AFL Round 6 – Gold Coast v Fremantle: Mr Ebb

Mr Ebb

Gold Coast versus Fremantle

7.40pm, Saturday, 4th May

Metricon Stadium, Gold Coast

Jamie Simmons

My young companion to tonight’s game is Corky, a work colleague who has moved East for love and the promise of better things to come. She is all that should embody a young Fremantle supporter on foreign soil. She is informed, passionately vocal and proudly one-eyed. Her fear is that in the absence of many of her stars, tonight looms as a possible upset. My fear is that in the attendance of Ross Lyon, tonight looms as a possible nil-all draw.

We discuss the Fyfe suspension as pre-game entertainment. The “purple haze” elected to fight the law on this one and, sadly for Freo and the young man’s Brownlow aspirations, the law won. If nothing else, at least now it provides the young midfielder a solid two weeks to focus on the purchase of some reasonably priced shampoo and a brushcutter.

It’s imperative that my fears about tonight’s encounter are not realised. The time between me leaving my home and scanning my ticket at the ground is seldom a pleasant experience en route to Metricon. My relationship with public transport is a tempestuous one at best and tonight is no exception.

Not even watching the sun setting slowly behind the powerlines in Beenleigh, or a band of rosy cheeked scamps honing their penmanship skills on a Loganlea overpass could ease the displeasure of tonight’s journey by rail. The spritely young lass in the row immediately behind me’s shrill and brutal assault on the English language, lead me at once to ponder what Shakespeare would have made of it all. Perhaps it would have inspired him to new heights and pen hauntingly beautiful new sonnets like “Might I compare thee to a rusty hinge”.

Disembarking at Nerang station we are all herded systematically toward and compressed into waiting buses. The Gold Coast’s tallest resident attaches himself to the handrail immediately above me, allowing me to revel in the joy of wearing his armpit as a hat for the next ten minutes.

There is a short interrogation at the gates of Metricon but I don’t mind. The obligatory bag checks here are a little more laid back, unlike the Gabba where the continued crackdown on easily digestible and nutritious foods are carried out with cold, military precision.

I like Metricon a great deal. There is always a festive feel to the ground. Tonight it’s African drums and a live band. We’re also greeted by the smiling visage of a gentleman on stilts. Sadly for Freo fans, I fear this merely serves to lament the continued absence of Aaron Sandilands.

Not good! We’re not even 15 minutes into game time and it’s apparent that the one man who stood between the 10,552 patrons here tonight and value for money, is imposing his will on the contest. The defensive philosophy of Ross Lyon is stifling the attacking instincts of this young Suns outfit. The Dockers ability to fill space and push numbers to the ball frustrates Gold Coast and forces them into a circumspect style of play they simply aren’t skilled enough to execute well. Even mediocre games of football will have moments of ebb and flow. Not tonight though. Tonight there is only ebb. The evil Emperor Lyon has waded ashore on a veritable sea of ebbiness and declared Metricon Stadium a “No Flow” zone. It’s going to be a long night. I couldn’t tell you the last time I spent more time reading the Footy Record than watching the game…actually, yes I could. It was the last time I watched a game of football coached by Ross Lyon.

I’ve never met Ross Lyon but I suspect he’s the sort of guy that would turn up at a person’s party and then borrow their phone to complain about the noise….at 7.30pm! The sort of bloke who mows the lawn in black socks and sandals and won’t eat unpeeled M&M’s for fear of becoming over stimulated.

Every villain has a henchman and tonight Lyon is ably supported in this role by Executive Harassment Officer, Ryan Crowley. This battle provides the highlight (for want of a better word) and their rivalry on and off the field, thanks now to social media, is fast becoming one for the ages. Ablett found his composure after the first quarter but the result itself might tip things back Crowley’s way. Too close to call. What I can say with some degree of certainty is that this one may play out over many more years to come, maybe even decades. I for one can see an 80 plus year old motorised  Ablett making his way to the “Dodgy Knees Retirement Village” canteen, only to have his place in line blocked by Crowley in a rusty, hand operated wheelchair, tugging aggressively at Gazza’s blanket every time he tries to sneak past. Here’s hoping anyway.

Siren sounds and looking to at least take something out of the experience (that and delaying the inevitable trip back on The Armpit Express), I hurdle the fence and walk freely among the age honoured tradition of kick to kick. It takes me back to a simpler time. A time when I’d waddle over to a vacant patch of turf with a plastic brown football tucked under my arm and dried doughnut jam all over my face. A time I like to call, “my early thirties”.  I’m trying to make my way across the ground unimpeded but the many hundreds of revellers milling around are choking the space and suffocating every movement I attempt. It suddenly occurs to me that this must be what it feels like to play against Fremantle.

Putting the ground behind us, Corky and I discuss the quandary of following a successful team and/or following an entertaining team and how, sadly, sometimes the two can be mutually exclusive. She’s changing the subject now. She and her partner are in the throes of buying their first house and my young friend is promising a big party. We won’t be inviting Ross Lyon.

Gold Coast 0.2  2.5  5.8  7.12 (54)

St Kilda 3.3  6.5  10.6  15.9 (99)



Gold Coast– O’Meara 2, Bennell, Ablett, Hunt, Harbrow, Prestia

Fremantle–  Walters 4, Griffen 3, Crozier 2, Pearce, Silvagni, Hannath, Suban, Sutcliffe, Mayne


Gold Coast– Harbrow, O’Meara, Swallow, Prestia, Ablett, Brennan

Fremantle – Griffen, Walters, Pearce, Ibbotson, McPharlin, Duffield

Umpires: Schmitt, Ryder, Harris                                                                             Crowd: 10,552

Our Votes: Griffen (Fre) 3, Walters (Fre) 2, Harbrow (GC) 1

About Jamie Simmons

Born in Melbourne, a third generation Fitzroy supporter, in 1972 before emigrating to Tasmania during The Great Broccoli Famine of 86. Leaving my island lodgings, largely at the request of locals, to settle once more on the mainland in 1997. These days living out a peaceful existance on the outskirts of Brisbane, where I spend most of my time serving as a fashion warning to others.


  1. Jamie

    “Executive Harassment Officer, Ryan Crowley”

    Great line


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