Floreat Pica Society – Round 18 v GWS – Pies Poetry in (slow) Motion

Floreat Pica Society – Round 18 v GWS – Pies Poetry in (slow) Motion

Twas the Pies’ first venture to a Stadium called Skoda
For a game, the result of which, should be a soda
The spirit has been shaken with recent losses, and the saga of Cloke
But any thought of an upset loss is surely a warped joke.

In an unusual experience for the Pies, the Stadium is 3/4s empty as the Pies kick to the pool table end of the Stamford Hotel’s Sports Bar. The game started on a familiar note to last week’s game – being beaten in the ruck, dominated in the clearances and starting our attacks from deep in the backline. Problem was, last week was against the premiership favourites and this week was the wooden spoon faves. GWS kicked the first two goals and our intensity and care-factor rivalled the carnival atmosphere of those late 80s Bears’ games at Carrara. We looked more lethargic than Mr Creosote from Monty Python’s Meaning of Life after dinner and just prior to a wafer thin mint.

Early on it also seemed like the AFL had introduced a new handicap system to the game. Not content with the compromised draw which sees some of us play the percentage boosters of GC and GWS once – it appeared in the first quarter that every goal we kicked was going to need a video goal review. Cloke’s soccer goal was denied and then Elliott’s great intercept and snap goal looked like it was to set a precedent that all our forward thrusts were going to be subject to more forensic scrutiny than an episode of Quincy ME.

Elliott was a livewire up forward setting up goals and points, marking, smothering and tackling. Swan, Pendles and Shaw were all busy but in a pedestrian sorta way. There’s more turnovers than a Sara Lee warehouse and this appears to be our main avenue to goal, as the slow lobbed entries to the four tall forwards were not working. Our first half game plan appeared to be quite strategic and went something like this…….
• lose the ruck and centre clearance,
• force a GWS turnover in our D50,
• bring the ball very slowly forward to allow GWS numbers back
• and then the twist where we had two approaches to attack;
i/ long bomb to the goalsquare where we were outnumbered, let GWS get the ball, pressure them into, or just let them kick out from a point, for a turnover in our F50 and we kick the goal, or
ii/ initiate a turnover to GWS around 50 metre mark, pressure them into a turnover in which time we had then freed up space in F50 and spot up the target.

In both the first and second quarters we started slowly and then our stronger bodies just took over and we put goals on the board. Shaw, Elliott, Swan, Pendles and Beams were our better players. Two of Beams’ plays late in the 2nd quarter showed his class, a long 55M pass to Swan and a long goal from 50. Reid and Cloke both started to show some glimpses of their best in the 2nd quarter, with Reid’s intercept marking back and his lethal left foot finding its mark. Youngsters Seedsman and Mooney showed some spark and skill at times.
Half time rhyme
An uninspiring half of football if ever I’ve seen it
We lead by 9 goals but our effort is shhhh —- not good.
Pimple faced kids are smashing us in the clearances and rucks
And there’s plenty of DR contenders in addition to the usual Young, Wood and Bucks.

The second half starts out with more open space and quicker ball movement than the first. The Giants again hang in the game early in the quarter but late in the quarter the Pies overrun them again and show the difference in strength and experience. Trav works his way back into some form with strong leads and marking up the ground and a couple of goals. Reid and Tooves also show some improved form and setting up play from defence. Pies by sixty nine at three quarter time and the main focus of the Fox commentators is the live ladder and our percentage. A big last quarter is needed to make the most of our scheduled percentage booster.

The last quarter starts off again with a GWS goal, but this time the Pies responded quickly and decisively. A corridor coast-to-coast classic from Shaw to Reid to Cloke sees the Pies best team goal for the year. It was a Champagne football moment in a game of Spumante.

A minute later another great Reid long direct kick to Cloke sees another goal, followed by Tazz slotting one from an angle and it’s officially party time. Swanny goes forward and shows his strength and smarts to kick 3 goals and a couple more and the Pies finish with a 20 goal win. In that last quarter, not only did the GWS uniform look the colour of witches hats, they played the same way.

It’s hard to know what to make of that result and effort, but in the end the 20 goal victory is a good percentage boost, and a few outta form talls showed some good signs. For the GWS, they all look the same, but a few of their midfielders got plenty of the ball. Big Giles did pretty well in the ruck, their tall forwards in Cameron and Patton didn’t get much chance to show anything and Izzy continues to struggle in his newly adopted code – however, on a plus side for Izzy and his marketing profile, he was like a werewolf with a chinese menu in his hand, his hair was perfect!

From a statistical perspective both sides tackle count was low and possession counts high. But the most telling statistic on the AFL site for me was our disposal efficiency of 78.86 compared to GWS of 72.36 – not because of the differential, but the fact that they record this stuff to the second decimal place!!!! Now that’s precision.

Full time rhyme.

A new rivalry has started with some cashed up minnows wearing orange and charcoal
And as we all expected, it resulted with a Pies avalanche of goal after goal.
The second half showed for some, a promising returning to form
But only time, and tougher opponents, will tell if this makes us all fuzzy and warm.
The “Nobody qualifies, so I’ll call it the Choco Williams” Award,
Goes to one of the following, in no particular order*, whose games I applaud.
Beams, Blair, Cloke, Elliott, Pendlebury, Reid, Seedsman, Shaw and Swan
You’ll find out who on October 6th when the FPS medal night is on!

*As you’ll see they are actually in alphabetic order, but they are not in any particular order of performance and voteability, but that would have made that line far too long for the poetry theme.

About Ramon Dobb

A footy and cricket fanatic. A lifelong passionate one eyed Mighty Magpie fanatic. My writing is unashamedly written with one black & white eye open only - so please don't take offence, it's nothing personal, it's just the black & white way! Also a lifelong player and member of Washington Park Cricket Club, the Mighty Sharks. My 15 minutes of fame includes regular contributions to Hot Pies, the 1999-2004 Fanzine, and regular contributor to the Coodabeen Champions weekly competition from their heady 3RRR days. Go Pies and Floreat Pica.

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