Round 18 – Geelong v Adelaide: Equation to Station

Equation to Station


(Mid June)

“Hey Didge”

“Yeah Dad?”

“You wanna go to Geelong for the Saturday night game?”

“You betcha”



2 weeks later

“Hey Didge”

“Yeah Dad?”

“I forgot to book those Geelong tickets before the Crows allocation ran out, still wanna go?”


“OK, I’ll see if anything turns up”



2 weeks later

“Hey Didge”

“Yeah Dad?”

“Got ‘em”

“Yay, my first footy Road Trip”



After much dithering, I decide that we’d take the train to the Geelong game. My offsider was happy with this as she’d never been on a V-Line train. She’s easily excited.


The forecast said “July Saturday night in Geelong”. I decided that this meant five layers, including polar fleece and goose down, and don’t forget the club scarf.


I toyed with taking a thermos, before deciding to hang the expense and we’d grab something warm there if the need arose. But I did make up a Crowal Snack Pack of chocolate and a bit more chocolate.


Having prepared the pizzas for the stay-at-homes, Bridget and I grabbed a burger in the city, which turned out to be the right call as table space was scarce at the Cattery. Who knew that lettuce in July could be so agreeable?


As we embarked on the 5:10 to “Wahn Ponds”, we grabbed a pair of rearward facing seats (story of my life?). The kindly biddy opposite asked us whether there was footy at Geelong. We filled her in on the details, but she sniffed “I don’t care about Geelong, I follow the Kangas”.


After a muddled conversation about Sandgropers and Croweaters, she harked back to the time she drove across the Nullarbor to Kalgoorlie in 1966 in her sister’s Hillman Imp, a story that she never completed.


Bridget took in the Western suburbs vistas, or what was left of them as night overtook day, before settling in with her chunky reading material. As the flaking weatherboards and belichened concrete tiles of Tottenham receded, I decided to conjure some musical word pictures.


With no more Sunshine on my shoulders, the driver decided that there ain’t no stopping us now, at least until Tarneit petite.


A twitter flurry on the topic of Little River ended with @mcalmanac calling me a “Lonesome Loser”


Night descends daylight ends, Anakie in the UK, Aval-o-o-o-n, Chick Corio, North Sandy Shore, the return of the fat white goose … I should have taken a book instead.



“Hey, that’s not a bad trip Dad. I reckon I could live down here. What’s it like?”


“Well Didge, it’s just like Frankston, only with bollards. And its own version of the Herald Sun.”



We found our seats, a couple or rows back from the fence, just around from the far point post, to the right of screen.


The complimentary (and highly absorbent) copy of said Addy came in very handy as the mizzle commenced, heavy enough to frizz hair but light enough to form beads on puffy jacket sleeves.


The Crows were engaged in their on-ground warmups within touching distance. For some of them, it was the closest they got to leather all night.


Sorry Dips, but at this point I couldn’t stop myself from sending out a tweeted selfie of the ridiculous kind.


Go Crows

Go Crows


Didge was enjoying her pregame hot chocolate and donut on this (for her) once in a lifetime experience, but as I froze, I said to myself, my god, what have I done?


This Is Living!!!

This Is Living!!!

Adelaide entered the ground to our right, was it going to be our night?



1st Quarter


A lively start saw Josh Jenkins vault over his fattened wallet and snag our first.


Soon after, Rhys Stanley had dragged Sauce deep into our defence, eluded him, marked and evened the scores.


Geelong had set up well, with a sweeper, generally Kimba’s own Boris Enright, who was equalling the Cats’ games record. This of course made it hard for Adelaide to “get over the back”, so our next came from a regulation and therefore uncharacteristic Eddie Betts kick on the run.


Our normal slick movement was missing. I noticed that the defence were often taking two or three looks around, trying to solve the simultaneous player, space and time equation that requires less precision on the expanses of the larger AFL grounds. I reckon that the famed SA mathematician Bob Neil could have helped them there.


Stanley slipped the Sauce leash again but let us off the hook, before Cam Guthrie swooped for the home side’s second, which was greeted by a blast of K-Rock’s current hit parade number 1 by Jet. I thought bogan round was next week.


Around this time, my ears tuned in to a Crows supporting harpy way behind us, who sounded like she gargled with Bon Ami. Her “Carn Crows” calls would have curdled sulphuric acid, let alone FUIC.


