Round 11 – Geelong v GWS: Guilty feet have got no rhythm

 

 

 

“April is the cruellest month” (T S Eliot,’The Waste Land’).

 

T S Eliot is widely regarded by many, your current writer included, to be the finest English poet of the 20th Century. But when he wrote the above line in 1922, the poor chap could surely be forgiven for not knowing what awaited the Geelong Football Club 102 years later not so much in April 2024 but, more particularly, in May 2024.

 

Geelong’s 2024 season. March – 2 games, 2 wins. April – 5 games, five wins.

 

Mais quelle horreur! Que se passe-t-il ensuite?

 

May – 4 games, 4 losses. Cats’ fans breathe a sigh of relief in the knowledge that our next game is in June – just!

 

As we go to print, Chris Scott and his brains trust are no doubt deep in thought about the reasons behind this dramatic collapse. Hawkins out of form; Dangerfield injured; getting smashed at centre clearances; the Stanley/Conway dilemma; where does Gary Rohan play; perhaps all the above; perhaps something else. But there is one that they will almost certainly overlook.

 

Friendly fire!

 

 

 

 

 

Yes folks, these photos tell the sordid story of my guilty little secret. One off the pace on the leader board of my local tipping competition for the first time in my life and I tip against the Cats.

 

“Should have known better than to cheat a friend…” (George Michael, ‘Careless Whisper’).

 

It was all so simple yet so gut-wrenchingly difficult. Fresh from his recent Lenten chicanery in Chapter 4 of Luke’s gospel, the Devil finds a comfy spot on my right shoulder and snuggles up for a chat.

 

“If you win this competition you win lots of money but you’re not going to win tipping Geelong every week. Besides, Gold Coast thumped them last week, Hawkins has played a year too long, Dangerfield can’t get himself on the park, you’ll get walloped in the midfield yet again, you still don’t have a settled ruckman and Stewart seems to have lost confidence. Anyway, everyone else tips against their team and nobody needs to know. Why not just do it quietly? Hmm?”

 

Voldemort makes a compelling case, and my weakening defences start to topple. Then, sensing my imminent capitulation, he lands his knockout punch as he cunningly refers to the award-winning advertising line he gave Duff beer in The Simpsons, “go on, you know you want to!”

 

I reckon he makes a lot of sense. And nobody will know if I don’t tell them. I’ll just pretend I haven’t done it.

 

“Though it’s easy to pretend I know you’re not a fool…”

 

 

We head off to the ground but my deception is eating away at me.

 

 

“I feel so unsure as I take your hand and lead you to the dance floor…”

 

Even the little green man at the traffic lights calls me out me as we cross the road.

 

“Shhhhoopaboopaboopaboopaboop,” he says, but all I hear is “there he goes, the disloyal supporter chasing his 30 pieces of silver!”

 

“There’s no comfort in the truth, pain is all you’ll find…”

 

Notwithstanding these distractions, the Cats come out firing as five of them share the fun around. Goals to Bruhn, Tuohy, Kolodjashnij, Holmes and Hawkins and at quarter time it is 5.0 to 2.4. How good is this. After all, it doesn’t matter if I lose just one point in the tipping competition.

 

“To the heart and mind, ignorance is kind…”

 

The second quarter sees the rot start as the Giants hit the lead at the 11 minute mark. They lose it as Brad Close goals but then regain it as Toby Greene kicks his first. GWS kick a further three to have a lead of 19 points at half time.

 

My guilty secret is starting to rattle me though. My friends laugh at my surly irritability as I complain about the annoying volume of the ground announcer’s endless half-time stream of announcements.

 

“Tonight, the music seems so loud, I wish that we could lose this crowd…”

 

Goals to Riccardi and Hogan in the first eight minutes of the third quarter see the Giant’s lead suddenly stretch to 37 points. My heart sinks. My constant companion bravely bells the cat as she leans over and quietly asks, “do you really need to stay the whole game?”

 

“As the music dies, something in your eyes calls to mind a silver screen and all its sad goodbyes…”

 

But as I chew over her question, the Cats suddenly surge back to life with unanswered goals to the three big forwards: Cameron, Neale and Hawkins. The margin at orange-time has suddenly contracted to just 20 points.

