AFL Round 10 – Collingwood v West Coast: Home Truths

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Gavin & Joshua Reynolds in the centre of Victoria Park and at the entrance

Saturday morning and we are off to the footy. We leave my place near Colac at just after 9.30AM for a big Collingwood day. Joining me today are my two sons and my old man. Coodabeens on the radio. Victoria Park is our first destination. This is the final occaision for 2014 that the Pies VFL team plays at the Lulie St venue before the AFL team plays at the MCG afterwards. I understand the need to keep the surface at the two major venues in pristine condition but also am a big fan of a curtain-raiser. Victoria Park, 10 minutes from the ‘G by car or 4 train stops away, is perfect for VFL games before a Collingwood game at the MCG. Wish they would schedule days like this more often.

It’s my old man’s first visit to Victoria Park. My parents split when I was about 4 or 5. We are very different. I don’t know if this is because as a kid I went to his house only every second weekend. Maybe it makes no difference. My old man has a beard and shoulder length hair. I like to be clean shaven and have short back and sides. He rides a Harley, I’m more comfortable with a ride on mower. He’s not into cricket. I’m obsessed with cricket. He drinks Carlton Draught, I drink Boags Draught. But all is well as we stand side by side on the outer at the famous venue just North of the city. He is the reason I follow Collingwood, as outlined in this story from last year http://www.footyalmanac.com.au/afl-round-2-collingwood-v-carlton-i-could-have-should-have-barracked-for-carlton/  I was lucky enough to be taken to many games here in the 1990’s. My two boys were here a few weeks back for the Coburg game that preceeded the North Melbourne AFL game. The old ground has been done up beautifully in recent years. I loved coming here back in the day but how this venue hosted AFL games until 1999 seems hard to believe given the stadiums in use now.

We spend the first half in the sunshine of the outer. 3rd quarter in the Sherrin Stand. Final quarter behind the goals at the Yarra Falls end. The VFL Pies have a good 40 point win over Geelong. Brisbane recruit Patrick Karnezis continues his great VFL form with 6 goals. Ben Hudson dominates the ruck. Taylor Adams, Josh Thomas , Kyle Martin, Ben Kennedy and Tim Broomhead all impress. Paul Seedsman is very good but sustains a late injury. For the VFL Cats, Colac recruit Darcy Lang plays well, Billy Smedts looks way above VFL level with his limited game time and Jake Kolodjashnij looks a ready made AFL defender. Having a kick on the ground with my boys Gavin and Josh at 1/4 time, half time and 3/4 time is a real highlight. We have a kick on the same pocket that Daicos kicked miraculous goals from. The same goalsquares Dick Lee, Gordon Coventry, Ron Todd and Peter McKenna led from. The flanks that Athas Hrysoulakis once roamed. Good times.

A bumper crowd at Victoria Park means an elongated exit from the suburb of Collingwood. Will take the train out there next time.

Our seats for the main game are in the the right forward pocket at the Punt Rd end. Bottom level, 15 rows from the fence. Jesse White marks and goals within the first 30 seconds. J.White is hardly sighted after that. Goldsack goals and I’m thinking of a percentage booster. But the Eagles then kick three. They look so much better in royal blue instaed of navy, yellow and white. Blairy goals and so does big Jarrod Witts who shows great mobility in picking up a half volley then snapping truly. Jamie Elliot almost hangs on to what would have been mark of the century at our end. Our former favourite Wellingham kicks a great goal, Beams goals for the pies and Cripps for the eagles. West Coast 2 points up at quarter time.

Josh Kennedy goals early in the 2nd quarter for the Eagles, and Nathan Brown is subbed off with another shoulder dislocation. The footy gods haven’t been kind to the Pies full-back since his demolishion job on Nick Riewoldt in the two 2010 Grand Finals. The whole first half is entertaining footy. West Coast lead at the main break by 14 points. They’ve outplayed us but we are close.

Jack Frost doesn’t return after the main break. Concussion. How will we stop Kennedy, Darling, Cox etc. now? The eagles look the better team in the 3rd quarter but don’t convert their chances. They lead by a goal at the last change.

