AFL Round 4 – Geelong v West Coast: Central Park to Kardinia Park

It’s good to be home.  To me it will be Kardinia Park forever.

It’s our first chance to see our Cats ‘live’ in 2014. Ten days ago we were in the other greatest city in the world; New York, rugged up in coats, scarves, gloves and ear muffs.  Tonight is mild, t-shirt weather, literally, in comparison and The Darl and I are in the Players Stand at Simonds Stadium with  cousin Nic, Jenni and Anna and our extended family; the Cats faithful .  Our Cats are undefeated so far this season and there is an air of expectation in the stands.

The ground reminds me of the Great Lawn of Central Park, a place of joy, of peace and fun-filled activities for the thousands who visit. Kardinia Park is not that different really.  It’s been joyous watching Geelong here on our home track.  We finally found peace here after 44 years of uncertainty. And fun?  Geez it’s been fun watching the Cats carve up its opposition and make our home ground a place of pain for any teams which venture down the highway.

These days we simply expect to win at home.  It’s a non-negotiable.  Win, yes. By how much it depends on the mood our team turns up with. I have to be honest, I am nervous before every game, even though I should be relaxed.  How can I relax when the sheep stations in my head are on the line and up for grabs each week?

In the first quarter it turned out that there was a mixed mood.  We looked good in patches, seemed to dominate but let the Eagles in to trail us by just 2 points at the first break.

At quarter time I discussed with cousin Nic how in 2007 and 2008 we were ruthless, uncompromising; we put teams to the sword.  I remember those days as the new good ol’ days.  How quickly I forget that actually we’re living the good ol’ days right now.  Why can’t I just relax and watch the footy?

The second quarter starts off with a bang.  Hawkins bullocks his way through in the goal square and snaps a goal over his shoulder.  It’s a great start.  Then it happened.

In the blink of an eye two goals from Jimmy Bartel, then Selwood, then H-Mac and to top it off Hawkins again all with smart goals.   The Cats kicked six goals, one behind.  The Eagles scored a solitary behind.  The quarter (and the game) was over, the Cats sword was extended and the Eagles fell on it.

James @ Strawberry Fields - John Lennon Memorial (March 2014)

James Demetrie @ Strawberry Fields – John Lennon Memorial (March 2014)

Feeling more comfortable during the half-time break, I got lost in my thoughts, half dreaming of being back in New York, half dreaming of another Premiership.  When I had experienced no premierships in my lifetime, I thought ‘just one’ would be sufficient but let’s be honest, they’re addictive, and even three aren’t enough.  I know it sounds crazy but when we were 17,000kms from home and I was strolling through Central Park, I once again found myself at the John Lennon Memorial; I was thinking about life, the Universe and premierships.  Peace comes in many forms; premierships included.  Imagine.

Not satisfied with the game being essentially over, my OCD kicked in and hopes of keeping the score card tidy (no goals for the Eagles) consumed me.  In the third quarter we wasted opportunities, while the Eagles had barely any.  Eight scoring shots by the Cats led to three goals.  All of their scoring shots returned just three points.  In the wash up it was a complete domination by the Cats.

At the last break, Anna confirmed we could relax and enjoy the last quarter.  From my vantage point it was clear upon the faces of our ‘family’ that they agreed. It was all smiles, it was peaceful and it was joyous.

Our Cats returned another three goals in the last quarter and the decimated Eagles again just three behinds. The highlight being the last goal by skipper Selwood, who bookended things by kicking the last goal of the game; just as he kicked the first goal.

Joel Selwood, Stevie J, Matty Stokes and Jimmy Bartel admirably led the Cats who totally dominated the game essentially start to finish.  But it was the young brigade, of Guthrie, Horlin-Smith, Burbury, Murdoch, Duncan, Blicavs, Hunt and Caddy, who made a great contribution to not only this game, but to our (the fans) dreams; they’ve given us the courage to dream that our football supporting years to come will be joyous, peaceful and fun.

Strawberry Fields Forever.  It’s good to be home.

GEELONG             4.3   10.4    13.9   16.11   (107)                   
WEST COAST        4.1   4.2      4.5      4.8      (32)          
 
GOALS
Geelong: Hawkins 3, Horlin-Smith 3, Selwood 3, Bartel 2, Varcoe, Duncan, McIntosh, Burbury, Johnson
West Coast: Hill, Cripps, Darling, Kennedy
BEST 
Geelong: Selwood, Guthrie, Horlin-Smith, Taylor, Stokes, Kelly, Duncan, Rivers, Enright
West Coast: Gaff, Priddis, Wellingham, Sheed
Umpires: Luke Farmer, Brett Rosebury, Nick Foot
 
Official crowd: 25,271 at Simonds Stadium
Our votes: Selwood – 3, Stevie J -2, Stokesy – 1

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. James – this degrading and insulting (to me anyway) piece has snuck onto the site.
    The spam filter is obviously not working. As our IT Guru – please attend to it.

    But extending your New York, New York theme – I reckon the Chairman of the Board was thinking of Carlton, Litza, TR and Barb:

    “My little town blues
    They are melting away”

    “Start spreading the news
    I am leaving today”

    “These vagabond shoes
    They are longing to stray”

  2. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says:

    Can’t see any mention of Stawell at all, headline quite misleading.

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