Round 5 – Essendon v Collingwood: Father-son bonding day at the `G (Number 24)


Essendon v Collingwood


Father/Son Bonding Day at the G.  Number 24 (I think)


It’s always exciting for my son and I to “Bond at the G” for this Blockbuster, Dons versus Collingwood. We do actually bond quite a few times throughout the year but this footy match is special, we’ve been doing it for years.


I got to the “G” a bit later than planned and Son and a couple of his mates had almost finished their beer so I ordered a large Italian one, which bought considerable and deserved wrath from the group, with comments like “trying to beat Bob Hawke’s record at Oxford”. As it was, I had to share it, to get to our seats in time for the game.


I was feeling quietly, very quietly, confident, but as our last two weeks have been  terrible, I was keeping my feelings to myself. The other three gave the Essendon “no show”.


The Dons kicked off to a smart start, moving the ball with confidence and surety. Collingwood fumbled, spilt easy marks and their kicking for goal was miserable. Not that I was complaining, I loved it, Son on the other hand was moaning with exasperation.


Quarter time saw the Dons up by 19 points and it could have been more, I reckon they were the much better side. Collingwood started the second quarter in a more confident manner and kicked a few goals and a lot of points, some from set shots that I reckon I could have kicked. Well maybe not, the older you get the worse your memory becomes. The long shot of it was The Dons were still in front at half time by three.


Half time cleansing ales were off, due to the enormous crowds around the bar, so on returning to our seats the Collingwood crew were feeling very confident. “It was just a matter of kicking better at goals”. I kept quiet, very quiet. I noticed the Collingwood Cheer Squad were waving a large Australian flag when they managed to kick a goal. I looked up at the Essendon group who were without a flag, maybe Collingwood though an “Axis of Evil” flag would be appropriate.


When the game recommenced, the Magpies still hadn’t mastered the art of kicking goals. I thought Essendon were still showing what it takes to win, Joey Daniher was on fire as was Anthony McDonald Tipungwuti with tackles, evasive skills and a threat every time he got near the ball or near a Collingwood player with the ball.


At three quarter time I reckon it was 50/50. Bloody nerve racking, just nine points in it. I’m not good in these situations, I much prefer to be nine goals up, but I didn’t have to worry, Orazio Fantasia, Josh Green, Jobe Watson, Dyson Heppell and Darcy Parish and the rest of the team sniffed the sweet smell of victory and finished off the game with confidence and skill.


Two newcomers stood up at different times, Aaron Francis kicked a great goal from a terrific contested mark and first gamer Ben McNiece stopped a Collingwood advance in the last quarter with a great clearing punch.


So the Dons win a great match, I know I’m “one eyed” but I reckon they were the better side by far. They handled the ball better they supported each other and they found their teammates with precision passing. Our first win against Collingwood for a few years and a good one at that.


Best Players     Essendon: Daniher (medal winner), Fantasia,Heppell,Watson, McDonald Tipungwuti, Parish,Green,Merrett and the other 14.


Collingwood:  Elliot, Treloar, Crisp, Sidebottom. Wells, Varcoe.


Goals                    Essendon:  Fantasia4, Hooker3,Daniher3, Green3, Francis, Heppell.


Collingwood:  Elliot3, Moore2, Wells2, Faolo, Trelor, Crisp, Sidebottom.


Essendon  15. 10.   100    defeated  Collingwood  11.  16.  82


Votes  Daniher Essendon3  Elliot Collingwood 2  McDonald-Tipungwuti 1


A great crowd of over 86,000 saw the game at the G


Rod Oaten.






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