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Round 7 – Sydney v Geelong: A milestone for one of the greatest Bloods.


AFL Round 7
Sydney Swans v Geelong Cats
Stadium Australia, Homebush
7:30pm Saturday 16th May 2015


Tonight we celebrate the 250th game of one of the best New South Welshmen to play in the AFL, Jarrad McVeigh.


Playing Pennant Hills and the NSW/ACT Rams, he was the fifth overall selection by the Swans in the 2002 draft


Debuted in the seniors in 2004, played 13 games in the Premiership campaign of 2005, played the 2006 Grand Final, most improved for 2007, won his first Bob Skilton Medal in 2008 and toured Ireland as part of the International Rules team in 2010.  Married in 2011.


The life of a professional footballer couldn’t get much better than this, right?


In August 2011 Jarrad and his wife Clementine suffered a parent’s worst nightmare.  Their newborn baby daughter, Luela, suffered from serious heart complications and passed away in the week leading up to the Round 23 match at Kardinia Park against Geelong.  The Cats had gone 29 games unbeaten at their fortress.


In one of the most emotional games I’ve seen in any code, the Swans rose for their team mate and pulled off the upset of the season.  A moment which epitomised the Bloods culture John Longmire had built upon from Paul Roos’ premiership legacy.


2012 the McVeigh’s announced the safe arrival of baby Lolita-Luella in July and after the last game of the year he lifted the Premiership Cup.


These two clubs have had some amazing clashes in the past, not least that come from the death Preliminary Final at the SCG in 2005.  On the expanses of the Olympic Stadium, tonight should be another.


McVeigh is the victim of one of the most bizarre incidents seen on the field when he is punched square on the testicles by Steve Johnson.  McVeigh had disposed of the ball and taken a couple of steps before being felled by the low blow.  Welcome to the 250 club!


The first quarter ends with only a point separating the teams and the Cats hold a nine point lead at half time thanks to a couple of 50 metre penalties.


Swans come out flying in the second half and within seven minutes have reversed the margin to their favour.  Suddenly the tackles are hitting harder, passes a crisper and shots on goal are true.  Cats are struggling to get the ball past the centre square as the Swans apply the equivalent of the full court press.


A late goal to Johnson cuts the margin and at the end of the third the Swans hold a five point advantage, setting up a grandstand final quarter finish from two of the most successful teams of the last decade.


The Swans momentum in the last is cut by a bizarre umpiring call against Gary Rohan as he ran and bounced twice down the left wing.  The Swans continue to build a lead through goals to Parker, Franklin and in this milestone match McVeigh kicks out to a 17 point lead.


Steve Johnson has been trying to make a mark on the game all night, but he’s been completely beaten at almost every turn and his snap hitting the behind post is met with the derision his behaviour tonight has deserved.


The replacement is activated and it is Anakin Sywalker (Jake Lloyd) who puts on the red vest, which means Adam Goodes gets a full match under his belt, and the form he has shown tonight, the next two thirds of the season could be something special from this future Hall of Famer.


The flood gates open up in the last ten minutes.  The Cats have only scored 16 points since the main break, the final margin of 43 belies how intense the first half was.


Captain McVeigh is chaired from the field on the shoulders of Goodes and Richards.  Next week it’s the grand final replay.


Sydney Swans 18.12.120
Goals: Parker 5, Franklin 4, Mitchell 3, Goodes, Kennedy, Jack, McVeigh, Rowan, Tippett 1


Geelong Cats 11.11.77
Goals: Motlop, Gregson, Johnson 2, Lang, Selwood, Blicavs, Guthrie, Thurlow 1.


Attendance: 28,063


About Wayne Ball

Tragic fan of the Australian and NSW cricket teams (for those of you outside NSW, there is a difference, despite what David Hookes said). Not a fan of T20. Penrith Panthers are the only club of decency and all which is good in Rugby League, the Waratah's were once the national team of Rugby Union, the first non Victorian team in the VFL/AFL is the Sydney Swans, and they all enjoy my passionate support. Sings for Wanderers. Internationally, I have been to see the Oakland Athletics and Green Bay Packers play. One day, I'll see Norwich City play for the FA Cup at Wembley.

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