Round 16 – Essendon v Collingwood: Side By Sidebottom

Essendon v Collingwood

3:20PM, Sunday July 8





Normally a man of the people, loving our home game seats right among the Ponsford Stand Magpie faithful, Sunday saw middle child Josh and I still in the Ponsford for an away game. This time though, the faithful around us were mostly of the Bomber variety, in the extremely comfortable conditions of a corporate box right behind the goals. Windows open, of course. Over the years I’ve had the pleasure of a few invites into this box for both footy and cricket, courtesy of my mate Aaron.



Fully catered conditions or at the top of Level 4, we’d have been here. The milestone of one of my favourite players ever is an occasion not to be missed. The great man Steele Sidebottom is lining up for game 200. He’s been a joy to watch ever since his 2009 debut. Already a Magpie great. Always plays with a smile on his face. Given us Collingwood fans plenty to smile about over the journey. Even during the dark years of 2014-17.



It’s a big day for Aaron. His first born, 7 month old Charlotte, is attending her first AFL game. In her tiny Essendon guernsey. Chelsey, AKA Mrs Aaron, is celebrating her birthday. Super impressed that Aaron has taken her to the football for her special day. A man after my own heart. It’s a family affair. Great to catch up with Aaron’s Mum Joan and his sister Kylie. His work colleague Marg and her husband, staunchly red & black, are there. Mrs Aaron’s parents are there. Josh and I are the lone Magpies in the room. He’s been pre-warned that our normal barracking needs to be “toned down” in his unfamiliar company.



After Essendon kick the first goal, it’s the man of the moment who kicks the first goal for the Pies. Sidebottom baulks around a Bomber, swings on to his left foot near the boundary and bangs it through the middle from outside 50. Classic Steele.



Jaidyn Stephenson is lively as ever up forward, a smart left foot snap gets our second. Grundy and Daicos goal as Collingwood take a 17 point lead at the first change. Josh, having seen the old wooden, open air “corporate boxes” in the Sherrin Stand on a recent trip to Victoria Park, can barely believe where he has found himself today. He’s thrilled when some nuggets and chips are brought out especially for him as the main fare is served for everyone else.


With each nugget consumed the first quarter pessimism of the Bomber supporters in the room lessens as Essendon take the game on, outmarking and outrunning a Collingwood team that has gone back to a 2017 poor disposal style. Stop kicking it to Hurley! No goals, just three miserable behinds for the quarter as Essendon take a one point lead at the main break.



A proppy Hoskin-Elliott kicks the first goal of the third term, only for McKernan to quickly reply for Essendon. The big number 44 kicks the next goal for the Bombers too. De Goey has been moved forward and is looking dangerous, missing a goal he’d normally kick before another chance shortly after sees his left foot snap go through the middle. Mihocek kicks an opportunist goal, but Essendon reply through Baguley and hold a one point lead at the final change.


These are the games that in the past two years we’ve not been able to win. This is a final quarter that could really make or break our season. Who else to lift the team with his actions than our wonderful leader, Scott Pendlebury. He’d been great all day, but he dictacted terms with an immense half hour of football. 14 possesions, including 6 clearances. While Sidebottom and Grundy get regularly mentioned as All-Australian chances, Pendles rarely gets mentioned. He should. Think he’s been highly unlucky not to win selection the past two years. After Essendon kicked the first final quarter goal it was Collingwood getting back their run and flair that has highlighted our 2018 season. Cox and Mihocek held on to crucial, strong marks. After an even 3 quarters Grundy got right on top of Bellchambers. Sidebottom kicks his second. The chant of ‘USA, USA’ goes up as Cox marks and goals.


Charlotte decides to take her parents home before the end. She’s seen enough. Probably a good thing she won’t remember her first game.
Sidebottom gets a few possesions as the Pies wind down the clock to huge cheers from the Black & White army. We love him. Great again today, as usual.



The tests keep on coming. Huge game against West Coast next week. The corporate box is great to visit, but we look forward to being back in our seats among the Magpie Army.



Well played Steele.
Go Pies.



ESSENDON 1.2 4.5 7.6 9.8 (62)
COLLINGWOOD 4.1 4.4 7.5 12.6 (78)


Essendon: Brown 3, McKernan 2, McDonald-Tipungwuti, Langford, Baguley, McGrath
Collingwood: De Goey 3, Sidebottom 2, Stephenson, Grundy, Daicos, Hoskin-Elliott, Mihocek, Cox, Adams


Essendon: Merrett, Smith, Heppell, Hurley, McKernan, Goddard
Collingwood: Pendlebury, Sidebottom, Grundy, De Goey, Adams, Crisp, Langdon, Cox


Crowd: 69,868


Malarkey Medal Votes:
3. Scott Pendlebury (Coll)
2. Steele Sidebottom (Coll)
1. Zach Merrett (Ess)



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About Luke Reynolds

Cricket and Collingwood tragic. Twitter: @crackers134


  1. Crackers,

    Just wondering how successful Josh was in “toning it down”, especially in the last quarter? I imagine it would have been difficult for him to keep a lid on it?

