AFL Grand Final: Well done, Geelong

It’s the night before the Grand final. I need to get to sleep, but I’m still tossing and turning on my bed. I’ve set my alarm for 8am, but since my alarm clock has been knocked many times with the batteries flying everywhere, I could wake up at half-time tomorrow.

I wake up to a soundless environment and some drizzling rain, and the time is 10.15. I run out of bed, sit on the couch, turn the TV on and have breakfast almost in one motion. The panel are discussing how different teams have gone this year.

The odds are strangely in Geelong’s favour, very similar to the odds in the Round 14 clash. I love the Grand final, and all the hype and the lead-up. But I’ve learned to make the most of it, since every year it goes so quickly and footy’s gone and all you have to hang on to is watching replays, the draft and trade week, the best and fairest awards, the fixture and some quality games of cricket in the back yard with your brother.

My mum puts some pies in the oven for lunch; I eat a couple and check the final teams on the computer. There are no changes, and after a dodgy pre-match entertainment the two teams run out in front of a full house. But it’s not that I could concentrate much, my sister had just walked into the lounge room and announced she bought a car, which started a conversation that only people who didn’t love footy would join. And this was five minutes prior to the bounce. I put the headphones on as the Cats win the toss to kick to the city end, which I have noticed they have done for the third consecutive grand final.

It is clear that it will be a tight and hard game right from the beginning, but the Cats draw first blood with a long goal from Rooke from 55. After a follow-up goal from Mooney I’m wondering if it could be a Geelong thrashing. Schneider misses a goal reminiscent of one of Geelong’s in last year’s grand final, but Goddard doesn’t make the same mistake after a strong mark with the Brownlow medallist hot on his heels. The slippery conditions affect the players, but Selwood shows class by bending one through from 30 on the run. The rain starts to come down heavily, and St Kilda reacts to the head start by Geelong with goals from Hayes and Schneider. The quarter-time siren sounds and the Saints lead, 3.2 20 to 3.0 18. Hayes has dominated so far with 11 possessions while Bartel has nine for the Cats. The Saints have dominated the inside 50s with 19 to Geelong’s 7.

The second quarter begins and Dempster is taken high, resulting in a goal to put the Saint’s nine points clear and showing his purpose in the team. An ugly display of errors from the flag-avoiders follows, a hopeless attempt from Milne which would have been acceptable at Auskick, and a couple of misses from Milne again and McQualter. The Cats charge forward and Brynes gets on the end of an easy goal. Ablett gets held and kicks one through, and all of a sudden it’s looking good for the blue and white.

A piece of play afterwards is horrendous for St Kilda, Dawson kicks it from the goal square into Hawkins, who picks it up and kicks a goal. I couldn’t tell initially, but the ball clearly hit the post which could be telling if the result turns out to be under a kick. From the clearance Chapman kicks a goal and the Cats are out to a 12-point lead.

It stays like that with less than a minute left on the clock, but misfortune for Geelong sees them one goal behind at the major break. Jones soccers one through, Koschitzke follows up immediately after and Milburn abuses the goal umpire, which gifts Schneider his second goal. The siren sounds and its 7.7 49 to 7.1 43. It fell apart so quickly for Geelong, but they weren’t out of it by any stretch of the imagination. Goddard, Gram and Montagna all have 14 possessions each for St.Kilda and Corey has 15 and Ablett 14 for Geelong.

The all-important third quarter begins and the Cats are the ones making blemishes, before Mooney kicks a steadier and one to put them in front. A well-held Riewoldt finally marks one and puts the Saints back in front. Taylor levels with him afterwards when he smothers Riewoldt’s kick at goal. The Saints miss another few in unattractive fashion, before Chapman snaps his second to reel the margin back to a solitary point. Goddard comes off injured which is a worry for the Saints, as the scores level.

Montagna breaks the deadlock with a good goal from the boundary, while my legs are burning from the heater. The Saints see out a tough quarter with a seven-point lead, 9.11 65 to 9.4 58. You can sense the Moorabbinians are confident. Gram leads with 25 touches for St Kilda while Ablett, Selwood and Milburn all have 20.  If St Kilda wins from here, I won’t believe it, because St Kilda just doesn’t win premierships.

