Round 17 – West Coast v Collingwood: My love-hate relationship with Friday night footy

I love Friday night footy, and I hate Friday night footy………it all depends on the match result.

When West Coast play and win on a Friday night, this blue-and-yellow-blooded supporter sleeps long and deep, and the rising sun of Saturday morning seems to be smiling down on the earth.  I awake to “all is right with the world” and there is a lightness to my steps for the whole weekend.  Even the most mundane of weekend chores doesn’t seem quite as mundane when my team wins on a Friday night.

Alas, today is not one of those days.  The heart-stopping match which ended in a heart-breaking loss by 1 point last night to Collingwood in Perth, hangs heavy on this chilly and windy Melbourne winter’s day.

My normal Saturday morning routine of reading The Age and the Herald-Sun from cover to cover while watching ABC News24, has to change today as the match result keeps popping up on the ticker tape at the bottom of the TV screen, and the sports pages of both papers are headlined with the Collingwood win.  I steel myself to read (quickly) the match report, but each paragraph just serves to further squash my already crushed buoyancy and optimism about the rest of season 2019.

I should have seen this coming – last night we had family dinner before the match, and I scoffed at my sister’s suggestion that after Ash Barty’s fourth round loss at Wimbledon on Tuesday, and Australia’s humiliating World Cup Cricket semi-final loss to England on Thursday night, we might lose the footy game.  “These things come in threes” she reminded us.   “NO!!  NO!  NO!!” I quickly retorted…..but it was too late, as the genie was out of the bottle, and I think she put the curse on us.

Reflecting today, I’m still trying to work out exactly what went so wrong.  We started the match really well with Darling taking a strong mark in front of goal only 17 seconds into the game.  The quarter quickly became a goal for goal shoot-out, but we looked good and I was feeling quietly optimistic at that point.   We all cheered loudly for rookie Jarrod Cameron who booted three majors in the 1st quarter, and his joy and excitement at each of them is infectious and beautiful to watch.  It was concerning to see Jamie Cripps hobbling off with a groin injury only 20 mins into the game as he is a fantastic goal-sneak, but our boys have faced much greater adversity than this before, so I was still confident in our ability to hold off the Pies for the remainder of the game.  The confidence was reinforced when not long afterwards, the Collingwood bench was equally reduced with Darcy Moore off the ground due to a hamstring.  There were more loud loungeroom cheers when Liam Ryan took his speccy in the latter minutes of the 2nd quarter, from a booming kick by Jetta to the top of the goal square.  At the last break we were still 16 points up, and since quarter time had kicked 6 goals to Collingwood’s 3, so I was still sure we were going to be able to take the win.

But, when the final siren went, it wasn’t our club song blasting out across the ground and through the TV speakers, so we quickly flicked over to SBS for the Tour De France, which is another of my favourite sporting events.  On the drive home last night, I switched the radio over to a music station so as not to hear the post-match discussion on ABC Grandstand – it’s still too raw at this point.

In a day or two, I’ll finally bring myself to watch Simmo’s post-match presser, and then catch the latest club podcast, before finally putting last night’s disappointment aside, as it is time to focus on next week.  I only just realised that it is the first time ever that West Coast will have played an AFL match in Alice Springs (there have been a couple of pre-season games up there over the years) and I am excited to be heading up there to cheer the boys on.  All fingers and toes crossed that we can bounce back and get another much-needed win on the board.


WEST COAST         6.3    10.4    12.4    12.5 (77)
COLLINGWOOD    6.1     8.3      9.6     11.12 (78) 

West Coast: Cameron 4, Darling 3, Yeo 2, Ryan, Hickey, Allen
Collingwood: Mihocek 4, Cox 3, Phillips 2, De Goey 2 

West Coast: Yeo, Gaff, Cameron, Darling, Sheppard, Redden, Jetta
Collingwood: Mihocek, De Goey, Treloar, Sidebottom, Pendlebury, Crisp, Phillips 

West Coast: Cripps (adductor)
Collingwood: Moore (hamstring) 

Reports: Nil

Umpires: Margetts, Stevic, Stephens

Official crowd: 56,251 at Optus Stadium


Do you really enjoy the Almanac concept?
And want to ensure it continues in its current form, and better? To help keep things ticking over pleaseconsider making your own contribution.

Become an Almanac (annual) member – CLICK HERE
One off financial contribution – CLICK HERE
Regular financial contribution (monthly EFT) – CLICK HERE




  1. John Butler says

    Cath, you may not have enjoyed the result, but from an impartial observers point of view this was one of the games of the year.

    It may have just come down to the fact that Collingwood needed the win more.

    The Eagles will have learned some lessons out of the night. And better now than finals time.




  3. Phil Hill says

    What is the AFL doing putting good games on Friday night?

    Watched it in Seoul and it was certainly the best game I have watched overseas.

    How can you explain the total dominance of Collingwood late in the match? Brisbane had a similar experience against Fremantle where we were the better side for much of the game but Freo owned the last twenty minutes.

    Why do these things occur?

  4. george smith says

    To be quite honest, there is only one team this year that stands out from the pack. Weagles and Collingwood have had their moments, but neither looks like dominating the comp.

    Since Hawthorn won their flags, we have seen 3 minor premiers go down the toilet, so we are wary of crowning the favourite. But if you look back long term, this should be about to change. Port 04, Moggies 07 Magpies 10, Carlton 95, Hawthorn 88 and 89, the favourite tends to come home.

    Therefore I nominate the Geelong Football Club to win the flag in ’19. I could be wrong, but history says I’m right…

Leave a Comment