AFL Round 5 – Essendon v St Kilda: Bathing in the glory of unexpected happiness

Round 5 Essendon vs St.Kilda

Ethiad Stadium

Saturday 19th April 2014

Yvette Wroby

Bathing in the glory of unexpected happiness


Let’s get a few little annoyances out of the way of the positivity train. A big cross to all the commentators, 3AW and Channel 7, for their ridiculous commentary about Josh Bruce’s hair and beard.  The boys with the voice didn’t let up, and in turn they bugged me so much I changed radio stations.  There were more mentions on 3AW than on any other matter. (Richo commentating on the third quarter said “The hairdo lost sight of it”.) Can we concentrate on something like his good defensive body and his first game for his new club?

The other was that my group pay for all away games, which means we usually swipe our cards and go find somewhere to sit up on the third tier. Tonight, because Essendon have a special deal which I don’t understand, we were made to line up at the ticket office, and purchase $8.50 entry tickets on top of what we have paid for the game.  The funny thing was, that we ended up arriving the same time as Bob and Gary, and so could then organise to sit together with ease.  The positives in the world won out, we just all arrived and hit the queues at the same time.

We had to sit up with the gods, and it was OK because tonight they were on our side.  We sat next to two AFL members who were also cranky to have to pay the extra too.  It hadn’t happened to them before either.  Shirley and Peter were an older couple who wouldn’t have made the choice to have climbed up quite so many steps to watch the footy.  Shirley is a Pies supporter and Peter a Bomber.

Tonight Rina stayed home recovering from the flu, while I took my cousin Sue for her first St.Kilda game.  It was a good diversion from her separation and looking after two elderly parents with her brother.   We travelled in and finally relaxed into our high rise seats.

After Essendon got their first three goals and our many misses and one goal, Saints supporters were ready for a long, hard night at the office of supporter-dom.  When the Bombers got two more before the first break, we wondered.  We at least had Billing who got our first goal, Hickey and Stevens back in the team, Schneider up and about, Dunstan bringing great effort.  We had our wonderful new Bruce who was big bodied and confident up back.  And the ball sticking in Stanley’s hands more often.  If we had kicked accurately, we would have been all over Essendon in the first quarter.  It ended up being the other way around.

And the Saints just came back from quarter time and did just that, kicking 3.2 and more importantly keeping Essendon to just two points.  After the first quarter drubbing, this was so unexpected.  Our super captain Riewoldt led the charge with the first two magnificent goals, one from a great mark and the next from a great pass from Dunstan, Geary added one from an interception and we were happy to go into the half time even stevens.  We were lucky that Essendon took over the yips from the Saints. And that a possible goal bounced on the line for the Bombers and we got it back.  The Saints had demolished the Bombers runway.  Our tackling was ferocious. The Bombers siren, rung as they entered the ground at the beginning of the match, was not to be heard again.

Half time and we had a game.  We had already outdone the expectations we came with, already felt that our young guns and old heads and bodies were back to what we’d seen in the first two matches of 2014. SMS’s were sent.  Replete and replenished, we waited to see what the footy gods, so close at hand, had in store.  Pharrell Williams song “Happy” rung out over the ground at the end of the big break, the “Despicable Me Two” song adding a bit of spark to the occasion. Great song.  Great film. Great game.

The night was made even better when a few minutes in, good play and accurate passing by our new gem Billings gave Riewoldt his third.  He was past Milne’s record for the most goals kicked at the Dome with his second, and hadn’t finished for the night.  Poor Michael Hurley was having conniptions trying to keep up with Riewoldt. He looked spent and there was still ½ a game to go.  More good play and after nearly handing it to Essendon, we stole it back and Schneider topped off his return with a running goal.  Two goals ahead. (It is interesting that we played well and lost against West Coast, and then lost our next match back home, and the same is happening to Essendon.)

