The Old Firm Saves the Day

It’s a balmy and breezy Sunday at Kardinia Park. While it’s a problematic zephyr for wig wearers, it’s a beautiful wind to unfurl a premiership flag. A flag success that many thought could not be achieved by an ageing list, a virgin coach and sans number 29. The now biennial flag unfurling conducted by retired premiership heroes is met with rapturous applause from the Geelong faithful. If C. Carter’s persuasive argument is officially ratified, this is Geelong’s 16th flag (equal with Collingwood) since 1877.
Geelong wins the toss (for some reason a second toss was required) and kick to the Kardinia Aquatic Centre end. Due to construction work, trees that haven’t been sighted by spectators since the days when Doug Wade had an apple tossed at him are now visible. The ground surface is pristine. To use a Jack Jennings malapropism, the creator has done a magnificent job.
After recent quiet games as an onballer, Chappy starts forward. Geelong, through a Stokes banana kick snap from directly in front, opens the scoring. It’s Stokes’s first goal of the season. Chappy still hasn’t kicked one. I’m worried about Chappy. I will his renowned reliability to resurface.
Richmond’s riposte comes a minute later through a brilliant Deledio dash and a Vickery goal square mark and goal. Maric gets a free kick for having the best mullet since Steve Kernahan. Motlop excites with his pace and skills. He’s progressing nicely. Selwood receives a handball from Taylor and boots a 50 metre goal on the run. Mullet Maric kicks a goal as a result of an interchange transgression. West or Chappy are to blame. Riewoldt kicks Richmond’s third against the wind. The signs aren’t good for the Cats.
The remainder of the first quarter is somewhat of a scrap. The Cats recent propensity to fumble continues. The Tigers rightly use plenty of handball into the wind. Martin and Selwood play with typical fierceness. Batchelor and Newman get plenty of the ball. Bartel, as his penchant, eases himself into the game. Johnno’s waddle seems more pronounced than normal.
The quarter time break is fiscally rewarding as Ando’s nag, Prince of Darkness, salutes at each way odds in his first race start at Wodonga. Most of the Popescu Room guests wish they were on it.
To start the second quarter, Chappy breaks his season duck with a trademark Chappy snap. The faithful are in raptures. A brilliant chain of long over-the-shoulder handballs (Bartel, Duncan and Enright involved) in front of the Brownlow Stand results in a disappointing point to West. A few minutes later, Motlop, with toe and verve, and also along the Brownlow Stand wing creates a goal for the Pod. 2007-2011 freedom of expression and flow is beginning to surface. Geelong wisely continues to attack along the Sawyers Arms side of the ground. It’s a cagey strategy. Hawkins registers a poster after another beautiful passage of Geelong play.
The Tigers don’t use the wind well kicking just five behinds. Shots at goal bend to the left like a Tiger Woods drive at the recent US Masters. Lonergan, Taylor, Enright and Mackie link well. Johnno’s audacious ideas often require a desperate Johnno smother or tackle to bail himself out of deep poo.
Geelong leads 7.3 to 3.6 at the long break. Storm chasers would relish the nearby cloud formation.
Richmond begins the second half swiftly. Goals to Nahas and Grigg cut the margin to just seven points before Duncan coolly converts. He’s a sure kick for goal. Tuck racks up possessions at will. Mackie, described recently by the Geelong cheer squad as workmanlike, shows he’s more than that. Bartel, the second-half specialist is warming to the task with crunching tackles, clever tap-ons and creative handball.
Johnno heads inboard for the umpteenth time and finds Chappy on the bounce who kicks truly. Very pleasing play from the fair dinkum medallists.
The Tigers kick the next two to trail by 6 points. Tuck, Cotchin and Deledio provide the impetus. Motlop kicks a vital goal on the run. He’s really progressing nicely.
Geelong leads 10.4 to 7.10 at the last change. Is it enough?
Richmond kicks the first two goals of the last quarter to level the scores. First-gamer Jesse Stringer lays a massive tackle, wins the free kick but alas hits the post. Brilliant ball movement from Motlop and Stringer (where has he been?) results in a Christensen point. A minute later Christensen reads the ball of the pack like Kevin Bartlett and snaps truly. This is the last goal of the match.
Bartel’s last quarter is inspirational. I reckon he contributes about a hundred one-per-centers. There seem to be two Jimmys out there. Selwood and Enright aren’t far behind. Composure is the Cats best friend. The composure emanates from the old firm.
With about five minutes to go, Bartel wins a three-on-one contest in front of us. Unbelievably he gets to the next contest forty metres downfield. Just brilliant. Chappy is similarly desperate. The dependable Enright saves two certain goals. Stringer nearly seals it. He’s got it on a string. What a cameo from the debutante?
The old firm save the day for Geelong.
Again.

VOTES:

3. J. Selwood

2. J. Bartel

1. T. Lonergan

Comments

  1. Flynny – the Cats are just going at the moment, it seems to me. What’s your take on the early rounds? Are we building or fading?

  2. John Harms says:

    We’re sleeping.

  3. Peter Flynn says:

    Interesting one Dips.

    The Cats have come back to the field. They miss some toe (short-term). And they miss Otto and Ling.

    A combination of building and fading I reckon. I think the building is going quite well. Motlop made a couple of blues but in the main demonstrated he’ll be a player.

    I think there are 5 live flag chances.18 wins will see you finish first.

  4. Skip of Skipton says:

    They are waving not drowning.

    On top of the retired Ottens and Ling; Kelly, Scarlett, Varcoe and Wojcinski were missing from the premiership 22. Their places filled by Gillies, Guthrie, Horlin-Smith, T.Hunt, Motlop and Stringer with a combined games experience of 46 (23 of which comes from T.Hunt).

    The con is that this is going to alter the team dynamic and bring them back a peg. The pro is getting games into these youngsters. If the Cats can go close to keeping their best 22 intact for the back half of the season (with Menzel back also), then bring on September.

  5. Lovely piece. The title confused me. You meant “the old & infirm”??

  6. Lovely piece. The title confused me. You meant “the old & infirm”? “the old & in form”??

  7. Rick Kane says:

    Hi Mr Flynn

    Here are a couple of examples of why I absolutely enjoy reading your articles:

    “Maric gets a free kick for having the best mullet since Steve Kernahan” and “Bartel’s last quarter is inspirational. I reckon he contributes about a hundred one-per-centers.”

    Keep ’em coming, delightful telling of a tough to read game.

    As for the ‘inner-circle’ analysis of the Cats, I concur. As a Hawker, I know that the Cats are the hardest team to beat.

    Cheers

  8. gnarleygeorge says:

    Nostalgia is already starting to creep in then @ Geelong :) My bro, the Phantom likes to tell me about the 3 flags he’s seen his beloved cats have win. But he stops when I mention the 5 Richmond flags I’ve seen.

    And going forward……………………………… :lol:

  9. Can’t remember them Horrie.

    My memory fades after about 30 years.

  10. Peter Flynn says:

    PB,

    Very clever. You picked up on the possibilities.

    R Kane,

    Cheers. I giggled when reading your banter with Phant.

  11. Flynny,
    Hope you’re well. Can you remember the year (late 80s I think) Robert Scott had the chance to win the game with a kick after the siren against the Swans but shanked it?
    Cheers,
    Cookie

  12. Malcolm Ashwood says:

    Enjoyable and very entertaining ,Flynny a update on the progress of the unluckiest player in the comp , Menzel he looked like he was going to evolve in to a superstar

  13. Peter Flynn says:

    Six knee recos between us Rulebook.

    You are a voracious reader.

    Cheers,

    PF

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