    It must be satisfying to see what the Pies have achieved this year in spite of their injury list?

  2. Love the Side by Sidebottom heading Luke.

    Sidebottom is a beautiful footballer. And for opposition supporters a very dangerous player. His first goal was an absolute snorter. I like footballers who seem to be enjoying themselves.

  3. Colin Ritchie says

    I was disappointed my Bombers lost this game! I thought they had the Pies under control for most of the day and a win was on the cards for us. It was only when your cream rose to the surface late in the game that the game swayed to the Pies. Pendlebury, Sidebottom and De Goey rose to the occassion when it was required, and I thought Cox had a good last quarter and a half. Makes it tough for the Bombers now but they are paying for a poor start to the season. It’s time to blood a few new players, and to give an opportunity to some fringe players to see what they are made of.

  4. Luke Reynolds says

    Smokie, Josh did get more animated during the last quarter, as did I, but he remained very well behaved.
    Very satisfying our form, but the injuries just keep piling up every week, so frustrating.

    Dips- think Sidebottom endeared himself to Collingwood fans right from the start with the joy he seems to get from playing. And you’re right, he is a beautiful footballer.

    Col, thought the Bombers had us throughout much of the second and third quarters, and definitely when they kicked the opening goal of the last quarter. The Bombers have the core of a very good team, Daniher and a couple of others missing would make a huge difference.

  5. Danielle says

    What a game.
    People were posting pics of Sidey all over insta and he legit looks like a baby in 2010 Where did the time go?

    Pendles was savage, really stood up at the end along with Mase.

    Hope Josh enjoyed the game. I’m sure hes keen to sit much closer to the boys again.

    How good is Nordy Jordy :p

  6. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    Nicely done Luke.
    Steele has been a consistent source of light through the dark years. I thought it was one of our better wins this year considering the amount of injuries we’ve had. Cream rose in the last quarter and wasn’t it great to see ? Go Pies !!

  7. Injuries are a real bummer, Luke.

    However, remember my short post in April this year, headed: IS THIS THE YEAR FOR THE PIES?, where I said:
    “In 2016 Richmond ended the year 13th on the ladder. The following year they won the flag.

    In 2017 Collingwood finished the year 13th on the ladder. Can we then assume that this is the Pies’ year?”

    Any further thoughts now, three months on?

  8. Luke- excellent afternoon and report. The 2018 Magpie narrative is building nicely.

    Along with “purchase” I reckon “proppy” is one of footy’s great words. Footy vernacular at its best.

    Good job.

    PS – can I find Chainsaw in Perth?

  9. Peter Fuller says

    I agree with Col, that Essendon were on top for most of the day and seemed more likely to win at 3/4 time and early in the last. I anticipated that Collingwood’s newly-discovered winning habits might enable them to find a way to win, while the Bombers perhaps lacked the belief that comes from regular success, and so it proved. The decisive influence of the Woods’ leaders, those telling marks/goals and de Goey’s opportunism proved too much. The weeks ahead will be full of interest as we see if a serious challenger emerges to take on the Tigers.

  10. Luke Reynolds says

    Dani- great to see those old pics of Sidey, he looked and was so young, 2010 still feels like yesterday!
    Josh can’t wait to get back to our seats for the Eagles game.

    Thanks Phil. Steele has been great to watch all the way through. Definitely one of our best wins of the year considering our injury list.

    Jan, think we are still a long way off the Tigers. Not assuming anything but one can hope!!!

    Cheers Mickey. Reckon that’s the first time I’ve used ‘proppy’ on the Almanac. Sadly no ChainSAW available in Perth, but do feel free to spread the word on your West Australian travels!

    Peter- had the same feelings throughout the middle of the game. The Tigers look super strong at the moment but plenty can change in the last 10-11 weeks of a season.

  11. Luke love the line,Charlotte decides to take her parents home.Grundy ruckwork and Pendlebury re clearances in the last q were incredible great write up

  12. DBalassone says

    Superb Luke. Agreed on Pendles being A-A. Is it possible he’s got better? I can’t think of a more consistent player over a 12 year stretch 2007-18. Elite year in year out. Only downer last year when he missed the last 5 with a finger.

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