AFL Round 22 – Fremantle v Port Adelaide: See the Power fly up, up!

By Dan Hansen

 

I was doing the number crunching during the week and the only way Port could miss out on eighth spot was if Port lost to Freo and then Carlton beat the Bombers and Port in successive weeks. The bookies gave Port about a twenty percent chance of beating Freo. Carlton was given a sixty five percent chance of beating an out of form Essendon and early betting had the Port vs Carlton round 23 game as a fifty-fifty. By my calculations this gave us about a seventy to seventy five percent chance of playing finals. But one equation was even easier; beat Fremantle and we were guaranteed a game in September.

So after a few crispy prawns, the wallaby tail and a bottle of nobilio at Billy Kwangs it was off to the Royal Exhibition Hotel in Surry Hills to watch the game with the Port supporters group. There was about fifteen, which was a good turnout for a game we weren’t expected to win.

It seemed as if Hinkley had decided to back his troops and take on Fremantle with traditional one on one football. The first quarter was a pretty even affair, except Fremantle were kicking goals and Port weren’t. However, the second quarter was a disaster. An easy miss by Campbell Heath resulted in Fremantle going coast to coast and causing an eleven point turn around. After a few quiet weeks Pavlich was back to his dangerous best and scoring goals. Another easy miss to Lobbe seemed to drain Port’s spirit. Port’s will was completely sapped a few minutes later. Half way through the quarter Walters punched a disputed ball towards Ballantyne alone in the goal square. As the ball dribbled towards the goal line Ballantyne took an air swing even Kevin Na wouldn’t have signed off on. Looking disappointed with himself he got up and laughed as the goal umpire gave it the double calicoes. We all looked at each other in disbelief. The goal umpire was only three metres away while we could see his foot did not get near the ball from four thousand kilometres away. The Rosetta Stone wasn’t required to understand Ballantyne’s body language but none of the field umpires or boundary umpires called for a video review.

I’m sure Jeff Gieschen will give an adequate explanation during the week. He’ll say something along the lines of “if Ballantyne had half extended his leg it would have been reviewed, but as his leg was fully extended a review wasn’t warranted”. I usually look at everything Ballantyne does with derision but in this case I would have done the same. It’s not up to Ballantyne to tell the world if he had an air swing. It’s not up to Stuart Broad either. It’s up to the fool three metres away and the other umpires to question that fool’s ability.

Despite these setbacks Port continued to battle manfully. It’s not that Port were playing badly but more so Fremantle were awesome and timing their assault on September to perfection. By halftime Port were fifty five points down. Fremantle were playing the better football but the scoreboard did not reflect the true state of the game. A three or four goal deficit would have been fairer.

The third quarter was the same as the previous two. Port played well but Fremantle played better. At one stage in the third quarter Ballantyne was slammed to the ground on his already injured shoulder. Everyone at the pub cheered. I’m sure everyone at every pub in Australia who was watching the game also cheered. It even seemed as if the Fremantle fans at the game were applauding. Someone at the pub even suggested his mother was probably happy to see him walk off the ground holding his shoulder. I’m sure Hayden Ballantyne does have some fans but they are probably serving life sentences in the supermax prison at Goulburn. Otherwise he is about as popular as a malaria infected mosquito. By three quarter time Port were sixty nine points down and our hopes of clinching a finals berth this week had dissipated.

Then the miracles started to happen. For the first few minutes of the last quarter the ball was at the wrong end of the field for Port and didn’t look like it was coming out. Other than a behind to Tuohy there was no major damage to the scoreboard. Another behind to Betts and Port’s finals hopes were looking tenuous. Than at about the ten minute mark two quick goals to Myers and Hurley and Port were within five points of a finals berth. Five minutes of no-holds-barred football ends up with Ryder marking thirty five metres out. He kicks truly and Port had one hand on eighth spot. Shortly after Henderson hit the post and the score were even, but a draw would have been good enough. Hocking scores another behind to give Port a buffer. With only minutes remaining Gibbs marks and has a relatively easy shot at goal from about forty metres out. He misses and scores are even again. A few more tense minutes of football and the ball is kicked long and deep to the right end for Port. Two defenders fly and the ball spills out the back where Zaharakis crumbs the ball, steadies and puts Port into their first finals series since 2007.

