AFLW Round 2 – Collingwood v Melbourne: Mum v Daughter and other rivalries

 

 

On an odd weather day for Melbourne; we descended on Victoria Park in scarves and coats in February. We rejoiced that the women didn’t have to play in awful heat for a change and the audience wouldn’t simmer while watching them.

 

Arriving shortly after 3pm, there were fans walking onto the ground; security was willingly letting people through as they knew they couldn’t stop it. A quick trip to the gourmet hot dog van (no meat pies in Abbotsford today), we placed ourselves in the middle of the original stand on the wooden seats; right behind the goal post. The theory was that we could watch the snags in real time. We engaged in serious draft conversation with a friend of mine; whilst the legendary Penny Cula-Reid sat inches away from us eating her lunch. My mum (Demons supporter)  fondly told us about all the times she spent at Victoria Park with her friend Helen (a Collingwood supporter) in the 1960s; and that her dad didn’t want her to marry my dad because he was a Collingwood supporter (they’ve been married 49 years – lucky Grandpa Jack didn’t get his way!) My mum and I couldn’t be more different – I don’t think this football team split should surprise anyone.

 

As the ground filled up, the Pies girls practised drills right in front of us, supported by the one and only Chloe Molloy. Serious adult mature Kate was fangirling and in awe. Time sped by and suddenly media announcements were being made, ending with a not one, but two “go pies!” Melbourne girls had also popped on the ground for a short time in this period. A beautiful acknowledgement of country followed. Then the banners were assembled and guards of honour formed for the respective teams. A quick joke about wine, cheese, and Range Rovers followed from me to mum; and the Demons ran out first to a few cheers; supporters were mostly of the Collingwood persuasion for this match. The wind had picked up and my first note about the game in my book was “NOT AGAIN – I am still upset about Dom Sheed!” It was because the banner had torn in the wind. This has never ended well for our team. The Collingwood women’s team then gracefully walked out to the banner and smiled as they passed through. The historic bell erupted moments later, followed by the siren.

It would seem that Collingwood were heavy on defence – we know that if Melbourne are able to get free, they can open up the game for themselves and kick many goals. Karen Paxman managed to escape the Magpies twice to get two behinds right in front of where we were sitting. Both veering to the right as they went towards the posts. Things started to move towards the other end. My eyesight failed at this point and as far as I know, there was a rushed behind. Mum told me to get new glasses, should’ve gone to spec savers etc. Less then a minute later, the impressive first year player Miki Cann leveled the board for us by kicking a behind. The quarter ended shortly after with a 2-2 on the digital scoreboard on Turner Street.

 

Throughout the game, especially in the first and second quarter; it would seem that Jaimee Lambert was everywhere. She may have been the first human to clone herself for all we know; that girl is fast and always present. This didn’t stop Paxman; she had yet again escaped for a further two times; kicking another two behinds in quick succession for the Demons. A minute and 45 minutes later, Elise O’Dea managed a spectacular goal down the “should’ve gone to spec savers” end of the ground. My note as this stage was simply: Melbourne gets goal. *Grumpy face*. Credit to both Ash Brazill and Cecilia McIntosh as they too, were saving the ball left, right, and centre for the Pies, stopping Melbourne from getting even more goals. Another standout (and can I say thank goodness for her) was Ruby Schleicher! Stopping Melbourne goals as they should’ve happened? That cannot go unnoticed. What a player. Also Erica Fowler (who commutes from Queensland, what a woman – every week!) was consistent for the Pies as well. Lauren Pearce quickly increased the lead in the second quarter with another big one. It began to show that Collingwood was being tired out. Melbourne were running rings around them.

 

The mood was lightened as we got to watch the amazing little Auskick kids run around the ground as they played their half time matches. One funny comment from an Auskicker called Daisy: “Mum, can we have some food? They said to feed us before we played!” The no fear approach kids have to speech will never cease to amaze me until the day I depart this earth. I wish I had their guts! Quarter three came around quickly in what was a scrappy and defensive affair. The only score on the board this quarter was a behind from Kate Hore of Melbourne. Ash Brazill stood out as the woman who could get the ball away from Melbourne. She’s an amazing dual athlete. I hope she gets all the coaches votes this week!