Tom Lynch converted from a cleverly judged mark and we were looking’ alright. Rory Laird had returned to the side in good nick and Brodie Smith was getting a bit of it.


Geelong then tightened up and reined in the Adelaide free-flow. The scores were evened up by a Nakia Cockatoo mark and goal (loose defence).


This was followed by a juggled Hawkins mark, the relief in his eyes rising like the auburn bubbles in a shaken up bottle of Sno Top. (Is there a Geelong equivalent?). His go-ahead goal was the cue for a mass “get around him”. Confidence is a valuable commodity.


Tex missed from hard earned free just before the siren, his first sniff and perhaps a portent to our fortunes.



2nd Quarter


The second quarter began scrappily, with most of the action at the cheap seats end. Motlop seemed to be the Geelong fan favourite, favourite player to hurl invective at that is. Every side’s got at least one, some more than others.


Our next goal came from a seemingly dubious free to Josh Jenkins, but in the best Crows tradition, I can say that it happened “right in front of me”, and it was there.


Daniel Menzel did what he is there to do and put the Cats further ahead, before Jenkins belied his “Josh The Goose” moniker with a huge roost from the commentary side of the ground for his third.


The re-emergence of the vertical drizzle had those around us flushing out an assortment of $2 Shop ponchos; it didn’t seem to affect the players’ ball handling but didn’t help their decision making.


I haven’t seen the Champion Data stats, but I would vouchsafe that the rest of the quarter set the all-time high for “hoicks”; both sides were having trouble turning their I50s into I30s as they banged the Sherrin forward in haste and without precision.


The scoreboard had the match at “evenly poised” (has there ever been a match labelled as “unevenly poised”?). Neither side had played at their best, but I had the niggling impression that the Cats’ cream team of Selwood, Dangerfield and Bartel was doing more damage; Adelaide had too many passengers (like the train home would, as it turned out).



Half time


I ducked out the back for some expensive hot chips, returning to four empty seats to my left. At quarter time I made conversation with the mother and daughter portion of the family of four who came in just before the first bounce. I asked the young Cats fan if she liked the footy. Her reply was priceless, “Yes, this is the seventh time I’ve been. The first time was when I was in kinder, but Dad had to take me home at half-time because I had a sore tummy. I’m in Grade 2 now and I’ve got a Geelong teddy bear called Danger after my favourite player. Dad’s favourite player is Harry Taylor and it’s my little brother’s first game.”


They were the sensible ones.




3rd Quarter


We opened with another Charles Cameron miss, a further sign of his recent tailing off.


Menzel replied with one of those wet weather snaps that win games like these. You know, the half forward flanker who has had a bad game if he gets 12 kicks and 1 goal, but a good one if he gets 7 kicks and 3 goals – Menzel looked like he was going to have the latter.


And he was. Menzel again on his own in the pocket and things were looking grim. Hmm, what’s happened to our Menzel?


Another equation cranked my cranial cogs. At what point would the margin exceed the time available to reel in that margin compared to the time taken to walk to South Geelong, as constrained by the next available train home? Balancing this, what life lessons did I want to impart on my daughter? Did I want her to be a leaver or a stayer?


With all the play occurring at the Geelong attacking end, more goals to Hawkins and McCarthy had the locals in good cheer. I missed Talia’s injury, but it was evident that we weren’t coming back, which Hawkins’ third confirmed.


The Crows were gone. A 0.5 to 5.3 quarter in the wet will do that to you.




4th Quarter


We came down on the off chance that if Adelaide won, we wanted to be there to see it. If Adelaide got up from here, we’d remember it for a long time. Like Bridget’s first game, against Collingwood in 2005, or the final against the Dogs last year.


The tricolours controlled possession early, but needed to score quickly, which we couldn’t do, Lynch’s second coming after five minutes. Not enough, not quickly enough.


Five or so minutes of nothing footy and our attention was diverted to our phones rather than our on-field chances. I was glad at that point that I wasn’t a Footscray supporter, at least we’d finish with most of our side intact.


Menzel and Hawkins each brought up their fourth goal, Richie Douglas snapped a not-much-consolation major, then we all prayed for the siren.


