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Round 22 – North Melbourne v Sydney: A 10-day Road Trip and two Wins! I’m happy!

We arrived in Melbourne 10 days ago for the St Kilda game and we’re still here, Monday. Flew to Hobart on Friday for the game, and back in Melbourne last night. Heading off in SWANZ in a couple of hours, a little exhausted, but happy that our trip has been worthwhile, winning both games.

 

Our tickets to the game against North were booked months ago. The second best option in the ticketing choices was the Boon Stand. All fine. Until we arrived at the ground.

 

Friday in Hobart was overcast but surprisingly mild. Saturday’s forecast told us to rug-up. Venturing out to catch the shuttle bus to the ground, the cold wind coming straight off the Derwent was indeed a reminder that our four layers of clothing were an absolute necessity. The Taswegians thought otherwise. I couldn’t believe that some just wore their blue and white guernseys! When I asked them “Aren’t you cold?” they just grinned and replied “Aw Nah, this isn’t cold!”

 

We got to the ground early, looking forward to seeing where our seats were in the famous man’s Stand. Oh! You must be joking! Restricted View! Part of the left-hand goal post, the whole of the left-hand point post and the area of the ground behind it were all missing! Couldn’t believe it. I moaned and groaned for a few minutes, went down to the attendants and complained, walked back up the steps to the back row to tell Marshall they couldn’t do anything about it, and as all the seats had been sold, there wasn’t much we could do, except put up with it.

 

Well, I don’t usually take the “put up with it” option so, despite Marshall’s acceptance of the situation, off I went again, back down the steps and half-way around the ground to find the main entrance. I explained the situation to the woman standing by the turnstiles, and asked to be let out so I could speak to someone in the ticket box. The same boring response “All seats have been sold madam (hate, hate that word!) so there’s no point in going outside.” I got my way, and lined up. After five minutes of repeating myself, the young woman at the counter came back with the “no seats available” mantra. Supervisor needed. “Why wasn’t I told when I purchased the tickets that they had a restricted view?” “Sorry, madam.” The listing of tickets showing above the booth clearly stated the prices for Restricted Viewing, and they certainly didn’t include the expensive seats in the Boon Stand.

 

Much chatting and clicking of the computer keyboard between the ticket office staff, and a minute later “Oh, we do have a couple of seats for you in the same stand, just further around”. Great. I thank them and head back to Marshall. We move to the next Bay just in time for the first bounce. And, would you believe we were the only two people in that part of the row – seven seats next to us were empty! So, I don’t think we were the first to be sold our original seats, and the row we were now in had been kept aside for those of us who simply don’t “put up with it”.

 

This game was tight. Too tight for my liking.

 

Interesting to see Aliir Aliir and Majak Daw lining up against each other. Is that a first? Majak took the early honours. The pressure in the first quarter is immense, and tackling ferocious. With Parkes, Joey and Macca all influential, the Swans add five goals from Georgie, Gazza, Paps, Lloydy and Macca, and with a lead of 24 points, we look solid. Unfortunately North come back with the last two goals of the quarter and our lead has reduced to 12.

 

This is North’s quarter, but fortunately not on the scoreboard. The tackling and overall pressure hasn’t been relinquished but goals are hard to come by – from both teams. Our drought is broken with a brilliant goal off the boot of Gazza, as the ball is about to roll over the line. Lukey Parker’s influence, though not as pronounced as in the first quarter, and our backline, especially Millsy, have made sure that we’re still ahead at half time. 12 points the difference.

 

Teams trade goal for goal for the first half of the third quarter. Macca, then the local hero Ben Brown, Benny McGlynn, and Harvey all kick truly. We then apply more pressure, and I welcome the 28 point lead, with goals from Hanners, Isaac and Joey. But, as happened in the first quarter, we seem to pull back on the pressure and allow North to fight back, reducing our lead to just eight points going into the last quarter.

 

This game is really making me nervous. I mutter away to myself, with a few expletives thrown in, when Harvey snaps a six-pointer from the goal square. We just can’t allow this to happen, especially in another close one! Four games lost by under a goal! This cannot happen again! The ball seems to be down North’s end for most of the quarter and all I can really see is Dal Santo, Harvey and Ziebell doing what they can to get their team over the line. Buddy, however, is having his say and getting involved late in the game, despite being hampered by the knock to his hip in the first term. He is instrumental in our only goal for the quarter, from Hanners, 45 metres out on an angle. For the remainder of the game, both teams miss opportunities and no further goals are scored.

 

Still worried, with the scoreboard clock reading 25.23 seconds, and expecting at least another three minutes of play, the siren sounds! Everyone is happily surprised – well the red and white are – and we jump from our seats and join in the Cheer Cheering around the ground. And, there were lots of Swans supporters, maybe a quarter of the crowd having made the trip. Our boys did what they had to, in a hard fought physical contest, and I, for one, was mightily relieved to hear that siren!

 

We spent Sunday morning at the Art Gallery and Museum, and approaching one of the rooms that exhibited Tasmanian artifacts, my eyes went straight to a beautiful object. Not only did my eyes react, but my heart skipped a beat, and then raced ever so slightly. It always does when red and white is involved.

 

Art Gallery Photo for inserting into Jans North-Sydney Post

Caption: Paddleboard 1960, Hobart. Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery

 

My highlights from the game:
Luke Parker
Dan Hannebery
Josh Kennedy
Tom Mitchell
Callum Mills
Jarrad McVeigh
Jake Lloyd
And being able to see the entire ground!

About Jan Courtin

A Bloods tragic since first game at Lake Oval in 1948. Moved interstate to Sydney to be closer to beloved Swans in 1998. My book "My Lifelong Love Affair with the Swans" was launched by the Swans at their headquarters at the SCG in August 2016. www.myswansloveaffair.com

Comments

  1. Glad you finally found some good seats for the game allowing full viewing perspective. You travel all that way and having to put up with crap seating is not acceptable. It was a tight game and felt we should of disposed of the Roos mid game but their fight back was expected and finally we won the close finish, so easily could have gone the other way.

  2. Ross Treverton says:

    Another good read Jan! Hope you rest up in the week ahead and enjoy the home game against those troublesome Tigers! Cheer, cheer…

  3. jan courtin says:

    Thanks Dave and Ross

    Yes, a good win, despite the closeness. Unusual for the Bloods to give up a 28 point lead, but for obvious reasons North was desperate and fought back well. But at least, this time, we held on.

    I will try and rest up Ross, but with the books arriving Wednesday, and lots of things to still tie up before the launch, I imagine I’ll be on the move for most of the week.

    There is surely absolutely no way known in this big wide world that our boys could let the game against those wretched Tigers go by the wayside! We HAVE to win and win well, and stay up there where we belong!!

    Cheer cheer
    Jan

  4. Keiran Croker says:

    Hi Jan,
    I was relieved when the Swans supporter behind me streamed the tv coverage on his smart phone late in the game and informed us that only 90 secs remained.
    I was standing on the hill – only 3 layers, so cold and cold also coming up through my runners. I enjoyed the experience though they need better facilities there.
    I did think we were in control though the Roos wasted some chances.

  5. jan courtin says:

    Yes Keiran, it was so so cold and you’re lucky that you knew how much timed remained in the last quarter.

    We didn’t buy anything from around the ground,but based on our situation with the seating, I agree that they need better facilities.

    The buses stuffed up after the game too. Thousands of people lining up and no buses in sight for long periods!

    Glad we got the 4 points
    Cheer cheer

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