Cats home in a Friday night scrap

 

Today I don’t feel like anything

I just wanna lay in my bed”

Those lyrics taken from The Lazy Song by Bruno Mars was the perfect way to start the day for me. Hearing the song as my radio alarm switched on at 7:05am, I agreed with the chorus as the lure of spending a lazy day at home appealed to me. The frosty windows definitely weren’t working, but I somehow managed to drag myself out of bed. “You’ll soon be back here watching the footy,” I told myself, which in turn made me want to dive back under the covers.

I felt like the world was against me as I turned on my iPod after getting on the bus. When I touched the music tab, it tried telling me that I had no content on their at all. “That’s silly, I had heaps of songs last night…” I told myself, but then the realisation of what had happened hit me hard (for anyone who has an iPod of any sorts, you’d know what has happened). It just wasn’t my day. I survived the 30 minute bus ride listening to the whiny voices of little kids instead of my favourite music (for your information, the aforementioned song by Bruno Mars is terrible, but I could still relate to him). School went by rather quickly, a highlight was watching the Year 10’s walk around at recess with sore arms after immunisations, before I learnt my Business Management and Legal Studies teacher was away for the day. With Bus.Man and Legal after lunch, I retired at 1:00, getting an early start on the weekend (not before seeing a brutal punch-on right next to my locker, only at Numurkah Secondary College). I walked down the street to meet up with Mum and my Nana, who were out for lunch for the latter’s birthday. Soon I was back home, the place I thought I’d never get back to earlier in the morning. I was due back out at 5:00 for Tennis training though, as tomorrow was the Grand Final. The conditions were blustery and cool, not ideal weather for Tennis.

The time between the Tennis finals and the Footy season is always hell. Managing two sports at once is harder than it seems, and I was feeling the pinch. After a practice match for Waaia on Wednesday night, I could barely break out into a jog as I limped around the court trying to return the ball over the net. After 90 minutes, I was still no good, if not worse, and demanded a deep-heat massage from Mum when we got home. The strong whiff of deep-heat I copped sprung one word to my mind: Footy.

It was a new look Geelong I was enthusiastic about watching, especially under the MCG lights against arch-nemesis St Kilda. I knew it was going to be tight and physical, and also low-scoring. Geelong didn’t look too bad as they streamed from the centre from the first bounce and found Cameron Mooney, but you can’t trust the Big Hairy Inaccurate Cat. Nick Riewoldt was given a free kick against Tom Lonergan, and duly converted. The scandalous summer for Riewoldt was now a goal further in his mind. Brendon Goddard somehow found himself with no opponent for a split-second, and marked just inside 50 on a 45 degree angle. That’s the prime distance and angle for Goddard, not too easy and a fairly short distance by his range. He thumped it through the middle of the goals, giving St Kilda a 10 point lead. I got a text from Almanacker Susie Giese, who was at the game. “Seen the incident yet?” The game suddenly seemed more interesting, but what followed next was the closest thing to fear i’ve witnessed while watching a match. With Joel Selwood chasing after a loose ball, he put his head over it and dived, as Farren Ray came running in the opposite direction. Ray saw the oncoming collision, and turned his hip to reduce front-on damage. Unfortunately, Selwood’s mouth landed right on Ray’s hip bone, and blood was spilt almost immediately. The young Cat champion was frozen on the ground, unconscious. It was a hit enough to make Danny Green, well, green with envious. Play was stopped for five minutes (which Channel 7 used perfectly to get in some extra advertisements) and when play resumed, the main priority seemed to be focused on Selwood’s health, not the four points up for grabs. Quarter time came, and Geelong was still goal-less. St Kilda were only marginally better, 13 points better in fact.

In the morning I thought it was the world out to get me, but now it seemed it was just the TV networks. The ad breaks on Channel 7 became so continuous that the chance of seeing a replay of whatever were slim. Another dilemma was an extra hour of Biggest Loser on Channel 10, a series I am quite into. After seeing Mitch Duncan gather in a stoppage and grubber through a clever goal, I switched over to watch a bit of BL. After turning back to the footy after 10 minutes, I was astonished to find that the scores had hardly changed. The half time siren came, and the combined scores of both teams were an amazingly inaccurate and low-scoring total of 3.16.

I knew a game could still be made of this ‘contest’. Sure, physical footy is good, but end-to-end with no score gets tedious after a while. Geelong looked like they couldn’t buy a goal, so after Ryan Gamble goaled from a Lenny Hayes handball, then Raphael Clarke, the Geelong faithful’s favourite player, booted a long major from 50m. 20 points the margin, was the game over? Brett Peake was still on the bench, going cold in his fluro vest. Joel Corey pushed forward and marked just inside the boundary line, 45m from goal. He stunned many when his kick floated straight through the middle. Back to 14 points. From the centre bounce, Corey flicked a handball out to David Wojcinski, who turned on the afterburners and kicked a major on the run. In the blink of an eye, Geelong had kicked a larger amount of goals than they amassed in the first half. They weren’t done though, Duncan wrestled with Steven Baker 15m from goal as a long ball was roosted high into the air. Duncan stuck one glove out and pulled in a huge mark. He went back and converted, two points the margin! It was reduced by one at three quarter time, and it looked like fans were in for that grand finish these two teams usually delivered.

