Round 22 – Geelong v Collingwood: a speculative match report

Geelong v Collingwood

7:50, Friday 28 August


I’m sitting on the top deck of the Olympic wondering why I didn’t bring a blanket, but the explorer socks are certainly helping.  It’s perhaps a record low crowd for a Geelong-Collingwood clash at the G, somewhere in the vicinity of 45,000-47,000 methinks.  Where have all the supporters gone, long time passing? But I pity the millions who choose to watch at home – thanks to Channel Seven’s outrageous camera angles they won’t even know that when Stevie J is waltzing into an open goal, he is about to be run down from behind.


Collingwood come out of the blocks hard and penetrate the goals, but can’t quite score.  Inexplicably the Pies turn it over and the Cats run the ball the length of the ground in a matter of seconds where Motlop is waiting alone in the forward 50 to boot the first major.  The rest of the quarter is a blur …The pies fight on – Swan to Pendlebury, Pendlebury to Swan, Swan to Pendlebury (reminiscent of the Buckley-Williams ball-sharing expedition of the late 90s).  But Adams (or was it Sinclair?) turns it over and the Cats manage to get the ball to their power forward Hawkins who coverts.  Unfortunately a few minutes later when Cloke manages to take a great contested mark, he sprays the kick.  The ball rebounds very quickly and Gregson threads the eye of the needle.  And effectively that is it.  The pies are playing catch up footy for the next few quarters.  Every time they mount a challenge, Geelong finds a goal.  Corey Enright and Harry Taylor are given too much space in the back 50 and are able to set up the Cats up nicely with their pinpoint disposal.  Taylor sells the dummy and finds the mercurial Motlop who check-sides one through, and later the comeback kid Menzel finds himself all alone in the forward 50 and boots through an uncontested goal that brings the house down.  It’s hard not to feel good for him.


But lo and behold the Pies sound the battle charge late in third and somehow manage to keep in touch.  Moore’s vertical leap allows him to take a good overhead mark and he duly converts in the rain.  Cloke manages to shrug of Lonergan (who has channelled his inner-Micky Gayfer) and Swan and Pendlebury continue to chalk up the possessions.  Travis Varcoe is still trying to save the universe, his second and third efforts inspire the kids.  And yes, the kids are showing something: Scharenberg’s poise of the half-back flank, de Goey’s attack on the footy.  Marsh, Crisp, etc.  Gary Pert is seriously thinking about that Buckley contract extension.  These kids are the go.


We can win this.

But just as the Pies are mounting their challenge in the final term, Selwood seems to find something extra.  He wills himself into the contest and wins clearance after clearance.  Stevie J kicks one around the corner and the crowds goes berserk.  Later Motlop puts the issue beyond doubt with another curler.  The Cats keep their finals hopes alive.  The Woods trudge of the ground…competitive, good value for money, honourable in defeat.  They tried.  Barracking for the Pies has become like living the life of Tantalus.  Bucks pacifies the press gallery with some well-measured words.


Later the Almanac community is in full swing.  JTH sings the praises of ‘Joel Selwood, Joel Selwood, Joel Selwood’.  Dips feels this is redemption for the 1980-81 Preliminary Final losses and utters the name ‘Ross Brewer’ with a hearty laugh.  Peter Flynn uses and 8-word sentence which succinctly encapsulates the performance of Stevie J on the night.  Lord Bogan bemoans the fact that Icarus did not follow the instructions of Daedalus’.  He spends the last quarter doing the Footy Record crossword, and later that night dreams of Bill Picken marshalling the backline.  Luke Reynolds listens to Fine, sips some Prickly Moses and is thankful he didn’t make the trip down the highway, E.Regnans quotes from Gareth Liddiard, Peter Carey and Tim Winton, Haiku Bob says absolutely nothing as he has been disembodied, and Peter Baulderstone dismisses the ensuing thread as ‘Cat Porn’.


Malarkey Medal:

  1. Joel Selwood, Joel Selwood, Joel Selwood
  2. Motlop (who was meant to be on him?)
  3. Varcoe (who couldn’t quite save the universe)

About Damian Balassone

Damian Balassone is a failed half-forward flanker who writes poetry. He is the author of 'Strange Game in a Strange Land'.


  1. D Balassone,
    Young Marty and the Delorian aren’t due here in 2015 until October 21.
    Has Grey’s Sports Almanac now rebadged as Footy Almanac..?

    All too believable…
    Beautifully done.

  2. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    Great stuff Damo,
    You weren’t far off with the crowd, camera angles were still crap, Pendles and Swan (until injured) were great, but our young guys Crisp, Adams, DeGoey really stepped up in the midfield. Watching the Pies the last two months has been more of a Sisyphean experience. Daedalus’ instructions were followed but the heat generated by the Cats couldn’t melt butter last night.

  3. Well the Pies have finished off the Cats 2014 season . A/ the, highlight was the return of Daniel Menzel. Gee whiz how good could he have been ?

    For both clubs a long summer, then rebuilding. Kelly, Johnson, Enright, Bartel, White, Cloke, how many of these players will return in the same team colours in 2015? How many will return?

    Menzel, Vardy, Lang, De Goey, Elliot and Crisp, these are the chaps who will take these two traditional rivals into the future. It was only five years ago these two sides played off in a Grand Final.


  4. DBalassone says

    Happy to wrong on most of this – I think the last 9 weeks coupled with growing up in the 1979-81 era has scarred my outlook on footy life.
    Strangely the game seemed like the complete inverse of the Coll v Geel clash earlier in the season
    It was great to see Menzel kick a few classy goals and take a hanger. Selwood’s had a tough year, but I’m sure will bounce back.
    Now Phil, I’m going to look up ‘Sisyphean’ in my Book of Myth and Fables.

  5. Luke Reynolds says

    Brilliant Damian.
    Reckon most of us of either the Collingwood or Geelong persuasion thought that’s how this game would turn out. Very pleasant surprise that it didn’t.
    The Prickly Moses tasted all the more sweeter after the game.

  6. Dave Nadel says

    Only just found this, Damian. I am so glad that reality was better than your well written fantasy.

  7. John Butler says

    Very funny DB. Though about as accurate as most of my predictions.

    Eddie’s on field heroics must have inspired the lads.

    Thought Joffa looked quite fetching with that handbag.

Leave a Comment