The lead changes a couple of times in the last quarter. Elliot and Pendlebury goal early to give us an 8 point lead. Cripps and Cox goal to put West Coast back in front. Beams kicks his 2nd goal in his 100th game. Elliot goals after continuing his tireless running all over the ground. The thumping boot of Shannon Hurn brings the visitors back to within 3 points with a long goal. Grundy marks 50 out, gets a soft 50 metre penalty and goals. Cloke then finally kicks his first to seal the game. We were outplayed for large parts of the night but have somehow won. Toovey on Darling and Goldsack on Kennedy were superb. Nick Maxwell played another wonderful game in this great season he is having. Pendles, Beams, Sidebottom and Swan always get the job done.

To finish off the day we have a quick beer at the Westpac Centre as the carpark clears. Assistant coach Ben Hart is interviewed. The boys sleep most of the way home as the old man and I dissect the game and listen to Port Adelaide dissect Hawthorn. He has made his first trip to both Victoria Park and to the Westpac Centre. Seen two good wins. I think he had a good day.

COLLINGWOOD             5.0     7.3     11.4     17.7      109 

WEST COAST                   5.2     9.5     11.10    15.11   101

BEST:

COLLINGWOOD:  Pendlebury, Toovey, Beams, Elliot, Maxwell, Sidebottom, Goldsack, Blair

WEST COAST: Priddis, Cox, Gaff, Yeo, Glass, Rosa, Cripps

GOALS:

COLLINGWOOD: Blair 3, Beams 2, Elliot, White, Goldsack, Witts, Macaffer, Ball, Fasolo, Sidebottom, Pendlebury, Grundy, Cloke

WEST COAST: Cripps 3, Priddis 2, Hill 2, Cox 2, Hurn 2, Yeo, Kennedy, Wellingham, Darling

UMPIRES: Harris, Rosebury, Kamolins

CROWD: 53,049 at the MCG

OUR VOTES:

3. Scott Pendlebury

2. Matt Priddis

1. Alan Toovey

About Luke Reynolds

Cricket and Collingwood tragic. Twitter: @crackers134

Comments

  1. Peter_B says:

    Great yarn, Luke. I really enjoyed it until the last 2 paras. Still don’t know how you won. Pendlebury was awesome in the last quarter. Elliott is a beauty – he just has that pace and energy that means he is always dangerous.
    Toovey and Goldsack both did great jobs on Darling and Kennedy. But your rucks were poor; your forward talls non-existent; and your clearance work average until the last quarter.
    Do you reckon Swan picks which games he is going to exert himself in? Doesn’t look to really have his heart in it a lot of games. But a blinder when he does.
    Love the 3 generations and the pix.
    If you put ‘Victoria Park’ in the search box on the home page there are some ripper histories – particularly by Vin Maskell and Jeff Dowsing. http://www.footyalmanac.com.au/almanackers-immortalised-at-victoria-park/
    Harms, Haiku Bob, Vin and Pamela Sherpa are “immortalised” in a sound installation at the ground.

  2. Malcolm Ashwood says:

    Great stuff Luke what was the crowd at Vic park and what do they charge to get in ?
    Nothing shits me more in footy than not having a national reserves comp
    Maxwell continues to silence the knockers , Pendleburys last q was exquisite as a neutral what I sore of the game it was a great game of footy thanks , Luke

  3. Luke- All three generations had a pretty good day! Just after I left school some mates and I drove to Melbourne and did as much as we could in a week. High on the list was checking out footy grounds, and we had a squizz at Victoria Park. It was important as we all admired how Adelaide boy Mark Williams played. And we all knew the ground from the film version of The Club. When we get back to Adelaide in a couple weeks we hope to take our boys to the footy, for the first time. Adelaide oval might not fit in, so it may have to be a trip down to Glenelg to watch the Tigers! Thanks Luke.

