AFL Round 18: Crows almost win and I almost tip winner

By Josh Barnstable

Despite not having a proper sleep since Wednesday night, I still get up to play footy against Tungamah. As they run out on the ground, I start to wonder why the Tungamah seniors are on the ground. Wait, that’s the under-17s team. As you would imagine the next couple of hours resulted in a big win to Tungamah, but I enjoyed the game, playing in a different position each quarter. First quarter I played in the forward pocket, the second quarter I spent on the bench. In the third quarter I went onto the wing and in the last I played in the ruck.

After getting home, the one thing I want to do is sleep but I decide not to, and watch an intriguing game between Geelong and Adelaide. As the Cats and Crows run out on the ground, I wonder why Geelong are wearing their white shorts while the Crows are playing as if they’re the home team.

The first quarter starts and Steve Johnson marks his return by passing to Mathew Stokes who goals. Kurt Tippett goals for Adelaide before Johnson kicks a goal of his own. Brett Burton snaps a goal from the boundary before Gary Ablett is given a free kick. He goals from the result but Tippett finishes the quarter with a free kick and 50m penalty, resulting in his second goal. The Cats lead by one point quarter time, 3.3 to 3.2. Jimmy Bartel continues his good form with 12 possessions while Nathan van Berlo is on 11 touches.

The second quarter starts and Bartel kicks a goal to give the Cats a seven point break. Paul Chapman extends this with a long goal from 55m, followed by a goal to Cam Mooney, taking the margin out to 20 points. Burton goals after a trademark mark but a late goal to Chapman sees the margin out to 18 points in favour of Geelong, 7.7 to 4.7. Bartel is up to a massive 23 disposals while Nathan Bock is on 17.

The second half starts and after Tippett goals after some hard tackling, I start to think the Crows can get back into the game. Joel Selwood goals from 45m, Chapman kicks his third then kicks another freakish goal and my idea about Adelaide is out the window with the Cats leading by 27 points. The Crows battle on, though, with Graham Johncock marking on the lead to goal, Michael Doughty receiving a 50m penalty to goal, Tippett grabbing the ball from a throw-in to snap his fourth goal then Brent Reilly sidesteps an opponent and goals from long range to cut the margin to just one point. Ablett steadies the Cats and they go into three-quarter time with an eight point lead, 11.7 to 9.11.

The final quarter starts and the Crows continue on with their momentum. Burton marks and goals, Chris Knights gets on the board and Scott Stevens kicks a ripper into the wind, giving Adelaide an eight-point lead. Mooney replies for the Cats before Burton kicks his fourth. Chapman kicks a goal on the run from a tight angle and the Cats still live. They hit the lead once again, with Chapman kicking a big goal from 55m on the run, giving Geelong a three point lead with 5 minutes remaining. The last 5 minutes are hectic, with the Crows scoring one behind to edge even closer. Ivan Maric marks 50m out and has a shot to win the game for the Crows. His kick falls short, goes out of play and the siren sounds as the ball is won by the Cats, a two-point win to Geelong, 14.9 (93) to 13.13 (91).

After a couple of nail-biters for Geelong, I think the hearts of many of the Cats’ fans can’t be tested much more. The Crows proved they can go against the top teams, and next week against Collingwood proves to be one of the games of the year and may be a mini-Qualifying Final. I also kick myself for picking Adelaide. It was a dangerous tip, and almost proved a masterstroke, but you don’t get tips for “almost” getting one right, just like the Crows. They’re not going to get the points, despite “almost” winning.

Geelong 3.3—7.7—11.7—14.9 (93)
Adelaide 3.2—4.7—9.11—13.13 (91)

Geelong-Chapman 6, Ablett 2, Mooney 2, Stokes, Johnson, Selwood, Bartel
Adelaide-Tippett 4, Burton 4, Reilly, Doughty, Johncock, Stevens, Knights

Geelong-Chapman, Bartel, Selwood, Milburn
Adelaide-Tippett, Burton, Goodwin, Reilly

Crowd: 21,686 at Skilled Stadium

Votes: 3: Paul Chapman (G), 2: Kurt Tippett (A), 1: Jimmy Bartel (G)

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