Roos 8-8, Barnstable 5-0

It was grey, it was cold, it was 8:30 in the morning, and I was standing around behind the Waaia goalposts waiting for the bus to arrive. We were going to the footy. Finally, it did arrive, and we all piled on. I was nervous, not because I didn’t fancy North’s chances, but the plans of meeting up with Michael Allan, Steve Healy and Adam Bulman seemed to have diminished. I was busy the previous night at a party so I wasn’t present as they most likely made the plans for the day. I sent Adam, Steve and Michael a text, but received nothing as the bus neared Seymour. Finally, Adam sent me a message (three in fact) but still, two hours on as I stood outside the MCG, I didn’t know what to do. The Waaia people had gone through gate five and were sitting in the Richmond cheersquad, I told the coach that I was going to go off and meet some friends. Gate six was the AFL Members entrance, so it was a smart idea to wait around there as Michael was providing all of us with AFL member’s tickets. But, I decided to just go inside the stadium, find a seat and enjoy the day by myself.

I was sitting right up against the fence next to the North Melbourne cheersquad, watching as Dustin Martin, Andrew Collins and Jack Riewoldt had shots at goal from all types of positions. I started talking to a Dad and his boy, decked in North gear, about our chances. Next thing I know, a ball almost decapitates the man, I bet it was Riewoldt who kicked it. My phone vibrated and it was a text from Michael. My hopes raised immediately. “I’m here.” It read (which was a complete lie). I told Michael where I was seated, and relaxed, waiting for a tap on the shoulder from him. After half an hour, nothing. I opened my phone, and realised the text hadn’t gone through. I had run out of credit. But soon my phone vibrated again, and it was Michael ringing me. We spoke, and soon enough I was running back out of the stadium to wait at gate six. People started offering me Eureka signs left, right and centre, I declined politely. Then out of nowhere, I see Steve coming towards me. That kid has a good eye. I had resigned to the fact that maybe he wasn’t coming, as last time we arranged to meet at the footy he pulled out at the last minute, so it was a pleasure to see him. We sat and talked, waiting for Michael to arrive. We started to handball his footy to each other, and the rain started coming down. I put my Footy Record in Steve’s bag, and I got a text from Adam. “Nearly there.” Another five or so minutes, and Michael and his mum arrived, and Michael decided to call Adam to get a precise location of where he was. Adam turned up as his phone started ringing, and we received our tickets from Mrs. Allan and headed inside.

By now the rain was pouring down, and there was an array of seats to take a pick from. On the wing, far side. Everyone else was undercover, so we braved the elements and got ready for the game. We joked about what was stronger, Ben Griffiths’ presence or mine, seeing as the young Tiger forward had played in five games, all wins, while I had been down to four North Melbourne games this season, all wins. It was lucky for all North supporters that Griffiths wasn’t playing, and that I was at the ground. Soon enough, Michael and I were back up, getting some food. I hadn’t eaten yet so I was quite hungry. As we were leaving our seats, six soldiers each shot a rifle in the air as part of the Eureka pre-game ritual. I can’t believe they didn’t hit a seagull.

When we returned, the rain was even heavier, and I started to think that the weather was not going to help me as I was just recovering from pneumonia. Oh well, it’s the footy. The game began and Ben Warren missed two early shots on goal, before Jake King easily marked a Michael Firrito kick-in. King put it back over Spud’s head, but the Roos quickly replied with Leigh Adams goaling on the run from 45m out. Firrito drifted forward and marked, before putting through a magnificent goal from tight on the boundary line. A tight scrap was played out, and the Roos led by five points at quarter time, 2.4 to 1.5, with the only real highlight being Firrito’s goal, and Riewoldt’s attempted mark of the year.

The second quarter started, and I wasn’t confident. Richmond had controlled most of the play in the first quarter and looked the better side. Looks can be deceiving though. Riewoldt goaled within the first minute, before Sam Wright stood underneath the ball smack-bang in the middle of the MCG. Trent Cotchin came in late and bumped into Wright, forcing him to be taken from the field in the hands of the trainers. It was a 50m penalty, and Brent Harvey gladly took responsibility of the shot. He goaled, before Adams kicked his second to take the margin out to 11 points. From the next Ruck contest, Goldstein tapped it down, the Roos won the ball forward, kicked long to a contest and Goldstein stuck one hand out like an octopus and marked. He has a great work-rate, Goldstein, as evidenced by his tap-and-run-forward. He kicked truly, and the Roos were clear from Richmond. Andrew Collins kicked a late goal in the quarter, much to the delight of Michael, then Riewoldt marked right on the boundary line, just inside 50. He took the shot and why wouldn’t you when you’re leading the Coleman Medal? It went through for another goal as he celebrated in emphatic style, but Andrew Swallow ruined the party with a goal on the run after some great link-up play through the middle of the ground. The Roos led by 14 points at the main break, 6.9 to 4.7.

