Preparing (again) for the Big Blow

by Joseph Walker

I’m walking through the gates at school anxious and ready for the Big Blow. It’s two days after the Grand Final Replay, and I’m a Saints supporter. First comes Callum. He’s one of my best mates and a die-hard Magpie. Behind him are Stefan and Liam. They’re also really good friends of mine and Swan and Bomber supporters respectively. Callum notices me and sprints like a greyhound towards me with a big grin on his face. Stefan and Liam closely follow to see what Callum does next. Legs apart, knees bent, hips back, elbows also bent, index fingers pointing to the sky. He screams ‘we woooooonnnn!!!’ as loud as he can into my face, as if he’s been waiting for this moment ever since that Grand Final siren sounded. Callum’s nice, friendly, quiet. I’ve never seen him as crazy as this. Then again, I’d do the same.

The rest of the day is how I expected. I’m greeted by a sea of Collingwood guernseys. And ‘Saints suck’ is mainly what I hear from Collingwood supporters for most it. I walk out of those gates not thinking back on the Grand Final, but looking forward: forward to the next time we play Collingwood.

Today is that day.

Saints are having a season full of struggle and Collingwood are dishing up the same as last year. We are coming off some momentum to put a little bit of spice into the match, but injuries weigh us down. Hayes, Blake, Cripps, and Geary are all out. This does, though, bring debutants Ledger and Simpkin into the match. I’m excited to see how they play up against the black and white enemy.

Brendon Goddard scores the first goal. A week ago some people thought he’d be out for the season. Oh, the irony. Cloke easily replies after a nice contested mark.  And then he goes back-to-back.  I’m just happy he’s in my Dream Team side, as I always knew this was probably going to be a flogging. But could my prediction be the wrong one? We shall see. Peake gets a goal off the outside of his boot and the margin is just one point. Two behinds after, it’s quarter time with the Pies winning by three.

A handball from Jimmy Gwilt slips through the hands of Tom Simpkin for a Dawes goal. Dane Swan gets a free kick after a push in the back and makes no mistake from fifteen out. Clinton Jones dribbles one through before a trademark snap around the corner from Milne puts us two points behind. The Saints inch in front after a Steven goal. I’m getting jumpy and anxious as hell. What is Callum thinking at the moment? Riewoldt finally scores after almost six quarters of no score from him, but nope, it’s only a point. I notice Brisbane are down by eighty at the Gabba late in their second quarter. Ooh, that’s bad.

With thirty seconds left in the term I’m confident we’ll go in to the third quarter ahead.                                                                                                                                                                         Two very, very quick goals from Cloke and Krakouer spoil those dreams.

Dawes scores a goal from a tight angle before Swan thumps one home to put the Pies up by twenty one. Four behinds follow before Armitage bags one. Leon Davis replies with a major. Two more from the Pies puts them up by five goals at the last break.

We score the first goal of the last term through Gilbert. Sharrod Wellingham is freakish in responding and Dane Swan snags his third. Krakouer takes a memorable mark  and drives it through to put the decision far beyond doubt. Wellingham scores his second to stretch the margin to fifty. Dane Swan strolls in for his fourth before the siren sounds. My sister pleads for me to turn the TV off when she hears the Magpie song. She obviously can’t handle the pain that comes with being a Saints supporter.

The final score would have been the same as the 2010 Grand Final Replay, had we scored one extra point. Although there probably won’t be any wearing of Collingwood jumpers at school on Monday, or as many  ‘Saints suck’ comments, Callum’s celebrations may still loom.

MY VOTES:  Pendlebury (Coll) 3,  Swan (Coll) 2, Dal Santo (St K) 1.

Comments

  1. Another good, accurate post Joseph. Saints just aren’t up to it at the minute. Remember – ‘strength through loyalty’ – and that Callum dude needs to show a bit more humility.

  2. joseph.walker says:

    Thanks russel
    Callums a nice guy and was just caught up in the moment.
    Imagine what you would do if saints won the grannie?
    But thanks for the comment :-)

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