AFL Prelim Finals: Cats turn Pies inside out to storm into Grand Final

After not attending either semi-final, Dad and I decided to lift our game and attend both prelim finals.

As we walk through the Fitzroy Gardens it becomes obvious that Collingwood’s playing. We’re surrounded by beer, cigarettes, Collingwood chants and very few teeth.

We pass a herd of Collingwood fans at a barbecue in the car park. They picked a shocking night for it. It’s pouring down with rain. “It’ll clear up for the game,” says Dad confidently.

We arrive at our seats and they’re great. Ground level, on the wing in the Great Southern Stand. The problem is that we’re not undercover. Half an hour before the bounce Dad gets out of the rain and goes to the TAB.

The weather clears up and I spend the next five minutes drying my seat.

I watch the two teams warm up. Pendlebury is a late change. I knew he couldn’t play on one leg. I’m surprised with the inclusion of Beams. I would’ve thought Medhurst deserved one last chance.

My sister, Bron, shortly arrives with friends and Dad soon follows, just in time for the grandest entrance ever made by the coin tosser.

As expected we’re surrounded by Collingwood fans. Despite that we’ve managed to get some pretty good people around us. Behind us we have a well-behaved father and son Pie fans while the man next to Dad hasn’t spoken through the introductions or national anthem.

In front of us is a Greek grandmother and her daughter. As far as I can tell the grandmother can’t speak English.

The game starts in amazement. Of all players Ben Johnson kicks the first goal in less than a minute. It’s followed up with a great goal from O’Brien. The fans and players are up and about early.

Cats seem to settle and get some control over the game. Ablett is in Brownlow worthy form and Ling isn’t giving Swan anything. The Ex-Tiger Brad Ottens puts Geelong’s first goal on the board. It’ll be a tough job for Cam Wood to take on Bradley all by himself.

Collingwood do two of the worst toe pokes in succession. Shaw goes for the first missing the ball completely. As he runs past Presti comes through, his soccer kick makes contact but goes out on the full.
Brynes makes them pay with a spectacular snap. A Cat man a few rows back is gettting the best out of the Pie fans around him. He’s getting out of his seat for every Geelong play and laying into Magpie errors. He’s a brave man.

Mooney misses easy shots but Chapman doesn’t. At quarter-time the Cats are right on top.

Ling finds the ball from the opening bounce and thumps it into the forward arc. Chapman finishes it off. The Pie fans are unsusally quiet at the moment. Hawkins leads out in front of Presti, taking a strong mark. Hawkins kicks the goal. He’s starting to show why he was once dubbed The Saviour.

Milburn gives away an undisciplined 50, giving Brown an easy goal. It’s kept Collingwood in it. Ablett gets a free in the goalsquare to break Collingwood. Collingwood fans are noiser than after O’Brien’s goal.

Maxwell (who is having a shocker) plays on straight away, somehow forgetting Hawkins is right behind him. Hawkins kicks the goal and may be having his best game. Lockyer lays a fantastic tackle on Scarlett and is rewarded with a goal. It’s the only thing he’s done all night but it may be the spark the Pies need.

Macaffer lays a good tackle on Selwood. Didak picks up the scraps and finishes. They may not be gone just yet. The scores at half-time are a lot closer than what they should be. Collingwood have hardly had a clearance and none of their top players are playing well. Something will have to change.

The third begins with a goal to Stevie J. He doesn’t look like a player who hasn’t played since Round 20. Didak caps off his ordinarye game by giving away a 50. Mooney makes him pay by (finally) kicking a goal. Joel Corey kicks a great goal and now I’m asking questions.

Where’s Swan?

Where’s Davis?

Where’s Anthony?

Where’s Cloke?

The answer to all of these questiions is, “I don’t know but not near the ball.”

John Anthony finally takes a mark and the infamous bronx cheers fill the ground. Even I join in. They can’t give the jeering to Davis because he can’t take a mark.

If I was angry about Davis and Maxwell being in the All-Australian team I’m fuming now. Goddard had a ten times better game then Maxwell last night and Davis only plays well when Collingwood does. Give me LeCras over Davis any time.

By the time the fourth starts the game is all over. Presti sums up the night by kicking the ball across goal only to kick it straight into Varcoe’s hands. He runs into an open goal banging the ball right into the Collingwood cheer squad.

