FEARLESS 2019 – the last 3 weeks belatedly





A theory: Tom Hawkins kicks the first goal and Geelong wins. Not bad that as a theory and entirely plausible, given Tomahawk kicked .4 last week. A 25pt lead to the Cats at qtr time confirmed the Cats were at least “on”. And Tom kicked the first goal. Funny how some theories float and get validated or destroyed. The Eagles came alive in the 2nd qtr and reduced the lead to 10pts at the half. Maybe the Rioli incident stunted the Eagles’ start, after all it could’ve been somewhat destabilising.


However game on for the 2nd half. The Cats had redeployed Joel Selwood back into the middle and his “little Aussie bleeder” shtick worked beautifully as he looked well bandaged and equally well banged up. A sure sign that the Cats skipper was having an influence. So was forward big Sav, who was jumping at everything and had kicked 2 goals. The Cats looked a different side from the stuttering team that played the Pies. Andrew Gaff led the Eagles charge and how. Cam Guthrie led the Cats’ counterpunch.


The Eagles were looking to benefit from Nic Nat’s dominance in the ruck and grabbed the lead in the 3rd. Shuey, Yeo and Darling were supporting Gaff and yet the Eagles’ defence was looking flat. Eagles led by 4pts and looked rejuvenated. The Cats wayward start to the last qtr netted 1.4 in 6 and a 1 /2 minutes. The deadlock was broken by defender Jed Bews and suddenly the Cats led by 8pts. The Eagles had lost momentum as the Tomahawk kicked his 4th and Dahlhaus’ dribble kick went thru, saving him the wrath of Dunstall. Cats advanced with a question mark hanging over Tomahawk with the MRO. Eagles out.



BRISBANE LIONS v GWS GIANTS – Gabba Saturday night 14/9/19


A death or glory final was the reason to watch these teams go at it. And what a final it was. The Lions finished 2nd and yet were staring down the barrel of a straight sets exit.


The GWS had resurrected their wonky finish to the home and away season. Finals experience had greatly benefited the GWS. The Lions had gone in at half time 2 goals down, sparked by big second half by ruck tyro Stefan Martin, the Lions got back into the game and took the lead in what became a classic neck and neck tussle. If Lou Richards was commentating it would’ve been a ring-a-ding-ding!


A little Brent Daniels magic off the bench sealed the Giants 3pt win within the last 5 minutes. Daniels was fresh off the bench and a chasing Lion in Witherden was clearly fatiguing, slightly ironic that he was of the home team. Now the time had come for the Giants to repel any attack and they did whilst the clock ran down. Haynes, Davis to the fore…even the Big Mummy was actively involved, belying his stature as the Gippsland Sausage King. Grind grind grind the Lions down. Clog the forward line. Repeat. Force Stoppage. Repeat. Desperation was borne of Lions 4.10 after half time to GWS 3.7…pressure and a packed Gabbatoir was privy to one of the best finals in ages. There could be only one winner. GWS were off to the Prelim and the Lions’ faces collective sea of heartbreak.



FEARLESS 2019 FINALS WEEK 3 & 4: The penultimate and the letdown…





With little G-Bryan Miers running around and causing some chaos, Geelong started more promisingly, wrestling back the lead at qtr time.


Geelong looked the better team in the 2nd qtr, pushing a 6pt lead out to a 21pt lead at the half. Then the Tigers hit their straps. Dusty lit the match and the fire was started. Whatever theories associated with home ground advantage came to the fore in a glaring manner.


A 5 goal 3rd qtr helped the Tigers resume the lead. What was obvious for all and sundry is that Tim Kelly will be badly missed if he goes back to WA. 3 goals and 30+ a sure sign that he’s only going to get better. The Cats had been very good this season. Alas it wasn’t to be their night.


A 19pt Tiger win set up a Grand Final berth. Danger would need to fire up the troops for 2020. Losing Tom Hawkins on the eve of the final may yet rate up there with Wayne Harmes and whether that ball actually was over the boundary line back in the late 70s.





Carrying on from last week, the GWS defence managed to hold off a staunch Collingwood fightback that brought back the MCG crowd to life. A 5-goal 3rd quarter blitz by the Mango army had the Collingwood army staring at defeat in disbelief. The Game Over sign was nowhere to be seen.


As the crowds rolled in at the start of the game, the support was almost 80:20 in favour of the Magpies, a formidable advantage. An even first half soon gave way to a mango and charcoal blitzkrieg. The eerie silence over the G was unusual. Shades of Iran defeating Australia at a World Cup qualifier decades earlier.


The last quarter produced some of the best finals footy seen since…well…last week at the Gabba. The theatre brought by the Collingwood masses added to the occasion. Fortunately, the GWS defenders had the required composure for the moments in time. Without Toby Greene, the GWS looked for and got the miracle. A 4pt GWS win had seen the Giants into their first Grand Final and the Magpies out.






Roughly 15 minutes into the second qtr and the alarm bells started ringing. The AFL’s academy in Western Sydney (aka Hogwarts) had been set on fire and was burning to the ground. Nobody could do anything the heat was too intense. GWS’ version of Dobby the House Elf had returned to the team but all to no avail.


The Tigers restored the wrongs of 2018 by recruiting Tom Lynch enroute to its 12th Premiership. The margin of 89 points wasn’t too flattering to Hogwarts, despite their best endeavours of getting there. Maybe they spent all their petrol tickets on getting there. The maiden flag had been eviscerated before their collective eyes. Fi Fy Fo Fum, down came the beanstalk as the axe was swung. Celebrations returned to Swan Street and surrounds. Dusty was again King. His merry band of cohorts had again found the eye of the tiger. They even found a friend in Merlion, the Singaporean symbol, an emblem of rebirth, And what a redemption story was Marlion Pickett, nearly got the Norm-Norm double.



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