AFL Round 19 – Sydney v Essendon: Mid Winter Meandering

Friday 1st October 2014, 7.50pm


I am a simple man who enjoys simple pleasures. When the humdrum of a gloomy winter routine becomes a little mundane, it’s time for a break. This year, my wife and I have opted for a trip from a chilly Hobart to the snow-laden, glacial wintry wonderland of Cradle Mountain. As per any dinky-di road trip, the supplies are plentiful, the stops are planned and the tunes are blissful. Life is all about the simple things and when your day includes visiting a proper country bakery and a cellar door wine tasting, you get a chance to fully appreciate this. The purchase of a pie and some Pinot is my idea of perfection. Arriving at our Cradle Mountain Cabin, we are met with a scene to make the soul swoon. A sea of pristine powdery snow, pure white as far as the eye can see. A snowball stoush ensues and Claude the Snowman is created. The traditional use of a carrot for his nose invites a posse of potoroos to the scene and they swiftly attack, removing Claude’s tasty schnoz with all the stealth of a leopard. Staying in, a mid winter menu of salami, cheese, olives and sourdough awaits. As does a Friday Night blockbuster from the spectacular home of the Swannies, the SCG.

I tune in to discover that the Big Bud is a no-show. Bad news. The good news is that we get a look at our fourth debutant for the year, Tim Membrey, a young kid who many at the club have big wraps on. The SCG looks as frosty as this magical part of Tassie, with a flukey breeze set to play havoc. Welcome back to Shawry, a stalwart in the purest sense. The Enemy will provide stiff opposition this evening, having been in good form in recent weeks. The much anticipated sell-out crowd has not eventuated, but a large gathering of the faithful in Sin City will again have the power brokers smiling. The action begins and the home team look sharp from the outset. Macca storms on to a slick Jetta handball, slices through the defence and spears one through the middle to open the scoring. Soon after, Gary Rohan, very much a crowd favourite, intercepts, plays on and nails through a long bomb. Great start. When the Canadian Colossus marks and goals from the square, the Bloods are out to a strong early lead. Young Membrey is impressive and looks a player. Joey threads one from the boundary, Reidy converts after a trade mark grab right on the siren, and we take a 26-point lead into the first break.

The second term is trench warfare. Parker, Kennedy and McGlynn are battling with Heppell, Hocking and Chapman in the clinches and the pressure is immense. Within thirty seconds of the restart, Myers fires a bullet from his left boot for The Enemy’s second major. The versatility of the modern day footballer is on full display as Rohan appears comfortable down back, Jets is stepping and gliding through packs around the footy and Reidy is bobbing up all over the ground. All different roles than what we are accustomed to seeing. The Enemy have sured up defensively, but when Goodesy takes a clean grab then strolls around Hurley on the mark to goal from point blank range, the Swannies are out to a 28-point lead. That margin remains just that at the main break and the newly acquired bottle of 2013 Josef Chromy Pinot Noir is providing the perfect accompaniment to a fine Bloods display.

Dane Rampe continues to improve and twice in two minutes he has 37,000 Sydneysiders screaming in unison…Baaaaaalllllll! His intensity fails to influence his teammates’ defensive efforts however, and three quick goals to Ryder, Howlett and Carlisle bring The Enemy back to within ten points. All of a sudden, the ground seems to have all the space of an air field and the Swans look vulnerable for the first time tonight. Teddy and Reg (great name for a cartoon) regain the ascendancy for their side and when Tippo boots his second, he provides the much needed steadier. Benny McGlynn is again at his combative best, gathering and snapping from the most acute of angles to send the locals into rapturous joy. The three-quarter time siren sees the Swans take a 20-point lead into the last. The final stanza sees The Enemy push for an unlikely victory with an early goal to Heppell, but then the Swans control the tempo with some possession footy that may not be aesthetically pleasing, but pleasing to their supporters nonetheless as they ensure four points are banked from a tricky encounter. Goodesy seals the victory with five minutes to go, then McGlynn deservedly snaps his second to extend the margin. Michael Hurley, clearly The Enemy’s best player tonight, gets an equally deserved goal, however the Bloods prevail by 22 points.

The Sydney Swans play their footy with a particular focus on doing the little things right. The Moores take a similar approach to our mid winter getaways. The setting, the company and all of life’s little pleasures combine to make a seemingly brief break, an invaluably refreshing snippet of calmness and quietude. An absolutely essential ingredient to overcoming those decidedly disheartening mid winter blues.

Sydney 11.13 (79)

Essesndon 8.9 (57)


Sydney: Parker, McGynn, Kennedy, Pyke, Goodes, Rohan, McVeigh, Grundy

Essendon: Hurley, Heppell, Ryder, Stanton, Z. Merrett, Zaharakis


Sydney: Tippett 2, Goodes 2, McGlynn 2, McVeigh, Kennedy, Reid, Rohan, Pyke

Essendon: Ryder 2, Myers, Ambrose, Howlett, Carlisle, Hurley, Heppell


36, 804 at SCG


Chamberlain, Findlay, Pannell

Malarkey Medal Votes:

3 – Luke Parker (Sydney)

2 – Ben McGlynn (Sydney)

1 – Josh Kennedy (Sydney)

About Joe Moore

Learned the art of the drop-punt from Derek Kickett as Jamie Lawson watched on. And thus, a Swan for life. @joedmoore1979


  1. Luke Reynolds says

    Nice report Joe. I think the Swans will be giving you plenty of reasons to enjoy your Pinot right throughout September.

  2. Thanks Luke. Here’s hoping mate. I still think there are at least three other very good footy teams who could upset my September plans.

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