 

The lively Tyson Stengle sets the adoring home crowd alight as he jags two quick goals in the first nine minutes of the final quarter and scores are level. Brad Close kicks another, as we believe, and we start the happy dance in Bay 29 Row N only to stop and join in the boos as AFL score review overrules the goal umpire.

 

“Bloody score reviews – ruin a good game they do,” the friendly folk in Row M turn around and confide in us.

 

That man, Toby Greene then seizes his chance with an improbable check-side shot which sails through the railway end goals to give GWS a two-point lead. Thanks to a mixture of dour defence lead by Connor Idun and inspired marking by Leek Aleer in just his eighth game, the Giants defend this slender margin for a further ten agonisingly slow minutes until the final siren.

 

Cats’ votes to Holmes (sign it Max, sign it!), Stengle and Tuohy. Greene, Idun, Aleer and Riccardi best for the Giants.

 

 

 

With my grubby little point added to my tipping total, at least I head home anticipating the warmth of the kitchen and the welcoming smell of garlic and Swiss Brown mushrooms in the slow cooker. An uncomplicated bottle of Penfolds Koonunga Hill shiraz also awaits to untangle my confused emotions.

 

But karma kicks in big time. The casserole isn’t anywhere near ready. Oh dear!

 

The Cats have had the last laugh.

 

“Maybe it’s better this way, we’d hurt each other with the things we want to say;

We could have been so good together; we could have lived this dance forever.

But now, who’s gonna dance with me? Please stay.”   

 

With thanks to George Michael.

 

 

GEELONG                                                5.0    6.2     9. 5     11.8  (74)
GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY     2.4    8.9    10.12   11.12 (78)

 

GOALS
Geelong: Hawkins 2, Stengle 2, Close, Bruhn, Tuohy, Kolodjashnij, Holmes, Cameron, Neale
Greater Western Sydney: Riccardi 4, Hogan 2, Greene 2, Daniels, Cadman, O’Halloran

 

BEST
Geelong: Holmes, Bruhn, Tuohy, Guthrie, Stengle
Greater Western Sydney: Riccardi, Greene, Briggs, Green, Taylor, Aleer

 

INJURIES
Geelong: Nil
Greater Western Sydney: Coniglio (left shoulder), Perryman (left hamstring)

 

SUBSTITUTES
Geelong: Jack Bowes (replaced Toby Conway in the final quarter)
Greater Western Sydney: Toby McMullin (replaced Stephen Coniglio in the second quarter)

 

Crowd: 30,821 at GMHBA Stadium

 

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About Roger Lowrey

Roger Lowrey is a Geelong based writer who lists his special interests as reading, writing, horse racing, Roman history and AEC electoral boundaries. Some of his friends think he is a little eccentric.

Comments

  1. John Harms says

    Mmmmmm

    Straight to the confession box for you.

    So which team were you barracking for at the end?

  2. Roger I have been known to tip against the Cats. Reasonably often actually. I tipped the GWS Giants and then changed my mind! Idiot. Cats were always going to lose that by 4 points.

    Say 10 Hail Mary’s and do 5 good deeds.

    Will you tip the Tigers?

  3. Tipping against your own team is a Win-WIn. If they win you get to share in the joy and acclamation of the crowd. If they lose (as expected) you get the chocolates.
    More than half a life spent on the punt has given me the pessimist’s outlook. It will be caught wide; blocked for a run; injured in the run; have a heart like a pea; be the victim of postillion perfidy; or most often – just plain no good.
    These equine principles can be easily applied to most of your footy team.
    I regale the Avenging Eagle with my dark conspiratorial thoughts before most games. Looking for acknowledgement after another loss I am usually disappointed to receive “no-one likes a smart arse”.

  4. Rulebook says

    Enjoyable read – Roger and I’m totally with,PB

  5. Mickey Randall says

    Thanks, RDL. Is there much better than returning home to the aromas wafting from the slow cooker? And a Penfolds shiraz? When I lived in St Albans, Hertfordshire, the local Chinese had a photo on the wall proclaiming that it was (former Bushey resident) George Michael’s favourite restaurant. He went alright, didn’t he?