On the way out, my sighting of the Crows harridan didn’t disappoint. Her countenance matched her voice and she was waving a home-made banner on sticks declaring that Paddy had foregone any chance of a flag by moving home. He’d wake up in the morning for a surf at Moggs Creek, she’d still have four chins and chafing thighs, I thought contentedly.




The trip home on the 10.24 Footy special gave ample opportunity for reflection.


Was our eight game streak not much different to North’s opening nine game effort, as much a quirk of the fixture as a reflection of our true standing?


Why does Geelong give us so much trouble?


Should Tex have a week off to freshen up? (Would that make us galootin’ free?)


Who takes Mitch McGovern’s place?


Who steps up when Rory Sloane is curtailed?


Have they ruled out playing finals at Kardinia Park this year?


Two local blokes around my age passed away last week. How long have I got? What haven’t we done yet? How long would my super last? Why am I still working? The ultimate equation, I guess.


Who have we got next week?




GEELONG         4.1     5.6     10.9     12.13    (85)                
ADELAIDE         3.2     5.5     5.10     7.13      (55)                  


 Hawkins 4, Menzel 4, Stanley, Guthrie, Cockatoo, McCarthy
Adelaide: Jenkins 3, Lynch 2, Betts, Douglas


BEST (Per AFL website)
 Enright, Selwood, Bartel, Dangerfield, Menzel, Menegola, Hawkins, Lonergan
Adelaide: M Crouch, B Crouch, Laird, Thompson, Jenkins


Adelaide: Cameron (knee), Talia (hip), Walker (ankle)


Reports: Nil


Umpires: Bannister, Nicholls, Ryan


Official crowd: 21,127 at Simonds Stadium

Malarkey Medal – 3 Enright (Geel), 2 Bartel (Geel), 1 Menzel (Geel)


About Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt

Saw my first SANFL game in 1967 - Dogs v Peckers. Have only ever seen the Dogs win 1 final in the flesh (1972 1st Semi) Mediocre forward pocket for the AUFC Blacks (1982-89) Life member - Ormond Netball Club -That's me on the right


  1. Bob Neil! The man who solves differential equations to save the nation
    check out his address!

  2. Ben Footner says

    Full marks to you and yours for making that trip Swish. What a gawd awful place. Pretty much resigned myself to the fact that we’re marked as the interstate Cat park fodder each and every year, one loss you can bank on no matter how the Cats are travelling.

    Still confident we can make the top 4 from here. No need to panic. We’ve got a great coach and plenty of talent which has stood up in some big games this year. Our form line is the most consistent bar Hawthorns, with the two of us being the only teams not to drop a game against a side currently sitting outside the 8. We’ll be around the mark.

  3. ned_wilson says


  4. Dave Brown says

    Can answer the last question – Essendon. The rest of them not so sure on. There are options in the 2s – Ellis-Yolmen, Grigg and Wigg (I think “Curly, Grigg and Wigg” should be a West Lakes hair dressing salon) are consistently our best mids. Dear regularly kicks goals while Seedsman, Milera and Hampton are available for any running flanker type needs. O’Brien has also been consistently useful as a ruckman/forward should Sauce need a rest. Some great lines in there, Swish.

  5. Ben Footner says

    Tricky at the selection table this week actually. Do you make some changes or leave things alone so that players can find some form and confidence against Essendon and Brisbane over the next fortnight?

    McGovern might get a reprieve if Tex doesn’t get up. Would love to see Dear get a chance, has been very consistent in the SANFL this year. Ellis-Yolmen could provide a good change up playing as a fwd and extra mid rotation option.

  6. When I left beautiful University Oval (pre-Bob Neil sponsorship) in late 1992 I decided I would go to the suburban Vic grounds only until the Crows won at each. Don’t think we mastered too many in those early years, but the AFL kindly closed places like Moorabbin, Windy Hill, Western Oval and Victoria Park, but the Cattery remained on my list for a few years. Early on a trip to the Cattery I was pummelled by horizontal rain at 3/4 time in the 2’s (Geelong v Saints) and when the Crows ran out they gave the distinct impression of not wanting to be there – confirmed by the scoreboard in the first few minutes. My last trip there was in God’s last year. He was by that stage essentially playing as a thug and I might have mentioned this to a few people until I realised this was not a good idea….Anyway, we won and about a thousand Crows supporters wandered to the centre circle and, as one, said ‘thank God, we never have to come back here again’ and I’ve never been. Thanks for reminding me why.

