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Round 2 – Sydney v Port Adelaide: Holding on to Moments

 

Nothing is permanently perfect. But there are perfect moments and the will to choose what will bring about more perfect moments.

Mary Balogh.

 

During the week, I found myself entranced by one of SBS’ brilliant Nordic Noir flicks where a father’s alter ego provided his clan with constant entertainment. His quest? To fill their lives with a steady stream of joyous occasions: a noble quest indeed. These days, our clan gathers together more infrequently, but joyous it always is. This Easter, spent in Australia’s largest city, is to be one such opportunity.

 

Sydney has changed much since boyhood holidays were spent at the Haven Inn in Glebe. A place where the breakfast buffet took a beating and the mud-wrestling channel provided my younger brother with great fascination. Trips to Australia’s Wonderland involved dreamy afternoons spent on Magilla Gorilla’s Floatilla and Huckleberry Hound’s Merry-go-Round. These moments are priceless pieces of childhood recollection.

 

These days, our treasured Swans are at the heart of these gatherings. We’ve set up camp in a rented Tamarama retreat and the scene is set for an Easter Sunday showdown. The only dilemma will be where to swim before the big game? Beach or pool? Pre game persuasions comprised of a Taronga Zoo trek, where a Sumatran Tiger took his opportunity to scare the unaware. A Bronte Beach morning dip was followed by lunch of true delicacy at Mr. Wong’s and it was appearing as though the stars had surely aligned.

 

Our collective marched through Gate E of the mighty SCG with spirits and hopes in equally high measures. This moment holds great significance as I carry my cygnet Ollie into the grand old ground for the very first time. Sporting his new red and white guernsey, his nearly two-year-old eyes are wide with wonder. This is what it’s all about. Which moments will we hold on to tonight?

 

Swans family.

 

It’s a picture perfect twilight and the build up ends as the ball is bounced. Early signs indicate that this one will be a battle. Tough in the trenches, both teams struggle to gain ascendancy. When Parker dribbles through our first major, the faithful erupt and we celebrate as one. We clap. We high-five. Buddy brings the house down with his next as only Buddy can and for a fleeting moment, he appears as though he may just be the main man from my Nordic Noir.

 

What happens next will truly rank as a most memorable moment. With our Swannies taking the lead, excitement ensues as Ollie cheers. Then he coughs. And then, well then he projectile vomits. The poor little fella hasn’t been at his best all day, but in true Bloods spirit, he has been looking for a way to just get the job done. Unfortunately, today is not his day. It was however, the lucky day of an unsuspecting Power fan sitting in front of as the banana-yoghurt missile freakishly avoided each and every part of her. I’m unsure if this was a deliberate ploy from my little cygnet though, as a contingent of opposition supporters did in fact vacate their post after the incident. Ollie’s day came to an early close as he vacated with my Swanette for an early shower.

 

But, as they say in the classics, the show must go on. Despite our statistical dominance, the match feels like a true arm wrestle at quarter time with the Power expertly shutting down most opportunities to run and carry the Sherrin. Two more Ollie’s are having a more productive day than ours. Wines, of Port, is making his presence felt around the stoppages and Florent, of Sydney, is making his mark with moments of speed and precision.

 

We kick out to a three-goal lead but the most uncharacteristic of ball handling and kicking errors are gifting the opposition majors. Each time we look to have gained the upper hand, a response is conjured by the visiting team. They are a team of substantial size and their contact is rock solid. Surely we can break free at some stage.

 

Martin Luther King jr. once said that ‘the ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy’. The challenges begin to mount as the third term masquerades as some type of Nordic nightmare. Clanger kicks and fundamental fumbling of the footy sees not only our lead dissipate, but it’s overtaken like the Datsun 200B I owned as a provisional driver. Are these Bloods up for the challenge?

 

The final term begins with a Franklin flurry. After bombing what can only be described as a wonder goal off one step, across his body from outside the arc, he chisels a bullet-like pass to hit Towers for another. We’re back to neck-a-neck as McVeigh is directing, Hannebery is charging and Franklin is, well, Franklin. Alas, despite the potential of a fightback, we’re dumped like my nephews were in the Bronte shore. This wasn’t the plan.

 

Despite the unwanted result, moments of magic have been made throughout a glorious long weekend spent with those who truly matter. It’s the little things that make happy moments. Things like a glowing, lazy evening spent eating fish and chips on Bondi Beach. Things like walking your son into the SCG for the very first time. Things like taking your Dad to his favourite Chinese restaurant. Things like watching Buddy in the flesh. These things are my perfect moments that I wish to hold dear. Win or lose.

 

SYDNEY                2.4   6.6   8.10   10.11 (71)
PORT ADELAIDE  1.2    4.4   11.7   14.10 (94)

GOALS
Sydney: Franklin 4, Parker, Hayward, Papley, Cunningham, Heeney, Towers
Port Adelaide: Marshall 3, Boak 2, Wingard 2, Polec 2, Wines, Powell-Pepper, Motlop, R.Gray, Bonner

BEST
Sydney: Kennedy, Franklin, Parker, McVeigh, Smith, Florent
Port Adelaide: Wines, R.Gray, Marshall, Dixon, Westhoff, Boak

INJURIES
Sydney: Jones (calf) replaced in selected side by Fox, Hannebery (knee)
Port Adelaide: Wingard (hamstring)

Reports: Nil

Umpires: Donlon, Haussen, Stephens

Official crowd: 34,636 at the SCG

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About Joe Moore

Learned the art of the drop-punt from Derek Kickett as Jamie Lawson watched on. And thus, a Swan for life. @joedmoore1979

Comments

  1. Lovely memories for you I am sure, Joe.
    Always wonderful to get the clan together.

    It was an enthralling game. And I reckon the Power beat the Swans at their own game (tight, in-close, contested ball etc).

  2. Keiran Croker says:

    Lovely piece Joe. I bet your Ollie will be told of his first visit to the SCG many times in the future. And for memorable moments you’ll always recall that goal from Buddy in the last quarter.

    Given the sorry state of our cricket team, it’s nice to be reminded that sport is more than the win/loss balance.

    I hope that the Swans Ollie will be giving your boy lots of joy over the next decade. Have you got a number 13 for your Ollie’s jumper?

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