Crows Charge Continues

While watching the Thursday night Footy Show, I told myself that I would decide on whether to go to school or not in the morning, depending on how I felt when I woke up. So when I wake up at 7:00 in the morning in a toasty bed with frost covering your windows, your first intention is to go back to sleep, right? Well that’s what I did.

It was a long day, waiting for 8:30 to hit, so I spent my time on the computer playing some nostalgic Mario and having a good chat to Danni Eid, while trying to find out what was happening with G. Ablett. Rumour was that he was to not play, but sure enough, number 29 and the bald nut was clearly visible as Geelong ran out onto AAMI Stadium against an Adelaide Crows that had strung together a few impressive wins and had people talking up their finals chances. I wasn’t one of them. They beat West Coast at Subiaco Oval, well done. They flogged an on-their-knees Essendon at AAMI Stadium, that was impressive but it wasn’t against anyone worthy. Before that, they had comprehensively beaten Melbourne at home, another win that wasn’t against anyone of note. So, with Geelong coming off a heart-stopping two point victory over Hawthorn, I tipped the Cats by 12 goals.

Speaking of heart-stopping, Geelong club Doctor Geoff Allen unfortunately suffered a heart attack an hour before the first bounce, and was worked on by a frantic Chris Bradshaw on field as the ambulance came onto the field to rush Allen to Queen Elizabeth Hospital where he was later announced to be in a stable condition.

Whether or not this made Geelong come out breathing fire, they did kick the opening three goals. Shannon Byrnes handballed into the path of a running Travis Varcoe who goaled, then Paul Chapman gathered and easily ran around to snap a goal over his shoulder. Is Chappy the best exponent of the snap goal? He seems to be the most comfortable at it in the AFL. Byrnes gathered inside 50, shrugged off a tackle and snapped towards goal, with the ball bouncing and bouncing until it made its way over the white line, much to the dismay of the Adelaide faithful who were spitting chips over the umpiring decisions, and rightly so. The impressive Basketballer-turned-Footballer Ricky Henderson goaled from a dubious free kick, then Kurt Tippett took a good mark before converting, and the margin was four points at the first break, 2.3 to 3.1. Something that made me scratch my head was the amount of times Dennis Cometti and Bruce McAvaney referred to Taylor Hunt during the telecast. Turns out it was just Harry Taylor passing to Josh Hunt (“Taylor, Hunt”).

The second quarter saw the Crows hit the front early with Taylor Walker marking and finding the big sticks, but Cam Mooney responded with his own major in his first game back since ‘that’ match in Round 13 against St Kilda. Mooney then took a good mark before kicking his second in an impressive quarter, but it was Walker who impressed all with a neat goal from 50m out next to the boundary, and the Crows went into half time with the belief that they could roll the Cats.

As I lay on my bed reading The Footy Almanac 2009, I came across the North Melbourne v Richmond report from Round 5. Halfway through, Daniel Jackson and NRL are mentioned in the same sentence. Funny stuff.

The second half began with Brad Ottens receiving a free kick and then a 50m penalty for not getting the ball back on the full. Come on, how is not giving the ball back 100% perfectly to the kicker’s hands enough to warrant a 50m march down the wrong side of the field? Jackson was right, AFL IS a pussy sport. Andrew Demetriou, you didn’t read that. Ottens’ goaled, before Patrick Dangerfield showed his mettle with a terrific goal from 50m out on a tight angle, cutting the margin to four points. Mathew Stokes got underneath James Podsiadly who flew for the ball, Stokes gathering the crumbs and ramming home Geelong’s seventh goal. Nathan van Berlo flew in front of a spiraling Josh Hunt kick-in to intercept and he gladly went back to brighten Hunt’s cheeks as Adelaide edged even closer. Then Rory ‘Batman’ Sloane received a free kick 55m out from goal. He looked on, baby faced in front of a packed West Lakes crowd. Then he roosted the ball towards goal. And Adelaide were in front. Walker then extended the lead, gathering the ball, accelerating away from Geelong defenders and putting through his third to give the Crows an eleven point lead going into the final break, 8.8 to 7.3.

The Crows get off to the best possible start with Walker putting through his fourth, then Henderson showing why he is the best Henderson in the AFL with a goal from 50m out on the boundary line, taking the margin out to 21 points. Just as I thought Geelong were gone, Stokes received the ball forward of the centre circle, before powering away to kick his second from 55m out, then Gary Ablett, playing with the sooks, received the ball in a tight, gripping contest in the forward line and dribbled through the major to cut the margin to a goal. Geelong were still in it. Until Batman saved the day. Sloane marked and from a tight position, he guided the ball through for his third career goal and his second on the night, Adelaide were out by two goals. And they held on.

You can’t deny the fact that the Crows have now gone from a team that could trip up a few finals-bound sides on their way to finishing below the eight to a side that can seriously challenge for that spot in September.

Adelaide 2.3—4.3—8.8—11.8.74

Geelong 3.1—5.3—7.3—9.9.63


Adelaide-Walker 4, Sloane 2, Henderson 2, Tippett, Dangerfield, van Berlo

Geelong-Stokes 2, Mooney 2, Chapman, Byrnes, Varcoe, Ottens, Ablett


Adelaide-Vince, van Berlo, Walker, Johncock, Thompson, Henderson, Jaensch

Geelong-Selwood, Kelly, Bartel, Taylor


41,195 at AAMI Stadium


3: Bernie Vince (A)

2: Joel Selwood (G)

1: Nathan van Berlo (A)

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.

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