45 to 27 by Peter Flynn

It is ten minutes or so into the second quarter of the 2011 Grand Final.

Geelong is playing reasonably well.

Johnno can’t feel his knee (a good sign).

Selwood, as usual, is maniacally attacking the ball.

Mackie is directing traffic from half-back.

Varcoe excites.

Chris Scott is happy that the game is being played on Geelong’s terms.

However, Cloke and Krakouer arc flash all too frequently.

Inexplicably, it’s 45 to 27.

Geelong is in arrears and nerves begin to jangle.

104 wins from 125 games for only two flags won’t suffice.

The boundary umpire heaves the ball back into play about 30 metres from Geelong’s goal.

Ottens and Jolly wrestle like Milano and Miller at Festival Hall.

Neither gains the tap.

The ball hits the turf.

A higher coefficient of restitution than the inclement conditions would suggest permits the ball to bounce quite high.

Jolly wheels around and gains possession overhead.

Pendlebury rushes in to support Jolly.

Chappy and Christensen lurk.

Chappy stalks Jolly like a lion stalks a white-bearded gnu.

Chappy’s got that angry look.

Johnno rushes in, not quite in a balletic way, but in a Johnno kind of way from 20 metres attempting to snare the ball.

Jolly, Pendlebury and Davis conjoin.

Johnno quickly takes a bow and exits stage right.

Ottens pressurises Jolly into giving up the ball.

The ball spills out away from Geelong’s goal.

Enter the man.

J Bartel.

He mightn’t know that it’s 45 to 27, but he’s playing like he does.

J Bartel gains ownership of the ball and begins to move at top speed towards goal.

He initially shrugs off Sidebottom.

He puts his head down like Billy Slater, braces and takes on Wellingham.

Jolly goes to ground.

Sidebottom and Wellingham both recover and lay strong tackles on Jimmy.

J Bartel wriggles.

And wriggles.

He somehow gets a handball away.

Unfortunately, he unselfishly finds Ball who clears with a high left-foot snap to the 50 metre line.

Who’s there?

Well Chappy is.

He continues to stalk.

And look angry.

Collingwood’s Ben Johnson sits under the high ball.

He attempts to mark and is pushed off the ball by a man possessed.

That man, of course, is J Bartel.

To get to Johnson, he’s moved like an accelerated proton inside the Large Hadron Collider.

This is particle physics played out on a footy field.

Hunt tackles Pendlebury who gets a handball away.

Chappy continues to stalk.

The ball dribbles underneath Chappy.

J Bartel, more manic in his attack on the football than Selwood (if that’s possible), gathers possession, cops a head high tackle, pirouettes, and through a sheer refusal to yield, manages the shortest of handballs to the still stalking Chappy.

Great force is required to execute this handball.

A force created in response to the situation.

J Bartel’s strength suggests he could win a World Wife Carrying Championship post-football.

Chappy finally snares the prize and promptly Chappy snaps toward goal.

The ball ends with Stokes who sneaks in a dribbling goal from about 20 metres out.

It’s now 45 to 33.


  1. You are a very sick puppy Flynny. But you have a very lucid memory.

    I have an equally favourite Bartel moment.

    Last quarter Hilton half forward flank, Pies into attack and on their knees.

    Bartel in front marks and Dawes tries to take it out of his hands and spits dummy when not paid.

    Bartel leaves the scene of the crime at the bounce and runs forward up the members wing and out of screen.

    Enright marks, on the switch over to a stray cat (Wojo?) over to No 9 who runs and hits Bartel lace out on fifty sprinting straight out from goal. About 30 seconds has elapsed from the disputed mark.

    Naughty little Jimmy, with the Denis the Menace look, kicks a long sausage and gives Dawes a little rib tickler as he runs back to the mid field.

    I turned to my wife and said ‘I do wish we had another daughter darling!’ She just shook her head in disbelief.

  2. Skip of Skipton says

    From memory,

    Swan takes a low diving mark in the back pocket. The umpire doesn’t pay it, and it is play-on. The ball ends up out of bounds.

    From the boundary throw-in Jolly knocks the ball back over the line on the full. Free kick to the Cats.