The last quarter begins and that buzz fills the MCG, and all the houses, streets, shops, pubs and even libraries throughout (most of) Australia. Chapman hits Hawkins on the lead who swings one through for a goal. Even though the Demons aren’t playing, in every close game I get that nervous feeling. I frantically flick my black and blue pens around. The Saints and the Cats play out an arm wrestle which eventually sees the scores tied at 67 to 67 with around five minutes left. I am licking my lips for the chance of a draw. At this stage, it also could be 74 to 73 in favour of St.Kilda, the same score line in the 1966 premiership.

Ablett finds the ball in the middle. He’s tackled by two Saints, but Scarlett toe pokes it to Ablett who sets up a goal from Chapman. The Cats by a goal. Rooke kicks a point. Scarlett rushes a point and it’s back to a goal. Milburn kicks it in.

Draw?

No.

The Cats clear and Rooke marks on the siren. Bomber Thompson stands on the desk in the commentary box, while Max Rooke kicks one with no man on the mark. The Cats celebrate like never before, well for two years at least. The final score is 9.14 68 to 12.8 80.

Hang on, I tipped Geelong by 12!

Gram finishes with 30 possessions for St.Kilda while Corey finishes with 29 and Paul Chapman with 26 and two medals opposed to other 21 Geelong player’s one. The Saints do the usual lying-on-the-ground while wondering what might have been. The Geelong players run around the ground and hug their loyal supporters.

Well done, Geelong.

St.Kilda 3.2 7.7  9.11 9.14 (68)

Geelong 3.0 7.1  9.4 12.8 (80)

Goals

St.Kilda: Schneider 2, Goddard, Hayes, Dempster, Jones, Koschitzke, Riewoldt, Montagna.

Geelong: Chapman 3, Hawkins 2, Rooke 2, Mooney 2, Ablett, Brynes, Selwood.

Best

St.Kilda: Gram, Hayes, Godddard, Ball, Jones, Montagna.

Geelong: Chapman, Corey, Ablett, Bartel, Rooke, Ling, Mackie, Kelly, Scarlett, Selwood.

My votes: 3. Paul Chapman (GEEL), 2. Joel Corey (GEEL), 1. Jason Gram (ST.K)

Umpires: McBurney, Rosebury, S. Ryan.                  Crowd: 99,251 at the MCG

About Steve Healy

Steve Healy is an entity of a Melbourne supporter.

Comments

  1. Danielle Eid says:

    Nice work Steve.
    i know what you mean because i was going for Geelong like crazy it felt like Collingwood were playing.
    i yelled at every error and cheered every goal. :)
    Even Mum was yelling by the last quarter because she knows how upset i was about my birthday. when the siren went form our reaction you would think that my mum and i are die hard geelong fanatics.
    we were jumping up and down hugging in circles, highfiving and screaming. :)
    In the end the BEST TEAM WON! :)
    GO CATS!

    Danni

  2. Steve Healy says:

    Hahahaha Danni well I certainly didn’t jump up and down but I felt like St.Kilda didn’t deserve to win despite their good season.

    I hope your next birthday isn’t spoiled by Riewoldt- although if your birthday was on a Monday this year i think it’ll be on a Tuesday this year, so there definitely won’t be a game on your birthday next year.

  3. Josh Barnstable says:

    Good report Steve.

    Geelong may well win by 6 points it seems with the controversy surrounding the final Max Rooke goal.

    I know what you mean about people talking when near the TV. When the Saints were charging forward yesterday late in the quarter Mum was talking to my friend about how she wants Geelong to win and wouldn’t be quiet, it was so frustrating lol

  4. Damian Watson says:

    Good work Steve,
    What car did your sister buy? LOL just kidding
    Yeah I was wondering if it would read the same scoreline as the 66′ Grand Final as well, it would have been scary if it did.

  5. Steve Healy says:

    Thanks for the comments,

    Wouldn’t have a clue Damo, I just tried to watch the game. I actually watched my recorded first half today. I find with grand finals that you have to watch them over and over again until you get the meaning of the Premiership.

    They better not change the score, it’ll cause so much confusion.

  6. Steve, do you mean to tell me that there are really people who wouldtalk about other stuff leading up to and during a GF. They need to bring back the stocks. Daff’s outlaws could supply the vegies to throw.

  7. Steve Healy says:

    Phantom,

    I’m afraid it’s true. I know it’s sad to think of people talking about other things during the last day in September.

    These people like footy, they just don’t realise it yet unfortunately

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