AFL Round 17 – Adelaide v Geelong: Jibbed again

Score a footy and Cats gear

Score a footy and Cats gear

Games against Adelaide give me the creeps. It’s not the win/loss record that creeps me out; Geelong holds a 2 game edge after all this time. It’s more to do with the sordid Crows past, which has left a sour taste in my mouth.

Do you remember Ben Finnin? I thought not. We traded for him “Rockin” Ronnie Burns back in 2002 with the Crows. While Ronnie went on to play some reasonable football, Finnins went full steam ahead into nothingness. Rough end of the stick. We traded a human highlight reel for … well, for nothing. Jibbed by the Crows.

Let’s go a bit further back; 5 years back to 1997, when the Cats had to travel to Adelaide to take on the Crows in the second semi final; even though we finished higher on the ladder than they did! It’s hard enough to win a final, let alone playing interstate (when we shouldn’t have had to); against a rampant crows outfit; but also a blind umpy who clearly got it wrong when he called for a bounce down when Leigh Colbert took ‘mark of the year’ running back with the flight of the ball. If the mark was paid we would have won and taken the Crows place in the grand final (which they went on to win against the Saints). Jibbed by the Crows again.

Now it’s game day round 17, 2013 and the Crows continue to keep me on uneasy ground. Sando became a favorite of mine not only because he was a hard-nosed committed Cat but also he bled blue and white, just like Bewsie from whom he inherited the number 27. Bewsie was the forefather of ‘Geelongness’ during that era, Sando followed suit. Sando was reborn and brought up the right way at Geelong but lost his way again and ended up back at the wrong end of the Western Highway, coaching the very mob that has been a constant pain in our butts. You can take the boy out of South Australia, but you can’t take the Crow Eater out of the boy.

If it wasn’t already enough that Sando it at the helm, and Hinkley and Buddha are across the road with the other mob, Darren Milburn joined in cahoots with Sando in the enemy camp. Together they plan the demise of the club they once called home. In some way it probably evens up the ledger as we’ve had our share of Crow-Eaters join us at the Cattery over the years. It’s ok for us … just not ok when it’s the other way!

So the game begins and the Cats have it all against them, against the wind and against those pesky Crows. Last time we played here against the Crows we capitulated by the tune of about 10 goals. The Crows get a quick goal (a lucky one) and look to be up and about early. They seem to be in control, and we look tired already. Captain Courageous evens up with his and our first of the day. Josh Caddy weaves under and out and then across and scores a great goal; it’s our only real highlight for the quarter. Another to Selwood and to Motlop see the cats in front by a point. The Crows inaccurate kicking keeps us in the game; they look sharp just can’t put the ball through the big sticks. I’ve got a bad feeling about today.

The second quarter, we’re waiting for the switch to be flipped; for the mighty Cats to put their stamp on the game. We’re with the wind now; we should put the game away. Is that arrogant? Is that thought going to bite me in the bum? Before I let that thought sink in, the contest becomes a bit of a scrum, it takes us 11 minutes to kick a goal. Put the game away eh?

Caddy slots another; a cheeky one intercepting Tambling the ‘Great’ who’s playing for his career. The Cats are looking better now; attacking, talking, putting frontal pressure on; Milburn and Sando look pensive sitting in the Crows coach’s box. They look like they know that the damn wall is about to break and the Cats deluge is about to clean out the stadium. And then, without ado, bang, bang, bang, three goals in succession, Motlop, Hawkins and Selwood. The world rights itself, all is good and the Cats are in control. Kelly caps off a good quarter with a late goal to put us a bit further into our comfort zone.

Woah! What happened? We win 3rd quarters. No one has been able (just about) to match us in the Premiership term this year. The Crows take advantage of the Cats being in their comfort zone and push a bit harder now that they are with the wind. Five goals to three goals and change see the Crows in with a sniff. It’s too close for comfort, I can’t cope with this.

Our last quarters are nothing to write home about. We’ve lost as many last quarters as we’ve won. I have a really bad feeling about this. It’s Adelaide, it’s Footy Park, and it’s Geelong. These three things over time have been proven to be incompatible. It seems like the Crows fans (their 19th man) are collectively blowing towards the end Adelaide are kicking. All day the wind has been going to right of screen, now it’s going to the left.

To open proceedings, Bernie Vince takes all of 25 seconds to signal the Crows intentions. I reckon they have a sniff and they are not going to give in easily. A Tom Hawkins goal steadies the ship momentarily, but the Crows with their season on the line (mathematically, you know.)

But then; with all due respect, Otten takes an arse mark against Harry Taylor in the goal square. Arse or not it swayed the game. The Crows are motoring home and their fans breathe fills their sails.

