Grand Final – Fearless: There’s nothing really left to say

Hi all, it’s probably taken us since 2010’s drawn Grand Final for the drama to be replicated and for the game to be of the highest quality going right down to the wire. Saturday’s Grand Final between West Coast and Collingwood was all that. It was a shame that there was a loser but that’s footy. Read on…

 

See you next year. Enjoy the gardening season and whatever else takes your fancy. Most importantly, stay in good health and enjoy the company of your loved ones.

 

WEST COAST EAGLES V COLLINGWOOD GRAND FINAL 28/9/18 MCG.

 

And so, it became a battle of two. Collingwood had come in from the clouds in season 2018 to get to the last Saturday in September, despite managing an unhealthy list of injuries.

 

In managing to dispatch reigning Premiers, Richmond, the Magpies dismissed any cynicism. Slowly the injured were reintroduced, barring those that not capable.  Roles were resumed, structures reinforced, and Nathan Buckley and assistants were coaching his team with a smile and a relaxed demeanour.

 

The same for West Coast coach Adam Simpson, whose always seemed relatively unfazed. His Eagles had widely been tipped to fall out of finals contention. Not that Simpson and his troops paid much attention. Here they were, about to square off in the Grand Final, both teams convincingly winning their way through to the biggest game on the AFL’s calendar.

 

The Eagles suffered the same fate initially as the Tigers the week before. You snooze, you might lose. The Magpies came to play and were off to a flyer, a 29pt lead approaching qtr time.

 

At their best in 2018, the Pies had been scintillating. All Collingwood guns were blazing before an evenness settled the game down from manic finals pressure. The avalanche began with a goal to Travis Varcoe that would’ve left the footy Gods smiling, a fitting tribute to his recently departed sister. The avalanche stopped thanks to Willie Rioli’s trick boots that set the Eagles in motion, backed up by Josh Kennedy’s straight boot. 17pts at qtr time was not an overwhelming task.

 

The defensive evenness of the 2nd qtr gave way to a crashing bump when Flyin’ Ryan cannoned into Pie defender Maynard and left him winded. The scoring had ground to a halt. Game breaker de Goey finally broke the drought, followed by Hutchings for the Eagles. Eagle Luke Shuey had begun to exert an influence over the game and his goal in the lead up to 1 /2 time brought the Eagles to within 12pts…

 

The 3rd qtr was almost a carbon copy of the 2nd qtr, except that West Coast drew level by 3 /4 time, kicking 4.4 to 2.4. Collingwood tagger Levi Greenwood had sprung from Shuey to Yeo and forward powerhouses Darling and Cox sprung to life for their respective sides. A classic arm wrestle unfolded, nothing to be left in the tank.

 

Mihocek and De Goey goals started the last qtr and the Pies looked steadier as they shot to a 12pt lead. By the 3min mark, Eagle ruck Vardy had goaled to reduce the lead. Cox struck again with a goal following a Cripps behind. Josh Kennedy’s 3rd goal at the 8min mark and the television audience and MCG crowd were engrossed. A couple of points by Flyin Ryan typified the nervous tension.

 

A point to Masten left many thinking the Eagles had wasted chances and the Pies would hold on. The neutral observers in their thousands were riding every play with the same intensity as the clubs’ supporters. A Hoskin-Elliott point and time on approaches, once the obligatory score review ends. Pies by a point.

 

Frantic and enthralling entertainment it was, pure and simple. Enter Eagle Dom Sheed marking a relieving defensive 50 exit. The angle and the distance made for an unlikely shot on goal. Straight out of the text book, Sheed’s kick went through for a goal with a precision sought normally by mathematics. Eagles by 5pts. This was the point of no return.

 

For many, it was the perfect game and it is a shame that there was a winner and a loser. For the Eagles, glory and the banishment of 2015’s demons. For the Pies, nowhere to hide. The feeling of so close and yet so far. For the passionate Magpie supporters, the indelible sense of loss. For the next few months, it was going to be like the Hotel California…you can checkout anytime you like, but you can never leave. For the Eagles and their supporters, a win for the ages. For the AFL, it was a classic ad for the game…right down to the wire.

 

 

 

WEST COAST            2.2    4.3    8.7    11.13 (79)

COLLINGWOOD       5.1    6.3    8.7     11.8 (74)

 

 

GOALS

West Coast: Kennedy 3, Hutchings, Shuey, Sheed, Darling, Yeo, Cripps, Vardy, Rioli

Collingwood: De Goey 3, Cox 2, Stephenson 2, Hoskin-Elliott, Varcoe, Mihocek, Adams

 

BEST

West Coast: Shuey, Sheed, Barrass, Kennedy, Hutchings, Schofield, McGovern

Collingwood: Adams, Langdon, Crisp, Treloar, De Goey, Mayne

 

 


INJURIES

West Coast: Nil

Collingwood: Nil

 

 

Reports: Nil

 

 

Umpires: Stevic, Ryan, Rosebury

 

 

Official crowd: 100,022 at the MCG

 

 

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Comments

  1. george smith says:

    I have nothing to say about Collingwood, it’s too painful. But about the Weagles – stop complaining.

    The Weags are the second most successful team in the AFL era.

    With 4 premierships, they have caught up with Essendon (4) and North (4) who won their premierships in the big money era – 67 to 89 as well as the AFL era – 90 to present. Two more and they catch up with Richmond (6), 4 more they catch up with the Showponies (8).

    What they have a problem with is Australia’s Real Madrid, 2 of their 3 runners up situations are against the Galacticos – 91 and 15. The other problem they have is losing finals at home – to Hawks (Real Madrid) in 91, Swans in 06, Magpies 07 and Footscray in 16. They have a remarkable record interstate, winning finals regularly in both Melbourne and Adelaide. Their preference is to win 2 matches in Perth then come to Melbourne for the GF. Two of their 4 premierships have been determined this way. But in both years they had a titanic struggle with Collingwood, with the Magpies, surprise, surprise, coming up short.

    Thank God for David Attenbourough, in spite of his interest in 2 hippos having sex, his beloved docos will tide me over until next year…

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