  4. Sounded like a great day Luke. Hope you and the old man make for all the lost time from here on.

  5. Neil Anderson says:

    Your experience of revisiting the old home of the Pies was similar to my visit to the Whitten Oval last year. Unfortunately I don’t have the family members to relive the memories with, so your story was very special to me.
    If you feel that way after going to the ground in the nineties, you can imagine what it’s like for me after going to the Footscray ground since the 1950’s.
    As the Western Bulldogs struggle along as usual, I always check to see how Footscray is going in the VFL and so far they are going alright.

  6. It’s free to get in, Malcolm, as they’ve pulled down the stands and the fence on the southern side and the Yarra Falls end of the ground.

    And they sell cans of Carlton Draught for $5 under the Sherrin Stand. The only delay was the lone bar woman pulling the plastic off the slabs.

  7. Malcolm Ashwood says:

    Thanks MOC as I have said a national res comp so every one is on the same playing field and just as importantly not stuffing up other completions should be a afl priority

  8. DBalassone says:

    Great to hear about 3 generations of Reynolds going to the Vic Park and the MCG. Does it get any better? (I got a gig in that sound installation under the Sherrin Stand as well – great to be there in spirit, though truth is I always stood in the outer with the old man and the diehards).
    Glad you gave Toovey a vote, he actually has a great record on Darling. A strange match up to the naked eye, but Toovey always seems to nullify him. Pies seem to have the edge over the Eagles over the past few years – 9 wins from the last 10 I think now. I thought the Eagles had us on the ropes in the 3rd, but the Pies certainly dominated the last 40 minutes, thanks to Pendles mainly, but Swan certainly lifted in the last as well. It was a case of win by snapshots, rather than by marks inside 50.

  9. E.regnans says:

    Well played L Reynolds.
    Lots to like.
    Love reading your pieces; following your path.

  10. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says:

    Love your work Luke

  11. Peter_B says:

    E.Regnans; Luke; DBallasone and Swish – your drivel gives me the tom tits. This week in particular for some reason.
    Enough with the man love.

  12. Jack High Luke !

  13. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says:

    I’m a sucker for anything that involves a positive three-generational family footy experience, something that I will never experience unless/until the grandkids come along.

  14. David Zampatti says:

    Oh dear, more Collingwood exceptionalism from DBalassone. Collingwood may have won nine of the last ten games against West Coast, but the Magpies are generally (for reasons both legitimate and questionable) a top 8 team, and West Coast hasn’t beaten one of them since Adam (Simpson, Selwood, Goodes, whatever) was a boy.

  15. Great story Luke

  16. DBalassone says:

    David Zampatti, not sure if you’re having a crack at me, Collingwood or the Eagles (maybe all 3), but 9 out of 10 wins stretching over a 7 year period, is (I think) a noteworthy stat – certainly in 07,11 and 12 the Eagles have finished high on the ladder, and a win against North at home this week will propel them into the 8. I wouldn’t right them off just yet.

  17. David Zampatti says:

    Na, never you. Or Collingwood, even. Just politely pointing out how useless the Eagles are whenever they play ANY half-decent team not just yours.

  18. DBalassone says:

    I’ll stay out of the Freo/Eagles banter and let Peter B respond to that. Cripes, I thought Collingwood/Carlton was bad!

  19. When Freo have anywhere near the finals appearances of the Eagles,I’ll take them seriously.Probably their most emblematic player was Waterhouse, enough said.The Eagles had Worsfold. This season will see Fremantle go somewhere.At this stage they’ll need four finals, so my guess is,not far enough.

  20. Luke Reynolds says:

    Thanks everyone for the comments.

    Peter B- I think you are right about Swan. Thanks for the Victoria Park link.

    Rulebook- Guessing the crowd was between 1000-1500. Great atmosphere. Couldn’t agree more re reserves.

    Neil- Thanks. Enjoyed my couple of visits to the Western/Whitten Oval in the 1990’s. Look forward to making it back there for a VFL game one day.

    Damian- Toovey throughly deserved that vote.

  21. Danielle says:

    Two words-
    Jamie Elliott

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