AFLW Round 2 – Collingwood v Melbourne: Rollercoaster

Loving the view from Bay 13 at Ikon Park

Loving the view from Bay 13 at Ikon Park


It’s a weird feeling, seeing the team you love winning a game. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting it to happen so early in the season. Choosing the Demons was something of a ‘pity barrack’, the other three Melbourne-based teams were already so big and brilliant, I figured I’d go for the smaller crowd. The nice, inoffensive crowd. Mild-mannered. Respectable.


So I’m utterly baffled at how screams reaching the threshold of pain leapt out of me as Melbourne hit the lead in the third quarter after a scoreless second quarter. I don’t think Dad’s eardrums have recovered either. How did it get to this?


Quick rewind of the action so far: Collingwood were on fire, kicking into the sunset and snapping three goals in the first quarter to Melbourne’s one. There was only two goals in it at the first break, but there was a palpable sense that the majority of the almost 7,000 strong crowd had come to see Collingwood lose. Surely Melbourne could oblige? But every time Melbourne got a touch, they had nobody to kick it to.


In the second quarter, the pies pulled further ahead with another goal and a behind to bring them to 25, while every times the Dees got the ball they lost it almost straight away. No structure! You can’t win games without structure!


At the half time break, Dad said, “I think you’re in trouble.” I hate when Dad’s right. The scoreless quarter gnawed at my stomach, the stench of failure wafted in the air. Why did I think it would be a great idea to go to the game with Dad? Because I’d have someone to commiserate with? He’s an Essendon fan, so he’s an expert in feeling let down.


But I tried not to give up on my newly-minted fandom. It’s the third quarter where games are won and lost, so I wasn’t going to walk out early just because things were looking bad. That would be poor form.


The third quarter began with plenty of to-and-fro. It looked like Melbourne were going nowhere fast until Jess Anderson kicked in from the 50 line, then Cat Phillips gathered the ball and got one through. It was messy and confusing, but Melbourne had scored. A minute later Karen Paxman booted in a beauty and the crowd went nuts. Two goals in two minutes, it was double what they’d scored for the whole of the first half – and accurate too!


The lights went out in Collingwood’s forward pocket, giving us a metaphor better than the sink hole near the Prime Minister’s harbor side mansion. Things were looking grim.
The Pies kept pushing the ball forward but a quick convert saw Phillips with the ball again and she scored a running goal. The stats will say it was a Phillips goal, but it was with a phenomenal assist from the noisy mob is bays 10 to 15.


Nine minutes in to the third quarter, scores were level. With a couple of minutes until the break, Anderson bombed a huge one in for Melbourne. It looked like Collingwood were going to touch it through, then Alyssa Mifsud grabbed it and booted it properly.


Melbourne were in front. I was on my feet. The stadium lifted. The Dees had all the momentum and it was Collingwood’s turn to taste the shame of a scoreless quarter.


The final quarter got underway and Melbourne scored a quick goal to pull ahead. Somebody was screaming so much the roof nearly blew off. Turns out it was me! Then Magpie Sophie Casey’s elbow connected with Demon Meg Downie’s jaw and time stood still. When it was replayed on the screen, it looked ugly. The crowd made that ‘ooooooh’ sound as if they felt it too. The umpires stopped the clock until Downie could be stretchered off and play could resume. The rest of the quarter was an exercise in frustration with scrappy play, until Sarah Jolly took a great mark 30 metres out and kicked Melbourne’s final goal, putting them 19 points ahead, the same margin they were losing by at half time.


Next week Melbourne play the Bulldogs Whitten Oval (capacity 12,000) I’ll have some mates over so we’ll be cheering from the lounge room. (Capacity, 8).


Official crowd 6,917 – Great planning to move the game from Olympic Park which has a 5K capacity. Thank you, AFLW!


Melbourne 1.0.6, 1.0.6, 5.1.31, 7.2.44
Collingwood 3.0.18, 4.1.25, 4.1.25, 4.1.25


Melbourne: Phillips 2, Anderson, Paxman, Mifsud, Scott, Jolly
Collingwood: Edwards, Hope, Grant, Cameron


Best on ground: 3 – Phillips (Melbourne) 2 – Paxman (Melbourne) 1 – crowd (Melbourne)




Ebony McKenna is a total show off and has trouble shutting up. The most important reason she's here at The Footy Almanac is because she's Rod Oaten's daughter.


  1. Yvette Wroby says

    Excellent stuff Ebony. Loved the bit out someone screaming and it was you. You could feel the Dees inflate as the Pies went cold. Hard to be on the losing side of such a short competition. Well done.

  2. Thanks Yvette,
    It was magic sitting amongst it all, the crowd sitting on my side of the ground were really keen for Melbourne. People applauded each Collingwood goal and point as well, but it felt pretty biased over where I was. How about your vantage point up in the nose-bleed seats?
    It’s scary to think two losses means you’re no chance for the final – but with only seven games I guess it’s almost impossible. Awful to think a team’s season might be over after just two games.
    Maybe next year they’ll play each other twice?

  3. Yvette Wroby says

    We will all learn heaps from this first season, and one of them is to have a larger finals group, it’s no good that teams are out in Round 3. I find I am barracking for everyone. Feeling rather split. I will think of you when I’m at the ground. Will be watching both men’s and women’s game. Find myself a bit vague about the men’s game, which is so unlike me, so I’ll go to the Saints practice match tmz night and see if I still love my boys!

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