  The Enemy were finding space but when the half ended the results and stats were encouraging.  Not quite my dream thrashing but the twenty four point advantage meant all we needed to do was keep swallowing them up.

As if on cue the third quarter was a goddamned disaster.  Crawling around like slugs the boys just watched The Enemy carve them up.  McVeigh, Goodes and Jetta all missed crucial goals.  Judd must have sabotaged Roos’ notes on stopping him as he single handily lifted The Enemy back into the game.  Whatever could go wrong did.  Bad handballs, poor contest and idiotic off target kicks all contributed to The Enemy notching up five unanswered goals.  A few rows in front a supporter with an annoyingly loud whistle ramped up the Enemy rabble.  The siren couldn’t come quick enough.  When it did I slid off to the bar.  I’d stayed sober all game but I couldn’t watch anymore of this debacle straight.

And that seemed to do the trick.  The Enemy let us off the hook with two early behinds but strangely the energy and direction of the match had subtly shifted.  Our increase in pressure and harder contest were evident but would it be enough?  Jack’s shot hit the post.  White seemed robbed of a mark.  TDL was home free to get another one.  As the scores levelled the forty one thousand attending lifted their game too.  I threw my notebook down, screw the objective journalism it was time to start shouting.  Late in the quarter the game defining moment was made.  Striding out of their goal square The Enemy looked to be winding up for a run.  TDL was on the prowl though, bringing down his prey on the pocket boundary for a free kick.  Lining up for goal the angle looked impossible.  He completely nailed it and we went off.  The Whistler was silenced and the rest of his fellow mob looked as if someone had slaughtered their firstborn.

Meanwhile the battle continued as The Enemy tried to fight back.  The final few moments were a blur of screaming and animal sounds.  As we took the final mark and the siren blew the crowd went mental.  Most of the Enemy hoi polloi had slunk off before we’d even finished the first verse of the club song.

Outside the wind had eased.  We’d shaken down the thunder, sent the bastards packing and moved ourselves one step closer to that magical date in September in the process.

About Tom Bally

Born in 1834 Tom Bally was instrumental in establishing the rules of the modern game. It’s a little known fact and the rare times he talks about it all he’ll say is “that bloody Wills chap got me full of grape one night and the next thing I know he’s peacocking around Richmond Paddock like he dreamt up the whole thing on his lonesome. Still I got the last laugh didn’t I eh? Introducing the Umpire and all that.”

Comments

  1. Tom

    Your objectivity knows no bounds. A beautiful game, despite the loss; one wonders what awaits next week

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