The tradition continues

Father/Son/Grandson bonding day at the “G” for the Essendon v Collingwood game.

It actually started about 30 years ago and the first time we got together was at Victoria Park. The grandson for reasons that still puzzle me, decided to barrack for the Magpies, Dad and I, Don tragics.   When these “blockbusters” were staged at the “G” we continued the tradition there.

A few years ago Dad decided to retire from going to the footy and now follows it from his Aged Care Facility, age ninety-four.  That meant just the two of us for these big games , but today we are joined by Grandson and like his Dad, a Magpie, despite my best endeavours. It means it’s two Magpies and one Don, the balance has changed.

I was hoping the Dons could make a game of this encounter and not get slaughtered, and things got off to a great start with a couple of quick goals. Then disaster struck within a few minutes  Prismall, Colyer and Myers are all off. We are down to nineteen fit players  and it’s not even quarter time! But the gallant Dons are pumped up and continue scoring, slamming on eight goals and leading by twenty three points at the break, and it could have even been more, when a couple of bad turn overs let the Magpies score a couple.

It was great to see Myers back on the field, I thought he may have broken his arm but apparently it was a dislocated finger, so at least we have twenty fit for the rest of the contest. And the Dons kept playing great footy even scoring an early goal. I got carried away at one stage and when Stanton turned the ball over, I let fly with the “F” word. Grandson heard it and told his Dad and both suppressing laughter said they would” tell on me” to Nana. Now there is a conversation I can look forward to in the very near future.   Collingwood players seemed more interested in the game  at this stage and Krakouer with magnificent skills and the unstoppable Swan looked ominous, but Essendon were still in the contest and even though we were outscored, at half time we still lead by twelve.

Time for a half time bonding ale with the son and a soft drink with the grandson. The Collingwood majority are feeling confident, I’m hoping we can hang on. Crameri keeps my spirits up with a long goal early in the quarter, but the Magpie “Express Train” seems to be hitting top speed and they slam on six goals  seven to the Dons two goals one.  Krakouer and Fasolo are just too good and Swan seems to be everywhere. I reckon we should have called for a team count, there seemed to be twice as many on the field. Collingwood by eighteen points at three quarter time.

I  knew the writing was on the wall when Cloke who had been well held by Paddy Ryder managed an early goal in the last quarter, the Dons looked tired and sore. Players almost limped to the interchange bench and then limped back out to play. It was not looking pretty for us Don tragics although  my Magpie family were on a high. Essendon were out run, out muscled, and out played in the last quarter. I was looking forward to the siren  to put me out of my agony.  Collingwood booted ten goals three to the Dons one paltry goal and a rushed behind.

There is no doubt luck played a small part in the game, when you lose two players before quarter time  and at least three others injured , you have a real battle to stay competitive. However I reckon the final result was a fair indication of the difference between the two teams, Collingwood  far too good.

At least the Collingwood branch of the family were happy.

Best for Essendon        Paddy Ryder, Leroy Jetta, Jobe Watson, Jake Melksham, David Myers and David Heppell

Final Score                    Collingwood 25.16  166                Essendon 14.8  92.




  1. Kevin Riley says:

    I too was there with daughter (Collingwood), granddaughter 1 (Collingwood) and granddaughter 2 (Hawthorn, how did that happen?). It was alarming how well Essendon got away in the first quarter, although those two major injuries meant that they needed to be ten goals up at half-time to have an even chance.
    The strategies adopted in the game these days are extremely physically demanding and the loss of one player, let alone two, can be a team’s undoing. However Essendon’s plan(?) of bombing it long and short-circuiting the Collingwood half-back line worked well until Dons ran out of puff. The telling feature of the match was the 3/4 time huddles, Essendon sitting heads down, sprawling or being rubbed down, Collingwood all standing up ready to go again. As I said to my daughter, the game is over now. The last half tallies of being caught with the ball seemed to avalanche into the Magpies favour as the Dons slowed down and the their hesitancy to kick to a now rebounding Collingwood back-line increased.
    Essendon will be a formidable opponent next year, but a middle of the ladder finish in 2011 is not an attractive prospect, from a draft pick point of view.


Leave a Comment