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Round 14 – Sydney v Essendon: Steal a game, save a season


I saw an Essendon fan that I knew at lunch on Friday. He said politely to me that he hoped my footy team lost that night. I wished him all the best of carnal luck.


Essendon have been through a lot in the last few years but they were on their way back and their form was good. On the other hand the Swans were on fire and were teetering as they leant towards the mass of teams that were struggling to break into the eight.

Essendon looked good in the first and the Swans looked good in the second but neither looked like they were going to take the game away. Buddy was roving half the ground but couldn’t kick a goal. The Swans seem to struggle to get it into the forward line and the Bombers were staunch in defence. Moving the other way they were able to surge the ball through the corridor.


During the third, the Swans slowly pulled ahead and when Hayward kicked one, the swans were up by four goals with three minutes to go to the end of the quarter. And then the Essendon tsunami just washed the Swans away. The bombers kicked seven in a row  kept slamming them on until they were three goals up with a bit more than 4 minutes to go.


At that stage my friend Neil left with his son to beat the traffic. I didn’t think that the swans could get back but I always try and stay to the end. And I got to watch the best 4 and a half minutes that I’ve ever seen. The Swans swooped on a handful of errors and pounded it down the field again and again until there was less than a goal in it. Then just as the siren was to blow, Rohan ended up with the ball. And that was that. An extraordinary win in a frenetic last quarter.


You had to give it to the Bombers. They played well and just got a bit rattled with a couple of seconds too long to go. Neil rang just after the siren but I couldn’t hear anything over the song and the noise of the crowd. I hadn’t been to anything like it since Lockett kicked us into the Grand Final. The fans walked home ecstatic; the game stolen and the season still alive.


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