AFL Round 7 – Geelong v Essendon: Wobbly wheels

By Steven Ingham

Last year, the wheels on the Essendon bandwagon got very wobbly when we dropped a game to Melbourne, and a few weeks later had well and truly fallen off, and the bandwagon was last spotted outside a nurses room somewhere near Windy Hill.

This season, there appears to be a different drive, a different belief, and absolutely a lot more depth in the squad. However, as a supporter, that uneasy feeling that that anything could happen and the wheels could fly off at any moment is etched into me.

So when the babysitter cancelled, the standing room tickets had to be given away at 4:00 on Friday afternoon, this game already had a real unsettled feel. Add to that Darling Daughter showing more fight going to sleep (and resulting in the top of the table clash being a paused TV staring at Cameron Ling’s rather funny looking face) than Melbourne has shown on field all season, meant that the nerves were taking control of me by the time all was quiet in the household and the game was finally unfolding before my eyes, even though everything was in the 2011-style delayed telecast!

The first half 100% lived up to the hype. Tough, tight football, with run and dash through the middle being rewarded. It seemed when either side was willing to run and carry, take a risk, they could hit the scoreboard. But the slow methodical chip around the sides waiting for an opening (more by the Dons), generally lead to the inevitable result of a turnover, and allowed the Cats to fly through half forward and take the ascendancy, momentum and lead into half time.

I’ve been to quite a few Geelong v Essendon games over the years, and more often than not I come to the same question. “Who, the hell, is on Steve, bloody, Johnson!?!” I’m convinced Brent Prismall must have shared some secret about some awful contagious disease Johnson must carry when he came to Essendon from Geelong. And then this must have been confirmed by Brendan McCartney, Mark Thompson and Matty Egan. Because NOBODY GOES NEAR HIM! Two years ago when we did the unthinkable and actually beat Geelong, just, after leading by plenty, it was Johnson who singlehandedly threatened to take that game off us. And after 8000 possessions to half time, I feel like I must be the only one who has noticed this trend. Then when he finished the game with 3 Million possies, and most of them setting up scores, I could only shake my head. Not many clubs have as many people for with IP on a club as Essendon do of Geelong. We have their former head coach who took them to 2 premierships sitting in OUR box. Surely, he must know the damage Johnson can do…

Anyhow, rant over, and so is the Bombers winning streak, although much like chipping it around the boundary, that was inevitable too. Not because we aren’t any good, in fact for the first 3rd of the last 3 seasons we have shown terrific form, the test for us is Rounds 15-23. But tonight, the honours rest deservedly down the highway to Sleepy Hollow. These Cats might just do it again this year, for they have brought in some electric kids to mix with genuine champion veterans, and are taking all before them. And to think that tonight, the 3 recruits they got in the off season to help have another tilt in Rivers, McIntosh & Caddy were all in the stands. Along with a half decent player called Chapman. And a reasonably exciting prospect in Vardy is in the wings.

Something tells me much like the famous Mark Twain quote from many moons ago, “Reports of Geelong’s Death have been GREATLY EXAGGERATED!!”


Geelong           2.2 7.7 13.9 17.11 (113)
Essendon         2.5 6.9 7.18 11.19 (85)

Geelong: Stokes 3, Blicavs, Smedts, Lonergan, Hawkins 2, Motlop, Selwood, Bartel, Christensen, Duncan, Schroder
Essendon: Myers, Gumbleton 2, Goddard, Hibberd, Hocking, Bellchambers, Hurley, Crameri, Davey


Geelong: Johnson, Lonergan, Motlop, Taylor, Stokes, Enright

Essendon: Watson, Hocking, Bellchambers, Carlisle, Zaharakis


Official crowd: Stevic, Rosebury, Ryan

Our Votes: 3 Johnson (Geel.) 2 Lonergan (G) 1 Motlop (G)


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