AFL Round 22 – Geelong v Sydney: Friendly Hoodoo and Garage Tales

 

Frank and Jennie have not had a good record watching Geelong games with us.  Their record is 2 losses and 0 wins this season; and they’re here again to support us.  The Darl has organised a 4-meter skip for all the junk in our garage to be deposited.  I am not really happy about this arrangement, but I have no choice.  I can’t go to the game AND I have to do domestic chores but I was told, “If you work hard enough in the garage you can watch the game on TV later”. She is just like coach Chris Scott, really nice; unless you get on their wrong side! I was determined to put in a committed effort.

As we started our cleanup, my mind wandered to some past games against the Swans.  There have been some great battles over the years between the two teams.  Bruce Lindner, in 1987, coming back from ‘Siberia’ to kick a 75 metre long goal from the centre of the SCG to win us the game; Robert Scott’s kick after the siren in 1988; only to hit the post – we lost and John Devine was distraught in the coaches box (so was I); Nick Davis’ last gasp effort to kill our 2005 dreams – Cam Mooney in tears (so was I); The Swans breaking our record of most wins at our Fortress back in 2011.  Both teams play different yet effective modern footy.  I realise that of the last eight premierships, the Cats and the Swans own five; this could be a tough game again.

Speaking of the Fortress, 47 of our last 49 games we’ve won at home.  It’s a great record, but the old Geelong pessimist in me out-muscles the fledgling new Geelong optimist and reminds me of the 2 losses.   The pessimist also reminds me that our well-meaning friends are here too and to keep them away from the TV.

The first quarter starts with the Cats looking switched on; but they can’t break through for a goal.  Then against the run of play a couple of ‘Oh No!” moments threaten to dampen my optimism.  Firstly, Tippet scores the first goal of the game and then at the next centre bounce Vardy gets ko’d in a ruck contest by Mumford. For the next 11 minutes it’s to and fro, we miss chances but it doesn’t matter because Chappy is back!  The Cats have chosen to temp-sub Chappy into the game, the crowd roars with delight and approval.  He is instantly into the action and it appears that his intensity lifts the team.  It certainly lifts Motlop; still on his feet he plucks the ball from the ground, backs out of the pack, blind turns and kicks a sensational goal.  Chappy has 9 possessions including a great running, snapped goal.  These were the two highlights of the quarter.

The second and third quarters produced a pretty dour contest.  We’ve come to know the Swans as a great shutdown team.  If they can’t score goals they’re going to try their best to stop you too.  Our defense was good, but our forward line was being wasteful.  Injuries to Rhys Shaw and Hannebery slow down the Swans.  For some reason, even though we haven’t broken the game, I am feeling confident that we can roll over the top of them.  So halfway through the third quarter I am feeling uncannily more comfortable; and from the couch in the lounge I text message Frank who’s still in the garage and invite him in to watch the game.  Secretly I am hoping he’ll want to keep cleaning my garage and stay out there so he has no influence over the game, but my ‘guilt’ overpowers me.  Frank dusts off and joins me.  He doesn’t say much.  He knows his record isn’t great in the ‘watch the Cats on TV department’.  I hope this doesn’t bite me in the ass.  There’s a lot of “Cats are looking good”… “Geez Selwood’s a champ”… “How good is Bartel?”; but not a lot of conversation.  We’re dominant everywhere except on the scoreboard.  The Swans are fighting a good fight, but they were lucky to keep that close to us.  In the room there is a feeling that the Cats should win this.  I dare not speak those words; Jennie and the Darl join us as the third quarter comes to a close.

In the last quarter the Cats kicked 5 goals to the Swans 2 and the game was ‘over’.  With both teams vying for second spot on the ladder and a home final, I was expecting a closer game.  What I didn’t expect was how good Geelong was at shutting the Swans down.  We did what the Swans do on the Swans.  Geelong has had so many consistent and even contributors, especially since 2007 and today’s game was a perfect example. Every team member played his role to perfection. However the standouts were the cameo performances from Chappy and Varcoe.  It should give us all tremendous confidence knowing that these two are back and hitting form at the right time of the year.  Both are crucial X-factors to the team set up and success. Oh Yes, Harry and Jimmy were pretty good and the rebirth of Stokes continues. And that young kid wearing number 32 goes OK too.

For a change the last quarter seemed enjoyable.  The Cats won well and two important things came out of the day, 1) we have a clean garage. And 2) finally Frank and Jennie broke their hoodoo watching Cats games.

The Garage votes: Frank -3, Jennie -2, The Darl -1

For my performance I got the encouragement award, I tried hard.  I had the game on my mind and the Darl is a softie, acknowledging my sacrifice, she let me off to go watch the game.

GEELONG                  4.4    6.9    8.12    13.14 (92)      

SYDNEY SWANS       2.2    3.2       5.5         7.6 (48) 

GOALS

Geelong: Johnson 4, Motlop 3, Selwood 2, Chapman, Varcoe, Vardy, and Podsiadly

Sydney Swans: Pyke 3, McGlynn 2, Tippett, Hannebery

BEST 

Geelong: Kelly, Stokes, Taylor, Johnson, Bartel, Guthrie, Duncan, and Enright

Sydney Swans: McVeigh, Richards, Jack, Kennedy, N Smith

Malarkey Medal votes: Stokes -3, Johnson -2, Bartel -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. Dermie, I always like how you remind me of past games in your articles. Unfortunately, some of these games (Robert Scott, 2005 final) have been buried in my psyche for good reason! Oh well.
    Cheers

  2. Cookie, so sorry to drag up some of our Club’s sordid past.. but just with the good, the bad also makes up part of us. Glad you enjoyed the yarn.

  3. The Cats seem to have awoken from their mid-season slumber. As good a game as they’ve played.

    Chappy needs to play against the Lions to get his “second game blues” out of the way before finals.

  4. Michael Rogers says:

    In what was the 1,000th League match played in Geelong, the ‘Bloods’ have now been the ‘visitors’ at more matches in Geelong than any other team – 101 times 1897-2013. Some more information on matches played down a ‘Sleepy Hollow’ is available at this link: http://members.optusnet.com.au/~brubarb/1001_matches.htm

  5. Michael, that is a great resource for Cat-manackers, thanks for sharing that. I am sure to use something from there in future yarns.

  6. Dips, the mid-season slumber was exhaustion from doing a full pre-season in July. With the work they were doing mid-week, its a wonder those final quarter fade-outs were not starting an hour earlier.

    I notice the Cats have come in to equal-favourites this week.

    The Almanac censors may need to reclassify the cat-porn over the next month.

    Here’s hoping anyway!

  7. I really want the Squawks to remain flag favourites so that should the nightmare occur, at least we’d have some response to give when their fans give it to us.

  8. Thanks for your responses to my post guys. Cheers James

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