Round 2 – GWS v Melbourne: Autumn Bliss


Greater Western Sydney versus Melbourne

2.10pm, Saturday 11 April

Startrack Oval, Canberra



Like the weather, the mood at Manuka Oval has changed. As memories of the summer of World Cup cricket fade, autumn heralds in a mind shift. By winter time life will be serious. Today I won’t be exhibiting kindness and giving up my reserved seat for passionate visiting cricket fans. I’ll expect and demand to sit in it.

As a foundation member of the Giants I’ve watched the boys grow. Each season their confidence has increased and they’re here to challenge.

Timing is everything they say. As I walk to the ground the Giants’ team bus pulls up. Watching them alight, I refrain from asking for autographs, allowing them to remain calm, composed and no doubt focussed on the game ahead. Besides, I have Jeremy Cameron’s autograph on my cap before he was a household name.


As the game begins in glorious April warmth, the Demons are energetic. They move the ball quickly down the ground to score the first goal of the game then follow it up quickly with a second. The Melbourne crowd are vocal. But their boys then miss two set shots which is a reprieve for the Giants. It’s ‘zone basketball’ footy, everyone in one half of the ground. Don’t ask me why. Melbourne are winning the one on one contests and marking cleanly. A free against Phil Davis gives Dawes a set shot, but thankfully he misses. Jamar gets Melbourne’s third goal after a ruck tap down.  When Hogan takes a one handed mark for Melbourne and scores their fourth goal for the quarter things are all going one way. The Giants have failed to register a major in the first quarter.

The second quarter begins with Melbourne’s Hogan scoring a goal from the boundary. They surge further ahead before Shiel  opens the Giants account. Melbourne continue to move the ball swiftly  as Garlett replies for them with a snap.

Halfway through the quarter I have a feeling of doom and look at the Record to see who the Giants play next week. The Swans  in Sydney.  There’s no joy thinking about that, or the two hour drive back to Jindabyne (where I live) so I return my focus to the game. Lift boys! Mummy marks and scores a behind.  The Giants show more vigour but they’re not getting the score on the board.

Josh Kelly marks in front but scores a behind. A free to Mummy brings another behind from a set shot. Behinds, behinds, behinds! That’s why the Giants are BEHIND! But it’s an improvement on the first quarter.

Melbourne score another goal before Josh Kelly kicks to Cam McCarthy.  We finally  get a second goal. Two goals in a half of football is not great scoring but at least we’ve had some opportunities .

At half time Melbourne are 7.3(45) to the Giants 2.6(18)


During the break I reflect on my father’s solution to problems. He used to say  that the only answer was  work, work, work. “C’mon Giants, get to work!”

Who knows what a coach would say to the players at half-time these days. A good old-fashioned roar, or reassuring words? But whatever miraculous therapy Leon Cameron applied to the Giants, it works.

Treloar scores the first goal of the third quarter. The Giants are energised and running now and register a second. “Whoo hoo!”

Two in a row after a miserly two for the whole first half. McCarthy marks and goals to make it three in a row, then Coniglio gets a fourth and the Giants are only a point behind! Game on! When Coniglio marks while lying on his back on the ground  you know luck has swapped sides. Smith snaps a goal to put the Giants ahead by four points. It’s raining goals. Shiel runs in to get another  to put the Giants eight points ahead then Smith goals from a free to put the Giants 14 points up. Melbourne have simply stalled. Cam McCarthy gets another and the Giants  eighth for the quarter then Cameron decides to join the party with a classic snap  whilst pinned on the left side boundary. The Giants have scored nine for the quarter to Melbourne’s none . What a turn around!

At three quarter time the Giants lead by 26 points. Who would have thought?

But can we hang on? Melbourne get the first shot of the last quarter after a free but miss. When Shiel is given a free he goals. The Giants are now 31 points up. When Scully is held without the ball and gets a free and a goal from 40 metres out there are loud cheers from the Giants fans. 37 points up.  A fifty metre penalty gives Mummy – the human tractor, a shot in front . The Giants go to 43 points up. Coniglio adds  another and we are 49 points up. Half way through the quarter Melbourne manage to score their first goal in a quarter and a half of football . As shadows fall across the ground  signs of tiredness  show and the Giants score a couple of behinds but sense a  rewarding day’s work is coming to an end and it’s almost time to down tools and head back to the shed.

The siren signals a wonderful 45 point win for the Giants.

As my father would say after a solid day in the paddock, “Hard work never killed anyone.”

The Giants have started the season with two wins . They now sit in third place on the ladder.

Autumn is such a beautiful time of year.


Greater Western Sydney           0.2   2.6  11.8    15.11   (101)

Melbourne                                    4.2   7.3    7.6       8.8     (56)


GWS: McCarthy 3; Shiel 3 ; Coniglio 2; Smith 2; Treloar, Wilson, Cameron, Scully, Mumford.


Melbourne: Hogan 2; Newton 2; McDonald, Kent, Jamar, Garlett


GWS: Conglio, Kelly, Haynes, Greene, Shaw, Shiel

Melbourne: McDonald, Viney, Salem, Cross, Tyson, Lumumba

UMPIRES :Stevic, Hat, Pannell

CROWD: 7,760


OUR BEST :  Shiel (GWS)3, Mumford (GWS) 2, McCarthy ( GWS) 1


GIANTS Logo 2015

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