AFL Finals — Week 1: Crows crush Bombers and I pocket small sum

Yes! The finals have arrived. After a long week at school (that old cliché) I am jumping around my house in celebration. The finals, for me, means momentarily forgetting about your team and concentrating on the best eight teams of the comp.

Bellchambers is a late out for Essendon, which I find strange. Who will ruck for the Bombers? Cale Hooker, probably, but who will back him up? It all looks grim for the red-and-black. I made a bet with my friend at school: I would pay him Essendon’s odds if they won and he’d pay me Adelaide odds (he’s an Essendon supporter). Right from the beginning I was quite confident that I’d get the $1.10.

Adelaide wins the toss and kick to the left of screen. A packed AAMI Stadium watch as the finals begin. It’s a tight start, but Vince gets the first goal from a lucky bounce. Essendon reply, but mainly through luck (an Adelaide runner ran through the mark) and Monfries levelled the scores. Essendon looks OK, but Tippett gets a free and kicks a goal. Quinn gets a couple of shots on goal from the same spot. The first just squeezes through for a behind; the second goes straight through the middle. Burton kicks a goal from outside 50 to put Adelaide back in front. Skipworth marks in a similar position, and kicks a goal, to put Essendon on the same score as his number (21). Douglas replies with a great goal from 50 just before the break. It’s quarter time, 4.3 27 to 3.3 21 in favour of Adelaide. A brave effort from the Bombers, so far. Vince has 10 possessions for Adelaide, Stanton has 10 for Essendon.

The second quarter begins with a legendary Edwards snap from the pocket for a goal. Dangerfield marks strongly and goals, Porplyzia does likewise and kicks a sausage. It’s starting to open up. Hurley passes to McPhee who replies desperately. A congested situation in the Adelaide goalsquare sees Tippett get a kick out of the pack for a goal. Essendon gain some momentum and Stanton kicks a goal. It’s still a 15-point lead to the Crows though. A magnificent clearance is followed, Vince rushing out of the centre and hitting Dangerfield on the lead. The youngster kicks his second for the quarter. Douglas snaps a goal, Tippett gets a free and kicks his 50th in the season, and Knights kicks a long goal with 10 seconds left before half time. The siren sounds and Adelaide leads, 12.4 76 to 5.7 37. Adelaide’s half time score is higher than their full time score the last time they played Essendon at this venue. McLeod has 17 possessions for Adelaide, Vince 16. Stanton has 15 for Essendon, Welsh has 13.

The third quarter starts and I expect a walloping. Porplyzia snaps one in the first 30 seconds, but McPhee replies to calm the storm. Chris Knights follows up with one of the most amazing goals I have ever seen: 55 out, on the boundary line on his non preferred side. McPhee gets his third from an Adelaide blunder in defence. The crowd get involved in the game, after Vince gets knocked down by Lovett-Murray in on off-the-ball incident. Maric marks and kicks a great goal from just inside 50. Everyone’s getting involved. Tippett marks and drills one from a tight angle. Hentschel roams free and goals, Thompson kicks a goal. It’s all happening so quickly. The Crows are so confident. McPhee kicks one to end the quarter, his career-high fourth. It’s Adelaide by a massive 61 points, 18.9 117 to 8.8 56. McLeod leads with 24 touches, Vince 19 and Stanton has 18 for Essendon.

All looks well for Adelaide, and Porplyzia adds to the list of the goals with his third at the beginning of the last. Mackay runs free and kicks a goal from 40. Porplyzia kicks his fourth. Burton takes a great mark and kicks a goal. The Adelaide forward line is a never-ending goal force. It’s a training drill. Burton gets his second. Quinn misses the ball while trying to kick it on the goal line. He’ll learn. He’s Irish. Porplyzia kicks another, and I’m barracking for 100 points. Knights scrapes another one through. The 100-point margin is five points away, but a couple of consolation prizes to Lovett (set up by a Quinn tap back into play) and Skipworth. Burton snaps one that evades two Essendon defenders and bounces through for a goal. Sellar caps off a great night with a goal for his courage (he got knocked out earlier). Maybe the guy I have always called the five-possession specialist has more to him. The Crows win by 96 points, 26.10 166 to 10.10 70. Adelaide’s biggest ever finals win, Essendon’s biggest ever finals loss. McLeod finishes with 30 possessions and B.O.G, Vince 28, while Lovett-Murray had 24 (most of them followed by a chorus of boos) and Stanton 24.

As I see the Adelaide players walk the boundary and hi-five their fans, I can see how much this win means to them. A team that has been unluckily kicked out of the finals the last two years have finally delivered the goods in September. What a start to the finals series, from a spectator’s point of view. And I’ll have an extra dollar and ten cents in my pocket come Monday morning.

Adelaide  4.3  12.4  18.9 26.10 (166)

Essendon  3.3 5.7 8.8  10.10 (70)


Adelaide: Porplyzia 5, Tippett 4, Knights 3, Burton 3, Douglas 2, Dangerfield 2, Vince, Edwards, Maric, Thompson, Hentschel, Mackay, Sellar.

Essendon: McPhee 4, Skipworth 2, Quinn, Monfries, Lovett, Stanton.


Adelaide: McLeod, Vince, Porplyzia, Tippett, Reilly, Johncock, Knights, Burton, Edwards, Thompson.

Essendon: Stanton, McPhee, Lovett-Murray, Hocking.

My Votes: 3. Andrew McLeod (Adel), 2. Bernie Vince (Adel), 1. Jason Porplyzia (Adel).

Umpires: McBurney, Stevic, S Ryan.                   Crowd: 50,393 at AAMI Stadium.

About Steve Healy

Steve Healy is an entity of a Melbourne supporter.


  1. Nice Work.
    Your must be lucky!
    any time i make a bet it never goes my way!
    i once made a bet with a guy friend that my Pies would beat his Bombers and who ever loses had to wear the other persons footy scarf for a whole school day.
    lets just say i ended up in an Essendon scarf and seemed to be the center of attention with boys telling me that “i look good in those colours”


  2. Steve Healy says

    Hahaha. I’d never wear Collingwood or Essendon colours. I don’t usually win too many bets either so I’m happy with my winnings.

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