Geelong put Collingwood right in their box, win third in five years

My mate Duncan and I decided to skip the pre-match Meat Loaf in favour of a Parma and a couple pints at the James Squire Alehouse in keeping with the routine we followed last Grand Final I attended in 2007. First though it was a quick detour to Swanston Street to buy a cheap pair of gloves from Arthur Daley’s. Parma  was so-so but mercifully we missed a Meat Loaf performance what was derided by the entire nation. We did catch the national anthem however, apparently sung by a peacock.

Walking to the ground I finally started to feel a bit uncertain about the day, I think it’s a function of so many Collingwood fans around. But when the ball was bounced Stevie Johnson was out there, and I thought we were in with a shot. The Cats started off well, Travis Varcoe having a dream start with the opening goal with only 15 seconds on the clock. He had a second after four minutes later and the Cats were away, the Magpies not quite out of their trackie dacks let alone out of the starting block. The Cats also managed a couple of behinds however and before you knew it, Travis Cloke who we trashed-talked in The Age the day before had two very good long goals, scores more or less level after 18 minutes. Andrew Krakouer put the Pies in front but Stevie J, kicked his first straight after. Luke Ball, who won the game for the Magpies last week over Hawthorn, put them ahead again before Joel Selwood snatched the lead back; the Cats in front by just one behind at quarter time.

The occasion threatened to turn into a nightmare for Geelong fans and seventh heaven for the Collingwood army as they banged on three quick goals in the second quarter, Cloke booting a monster from right in front of us. Up the other end poor old Tom Hawkins copped a bit of stick as he missed a few after taking good, strong marks. The two sides went goal for goal before James Podsiadly suffered a match ending shoulder injury and was stretchered off, allowing Mitch Duncan into the game. In a long quarter,Geelong really got themselves off the canvas, kicking the final two goals to keep in touch, Selwood getting one and Bartel the other. Collingwood really had it over Geelongthat quarter but only had a 3 point head to show for it.

At this point we should mention we had never seen the MCG so busy; had been there at a 99,000 game before but this time every man and his dog seemed to want a beer; queues stretched for miles, even to go to the toilet (men aren’t used to queing more than a minute). So we decided against getting at beer at the ‘G and stuck to water.

After half-time Hawkins came out rejuevanated like he’d hit the smelling salts, the kind those Eastern European weight lifters take before clean-and-jerking a small Euro smart car. Turns out he had a pep talk with the absent Cameron Mooney, an even more uplifting pick-me-up. It wasn’t long before he bagged his first goal, deftly soccering through a loose ball, using his size to his advantage, Ben Reid on one leg probably wishing he wasn’t there. What then happened over 15 minutes was a game of cat and mouse; goal for goal. Wellingham kicked a ‘goal’ for the Magpies that actually hit the post, enragingGeelongfans least of all the KRock commentators. The Cats had the better end of the stick though for the rest, outscoring the Magpies three goals to one. Hawkins finished with two for the quarter, Stokes and my boy Bartel kicked one apiece, as did Mitch Duncan, who struggled in the second quarter but had a real good crack at it after half time like Hawkins.Geelongin front by 7 points.

The tension was palpable; asGeelongfans we sort of thought we had done enough and could finish the job but who knows in this game?! Collingwood likewise may have felt the same, after all their so called gun in Dane Swan hadn’t done much – what about this era of dominance they were in? Well, turns out we were proven right. By the time the Cats’ lead was unassailable soccer-style chants of ‘Geeeeeeeee-Lonnnnnnnng’ rang out throughout the ground, a bit of a slap in the face to Collingwood but why not? Hawkins was at it again though didn’t kick a goal, he may have kicked one but flicked it by hand to Johnson who did his circus trick round-the-corner shot. Varcoe and Bartel kicked their third goals each, Johnson his fifth and it was party time at the ‘G! Fittingly skipper Cameron Ling kicked the final goal.

Matthew Scarlett really lapped up the dying minutes, at one with the cheer squad who he ran to as soon as the siren rang with Bartel. What a great job theGeelongfans did all day, all around the ground – you felt like you were in a cheer squad.