I answered a call from Mum, and told her the current scores. It was time to hang up though as we decided to go undercover in a room to watch a bit of Carlton v Sydney while trying to work out if we could go to any games together before the end of the season. We ventured back out to our seats to watch some of the Auskick action. The third quarter started of the real match, and Daniel Wells intercepted a handball before snapping a great goal to get things underway. Daniel Pratt ventured forward to kick a rare goal, before Lachie Hansen took a good mark before converting and all of a sudden the margin had blown out to 33 points. Matt Campbell made it 39 with a major. Campbell soon kicked his second to extend the lead as the Tigers were goalless for the quarter, with a behind to Riewoldt their only score. North in complete control at the last change, 11.12 to 4.8.

Mrs. Allan and Michael left as he had deb practice; it’s probably a good thing that he did leave. Luke McGuane kicked a rare goal from the goalsquare to start the final quarter. I decided to go get some hot food to warm me up, I was a shivering mess. The rain hadn’t relented all day and it seemed to be getting heavier. When I got back I learnt that Gavin Urquhart had kicked a goal, but Robbie Nahas answered with a clever goal off the ground in the goalsquare. Hansen took a mark on the lead and lined up from just inside 50 on a tight angle. He went back and kicked straight through the middle, the goal umpire did not move. He celebrated with a weird movement of his arms, must be something that they thought of at training during the week. Levi Greenwood took a terrific mark running into a pack before playing on and bombing long to the hot-spot, where Adams received a handball and snapped his third, but I didn’t seem to care anymore. I was just wishing for the final siren, I was cold, wet and shivering. Riewoldt took a good mark and kicked his third, but Nathan Grima had played a perfect game on him. The next 10 minutes were quite boring, and at the 25th minute mark I decided to start walking around to where the Waaiaians where. I bid Steve and Adam farewell, and started to get my feet warm as I walked around towards M4. As I got there, Warren picked up the ball in plenty of space in the forward line before kicking his first on the run, celebrating with that arm movement. I liked it. The siren sounded, I clenched my fist but nothing over the top. I just wanted to leave.

Back on the bus driving home, the bus driver wouldn’t turn off the lights so I had no chance of getting to sleep, so I decided to read my Footy Record. The adults were on the alcohol, filling up a rubbish bag full of empty cans and bottles. That’s the Waaia way I guess.

Thanks Mrs. Allan and Michael for the tickets.

Richmond 1.5—4.7—4.8—7.11.53

North Melbourne 2.4—6.9—11.12—15.13.103

Goalkickers:

Richmond-Riewoldt 3, Nahas, Collins, McGuane, King

North Melbourne-Adams 3, Hansen 2, Campbell 2, Firrito, Urquhart, Harvey, Warren, Wells, Pratt, Goldstein, Swallow

Best:

Richmond-Connors, Cousins, Tuck, Martin, Deledio

North Melbourne-Adams, Grima, Swallow, Cunnington, Wells, Firrito, Thompson, Harvey

Crowd:

42, 723 at the MCG

Votes:

3: Leigh Adams (NM)

2: Nathan Grima (NM)

1: Andrew Swallow (NM)

About Josh Barnstable

21 year old North Melbourne supporter from country Victoria. Currently living in Melbourne studying a Bachelor of Sports Media. Dreams of becoming a sports journalist and broadcaster.

Comments

  1. Josh,

    To be totally honest with you, I skipped pretty much all the bits that described the match. It was entertaining to hear your perceptions of the afternoon though, aside from the events on field.

    Adam

  2. Steve Healy says:

    I like to think I have two good eyes

  3. That’s ok Adam, you know what happened anyway. The main part of the report wasn’t the match anyway.

  4. Danielle says:

    Great to see your record is still alive. :)
    You must be like North’s good luck charm lol

  5. They only won because Richmond’s good luck charm was out. We had no immovable object to cancel out Josh’s unstoppable force.

  6. Tony Robb says:

    Good report Josh. Im not sure if your interested but Ive got some New North Melbourne jumpers signed by Shannon Grant, Adam Simpson and Jade Rawlings let me know if your interested in any of them and I’ll get one off to you.
    cheers
    TR

  7. Gee Tony, of course. That sounds great. How much would it cost?

    Ben Griffiths has nothing on me Adam.

  8. Tony Robb says:

    Josh,
    my email is changes1@tpg.com.au.
    Ive got three jumpers with individual signatures of Adam Simpson, Rawlings and Shannon Grant. Let me know which one you want and Ill sent it to you. No charge
    cheers
    Tony

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