AFL Round 21 – Sydney v St.Kilda: First loves and old loves

By Mic Conway

When I was a kid I used to go to the footy with my dad and watch St. Kilda play; first at the Junction Oval and later at Moorabin. Dazzled by the likes of Darrel Baldock, Ian Stewart and Eric Guy, but my hero was ruck-man Alan Morrow. As a young man in the mid 1970’s, I moved to Albert Park in South Melbourne Territory and in those days in working class South Melbourne, if you didn’t barrack for the Bloods you didn’t belong- so I switched teams and belonged; a sacrilegious act in those days. Almost forty years later, I am taking my children to the footy; this time with my daughter Tivoli to see the mighty Swans against my old team. Tivoli and I are wearing red and white, but I have black pants and a black jacket so I could still be a Sainter.

On paper this should be an easy win for the Bloods and the main question is whether we would see Gary Rohan play after sixteen months recovering from a shocking broken leg. It starts off as a battle of defences and then a Montagna pass to Tom Lee for the first goal, quickly replied, when Kennedy passes to Malceski to Bolton who spins out of the pack to goal. Kennedy is dominating around the packs while Riewoldt looks dangerous. McVeigh and Everitt are dominating out of the back line. Tit for tat goals to Jack Steven and Tippet and by the end of the first quarter it’s level pegging.

The second quarter still has both defences on top. Rhyce Shaw is showing electric energy with some great runs marred by poor kicking. McGlynn who goals looks hyper and determined not to miss another finals campaign. Ex-Swan Dempster’s kick to Curren is a goal but over use of handball is causing turnovers for both sides. The guy behind me yells out a reminder to the players that the game is called FOOTball. Clinton Jones runs into an open goal while Jed Lamb looks dangerous but erratic. Jesse White, Pyke and Tippet goal to pull the Swans ahead by fourteen points at half time.

Half time and Tivoli points out our neighbor Carl- a producer with the channel 7 camera crew who Tivoli babysits for. He is a Geelong supporter but has a soft spot for the Swans, as does the Saints supporter sitting next to us. I’ve noticed lots of people who follow other teams still have fondness for the Swans (at least in Sydney). In Melbourne as I moved to Sydney in ’82 I was the only one around that thought South’s move to Sydney was not an outrage.

With the game evenly poised at the start of the third quarter the Swans go up a gear. McGlynn grubs a kick, recovers, kicks a point then Everitt to Jesse White to Tippet who misses. Kennedy to Tippet, a major. Richards to Lamb who makes amends for earlier misses, another goal. Shaw over to Tippet in goal square who freakishly kicks backwards off the side of his boot and the Swans are nailing the Saints’ coffin. Montagna and Curren miss, then Hannebury quiet until this quarter, to Mumford to Tippet who kicks his fifth goal. Stephen Milne comes on as a sub to the usual boos, while Jack Newnes’ great kick to Reiwoldt who marks despite close attention from Ted Richards who concedes a fifty metre penalty and a major to St. Kilda. Tippet up the ground to a beautiful one handed mark from Jesse White and the Bloods reply. White has really improved over this season and as my mate Bullbar used to say, “Looks like Tarzan plays like Jane.” Not anymore; Jesse White is all Tarzan! Rhyce Shaw going for another great run is electrifying. Kieren Jack runs into an open goal and the game is all but over. Tippet comes off and is subbed by Gary Rohan to the biggest cheers of the day. Rohan immediately passes to Bolton who goals.

Last quarter and the only interest now is how Rohan will go. He looks fast and could be the X-Factor the Swans could use in the finals. Lamb is playing his best game yet and is in everything. The Swans mid-field really comes into it’s own. Kennedy is killing it, but so to does Jack and Hannebury, while O’Keefe has kept DalSanto quiet. Majors to Riewoldt and Steven are to no avail, as White and Pyke goal. Montagna working hard all day to Hickey who keeps some respectability. Siren sounds and I rush off to perform a show for the late Gary Shearston at the Petersham Bowlo, beating the car park rush and the Bloods demolishing my first love- The Saints.

Sydney 2.3  6.6   13.9   18.10

St Kilda 2.3  4.4    5.6    8.11

Goals Sydney: Tippet 5, J, White 3, B. McGlynn 2, J.Bolton 2, J.Lamb 2, K.Jack 2, M.Pyke 2

St Kilda: J.Steven 2, N.Riewoldt 2, D.Minchington, T.Curren, T.Hickey, T,Lee

Umpires: Armstrong, Ryan, Mollison

Best Sydney: Kennedy, Tippet, Everitt, Shaw, White, Parker

Best St. Kilda: Montagna, Curren, Geary, Armitage, Steven, Dempster

Votes: Kennedy, Everitt, Tippet


  1. Yvette Wroby says

    Hi Mic,
    after reading Peter Baulderstones review of 2014 Knackers, I noted your presence. I am the lady who walked with you in Caulfield Park, in circles with our dogs, and just wanted to say good day in a whole new arena of going in circles. Am a Saints girl forever.

    Be well

    Yvette Wroby

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