 

We descended quickly into the fourth quarter when Melbourne had a handy 16 point lead. We were still goalless and desperation set in. The only way was to keep them scoreless and kick some snags – 3 was all we needed. We could do it. The third quarter was mostly spend in the inside 50 on Collingwood /Spec savers end; however, it had not gone well for us. Aleisha Newman quickly dashed this hope as she got a behind one third of the way into the final term. Just over a minute later, Tyla Hanks increased the lead to 22 with another goal for the red and the blue. I looked over at mum and she was as proud as punch of her “Dees Girls” – she was extremely happy! A rushed behind down the other end also provided another score for the Demons. In the final minutes of the quarter, Sarah Dargan kicked an amazing goal right in front of us – the crowd went absolutely wild. What a score! Lead was decreased to 18, could Collingwood do it?

 

Steph Chiocci had played a spectacular game all day and her energy was boundless. She finally had the chance to go for a goal. All eyes were on her as she went for it; a behind was had as the ball trickled towards the left. Melbourne had been running after her all day. Their pressure on the Pies was amazing. Less than four minutes later (with most happening at the spec savers end again) and the quarter was over. Melbourne had got their first win of the season at Collingwood’s spiritual home. The Demons theme song erupted over the speakers as the girls shook hands and congratulated each other on their games. The packed ground started to depart as my mum kept singing “it’s a grand old flag” over and over again. She’s lucky I love her, otherwise she would’ve had to walk home!

 

No matter win or lose; I am always proud of the Magpies. These girls are amazing. To do what they do and work full time; how can anyone fault it? Also an opportunity to play at Victoria Park is something they will cherish forever. The significance of this is second to none. I await our next game in Fremantle next week; I look forward to seeing the girls turn their luck around. We can do it. Kudos to Melbourne for their amazing game and thank you to the beautiful Victoria Park for standing tall in Abbotsford. Another cracking game of women’s football – tick!

 

Read more stories about Round 2, 2019 HERE.

 

 

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About Kate Williams

Lover of family, friends, food, fun, my pets, AFL, AFLW, crafts and many other things. Qualified Sociologist, Driver, and Office Professional. Always covered in crumbs. Most likely out walking my yellow Labrador Daisy!

Comments

  1. Phillip Dimitriadis says:

    Great stuff Kate.
    Isn’t it wonderful to have Vic Park back for AFLW ?
    Easily the biggest crowd since 1999. Lots of Dees fans, too.
    My highlights were the crowd and Cecilia McIntosh’s mark in front of the old Ryder Stand in the 3rd quarter. Brazill and Chiocci battled hard. We miss Emma King, badly.

  2. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says:

    A beaut report Kate. Ash Brazill has been a standout so far.

  3. Luke Reynolds says:

    Wonderful report Kate.
    How good is it to see big football back at beautiful Victoria Park?!!
    So wish I could have attended, but as a keen cricketer it’s impossible. Would so love to have the AFLW on during April-September, ie football season.
    What a player Steph Chiocci is. My current favourite in the absence of Chloe Molloy.
    Go Pies!

  4. Brazill just getting things done again – definitely the standout Pie so far this year (I too miss seeing Chloe out there, Luke!)

    Thanks again for the words Kate, all the more appreciated after missing out on the four points!

  5. Yvette Wroby says:

    Hi Kate,
    thanks for this. I will forever think of further goal posts as the Spec Savers end. Totally get it. And your mum, can I borrow her? She sounds a beauty and her singing of your anthem to bug you is perfect mum stuff. Ruby Schleicher, Ash Brazill, Cecilia McIntosh. All stars in my eyes. Brittany Bonicci tries all day but kicked four wayward boundaries. Love her effort though. She was probably to stuffed to kick straight. Melbourne were determined. Ash Brazill is a star. She was everywhere. Loved watching her. Melbourne have played their first good game post-Daisy. They have a lot to look forward to as well.
    Was a good game. If you weren’t black and white.
    I remember that ground. As a Saints supporter. Nice to see grounds brought back into use for these games. Even the black and white ones.

    I look forward to your reports each week now!

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