It’s a seesaw, ding-dong battle now; the Cats have been outscored, the Crows are rampant, almost 26 minutes have elapsed and I rub my eyes to see the Crows in the lead. The Lions game comes back in my mind; 52 points up and we lost the un-losable. We were in front against the Pies and found a way to lose that too. Can it happen again? The Cats are down by 3 points, and there’s only ‘minutes’ to go. I hate how our Cats tease us, probably payback for all those times our real kitty cats were mesmerized by a ball of string.

I mentioned the tease factor, didn’t I? At what seems like the last minute, Jimmy Bartel draws a free kick within range and steps in to save the day. He’s done it for us before, why not again today? From the left pocket he mimics Stevie J, and tries to keep his nerve kicking around the corner. A narrow miss and all our fears are drawing closer. There can’t be much longer on the clock. We all scream at the big screen… how could Jimmy miss???

From the kick out, it looks like Adelaide just have to get it down the other end, and run out the clock. But Geelong is desperate; looking for one more roll of the dice. They never say die! The ball rebounds from the kick out and Joel Corey slams it forward deep into the other pocket. The 5-year contract man, Harry Taylor marks in the other pocket. There’s not much time left. Can he kick it to win us the game? Can he repay the faith and kick the goal to snatch the game? His shot misses by what might as well have been a mile, and, it’s a behind. His shot from that spot was a mirror image of the shot Bartel missed shot a moment ago. The clock on the TV says a few seconds to go. The game is over. I guess it’s too much to ask to win the game in the last seconds of the game when we were in control midway through the game. Good on the Crows, they fought hard, and hard work deserves reward. A feeling of melancholy washes over me, it’s too hard to handle at that moment. Jibbed again! This time we did it to ourselves.

A Geelong supporter’s mind can be a complex place to be. Happy, sad, ecstatic, depressed; all these emotions and more run through the mind of the heavily invested.

Get me a Valium, or a Xanax, something… it’s dry July for me this month, so it can’t be beer or bourbon!

At least we’ll be playing finals, where the Crows can’t jib us again.

ADELAIDE 3.5 4.8 9.8 14.10 (94)

GEELONG 4.0 9.2 12.4 14.8 (92)

My votes: 3 -Henderson (Crows), 2 – Douglas (Crows), 1 – Selwood (Cats)

About James Demetrie

Fanatic Geelong supporter, proud webmaster for the Footy Almanac and IT guru who has been promising to propose to his partner at Kardinia Park. He's a football spritualist who's devoted to converting his friends to the way of the Cats.

Comments

  1. Peter Schumacher says:

    Wouldn’t let it worry you too much, you are in the finals and more than likely than not the Grand Final so that at the end of the year the narrow losses will be but a fading unpleasant memory.

  2. Don’t worry! What about the MRP’s strange focus on the Cats?

  3. Peter, agreed.. I think we don’t have much to complain about, as much as worry.. just frustrating to lose the games we should be winning. The Cats on their good days will demolish any team, but on an off day they can be deplorable. It will make for interesting finals series that’s for sure!

    Jen, don’t start me on the MRP. I don’t usually like to complain about umpires and their (in)consistencies, and that of the MRP, but holy crap, first it was Kelly’s bump (that every other player got off for)… Joel Corey, Stevie J (x2) and Jimmy’s indiscretions that are doing my head in.

    Bring on the finals, where I think we’ll do some damage and like Peter says above, these annoyances “will be but a fading unpleasant memory”…

  4. Footy fans have longer memories than elephants and ex-wives when it comes to past indiscretions.
    Very fair report James. The Cats are always at their best after a loss, so that should wake them up again. Older players just go through the motions at this time of year.

  5. Ben Footner says:

    The Cats always drop one or two this time of year. They’ll be cherry ripe come September still.

  6. Yeah that 1997 finals injustice still sticks in my craw. The Crows were not worthy of that flag, the idiots who stuffed up the finals system giving mediocre teams with rewards only top teams had a right to. What a farce that was.

  7. mickey randall says:

    Alison,
    Adelaide finished fourth in 1997 and won each of its finals. Not sure how this represents an injustice, or indeed how finishing the home and away series in fourth makes Adelaide “mediocre.”

  8. Mickey, I agree with Alison, the reference to injustice was towards two things…

    A) Geelong finished higher than Adelaide that year and should have had a home final.. the beat up came from a dicky AFL decision to give Adelaide the home game..

    and

    B) The Cats almost beat the Crows in that final at their home ground, almost because the umpire made a bad blew and called for a ball up instead of paying the mark. Paying the mark would have steadied Geelong and mostly likely a win and make it harder for Adelaide in the finals.

    So the Crows albeit in history shown to win both finals and win the premiership, were actually pretty lucky to get that far.

    Nevertheless, Adelaide went on to win, good on them.. Cats lived to fight another day… my story, was very much tongue in cheek…. a catalyst to incite passionate banter at the least..

    Go Footy!!!!

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