Jedda claws one back for the Dons, running through, tapping to his own advantage and goaling well.  Even with a bit more firepower to the Bombers, I liked the look of our defence. Delaney has settled, Bruce is a great addition, Webster, Geary, Saunders, Gwilt and our midfield dropping back to help.  Like what our new coach Allan Richardson is teaching our team.  Beautiful to watch.  The Dons are not helped by their inaccurate kicking.

Riewoldt marks another after more great play and goals his fourth.  Our midfield is shining, with Steven, Curren, Montagna, Jones, Lenny, Ray, Schneider and Dunstan attacking continually.  I know that Watson is one of Essendons best but I admit to not noticing him much tonight. My eyes were otherwise occupied. Montagna steals one from a ball up and the Saints are 14 ahead.  Riewoldt competes for marks with four Dons around him.  Our Eveready bunny. Stanton answers with a goal and we worry a little.  Always afraid of the Essendon comeback.  The Bombers are firing.  Hickey misses everything from 35 and almost straight in front.  A groan moment in an otherwise better 2 quarters.  Stanley is holding his marks in this game and grows in confidence.  Templeton ha a lot of tackles today but no goal magic from him and he was the eventual sub. Two Bombers crash heads.  Gwilt tender as he’d been sent flying and landed on his back.  Saints are 10 ahead at three quarter time.

Geary has improved so much this year, as has Ray, Jones, Montagna, and Dempster.

Montagna is mowed down and the Bombers are stepping up, before the Saints get it back and Riewoldt kicks a point. Bombers keep missing too. And Daniher, after a good mark, steps off his line and is tackled by Ray and the Saints burst forward again.  Back and forward.  The Saints steel one from their backline and presto, a magic goal from Schneider.  Sixteen points ahead.  Can we keep the momentum?  Webster answers my question with a pass to Riewoldt and another fabulous captain’s goal.  Twenty two points ahead. Seb Ross has come on as sub and Templeton wears the red vest.  Billings, after tough competitive play, gets his second and the margin is now 28.  Can we relax yet?

Essendon finally get some shots on goal, Hardingham misses, but Stanton gets the two that give us a final anxiety attack, and we celebrate hard, as do our boys, when the siren finally comes.  We say farewell to our disappointed neighbours, who have my card and will ask their kids to look up the Almanac website.  We have had a great night, sing the song twice, watch our boys happily celebrate and head home all together.

We pinch ourselves, this has been a wonderful evening and a much needed salve and Denise texts me that we are back in the eight, at the cost of the Dons.  A good night indeed.


Essendon 5.0 5.2 7.7 9.11 (65)

St.Kilda 1.6 4.8 8.11 11.15 (81)

Goals: Essendon: Stanton 3, Melsham 2, Jetta 2, Myers, Ryder.

St.Kilda: Riewoldt 5, Schneider 2, Bilings 2, Geary, Montagna.


Essendon: Stanton, Watson.

St.Kilda: Riewoldt, Hayes, Montagna, Billings, Gwilt, Newnes, Curren, Stevens, Ray

Umpires: Stevic, Harris, Fisher

Crowd: 36,041

Malarkey Votes: Riewoldt   3, Billings   2, Curren  1







About Yvette Wroby

Yvette Wroby writes, cartoons, paints through life and gets most pleasure when it's about football, and more specifically the Saints. Believes in following dreams and having a go.


  1. Malcolm Ashwood says

    These extra charges are a disgrace and are turning good hard core football people away from the game ! Yvette your report and enthusiasm for the saints is sensational as always . Dunstan has been a revelation he rose up the draft order because of his exceptional leadership ability but he has been better than any 1 expected . I ha the pleasure of umpiring , Adam Schneider as a kid in a state primary school championship he was NSW star player and have followed his career hope he has a huge year
    Billings looked v good thanks , Yvette

  2. Braham Dabscheck says

    Thanks for your kind words. Enjoyed your thorough and entertaining review. Keep up your good work.

    Braham Dabscheck

  3. Luke Reynolds says

    Good stuff Yvette. Very happy for Alan Richardson that he is doing so well after finally getting a chance to coach.

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