AFL Finals Week 3 – Fremantle v Sydney: Last stop on the Line

Good morning and welcome from The Flat Club. Today’s broadcast is all about the 2013 season. How close we got, about the great efforts and about the lost opportunities. A retrospective hastily lashed together due to the Swans’ sudden demise out west on Saturday night.

The Enemy put a pillow over the face of our Premiership defence and pressed down hard. Launching a savage and unanticipated attack they put the Swans’ dogged but underdone side on the back foot from the first bounce and looked totally unstoppable.

I figured this would either be a very close game or a total blowout but Christ The Enemy came out of the blocks like Usain Bolt and didn’t stop. Had they kicked straight it may well have been over in the first quarter. I won’t go into a full blown match report. Actually I can’t because I gave up taking notes very quickly. We scored the first goal, courtesy of a nifty round the body kick from Jetta, and the last six, more due to The Enemy going into conservation mode. But what we did in-between made minimal impact. In the third we looked like we’d regained some composure and gone on the hunt but it was a short lived resurgence. The Enemy wanted it more, their fans definitely wanted it more, and it’s hard to fight that kind of serious momentum. Serial pests Crowley and Ballantyne lived up to their infamy. The umpiring was consistently inconsistent. Great class showed by The Enemy to give a guard of honour for Bolton as he was chaired off the ground.

And that was 2013 done.

Strangely I’m not dwelling too much on the defeat. Had we got through I think we’d have gone down to the Hawks, again, and that would’ve been much worse. Instead I’ve been thinking of a few favourite 2013 season moments.

10. Beating Collingwood. An Adam Goodes masterclass in every sense.

9. Hawks supporters at the MCG back in round seven carrying on like they’d somehow reversed time and won the 2012 Premiership.

8. Dan Hannebery, sports tape’s grimacing ambassador. Ancient Egyptians used less wrapping.

7. Our game plan. We’re treading a fine line between adherence to strategy and refusal to adapt with all the top three sides, and a couple down the ladder, working us over. No point kicking it long if there’s no-one to kick to but The Enemy. Surely this is top of the ‘must change’ list for 2014?

6. Smashing the Crows. Some people love leaving the City of Churches but not as much I love staying there when we win. That and the Kings Head Hotel.

5. Sam Reid. Under fire in the dying moments of the last quarter in round 8 Mr Tickle stuck up his arms to take a mark on the defensive goal line and the game was a draw. Pity that was about the last we saw of him.

4. Tippett. Did we get Kurt centric as the season wore on? Probably but it was hard not to when the big fella was good for three or four goals a game. That number eight top will never shrink back to its original size.

3. The SCG. Hurry up and finish the new stand so we can piss off ANZ. Oh and open the side doors to let faster walking people out. There’s nothing worse than being caught behind the shambling masses knowing the bus queue is getting longer and more disorganised by the second.

2. Getting to the Preliminary Final. With the team falling like dominos in every game there were times when I was sure we’d never make the top eight. Instead the boys ploughed on, dredging up fortitude from God knows where to get us within a sniff of the Big Dance. Which in no small part was due to…

1. The youngsters. Take a bow Mitchell, Rampe, Jack, Cunningham, Biggs, Membrey et all. A baptism by fire but they’re all the better for it. If these guys keep going we’ll be a force to contend with next year.

So that’s it Almancers my final words of wisdom for 2013. See you all next year or perhaps at a book launch.

About Tom Bally

Born in 1834 Tom Bally was instrumental in establishing the rules of the modern game. It's a little known fact and the rare times he talks about it all he'll say is "that bloody Wills chap got me full of grape one night and the next thing I know he's peacocking around Richmond Paddock like he dreamt up the whole thing on his lonesome. Still I got the last laugh didn't I eh? Introducing the Umpire and all that."

Comments

  1. Well put Tom!! Totally agree with your No 1!!! They did themselves proud!!! Look forward to your reports in season 2014!

  2. Malcolm Ashwood says:

    Well written Tom love you Egypt Line re Hannebery Injuries Caught up with You
    Having been at the Game v Richmond if Finals had started then you would have been hard to beat and the Kings Head is a Good Pub
    Did the Footy Karma bus get Tippett ?
    Note Syd v Rich was a superb game to show who wouldn’t cope in September as the Players who let Rich down in this Game went missing v Carlton and that is a area
    Where Sydney should be Mighty Proud as they have been a measuring stick for a decade
    Sydneys development of there youngsters considering the State League they have to play in and then step seamlessly in to AFL is remarkable and the envy of every other club

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