To visit the Sydney Swans website click the logo below.

Finals Week 2 – Sydney v Adelaide: Neil, the imaginary bar and the kitchen sink



My friend Neil can drive my kids crazy in so many ways. There’s that really high pitched ‘Buddy Buddy’ scream whenever Lance kicks a goal. There are the endless cliches like ‘The next goal may be crucial’ or that the missed goal ‘could be a very handy point’. He really drives them bananas when he starts looking up some obscure stat or explaining how his way of scoring a game with 2 points for each quarter could give a truer indication of the result than four points at the end of the game. By that stage, even his own son won’t talk to him.


And then there are his gestures. His slow rocking forwards and backwards when the game is in the balance. His hands over his face when some important goal is being kicked. His putting an imaginary glass up above his head when the game is almost won. His placing the glass down on the imaginary bar when the game is won.


And on Saturday night against the crows, we saw them all. Adelaide had come up to the SCG for the final and there was a lot riding on it. Were the swans to lose it would be the second time straight out in straight sets. Neil knew of course that we hadn’t played a final at the SCG for over a decade and that Adelaide had put us to the sword then.


Whoever got through had the chance of the big one. With Hawthorn out, there were some inexperienced teams left and the road to the cup seemed just that bit straighter.


Sydney had been soft last week and the crows had won a lot of fans with the calm of the coach, the strength of Walker and the magic of Betts. They did seem to be on a roll.


Sydney were a different side to the one humbled by the Giants and just blew them away in the first ten minutes. Neil got to do his Buddy call and he got to look up the most number of goals in a first quarter of a final. It was catch up footy from then but still the crows kept swooping. The swans were well in control by the end of the half but the third quarter was something entirely different. The crows tore the kitchen sink off the wall and threw it fifty metres. The swans stood fast and crushed them in the fourth. And all the way through the backs and the mids and the forwards just kept on coming. Rampe starred down back and Heeney was great all over the ground but the whole team shone. And on the other side, Betts was quiet, Tex was just OK and Talia was hobbling.


You had to give to to the crows. They had been through a lot and they really missed Dangerfield. They had shown some genuine excitement during time year and shocked a few. But this night was one for the swans and a preliminary final was in the offing. The crows tried hard but were never really close.


It’s a sad thing when teams come up short and they get six months to think about what could have been. But that’s the story of life generally and tonight Neil got to put his glass down early in the fourth quarter and the swans got the the chance to face the cats. There’s a long way to go in this season but on that performance, the swans could still be playing on October.


Neil will be insufferable.

Leave a Comment