    Bartel takes the free and has a deliberate set-shot from 25m out on the boundary. He slots it.

  3. I just love this conversation.

  4. Is there a web filter for Cat Porn?

  5. Richard Naco says

    Phanto’s ‘other’ Jimmy moment was Boris to Scarlo to Wojo to Kell to Bartel leading forward with Maxwell well and truly in his wake.

    In that 30 seconds since the disputed mark with Dawes, he run so far forward he could cut and hard lead back at the ball. Watching the Cats spread during that transition was utterly poetic, and the Pies inability to cover them was the true death knell of their back to back aspirations.

    And, no, there’ll never be a filter of feline fantasies.

  6. Richard Naco says

    Skip’s moment wasn’t a boundary throw in – it was a bounce, which was why it was so close to the boundary. Jimmy set up on the sideline in anticipation of Jolly playing it safe, and had the nous to let the thing sail out on the full (and the determination not to surrender the kick to Stevie J, who certainly ran in to claim it).

    His actual kick was pure Stevie J magic.

  7. Andrew Fithall says

    Skip – Your memory is failing you. Allow me to provide the accurate call of the events you have described

    Swan takes mark. Idiot umpire doesn’t pay mark.

    Ball-up. Jolly taps ball. It bounces outside the line but as you know, Australian football rules are based on planes. Not all of the ball is outside the boundary when the ball hits the ground so by the rules of the game it is not out on the full. Idiot boundary umpire and idiot umpire don’t know the rules and pay an incorrect free kick.

    Bartel has the ball outside the boundary line. Faces 90 degrees away from his line over the man on the mark. Commences his run. He is moving away from the line of the mark. Play-on should be called as soon as he moves off his mark, and boundary umpire would then call out-of-bounds. Idiot umpire does not call play on until Bartel has entered the field of play.

  8. Thanks Andrew for the explanation. For several months I had thought this was the first time in history that Collingwood had lost a Grand Final by not being good enough rather than being robbed (like every other loss apparently!). Thanks for setting us straight.

  9. Phil Dimitriadis says

    Well Done AF,

    never underestimate the power of denial Budge. It keeps some of us going. But seriously Flynny, Bartel wrested the momentum away when it counted. Another goal or two by the Pies may have changed the game. Great player, Jimmy.

  10. AF you appear to be good at that sort of stuff. Great interpretation.

    Would you like to run us through the Wayne Harmes one in 1979 just for old time sake.

    Peter; Rrrreeeeeoooooww, pant, pant, pant.

  11. I love Jimy Bartel………………………and the Varcoe goal.

  12. “Jimmy”

  13. “Boags”?

  14. A classic Jimmy moment….

    I was at the cafe in Pakington Street Geelong three weeks ago. Jimmy and his very attractive girlfriend enter.

    The chatter from the waitresses goes from mildly interested to highly excited, and whilst they think they are out of earshot, they are not.

    “OMG,” says the oldest of the waitresses, who must have been in her mid-30s. “I want to f*&^ his brains out.”

    Giggle, giggle.

    Goal kicking midfielders certainly have their work cut out….

  15. Do they make JB masks Pete?

    What’s that address again.

  16. Phanto, ironically the cafe is called Soft.

  17. I am still laughing Pete.

  18. haiku bob says

    absolute ripper flynny.

  19. Andrew Starkie says

    Let it go, Flynny.

    But seriously, I love Jimmy. He and Nik Nat are my favourites. Genuine, natural footballers. Our own Cam Pedersen is not far behind.

    I can’t adequately express in words why I love footy, but one thing I can explain is how I love crunch time. Every sporting event has one and the team, player who reacts the best, wins. It can come in the first minute or the last. Crunch time decides the contest.

    Good stuff, mate

  20. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Great article , PJF Bartel is one of the best big occasion players in history and actually proved he was human with a poor last , 5 minutes in the , 2013 , Premliminary final and panicked a sight we all thought we wouldn’t see . Geelong on the rare occasions they have been in trouble during there era of dominance have been brilliant at hanging in there when the opposition have been on top before regaining the momentum , Bartel has always been a key figure , thanks , Flynny

Leave a Comment