Psalm 89:46

How long, O Lord? Will you hide yourself forever? How long will your wrath burn like fire?

While Ms Gillard struggles with our nation’s weighty border issues its high time Barry cast his bleak eye Albury way to shore up our state boundaries. The scene at ANZ on Saturday night shows that the normal wards against evil of toothpaste, soap and cutting of Centrelink payments are crumbling under a northbound contagion. Like many problems in NSW it’s something that’s been ignored far too long. Many of The Enemy fans looked like they had their own teeth and some perhaps may even be employed! The allure of The Enemy has always baffled me but then again history tells us Idi Amin had his supporters too. Idi, Eddie. The phonetic similarities are too horrible to comprehend.

Last year we took it right to the wire with The Enemy but even with our much-improved squad I knew we were in for a tough one. So it proved, eight points the difference on the final siren.

Both teams are masters of the flood and with drizzly greasy conditions we weren’t likely to witness a free-flowing game. The midfield arm-wrestle we were more than ready for but what was clearly absent were those silky clearances we’ve been scoring from in previous weeks. Weird decisions, clunker kicks and bombing it to nowhere and no-one, it was shades of 2010/11 all over again. I lost count of the times we handed our momentum over. Richards did his normal bang up job in defence; does this man ever go off for a spell? Shaw laid some fantastic tackles that got the crowd going. But it was hard work getting into an attacking position. Rebounds out of half back were picked off and punching the ball over the line rather than taking contested marks was the norm. The Enemy looked dangerous when they got free, their overlap and big forward options hard to contain.

And on that subject what’s with Travis Cloke and that one creepy glove? Is the man Blofeld to our Bond?

Despite S.P.E.C.T.R.E. lurking I figured we matched it with them for sheer guts. What really did us in was accuracy. At some point in the third we were 17 points up and I figured here we go, time to nail the bastards to the floor. Instead we hit behind after behind. Shutting Jetta down cut off a major artery and meant more work for the likes of LRT, McGlynn, Kennedy and TDL. Less said about Adam ‘couldn’t hit the side of a barn’ Goodes’ effort the better. That snap goal around his body was one thing but claiming the free for a throw and then missing the set shot completely was stroke inducing. Given he’s out of Brownlow contention instead of wandering around morosely in the forward line he ought to be midfield pounding the snot out of anyone stupid enough to try and keep up. Perhaps it’s the injury recovery or he’s out of position with Reid sidelined but there’s a marked slump in his form.

I’m sure the Victorian umpires view it as their moral duty to shaft us every game. In the heat of play a few high tackles on both sides are bound to be missed. Perhaps some dodgy calls of deliberate too; Chris Scott welcome aboard the bandwagon. But when 45,000 fans manage to see a blatant push in the back of Marty Mattner near the goal square yet all those fluorescent yellow dickheads go completely blind you have to wonder where the justice is? It proved the game killer goal. Up until then I thought we might go over the top in a true Bloods last ditch fight. Someone needs to be up before a firing squad today. No doubt in a fortnight the umpires will admit they got it wrong, again.

As we trudged out of Olympic Park I wished I had Eddie’s number to hand. The thought of him settling into another smoggy London morning of coma inducing long distance commentary when the message came in was just too delicious; Swans by 10. His crew yanks the feed but not before a few seconds of ghastly screams make it to air.  The only way to stop him is to wrap the microphone cord around his throat until he blacks out.

How much longer O Lord, how much longer?

Our own Chairman is warning of a growing divide between cashed up clubs and those struggling with income. We’re facing an English premiership like situation he says. What’s he’s missing is the one obvious solution. Piss The Enemy off into their own league so they can collectively play with themselves. It can’t come soon enough, especially with their ex-coach expressing his disbelief that we’re still top of the table.

Seven years of these rotten loses.

How much longer, O Lord?

September, that’s when.

About Tom Bally

Born in 1834 Tom Bally was instrumental in establishing the rules of the modern game. It's a little known fact and the rare times he talks about it all he'll say is "that bloody Wills chap got me full of grape one night and the next thing I know he's peacocking around Richmond Paddock like he dreamt up the whole thing on his lonesome. Still I got the last laugh didn't I eh? Introducing the Umpire and all that."

Comments

  1. John Harms says:

    Tom. I’m still trying to work out how you let that one slip, and I was surprised the commentators didn’t make more of the body contest (read hands in the back) from Cloke.

    Still. I reckon you blokes are in with a show, although I’d be playing a big man in the traditional CHF Sam Reid role. It was working even when Reid wasn’t marking it.

  2. Andrew Fithall says:

    Tom – If you think a solution to a growing financial divide comes by “Piss The Enemy off into their own league “, you are very much mistaken. Saturday night’s crowd was the largest for any regular home-and-away fixture from all football codes in Sydney for the year. This game was Sydney’s annual fund-raiser. Try raising that sort of crowd and income by playing GWS every four weeks.

    AF

    BTW – that was a nice high-fend that preceded Swans’ last goal of the match. 1 million people watching on TV yelled it out – I am surprised the umpires didn’t hear.

    BTW (2) – Ignore anything Mick Malthouse says. I do. All Collingwood supporters do.

    BTW (3) – I like your work.

  3. Tom, looks like you’ve pissed the enemy off. Full stop.
    Great stuff.

  4. Wasn’t the real game Saturday night – Carlton v Brisbane?

  5. AF,

    the players obviously ignored what Mick said at three quarter time in last year’s GF.

    I hope they weren’t listening to Bucks instead.

    (That will teach you not to laugh at my conspiracy theory – the bloody cheek of you)

  6. Carringbush says:

    Always good to silence the Sydney supporters and media. All plaudits to Bucks’ coaching. Poss blanketed Jetta; Marty minimised McGlynn and the various players assigned to Goodes did their job. Have to say we loved greedy Goodes grabbing the free only to spray the kick – Gold! It was probably a touch more class and the boys taking our limited chances in the end but it was very unSwanlike to see them bomb it in to the forward line again and again only for Reidy to mop up. .As usual the Sydney Collingwood Supporters Club had their annual function at Magpie Sports in Croydon Park before sending a couple of buses to the stadium to make some noise. Congratulations to the club on their 10th anniversary.

  7. Tom,

    Sad to hear you didn’t enjoy Saturday night. Fair bit of pent up venom there.

    Cloke was just too strong for Mattner so stop bleating. The kick by Blair was superbly weighted.

    Our fans fill your ground & coffers & that’s the thanks we get?

    Pity your Ed fantasy didn’t eventuate.

    Enjoy.

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