    Saw yesterday that the losing streak of four is the first for the Cats under Scott. The Crows coach got there in four matches. You’ll be okay (even if you don’t salute in various tipping competitions)!

  6. As a former Geelong supporter I’m relieved I’m no longer a Geelong supporter. In recent seasons it seems this AFL franchise is owning Geelong winning 5 of the last 7 encounters: Kardinia Park now seems like a veritable home away from home for them.

    Is there something dispiriting in seeing one of the oldest football teams in the land now regularly lose to an AFL franchise that has no organic supporter base, and exists primarily on the basis of the AFL spending circa $200 M on a ‘plan’ for a second Sydney side? I think so, but what would an old bloke like me know?

    Roger, can your Cats outlast Richmond this weekend? I still have traumatic recollections of the R7 clash in 1990 when Richmond returned up the princess Highway 13-18-96 to 9-28-82 victors over a hapless Geelong. The Geelong 1990 season never recovered. What does the 2024 season now hold for them?

    Glen!

  7. A great read, RDL.

    Note: I haven’t tipped North Melbourne for about 4 years now. I feel no guilt.

  8. Daryl Schramm says

    You have had it pretty good for a while now RDL. My 50 pieces of silver is a second tip the top 8 win. I didn’t include Geelong, so tipped them last week! I’ve often tipped against Adelaide. That’s only because it’s a lottery, especially at the minute. I think the wry smile in the pic gives away your ‘win/win’ outcome.

  9. Peter Clark says

    Roger, I always tip the Cats. Could not stand the digs from other tipsters if the Cats won and I tipped against them.

  10. Roger Lowrey says

    Thanks for comments everyone.

    Curiously enough JTH, I swung by St Mary’s on the way to the ground with a view to dropping in to get a photo of the confessional for inclusion in the column. Sadly, the place was all locked up so no photo. Barracking for the Cats until the bitter end although, as I note below, it’s nice to have a silver lining to go with the disappointment. BTW, happy birthday comrade.

    The Hail Marys have been recited Dips although it may take a little longer to rack up five good deeds. And no, I’m definitely back with the Cats this weekend.

    PB, I see what you mean about the win/win. The day wasn’t a total loss thanks to my winning selection.

    Rulebook, see above comment.

    Mickey, it was a real bummer as I was really looking forward to that casserole. As it was, we scratched up something else and bumped the slow cooker failure for further cooking the following day. And yes, GM was a terrific singer/songwriter. The one I quote from herein is my favourite. Powerful haunting lyrics.

    Glen, GWS have been an unmitigated disappointment for the AFL especially after all the favours they’ve been given. Confident about Richmond this week though. This Tigers’ side is nothing like the one that beat us in the 2020 GF.

    Thanks Smokie. Your guilt free tipping is noted. Given how the Shinboners have been of late, it’s as well you feel this way otherwise you’d be a psychological wreck. Does Swifty follow them too or does he prefer the smell of the liniment of suburban footy?

    Peter, your loyalty is admirable but, as I discovered over the weekend, disloyalty can be quite profitable and it is possible to keep quiet about it and avoid provocative taunts.

    RDL

  11. Roger Lowrey says

    Daryl,

    Damn, my poker face was always far from optimal.

    RDL

  12. george smith says

    Try this trick…

    When the Magpies are on Fox, and therefore not on telly, channel 7, they have a tendency to win. All the losses and the two draws were on free to air, with Brian and Jimbo. But what about the two wins on FTA? well on those two occasions I stuffed up the recording and had to wait a day or so for the replay.

    Also, forget the Hail Marys and pray to St Jude the patron saint of impossible causes. I did this all last year plus a helping of Sister Janet Mead buzzing around in my head all through the finals.

  13. Roger Lowrey says

    George,

    Thanks for the observation. I’d be happy to listen to a win on my old crystal set if that’s what it took to get the Cats over the line at the moment.

    I think St Jude was the designated recipient of my exhortations some time ago so he should remember me.

    RDL

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