Bartel who epitomisesGeelongwas deservedly awarded the Norm Smith Medal.Geelongwere so even today. But Bartel’s goals were crucial, keeping the Cats in the contest. Joel Selwood was good, getting in and under when he had to and running outside other times.Taylorreally struggled but picked himself up, Tom Lonergan taking over Cloke and really shutting him down. Andrew Mackie is a great player, coach Chris Scott’s got him in a good frame of mind after his struggles last season. Cameron Ling the Captain deserves a mention, he had a really good game, nominatelly on Swan. We didn’t notice James Kelly that often, but did on the replay. Scarlett was ever the quiet achiever (except for the last few minutes claiming victory).

So all in all a great day, pretty much a bonus Premiership, one we did not at all expect for the year, especially after last year’s Prelim final belting by the Pies. All credit to the players, they clearly rated themselves, and of course the coaching staff. It was great to see Brenton Sanderson down near the interchange bench towards the end of the game, and it was also great to see the off-field staff get their photo taken on the podium as the players ran their victory lap.

During the lap my old man got out The Age and ticked off those who had predicted this; and circled with a mixture of amusement and rage David King’s column of why the Cats wouldn’t win. And off it was for the sweetest of victory drinks in the city before we all went our separate ways home for an early night.

GEELONG: 4.3 8.6 13.7 18.11 (119) DEFEATED

COLLINGWOOD: 4.2 9.3 12.6 12.9 (81)

GOALS

GEELONG: Johnson 4, Hawkins 3, Bartel 3, Varcoe 3, Selwood 2, Stokes, Duncan, Ling

COLLINGWOOD: Krakouer 3, Cloke 3, Sidebottom 2, Brown, Ball, Johnson, Weliingham

BEST

GEELONG: Bartel, Kelly, Hawkins, Selwood, Lonergan, Ling, S. Johnson, Stokes, Mackie

COLLINGWOOD: Pendlebury, Ball, Thomas, O’Brien , B. Johnson, Sidebottom

INJURIES GEELONG: Podsiadly (shoulder) COLLINGWOOD: Nil reported

CHANGES GEELONG: Nil COLLINGWOOD: Nil

UMPIRES: FIELD: Chris Donlon, Brett Rosebury, Shaun Ryan EM: Matt Stevic

BOUNDARY: Mark Foster, Christopher Gordon, Mark Thomson, Nathan Doig EM: Jonathon Creasey

GOAL: David Dixon, Luke Walker EM: Chelsea Roffey

CROWD: 99,537 at MCG, Melbourne

OUR VOTES: Bartel (G) 3, Johnson (G) 2, Hawkins (G) 1

About Ben Jensen

Geelong fanatic back in town after a few years away.

Comments

  1. I forgot to add a post script – Nick Maxwell, who I seem to have more time for than most, is a bit of a sore loser. “They won the battle, but they haven’t won the war”, he said. What a prat. If the Grand Final isn’t a war I don’t know what is.

  2. John Butler says:

    What you said Ben. :)

  3. Sounds like you had fun Ben but be careful what you say.

    Any sort of overt expression of joy is being considered arrogance,

    Names have been named, and people is gunna get got. It won’t matter to me I got got many times throughout the Hawks golden era and all this season from Pies and Hawks, so my skin is thick.

    I may even flick back through last year’s GF reviews and see what was written. Could be revealing.

    Go Cats.

  4. Now that you say that Phantom I might have to change my name, move somewhere unknown to you all, and get my avatar one of those Microsoft Office outline thingys.

  5. Rick Kane says:

    It’s not arrogance, it’s bragging rights. Lap it up. Your team not only won the Premiership, they are (easily) the best team of the last 5 years. I didn’t think they had it in them to win the Premiership this year and I got it wrong, very wrong. I don’t mind standing corrected. I have seen the Cats play 8 times this year (courtesy of a nine year old son who barracks for them), including the thrashings they handed out to the Demons and the Pies and I love their style of play. As I have said on another discussion thread, they are skilful, quick and daring. Qualities enough to make Errol Flynn the best screen Robin Hood and certainly qualities enough to make any footy follower nod in appreciation. So rev us up, live it up and keep on keepin on. It’s your moment.

Leave a Comment

*