After the game the Fremantle players gather in a circle and sing a very lacklustre version of “Freo, way to go”. Meanwhile down the corridor the Port players lock arms and sing at the top of their lungs.

“See the Bombers fly up, up!

To get us into the eight.

Their boys who play this grand old game,

Are always striving for glory and fame!

See the bombers fly up, up,

The Port supporters will cheer,

Carlton tried their best,

But they can’t get near,

As the bombers fly up!

POWER”

 

FREMANTLE                  5.4   10.4   15.7   21.8   (134)

PORT ADELAIDE           1.1   1.3     4.4        9.6   (60)

 

GOALS

Fremantle: Ballantyne 4, Pavlich 4, Walters 3, Clarke 2, Sheridan 2, Crowley, Barlow, Hannath, Neale, Johnson, Sutcliffe

Port Adelaide: Neade, Wingard, Ebert, Schulz, Monfries, Mitchell, Young, Gray, Moore, Zaharakis

 

BEST

Fremantle: Pavlich, Ballantyne, Mayne, Neale, Fyfe, Johnson

Port Adelaide: Lobbe, Gray, Cornes, Zaharakis, Goddard, Ryder

 

Umpires: Margetts, Dalgliesh, McInerney

 

Official crowd: 35,565

 

Our Votes: 3. Pavlich (F), 2. Ballantyne (F), 1. Zaharakis (E)

 

Comments

  1. Malcolm Ashwood says:

    Great Write up Valdemar but even Malaria Infected Mosquitos have standards love the Kevin Na and Chris Broad Mentions 1 correction tho Port were singing come see the Bombers Shoot up certainly a Bob Neil approved article

  2. David Zampatti says:

    I have it on good authority that Hayden Ballantyne wants a new challenge and is sick of that amused I Know What’s Going On And You Don’t look of Ross Lyon’s . He’s after a new club with a great but irrelevant heritage, easy access to vineyards and big advertising banners laid out over the seats.

    Would you like him, Dan?

  3. Greg Flavel says:

    “So after a few crispy prawns, the wallaby tail and a bottle of nobilio at Billy Kwangs it was off to the Royal Exhibition Hotel in Surry Hills to watch the game with the Port supporters group”

    …..since when has the Port supporter’s staple diet changed from Balfours meat pies and west end beer?

  4. Dan Hansen says:

    David,

    Of course we would take Ballantyne. He reminds me of a poor man’s Josh Carr. I didn’t blame him for the goal umpires stuff up and even gave him two votes. I just like to treat him like a pantomime villain. In fact I believe he should be allowed to play in a black cape and sport a waxed moustache.

    Greg,

    I stopped eating Balfours pies when I found out that they were the key accomplices in the premediated and unapologetic cheating performed by the Crows when they paid money to Tippett outside the salary cap. Mrs Mac’s pies are better than Wallaby tail in black bean sauce and tempranillo is better than nobilio.

    Regards

    Dan

  5. Neil Belford says:

    Rich mans Josh Carr. Josh Carr is a poor mans Josh Carr – nice bloke though.

  6. Hayden Ballantyne is lovely.

  7. Faye Korkassum says:

    Brilliant write up Dan, except you refer to the opening bat father of the cricket cheat, that Royal Exhibition Hotel sounds like the place to be, I too was most excited to see the Bombers sneak home.

  8. Arson Garson says:

    Great write up Dan funny and informative Go the Power

  9. Ballantyne, Ballantyne – everyone hates him but I remember when we use to love that name, cos then they were chocolates!

Leave a Comment

*