AFLW Round 2 – Collingwood v Melbourne: Full Moon Fever
Melbourne traffic lived up to its reputation last night and I arrived late at Ikon Stadium! Running to the entrance gate I am greeted by a booming cheer – please let this be a goal for Collingwood. Climbing the steps two at a time I join the supporters to discover I just missed an awesome Catilyn Edwards (1) goal superbly setup by Moana Hope (23) – I make a note to Google later.
The game is fast moving matching my heart beat. Both teams are streaming backwards and forwards across the field. The Pies kicking skills are on the mark. I am finding it hard to catch my breath. Demon supporters are in full voice. I am mesmerized by the red and blue “target” flags aloft behind the goal post. Local legend has it the target distracts the goal kicker.
Second quarter the game slows noticeably. Play is confined to small patches as the ball whizzes backwards and forwards hitting bodies, bouncing awkwardly, evoking a comment “Don’t go the Richmond way”! Momentum is evaporating into the cool night air – come on girls … focus. So easy for me to comment I am not in the midst of the fury. The ball bounces off Christina Bernardi (6) – I hold my breath. So close to a goal and moments later Sophie Casey (22) kicks our next goal … Yes … we got this – vast improvement on last week ladies. Christina storms in for another attempt at goal and lands one behind – we will take that point. Could be the difference.
Where is Moana? Quarter three commences. The smell of hot chips engulfs the upper stadium distracting me. From the side of the goal, with a cheeky flick of her pony tail, Catherine Phillips (35) plants a ball kick across the face of the goal post scoring for the Demons – game on. The Demons are on the hunt. What on earth happened during half-time in the Demon liar? Hell and brimstone explode across the field – these girls are on fire.
Moana returns. Relief. Thunder clouds are forming creating an eerie backdrop. Goal – the Demons Karen Paxman (4) scores another six points. Melbourne is dominating this game and lookout if Collingwood gets in the way. Catherine Phillips (35) strikes again – another goal levelling the score!
Channel 7 provides on-field entertainment as a reporter and her camera crew scamper across the ground much to the amusement of the players and umpires delaying the start of the fourth quarter. A full moon peeks through storm clouds as the last quarter produces fumbling ball handling from the Pies and collective “ooohs” as the argy bargy steps up a notch. Thunder rumbles adding to the tension on and off the field. Melbourne can smell a victory. Demon flags are thrust skyward to demonstrate a ground swell of support across the stadium. An open goal seals another Melbourne goal – Pies where are you!
“Thud” a player hits the ground… seconds pass and she is not moving. We are transfixed as the game stops. Still no movement. A collective breath – is she okay? Supporters switch to Twitter to source the latest information. The replay identifies the prone player as Melbourne’s Meg Downie allegedly brought down by Collingwood’s Sophie Casey. Gently Meg is stretched off the ground surrounded by a clapping salute from the crowd. This is not a “sissies” game.
In my opinion Collingwood played better this week despite the loss and the pending bottom of the ladder looming if Fremantle win against Brisbane tomorrow. I hope my girls are not catching the “colliewobblies”.
Tomorrow, February 12th is 125 years since Collingwood residents demonstrated their support for a home grown football club. Despite the Depression they turned out in droves to attend a public meeting at the Collingwood Town Hall. Sport brings us together, providing a commonality to which we can all interact. For a few hours we forget about “life”. The rest is history. Tonight our club’s founding father would be proud of what these committed, strong and talented women have achieved.
Collingwood: 4 1 25
Melbourne: 7 2 44
Collingwood: Catilyn Edwards (1); Emma Grant (1); Moana Hope (1); Jessica Cameron (1)
Melbourne: Karen Paxman (1); Alyssa Mifsud (1); Sarah Jolly (1); Shelley Scott (1); Jessica Anderson (1); Catherine Phillips (2)
Best on field:
3, Elisa O’Dea, 2, Amelia Barden, 1, Jessica Cameron