Collingwood’s problem and solution becomes clear to me. They don’t have an inside midfielder. Beams and Sidebottom are far too young and small to compete with the likes of Ling, Bartel and Selwood. The solution is to get Shane Tuck.

The Richmond midfielder was put up for trade last week and would be perfect for Collingwood. He was leading for contested footy throughout the year, he’s in his prime and would be of great service while Sidebottom and Beams are still developing.

While I ponder seeing Tucky in a Collingwood jumper, Ablett kicks a goal from outside 50. Almost like the siren had just sounded all the Collingwood fans started to pack up and leave. The Geelong fans gleefully wave them off.

I’m a little disappointed though. I thought Collingwood like to boast that they have “the most passionate fans of them all”. Yet they are all turning their backs on their team five minutes into the last. Yes their team is playing horribly but they did well to make the preliminary finals. To me it seems like Collingwood only boast the most ferral supporters of them all.

Geelong put the cue in the rack and settle for a lazy 70-point win.

The siren sounds and it hits me. The next game will be the Grand Final. St Kilda vs Geelong. What a game it will be. I’ll be queing up all Sunday night with Dad for a ticket.

Geelong 3.6 7.7 11.13 17.18 (120)
Collingwood 2.2 5.8 6.9 6.11 (47)


Geelong Chapman 5, Hawkins 2, Brynes 2, Abblett 2, Varcoe 2, S.Johnson, Ottens, Mooney, Corey,
Collingwood Brown, O’Brien, Macaffer, Didak, Lockyear,


Geelong Abblett, Chapman, Ling, Mackie, Taylor, Hawkins, Bartel
O’Bree, O’Brien, Brown


  1. arrggghh!!
    i didnt watch a second of it- thank god
    i was at my baby cousins baptisim reception a a seafood place.
    collingwood football club= HEART BREAKERS!!! :(
    Poor Medhurst, he usually stands up in games like that, wonder if Malthouse has any regrets

  2. Stephen Cooke says

    I reckon Malthouse has PLENTY of regrets

  3. Damian Watson says

    Great work Michael,
    Did you recieve your Grand Final ticket? Are you sitting in a reasonable position?

  4. Danielle, good to see you got hold of a computer. Did you know the score during the match?

    I didn’t go to any finals this year, after I went to Hawthorn V Bulldogs, Bulldogs V Sydney, St.Kilda V Collingwood, Geelong V Bulldogs and Hawthorn V St.Kilda last year.

  5. Michael Allan says

    Yes I did Damo. It’s a tale in itself. I’ll be posting an article on it.

  6. lol hi steve.
    no i didnt know any score which is why im so happy on the video

  7. Michael Allan says

    Steve last year I went to Hawthorn v Western Bulldogs, Geelong v St Kilda and St Kilda v Collingwood. I missed out on the Prelims and Grand Final because I was on student exchange in Japan.

  8. my relatives were far more interested in the NRL scores in which their team lost followed by the thrashing of my Collingwoood boys.
    where the hell was Superman?
    like is it possible that he cant play when i dont watch???

  9. There’s a video?

    I’ve never been to a Grand Final.

  10. lol yes the video of the baptism!! lmao

  11. Michael Allan says

    There’s a video of my baptism. However whenever we’re watching old tapes we just fast forward past it.

  12. Ah, I’ve got a video of my baptisim as well.

  13. lol Michael!
    yeah on t5he vid im all hapy, not a care in the world, eating drinking and most importanty gushing over my cute baby cousin!!! epppppppppppppp!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SO CUTE!!!! :)
    i swear when i carry him hes like a little teddy bear!!! :)
    i even missed the brownlow co i was out in they city near the Habour Bridge.
    ill bet u all missed my input and crying.

  14. Michael Allan says

    Very much so Danni. I was looking forward to you reporting on how badly your boys played and how your heart broke more and more after half time. And then I remembered you didn’t see it. I was very dissapointed.

  15. lol nice to know that my suffering and heartbreak brings entertainment…i think.

  16. Lol you’re spot on there Danielle. Collingwood supporters in general are entertaining to watch.

  17. well next time i cry in public i better get a standing ovation!

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