AFL Round 17 – Gold Coast v Collingwood: Getting it done, Gary style

It wasn’t all that long ago that the SUNS made at least one game a week an automatic tip – in fact, I’d say it was about 17 weeks ago or so.

The only headaches I got when picking a winner in a Gold Coast game was the expansion derby against GWS.

Five wins into 2013, SUNS v Collingwood still seemed relatively straightforward.

It’s a pivotal point in the work tipping competition and I’ve been doing enough to keep myself in contention.

This is my week, and among the number of 50/50s, I think I can rely on the Pies to put me back on track.

My stakes on the game rest heavily on the contribution of the little bald genius, who happens to be captain of the fantasy footy side I have to beat to make the grand final this week.

And, I mean Gary is good, but he can’t win it all on his own – not against a midfield with Swan, Beams and Pendlebury.

I spend the afternoon at the local footy, planning to catch the rest of the Coast match on my way home.

As I’m leaving, I catch a glimpse of the match on the big screen and the difference is seven points and the SUNS are…up? Surely not.

Flicking on the car radio, it appears I am not mistaken, the Gold Coast, and Gaz, are on fire early.

Turns out Bucks shares my theory on the little master, letting him roam free on his own stomping ground, and as it turns out, we were both equally wrong on that front.

Brent Macaffer is on superboot Trent McKenzie, and the silky mids are too busy looking after themselves to lock Ablett down.

Cloke is back to his brilliant, wayward best – throwing away plenty of quality opportunities.

But more than Collingwood’s failings are the impressive performances of the SUNS’ supporting actors.

Yes, Ablett has pretty much collected about a billion touches now, but Jaeger and Bennell and Prestia are all showing they can smell blood.

The perennial polariser, Campbell Brown, has flashes as well and this game is playing into the Gold Coast’s hands.

Oh, and Brennan – that bloke who looked controversially stuck in the ressies three weeks ago – yeah, he’s back on song.

He has the final say in the second term and three points is the difference at the major break.

It’s all well and good to lead in the opening half, but the SUNS of old – happy with being thereabouts – are nowhere to be seen, as they put their foot down in the third term.

It’s when Ablett picks up possession no.34 that this pipe dream, seemingly fantastical less than two hours previous, really begins to transform into reality.

By the time I manage make it to a TV, there’s a quarter to go and this fairytale isn’t going away.

Jamie Elliott takes the first in the final term and lays the gauntlet down for the Coasters – it’s eight points.

It’s Boston to Brown to Brennan and GOAL! These SUNS aren’t going away and the red, blue and yellow Metricon stands start to look more intimidating than ever for the black and white mob.

And then, who else but Ablett takes on his opposite number, in Nick Maxwell, and leaves him in his dust with a round the corner kick and goal.

Collingwood keeps on coming but I’m preoccupied by the growing count of Ablett’s touches, dangerously close to 50 and even more dangerously close to ending my best-ever Fantasy run.

Gold Coaster Dayne Beams kicks one for the enemy and suddenly the contest is right back on four minutes, four goals, anything could happen.

He can’t do it again, but Paul Seedsman steps up with a minute to go, and now it’s only seven points the difference.

But Ablett marks it on the wing – disposal no. 50 – and that’s the game.

Against the backdrop of a spectacular Sunshine State sunset, the SUNS have pulled off a brilliant win.

The Gold Coast has seen some pretty special milestones in its short history, but this will go down as one of the absolute sweetest.

The weekend they claimed their first top-eight scalp, Gary Ablett sewed up the Brownlow and, most importantly, the match tipping against the Gold Coast just that little bit harder.

GOLD COAST         3.4   7.6   11.7   13.7     (85)                  

COLLINGWOOD     2.7   6.9   8.10   11.12   (78)          



Gold Coast: O’Meara 3, Brennan 3, Day 2, Ablett 2, Harbrow, Tape, Prestia

Collingwood: Cloke 2, Elliott 2, Swan 2, Dwyer, Sidebottom, Goldsack, Beams, Seedsman


Gold Coast: Ablett, O’Meara,  McKenzie, Bennell, Brennan

Collingwood: Beams, Swan, Seedsman

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