AFL Round 1- North Melbourne v Essendon: New beginning

Well that was quick. The AFL season is already here! It felt like yesterday that I was watching the Grand Final and barracking for the Dockers because nobody wants those Hawks to win (well that’s what it should be in my opinion).  Then it was time for tennis. Being an Australian Open ballkid was amazing. Rafael Nadal is a master on court and he is now one of my favourite players. I was on court with legends such as Victoria Azarenka, Maria Sharapova, Martina Hingis and Martina Navratilova. They have an aura about them and you have to be really focused and do everything correctly. I did make a few clangers though.

About two weeks ago, I went on probably the most intense 10-day camp called Outward Bound in Mount Kosciuszko. Hiking nine days in beautiful terrain, eating food that tastes amazing there but when you get home you realize, “did we really eat that?” I learnt so many valuable skills especially that sometimes you have to push through the pain especially when rafting for eight kilometres! I felt appreciated for once, when people were requesting my jokes, unlike my brother! My school bag is now very light compared to the pack I had to hike with for nine days.

Now to Essendon and what’s happening with them. I thought that the controversy was over, the drug scandal was settled and that we were going to play entertaining football that all of our supporters were going to enjoy. Sadly I was wrong. Still this didn’t overshadow Round 1 coming around and Fletch’s 379th game. Before the match, I looked at The Herald Sun footy tipping. Only four people picked Essendon and one of them was the Kiss of Death. I thought he was going to have a good night tonight and he was already winning the tipping even though his margin of 13 for every game was a bit off.

I didn’t get to see that opening bounce because I didn’t get the times right for the bounce. By the time I looked, we were already two goals up. For the first time in a while, I felt hopeful. We were winning a game of football! I turned the TV on in about two seconds. In about two minutes we had hit four. “Hey Dad, we’re winning,” I shouted to him from the other room. He was there in about two seconds to watch. Then North made a comeback kicking the next three. This was sounding very familiar…

My thinking was proving to be correct as North clawed their way back to be even. “C’mon Essendon make me proud.” We found some run though and kicked the next three goals and seeing Daniher’s leap reminded me that he is going to be one for the future. I ruefully looked at my supercoach team and wondered why I didn’t I put in   Chappy or Lindsay Thomas instead of Buddy!

About the start of the third quarter, I had to force myself to go to bed because I had to wake up at 6:30 to get to my 8:30 tennis match in the City. Why does it have to be so early!!!

The Bombers didn’t let me down unlike previous times. I woke up to the joyful news that they had won and I savoured it. It’s always a great start to win Round 1 especially by 39 points. I went up to my tennis match and played a very intense two hour match just getting up 3-6 6-1 6-2. That was pretty exhausting especially since I realized that my shoes were too small. I then played a match at 12:30 and was 6-4 5-4 30-15 up when my thighs started to cramp. I got to the tiebreak and then my body could not take it anymore. Ah well, at least the Kiss of Death is happy…

North Melbourne 3.0 – 5.3 – 8.5 – 9.6.60
Essendon 4.1 – 8.5 – 11.8 – 15.9.99

Goal kickers

North Melbourne: Thomas 4, Dal Santo, Black, Harvey, Wright and McKenzie

Essendon: Chapman 4, Goddard 3, Hardingham 2, Watson 2, Daniher 2, Howlett and Ryder

Best:

Essendon: Chapman, Watson, Goddard, Fletcher, Daniher and Stanton

North Melbourne: Thomas, Harvey, Mullett and Dal Santo

Votes:

3- Watson

2- Chapman

1- Thomas

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