Dogs get the job done

This was it. This was my time to shine.

After 17 long weeks of training in the radio world, I was finally thrust into the deep end. Sure, I had a lot of responsibility. But for the six hours I was required in the studio, I was mainly sitting back, doing nothing. Yet, with a flick of a switch that was in front of me, I could’ve cut the commentators off. I’m surprised the station has that much faith in me…

What I had to do, was sit in the big chair in front of the switchboard and computer, listen to the commentary of the game between Shepp Swans and Mooroopna (I think…) from Princess Park and to operate the technical side of things. When they were going to an ad break, I would turn them off, start playing the advertisements and relay how much time the commentators had left until they were back on air, which I did by hitting the on button. Simple, really. Then came the phone calls, millions of phone calls. I had calls coming on with current scores from all the local games around the country, which I had to type to the commentators to read out. It was hectic but manageable. Quite a boring job really, but helped by the use of AFL Match Centre on the computer, which I used to follow the proceedings of Geelong v West Coast and Hawthorn v Collingwood. After six hours, I was allowed to go home, but I looked forward to next Saturday, as I was most likely gonna be on air for the first time. Hopefully.

I arrived back home without a moment to spare, as the dead-rubber game of the Bulldogs and Essendon started on TV. The Bombers started exceptionally well, with Paddy Ryder gathering a loose ball in the goalsquare to ram it home, then kicking a freak goal 10m out after a long Kyle Hardingham kick, who was vital to the first goal as well. Ryder bent his leg out backwards and the ball clipped his foot and continued on its path through the goals as the Essendon fans were cheering at the great start. It didn’t last long. Jarrad Grant threaded the ball between two Essendon players, checksiding the goal before earning a free kick and getting his second. Nathan Eagleton easily made the distance from outside 50, before getting his second in terrific fashion: on the run from a tight angle 40m out. The turf at Etihad Stadium still has some clear worries, as Michael Hurley found a large hole to fall through, because he was nowhere to be found as Barry Hall marked uncontested and kicked goal number 70 of the year. Daniel Giansiracusa smartly stayed down in a contest, and was able to run onto the loose ball and slot it for the Doggies’ sixth of the quarter and they led at quarter time by 22 points, 6.2 to 2.4.

The second quarter got underway with Hall booting his second after marking on the lead. Marcus Marigliani (try saying that in a rush) marked and kicked well to get his first, before Giansiracusa kicked his second from a dubious free kick against Courtenay Dempsey. David Hille dropped a mark just outside the goalsquare but he buttered up and snapped a terrific goal, but Brodie Moles claimed the honours of cleverest goal of the night, thinking quick on his feet as he booted the ball out of mid-air through the goals from 25m out. The Western Bulldogs led by 29 points, Grant extended it after setting the turf ablaze with his lightning fast leads. Ben Howlett kicked a good goal from the forward pocket, but Grant booted a career-high fourth goal to take the lead out to 36 points. Travis Colyer snapped a good goal just before the half time siren, and Essendon trailed by five goals going into the changerooms, 6.4 to 11.4.

The second half began with Henry Slattery slotting a good goal from 50m out, before Hall closed in on Jack Riewoldt’s total of 75 goals, kicking his third. Colyer bagged his second as Ryan Griffen left the field in a bad shape with a knee complaint. Grant gathered the ball with skill and curled the ball through the goals, and then a quick clearance resulted in Eagleton’s third goal, the margin out to six goals. Brent Prismall kicked his first of the evening, but Hall continued Hurley’s horror past two weeks in football, kicking his fourth goal to give the Dogs a 35 point lead going into the last break, 15.5 to 9.6.

The final quarter started with Essendon missing some early chances. Heath Hocking kicked a long goal, before Kyle Reimers showed an act of selfishness that cost his team dearly. With the ball floating through the air towards centre half-forward for the Dogs, Reimers left his opponent in Moles to fly for a big specky. He completely missed the ball, Moles marked unguarded and kicked his second goal on the run. The sting left the game after that, even after Hocking got his second, but not deservedly so. He went to mark the ball, and the umpire blew his whistle pretty much before the ball touched his hands. They are too whistle-happy the umpires, and need to blow the whistle when the mark has clearly been marked. The game ended on a bright note; with Grant kicking his sixth goal right on the final siren as the Dogs ended a horror two weeks of football with a 29 point win, 17.5 to 11.12.

The TV went to the right person this weekend, with Grant earning the Viara with a six goal, 22 possession game. But it was his first-round draft counterpart in David Myers who impressed me. 29 disposals for the highly touted youngster who has found it difficult to find a spot in the Essendon team. It looks like he has his position worked out in the Bomber lineup, and also looks like Grant will be a mainstay in the forward line of the Doggies. Look out for him in September.

Western Bulldogs 6.2—11.4—15.5—17.5.107

Essendon 2.4—6.4—9.6—11.12.78


Western Bulldogs-Grant 6, Hall 4, Eagleton 3, Giansiracusa 2, Moles 2

Essendon-Ryder 2, Colyer 2, Hocking 2, Marigliani, Howlett, Hille, Prismall, Slattery


Western Bulldogs-Grant, Boyd, Murphy, Cross, Gilbee, Harbrow, Giansiracusa

Essendon-Jetta, Myers, Colyer, Howlett, Stanton


26,776 at Etihad Stadium


3: Jarrad Grant (WB)

2: Matthew Boyd (WB)

1: Leroy Jetta (E)

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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