It was tight, almost like war. Every disposal counted. Every mark was crucial. Geelong players started linking up via handball through the middle of the ground, but they seemed lost without Gazza and Selwood, not to mention Paul Chapman. But one stalwart was still out there, giving his all. Jimmy Bartel, despite dropping a mark and being hemmed in on the boundary line, flicked a small kick towards the vacant goalsquare. It hit the ground sweetly, and bounced through. The crowd went beserk. Geelong in front! Chris Scott, a poor mans Brad Scott, was cheering everything from the coaches box, showing heaps of emotion, something Mark Thompson didn’t do a lot in 2010. St Kilda answered through Ben McEvoy, then it was a case of deja vu for all concerned. After Leigh Montagna got rid of Harry Taylor, Joey pounced on the ball and snapped a goal to put the result back in their favour. The umpire sounded his whistle though. Free kick to Taylor! The ever-slick Nick Dal Santo found the ball at the 50m arc from the resulting kick, however, and after squirting a small handball out to champion Lenny Hayes, the Saints were back in front when he dodged and kicked straight from 25m. It was slipping away from Geelong now. The handballs weren’t sticking, kicks couldn’t get past the centre, and St Kilda seemed to be at the end of every long bomb. A brilliant combination of the young and the old set up the last play of the game however. Duncan, one of Geelong’s brightest stars, took the game on, kicking the ball long inside 50 to the hot-spot. Stevie J dropped the ball, and it squirted out to Mooney. He looked like he could almost grab it and convert, but failed to do so. So he did the next best thing. Waiting in the goalsquare, all alone, was Darren Milburn, the substitute chosen by Scott pre-match. He came on in the first quarter when Selwood got KO’ed, and old Dasher’s eyes lit up as the ball fell into his lap from Mooney’s handball, and Milburn booted the ball high into the stands, putting an emphatic full stop on a great second half of football.

Geelong sung the song with great gusto, the way they should, the way we haven’t seen for a while.

Geelong 0.4—1.7—4.10—6.12.48

St Kilda 2.5—2.9—4.11—6.11.47

Goalkickers:

Geelong-Duncan 2, Milburn, Bartel, Wojcinski, Corey

St Kilda-Goddard, Riewoldt, Clarke, Hayes, McEvoy, Gamble

Best:

Geelong-Bartel, Corey, Lonergan, Enright, Duncan

St Kilda-Dal Santo, Hayes, Clarke, Armitage

Crowd:

42,869 at the MCG

Votes:

3: Jimmy Bartel (G)

2: Nick Dal Santo (ST)

1: Joel Corey (G)

About Josh Barnstable

21 year old North Melbourne supporter from country Victoria. Currently living in Melbourne studying a Bachelor of Sports Media. Dreams of becoming a sports journalist and broadcaster.

Comments

  1. Good report Josh. I was at the ground. What a horrible game to watch. If it wasn’t for the Cats injecting some spark into the contest in the third quarter I might have fallen asleep. Though the lunch I’d just come from might have been contributing to my sleepiness as well. I also found myself getting very vocal at the umpires. I honestly can’t understand where they’re coming from some times.

    Can’t stand St Kilda’s game style and game plan. They deserve to lose more often if they simply strangle the contest.

  2. Good work, Josh.
    So much for Ross Lyon’s promise that the Saints would play more attractive football…
    If last night is an example of where footy is headed, I am refusing to go along for the ride.

  3. To be sung to the tune of Jimmy Crack Corn

    Jimmy Bartel but I don’t care,
    Jimmy Bartel but I don’t care,
    Jimmy Bartel but I don’t care
    the little master’s run away

    I got a text from a Saints supporter late into the third quarter. By the time I had read it and erased it and cleared my in box out the Cats had kicked three goals.

  4. Well what a crackin’ dessert; pity about the Hors d’oeuvre, entree and main.

    Class stood out in the end with a blend of youth; Corey Enright, Joel Corey, Jimmy Bartel really turned it on, as did Wojcinski. Youngsters all did well.

  5. Rick Kane says

    Good report Josh

    Barely a good win, mainly a dud game. I don’t know how happy I’d be if I were a Cats supporter, other than with the 4 points.

    Cheers

  6. Peter Flynn says

    G’day Josh,

    Thanks for an informative report. I’m about to watch the match.

    I don’t think Chris Scott would be too happy being described as a poor man’s Brad Scott!

    Keep up the good work.

  7. Phil Dimitriadis says

    Well done maintaining enthusiasm with this Josh. I was there and luckily a bar was near. As Lou Richards used to say: “Seen better matches in an ashtray”

    StKilda’s style is a blight on the game. Feel sorry for Nick Riewoldt having to put up with that crap. The Cats hung in and good luck to them, but Tom Hawkins really has to pull his finger out this year and provide a target up forward. Bartel is class.

  8. Steve Healy says

    It was really a strange game, and I’ve never seen such a casual winning goal in a game before! Your lucky you get to watch footy from your bed, the closest thing i have to a tv in my room is a window. Anyway, I believe you’ve misquoted my good friend Bruno, It’s “doing anything” lol

  9. Thanks everyone.

    Steve, see if you can spot the mistake in my next article ;)

  10. Steve Healy says

    melbourne v sydney you mean? lol. or do you mean your doing mistakes in every article just to see who corrects them first?

  11. Great report Joshy :-)

    Possibly the worst game, skill-wise, I have ever seen. But, as usual, Geelong and St Kilda can make a contest out of anything.

    #5 Rick: though there are many worries for Cats fans, it’s good to know we can still find that extra drive and motivation when most other teams would give up. The boys kept going right til the final siren, pulling tricks out of their wazoos. Again. We’re building up our close-finish portfolio :p

    That being said, football is not exactly the first priority in Geelong vs St Kilda games :p

  12. Nice use of the anatomical term wazoo Susie.

    That word should be used in a limerick.

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