Round 19 – Geelong v Western Bulldogs: Two legends = One perfect night

Geelong versus Western Bulldogs

I was not even thought of when Corey Enright first laced up his football boots and put on the great hooped jumper, it was four years before I was born and before the new millennium. He is my sister and countless other Cats fans favourite player for more than enough reasons and today he rightfully breaks the Geelong Cats games record which has been held for 33 years, it was Gary Ablett snr’s first year at Geelong and Gary  jnr hadn’t been born yet.

As for Jimmy he has played the career all AFL players dream of playing, he also started before I was born. To have a Brownlow is incredible, a Norm Smith phenomenal and three premierships can only be dreamed of for most players. Tonight he becomes one of only 70 odd people to play 300 AFL games. Sadly last year in Boris’s 300th we lost and it was the longest walk for Dad and I up the High St hill ever.

This week is one to remember for milestones having the two I just mentioned, Matthew Pavlich contesting in his 350th game, a monumental feat for him and Boomer Harvey breaking the AFL games record of 426 games, which he and most people with common sense think will never be broken again. These days the game is just too quick to keep trucking for that long, this week will be remembered for many reasons.

Mum and I jump in the car and then get out and walk from the shopping centre. As we get closer to the ground more people come into the pack of fans walking to the oval. The most annoying thing of that is when 100 people are at the one traffic light waiting for the green man and nobody presses the button.

As we arrive at our seats the Dogs enter the ground to a subtle cheer from those few brave Bulldogs fans whom have travelled down to Kardinia Park. Then the Cats come out, led by the two champions and run through the banner to our theme song and the rocketing fireworks to commemorate these two great players. Both teams have assembled on the ground and there is the minute to the game introduction with special highlights of the two careers spanning 626 games and collecting 6 premierships. The game begins and as the last few weeks down here have panned out the away team scores the opening goal. Early the dogs look too quick for our senior Cats. It takes Rhys Stanley to kick our first goal, the tall, slim ruckman/forward I believe is our best pickup (beside Danger) in the last 4 years. The dogs 8,000,000 dollar man, Tom Boyd, kicks the dogs second of the night. The crowd cheer like the grand final whenever Boris or Jimmy get a touch, it’s great. Menzel shows how well he is recovering from his horrific run with ACL injuries, flying to get the mark in the square and kicking a goal. Then some bizzare move as Hawkins is called to play on before handing it off to Motlop, who does a vintage 2013 banana from mid range. Yes the Cats look a little bit calmer, but the dogs are quick and full of life which is a little concerning for the Cats. This quick play results in another dogs goal.

Stanley keeps popping up to do what we need, snapping a goal. However his snap can’t really compare to Hawkins from right on the boundary. Dickson floats the last goal of the quarter to get the dogs to one point behind. At quarter time Mum and I go for a walk out of the main part, there isn’t half as many people there as I thought would be out there, they’re all glued to their seats and I don’t blame, as we get back to our seats the second quarter begins.

As the second term begins the Dogs youth speed is looking helpful to get some play down their end. Next Rhys Stanley kicks the best goal I’ve seen live this year, with Daniel Menzel dribbling it in front of him just enough, Stanley shows his strong athletic ability chasing and dribbling a beautiful goal to put our lead over a goal. Boyd kicks another and is showing he may be worth 8 million in the future. The crowd is really into it now as the Dogs are awarded a free directly in front from the square causing injustice for many Cats fans. Liber hobbles off with the trainers and the Dogs horror run with players going down over the last 3 months continues. Danger and the Tomahawk put us back in front with set shot goals. Motlop then shows some more classic form floating one in the air metres above the sticks.

‘Get a kick, and then get a haircut’  is the advice directed at Jake Stringer from a nearby Cats fan as he is roughing up Taylor and Duncan to our displeasure. It gets more annoying when the dogs soccer a goal from mid-air with about two seconds left.

At the interval, Mum gets out her Jimmy Bartel 300 game beard from the paper and we walk down to the ground floor where she wants me to take her picture with it on ‘Sorry, no way’ I say. Luckily, right on queue my uncle Buzz is walking past and is happy to snap the picture. As we bump into more friends walking back to our seats we realise the game has started and we need to rush.

The quarter begins with more quick running from the Dogs early. The crowd is chanting, however it is not lead from the cheer squad, but 3 blokes the next bay from us and I really like it, the inventive lyrics and mixes on old chants is great. Ruggles smothers Stringer beautifully, bringing more delight to the Cats fans. Danger gets the next two for the Cats via quick snaps right through the middle, then more speedy clearances. Rhys Stanley is having the best game I’ve seen of him getting his 4th goal from a set shot.

Lin Jong keeps the Dogs in the game early in the final quarter. The cheers from those three men are really beating the cheer squad, every 2 minutes a big GEE-LONG clap, clap, clap is beginning and spreading through the whole crowd like a Mexican wave. Stanley caps off his beautiful game using his long arms to grab the ball before anyone else and kicking a goal to extend our lead. Zayne Cordy keeps the Dogs gradually slimmer chances more possible. Motlop continues his ‘back to form’ game kicking a final goal. I am thinking ‘wouldn’t it have been great if Enright or Bartel could have got a goal’. Then the ball spills to Jimmy who kicks from 50, it bounces through and the entire crowd are on their feet cheering. Every single Geelong fan is ecstatic, then the siren sounds. Joy filling every Cats fans heart.

Not one person leaves before the players have come off, Jimmy and Boris get chaired off right in front of us, a perfect end to a perfect night.

 

GEELONG CATS – 5.2   9.2   13.5   16.7 – 103                                                                           WESTERN BULLDOGS- 5.1   8.2   8.8   11.12 – 78

Goals-

Geelong Cats- Stanley 5, Dangerfield, Motlop 3, Hawkins 2, Duncan, Bartel, Menzel                  Western Bulldogs- Boyd, Dickson 3, Jong, Dunkley, Smith, Stringer, Cordy

Best-

Geelong Cats- Stanley, Dangerfield, Selwood, Enright, Motlop, Mackie                                          Western Bulldogs- Boyd, Dickson, Dahlhaus, Bontempelli

My votes – Stanley (Geel) 3, Dangerfield (Geel) 2, Enright (Geel) 1

About John Sullivan

John Sullivan is a 12 year old cats fan. He loves the cats and would love 2016 to be year of the cats. He also plays and follows many different sports, but footy is his favourite

Comments

  1. Cat from the Country says:

    Lovely story John.
    You paint a wonderful picture for someone who was not there.

  2. Thanks John, great report. I saw things in this game from Geelong that I didn’t like, especially as the finals get closer. We still have a brittle edge. But remarkably our record this season against teams inside the 8 is quite good. Long may it continue!

Leave a Comment

*