Pies do it without the umpires – again

There will be fireworks. There will yelling and cheering. There will be dancing in the streets. The Prime Minister of the day will tell the people of Australia that any boss who sacks their employee for not attending work the next day is a bum. And I want to be there to witness the event with my very own eye. Because when it happens – when Chris Dawes gets a free kick – it will be something worth celebrating.

Friday night at Docklands. Not my normal habitat. An invitation into a box at the footy is something very infrequent – therefore something I cannot pass up. And the fact that my host is primarily a State Government funded organisation means that the invitations are likely to be even scarcer in the future. Before there are too many howls about misuse of taxpayers‘ money, I must point out that the funding from the box comes from a commercial arm of the organisation. Money that next year will probably have to be used to pay for their normal operations. But enough of the politics, what about the football?

A late withdrawal of Jolly had Cameron Wood in the team. Dave Nadel would not be pleased. Ben Reid went to the forward line – not sure if it was to create extra height in attack or there just wasn’t a good match for him the other end of the ground. Tyson Goldsack kicking the first goal of the match was a good omen. Last time he did that was in the 2010 Grand Final re-match and I seem to remember the result of that game with fondness. But most of the rest of the quarter belong to the bulldogs. They have the majority of the play and do most of the scoring. Chris Dawes gets mauled and throws his mouthguard away in disgust. I note that the trainer who collects it and washes it before returning it to the owner, is suitably gloved. My question as to whether out-of-bounds on the full counts towards a team’s free-kick count is answered to the negative by the quarter-time count of eight to zero. For the quarter Dogs have eight scoring shots to two, but only lead by eleven points.

Early in the second quarter Collingwood’s first free kick to Fasolo finishes with a Dawes goal. You are going to have to enjoy the frees vicariously Chris! A dropped mark by Cloke at centre-half-back ends in a Dogs reply. It is one of several simple misses by Cloke that I suspect his mind is on other matters… or places. My highlight of the quarter is a kick by Cameron Smith (Ben Sinclair) which finds Billy Slater (Ben Reid) who goes in for the simple try (goal). Collingwood down by three points at half time.

At half time I check in via text with a mate whose son, a possible Dogs draftee at the end of the year, is spending the evening in the Bulldogs’ coaches’ (I think that is the correct positioning of the apostrophe these days) box. The comment comes through: “It didn’t take long for the swearing to start.”

The third quarter begins with Collingwood dominating possession but not having the required impact on the scoreboard. And as always(!!) happens, a quick transition ends with an opposition (Giansiracusa) goal. Another follows soon after when Gia benefits from a free paid against Harry. Collingwood replies a couple of times and hit the lead for the first time since early in the game, but relinquish it soon after. A Dawes miss from a set-shot has the Dogs going end-to-end from the kick-in and shooting to a nine point lead. When Easton Wood does his hammy trying to spoil Tyson Goldsack, who goals, it seems the game is starting to flow Collingwood’s way. That is until Simon Buckley decides that the best way to clear from defence is by a pinpoint pass to your shortest team mate when he is covered by an opposing player at the forty metre mark. The resultant goal has the margin as only one point in favour of Collingwood at three-quarter -time.

The last quarter early goal comes from Cloke who slots it from outside fifty on a sixty degree angle on the wrong side for a left footer. I hope that man is getting counsel from someone other than his father as he decides his footballing future. The umpire obviously heard my advice through the open window when he awarded a free against Robert Murphy for deliberate. The play ended with a Fasolo goal out of a forward line congested pack. Just as the supporters feel that they can relax, a failure by the backs to take the ball over the goal line eventually ends with a very good Brian Lake goal, outside fifty, on the run and on the boundary. Fortunately it is the Dogs’ only goal for the quarter. The last two goals come from Harry (from three attempts) and a Wellingham interception. With fifteen seconds to play, Cameron Wood takes his first contested mark of the game. And Dave Nadel said he is a one-trick-pony; only a tap ruckman. Evidence to the contrary hereby offered.

Final score: Collingwood 15-8-98 to Dogs 11-11-71

Votes for the Wee Georgie Bissett medal:

It just shows how unsuited I am to this caper when all my votes go to players who I haven’t even mentioned in the report. Actually, I am not sure what name Chris Grant announced for the winner of the Rose-Sutton medal, but my best on ground was Scod Embleberry.

Two votes to a player who has improved markedly in the absence of Luke Ball. Late last year I was starting to worry about lack of progress, but the past couple of weeks from Dayne Beams have been very good.

Of the same vintage as Beams, Sidebottom is another who flagged a bit late last year (along with everyone else). We cannot rely on Swanny every game. Sidey is doing a good job. One vote.

About Andrew Fithall

Probably the most rational, level-headed Collingwood supporter in existence. Not a lot of competition mind you.

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