Oh what a feeling for a Port fan

By Nick Kossatch

It was hard for me to get up at ten minutes past four on the Saturday morning in the lead-up to the Port and Hawthorn clash at the MCG in the afternoon. “Gee, the Power boys better win,” I said to myself. “Last time I was at the ’G it was a disaster — 119 reasons why!”

The cab driver had to ask me where Adelaide airport was from Windsor Gardens, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia. Off to a great start to the day and the sun has not even risen!

Still, I had a 2004 feeling about the end result. Port were to beat Hawthorn. Hard and tough footy will get the boys home! It was a smooth plane trip. I felt proud in my Power windcheater. I felt invincible. A warrior. A fighter!

My Melbourne-based friend Tim picked me up from Tullamarine. I misread the itinerary, so the poor bloke had to wait for an hour. Our friendship over-rode my misunderstanding.

That 2004 feeling grew stronger as time drew closer to bounce down. We caught the train from North Coburg, Tim’s place of residence, to Flinders Street train station.

We saw a few of our comrades in black, white and teal. We had lunch at the aptly named Riverland Café, near the Yarra, with the MCG in the distance.

I ordered a hot and spicy hot dog with sauerkraut! Boy! It was great as Tim and I washed our lunches down with a cold Pure Blonde.

That feeling was enveloping me. I was convinced that Port, even without Peter Burgoyne and skipper Dom Cassisi, were to have one of their best-ever away wins against a Victorian superpower!

We trundled our way over the bridge to the MCG and more comrades were acknowledging our pre-game barracking. Adrenalin started to flow as we entered THE greatest sports arena in the world. It’s a sporting Mecca, where sports lovers worship their idols. On this day, we were to worship our idols in battle against the mighty fighting Hawthorn.

As the Power players did their warm-ups, almost an hour before game-time, there was no Shaun Burgoyne. A late withdrawal, he was replaced by David Rodan, the Fijian Fury.

That feeling grew of impending victory grew even stronger despite the late omission. Port were steeling themselves for an epic struggle in the face of adversity.

A couple of ales in and it was bounce down on an overcast but fine Melbourne afternoon. When the Power’s speedster Danyle Pearce drilled the first goal of the game from fifty my feeling became clear.

Another major to rejuvenated Warren Tredrea had Rex Hunt calling, “The Power are up and about, make no mistake.” Great to hear that from a Victorian!

It was the boys, up by fourteen points at quarter-time. Wazza and Buddy Franklin had two goals apiece.

A couple more ales and the game became a goal-for-goal struggle. Buddy was ready to explode but his man Alipate Carlile stuck to the task. Every time the 2008 premiers booted a major Port replied. We liked that!

Nathan Krakouer and Troy Chaplin swept up the backlines and the Hawks’ Jarryd Roughead had a rough afternoon. He could not get near it. When he did, the football was a cake of soap.

Ex-Port boy Stewart Dew nailed two goals and Hawthorn were four points in arrears at half-time.

These were nervous times but, still, that feeling persisted.

A couple more relaxants at the long break saw us through the third stanza. Tommy Logan flew for the stars and came down with the footy. The Hawks’ Luke Hodge helped propel Loges into the stratosphere! The resultant kick was just a point. Bugger.

It was all even with a quarter to play. Debutant Hamish Hartlett was cool in the backline with his decision-making. James Hird-like it was. Eighteen-year-old kid in a cauldron!

“We have a beauty here with Hamish,” Tim and I said to each other.

What was just as beautiful was a quick Kane Cornes clearance that was marked by brother Chad. Chad found Robbie Gray in the clear and thirty metres out on a 45 degree angle. We guided Gray’s kick home.

Port went bang and bang and bang. Two to Brett Ebert. Another two to King Wazza. Singles to Loges and Brendan Lade made it a seven-goal last stanza.

Port by thirty and my feeling was complete.

Now for the Saints and I feel that my feeling will return!

About Nicholas Kossatch

Tall and intelligent and athletically built who calls a spade a spade. Love sports writing and sending letters and texts to the editor about AFL and the Port Adelaide Power - win, lose or draw. I do not sit on the fence. Soon to be 40! I play basketball and over 35's supers football. Have played amateur footy and a bit of cricket and basketball when living in Adelaide. Do some writing for the Murray Pioneer,

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