AFLW Round 7 – Collingwood v Adelaide: It was an aviary

18 March 2018 at 2.35 pm
Olympic Park Oval, Melbourne


I arrived early as this is a ground that should not be used other than for training purposes.  There is no seating and no shade.  The latter was not a problem as it was a cooler day, but for those of us arriving early, we needed cover from the rain.


Family members were directed to The Glasshouse.  It was good to be early as there were very few seats.  I squirrelled away two stools near the window and waited.


My memories of last year’s same match were still uppermost in my mind:  at least this year I was in The Glasshouse legally.  A few more Crow family members arrived, and we got talking about what we had done in Melbourne that morning.  We had all travelled:  from (of course) Adelaide, Darwin, Broken Hill and Canberra.  Oh, and Orange County in the US – I thought this supporter had said Oregon so I gave a short summary of the Oregon Project in the health system.  Erudite it was; but totally irrelevant.  Quelle embarrassment.


Some of our number visited the Victorian Parliament, others shopped.  I watched the passing parade of newly married couples emerging from the Registry Office and pondered the increase in marriages as a result of the marriage equality legislation.  The newly marrieds pondered their photos while standing under umbrellas.


Members of the Crow Aviary in the Glasshouse

I was at the ground early enough to see the warm ups.  Erin Phillips looked like a million dollars and was kicking goals from everywhere.  The sun came out but the wind was still blowing a force 10 gale.  Be grateful for small mercies.


The Crows were first to score with a behind.  It looked good.  We Crows were subdued in The Glasshouse.  We were, after all, mere guests in the nest of Magpies.  Show some respect was our motto.  First goal to the Magpies had their supporters chirping up a storm.  There was some relief and crowing when Ruthie Wallace responded.  I admit to having been on Ruthie and Eloise (Jones) watch all year, and I have been rewarded with some fabulous play.  Anne Hatchard kicked a second goal for the Crows.  A bit of wayward spraying gave the Crows the first quarter together with plenty of missed opportunities to put the game away.


Only three more quarters to get into the grannie.


I have also enjoyed watching Mo Hope this year.  I thought she was badly treated earlier in the season when she was dropped, and it was terrific to see her doing so well and kicking straight.  Unfortunately, though, it was against my team.


The community of families was still breathing at half time as the Crows remained in front by 11 points.  There had been some good humour shown between the two nests in this aviary Glasshouse, especially when a Collingwood player all but had her head taken off by a Crow player.  We conceded that they had earned that free kick.


Some of the Magpie supporters came and chatted to us at half time and were interested to know how far we had travelled and who our relatives were.  They were genuine in their welcome.  This has been the highlight of AFLW – the camaraderie has flowed through the teams, their families and supporters.  I have met some fabulous people as a result of spending my annual travel budget before June 30.


Unless you’re a Collingwood supporter, there’s not much point in talking about the second half.  The premiership quarter yielded just two behinds for the Crows and a one-point lead heading into three quarter time for the Magpies.  Goals seemed easy for Kuys and Bernardi.


Unfortunately, there was nothing left for the Crows in the last quarter.  We watched Chelsea Randall sitting on the sidelines for all of the second half, pleading to go back on.  She was concussed and had no hope.  The Crows needed her.  While Erin was getting goals in the warm up, they were impossible to find in the actual match without the workhorse of Randall getting the ball to the Crows’ forward line.  It was extraordinary though:  Chelsea had the fourth highest number of possessions for Adelaide and only played half the match!


Adelaide played their worst half of football in two years while the Magpies played their best.


It’s disappointing for the team and its family of supporters not to be in the grand final.  However, they need to remind themselves that they’ve done a great job to get this far.  They were only supposed to make up the numbers last year and they are still the reigning premiers – at least until Saturday.  They have done it harder than any other team, given that a large number of their players are actually based in Darwin.  And we have seen some marvellous older talent in Phillips and Cramey, while the young Crows (looking at you Ruthie and Eloise) give a lot of hope for the future.


Good luck next week to Footscray and Brisbane.  They deserve to be there.  But they deserve to be at Etihad at 5 pm and not just fitting around the AFLM.


Collingwood:   1.1       3.1       5.3       8.5(53)
Adelaide:         2.5       4.6       4.8       4.8(32)

Collingwood:               Garner 3, Bernardi 2, Brazill, Lambert, King
Adelaide                      Wallace, Hatchard, McCormick, Thompson

Randall 3, Garner 2, Hope 1

UMPIRES  Young, Rowe, Guy

2,300 – this is a game that would have attracted many more supporters if there were actually seats available.  Please, AFLW, don’t play here again.



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About Anne Cahill Lambert

One of the first females to be admitted to membership of the G. Thank you Mr Cain. Nicknamed The Hyphen by Alamanac Editor, despite the fact I don't have one.


  1. Yvette Wroby says

    Hi Anne,

    I hate that ground for all the reasons you have said, it and Casey Fields are practice fields and not comfortable for bigger crowds. There is at least some shelter and steps to sit on at Casey Fields.

    Felt for you while watching this game, and it was over when Chelsea left the ground. She was all over the defense, she picked up everything coming her way, and your team needed to step up ten notches to cover her.
    On top of this, Collingwood were brilliant. Some of their best play yet, and I think if they can start where they leave off this season next year, they’ll be a contender. Some great players and form and coaching. And confidence.

    I like to see different teams in the GF, and hope for a great game and a Doggies win. Would equally not be surprised to see that the Brisbane Lions have bottled up their disappointment from last year, and come out firing.

    It would have needed to be a 7.30 game at Etihad as the Saints v Brisbane game starts at 3.30.

    Better still, push back the men’s season and let us have a good venue for the AFLW Grand Final. Book one decent venue in each state and keep the one when the GF draw is announced.

  2. Thanks Anne, we were there that day, standing at the fence, getting sunburned (the sun and wind were a tough combination), trying to cheer enough to will our Crows over the line, but it wasn’t to be. I agree, this is not a ground for fans – my daughter couldn’t manage to stay standing the whole time, so had to sit on the ground and miss passages of play. Please, AFL, there is so much more to “accessible” than free…. (I understand that accessibility for wheelchair users is a big issue too – I hear a wheelchair user was told they had to go to a different gate on the other side of the ground at the grand final yesterday…. )

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