  7. And I thought I had it tough. At least my Eagles won. Dunno how. Jack Darling is my whipping boy. After 4 turnovers/fumbles in 10 minutes in the first quarter I had to be physically constrained by the Avenging Eagle and other supporters who looked like they were going to call security given my level of abuse. I sulked for the rest of the day (as did Jack).
    My birthday later this week is provoking middle age mutterings like yours. Retire to penury and irrelevance or keep working and lock in the disappointment? Too soon old too late wise.
    I am sure Ned and Benny had something to say on the topic.
    Top stuff Swish. At least I have Gordon to brighten up my week.

  8. Ben Footner says

    Just popped back in to revisit that fantastic selfie. The perfect pictorial summary of Kardina Park!

  9. Rulebook says

    Great stuff,Swish certainly better than the game and great comments above

  10. Swish- a fantastic report. Seems the train to Geelong is not unlike the train to Gawler. Nice references to the Hillman Imp (a poor man’s Hillman Hunter?), FUIC and LRB (in my past I probably enjoyed all three simultaneously).

    I’d keep Shooter in the side but possibly exchange Charlie for Milera.

    Although I was safely on the couch it became notably chilly in the third quarter. 0.5 will do it.

    Thanks Swish.

  11. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Appreciate the kind responses, it was good to get that one out of the system.

    That’s gold Smithy

    Actually, it’s not too bad Ben, apart from the we can’t ever win there bit

    Thanks Ned

    Not sure that playing the bottom two will do anything apart from masking our weaknesses Dave/Ben .Wigg’s nickname has to be Arturo, doesn’t it?

    Goodas, I hadn’t been until last year. Might cut my losses.

    PB, cue/rack

    Book, we’ve been spoilt in 2016

    Mickey, give me Dry Creek any day

  12. Luke Reynolds says

    Did Pie Girl sample the Kardinia Park pie wares?
    Done the crowded (standing room only) V-Line trip many times. Makes you appreciate driving.
    Many great lines in a fantastic piece Swish.

  13. Thanks Mark for an entertaining read. Hope you and your daughter Didge make many future footy trips to KP with, perhaps, more kindly weather to support your experience.

    I am disappointed however, that you referred to some women encountered during the evening as a “biddy”, a “harpy” and a “harridan…with four chins and chafing thighs.”

    Whatever our sex, race, culture or appearance, we ought not be diminished for that.

  14. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Thanks Luke, there was no room for a pie. I’m guessing it would have been a Routley’s.

    Thanks Jen. I’m sure we’ll be back again, maybe not on a July Saturday night. Point taken. Biddy, as well as meaning a talkative woman, is also a pun on my daughter’s name and was prefaced with “kindly”, so I’m not copping the rap for that one.

  15. Mark Duffett says

    Given the lacklustre match and weather that looks (from your selfie) like the fag end of the system that brought snow to sea level in Hobart that day, I’m intrigued most by the nature of the ‘chunky reading material’. A textbook for study, or is Didge as literary as her dad?

  16. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Mark, the chunky reading material was Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare. It too was a victim of the weather, it has been sitting between several volumes of the 1964 Coliers Encyclopedia, (which gave me my start to reading), but the crinkles are still there. Didge is far more literary than her dad.

  17. Appreciate your “point taken”, Mark.
    As Meatloaf (almost) sang, “Two outta three aint bad.”

  18. Superb summary of events Swish. You are a greater man than I am, I wouldn’t know how to send out a really bad tweet!

    I watched this game from the warm comfort of the couch, with a few glasses of port. Just wanted to make you feel jealous.

  19. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Thanks Dips, I could have done with a visit to the Club Car on the VLine home for a couple of snifters. If only.

  20. Mark Duffett says

    Ah, encyclopaedias, the internet of the 20th century. I devoured a kiddie one called ‘Our World’ when I were a little ‘un, can still remember the entry for Australian Rules Football and its reference to “strange goals” (think it was produced in the UK) in a caption to a photo. As well as goalposts, the pic showed what looked close to a capacity crowd at the MCG; one of the teams might have been Richmond. 1973 Grand Final?

    Given the genre, Didge might also enjoy the even chunkier book I’m currently well into, ‘The Passage’ by Justin Cronin; think ‘I Am Legend’ crossed with Stephen King’s ‘The Stand’.

Leave a Comment