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Round 6 – Melbourne v Sydney: Hot date

It is date night at the Dodson household tonight. A candlelight dinner has been trumped by a trip to the G to see the Swans take on the Dees. We’re unlikely to hear Barry White played over the loud speakers in the Great Southern Stand. I have an understanding wife. This will be Sophies’ first game in years. With two kids in three years, and babysitters thin on the ground, a trip to the footy as a couple is a rare treat.


Our babysitter for the evening is Sophies’ mum Judy, who has come over from Tassie for the weekend to watch her Saints. Judy bursts through the door. She’s flying, having seen her Saints produce the fifth biggest comeback in AFL history to down the Dogs. We quickly exchange dummies and bottles and head for the Camry. Jack stops me at the door and asks if we can bring his ‘best friend’ Buddy home tonight after the game? I promise to ask, yet am pretty sure the great man will have other plans.


A strange sight confronts us as we approach the G. No lights! Either the MCC have failed to pay the electricity bill or I’ve misread the draw and the game is 900km away at the SCG?


Aahhh, that’s right, it is the Breast Cancer Network Australia Pink Lady Match. The lights have been dimmed to create a sea of pink before the game.


We park at the G and Sophie takes notes to remember where we have left the chariot. I think a picture will help, although Sophie reminds me a picture of our car under a tree will be of little value, as there are probably two hundred trees in the carpark.


We take our seats on level two in the Great Southern Stand. I see Goodsey wearing green in the warm up. I understand why. Yet I still view it with a hint of sadness. So many fond memories of the champ, I hope he adds to the scrapbook tonight.


Three hundred Mums, who have been selected by the Breast Cancer Network Australia, run through a special pink banner, we all wave our pink lights, and then observe a moment’s silence to remember those touched by breast cancer. Sophie dons her pink poncho, a souvenir from 2005 when she went to the first Field of Women match. I cross my fingers and hope Sophie, and my little family, beat the odds in future years. The Melbourne Football Club and Breast Cancer Network Australia have done a great job tonight.


The Swans start well and take control. Big Mike Pyke picks up a loose ball, steadies and goals from a tight angle. When Mike first landed in Australia another well-known Canadian by the name of Bryan Adams was a better kick. Mike has come such a long way and is an integral part of our team. Tippett exposes the Dees short back line and boots three for the quarter in a dominant display.


Sophie heads for the coffee. For a Tasmanian lass Sophie surprisingly does not do well in the cold. She is wearing enough layers to mount a charge for the peak of Mount Everest.


The Swans put the foot down in the second quarter and the Dees can’t stop the momentum. Jetta kicks a round-the-body goal, off one step, from fifty metres. I can’t even do that in my dreams. The usual suspects control the midfield and Mitchell looks at home in his second game of the year. A scare is sent through all Swans supporters when Heeney limps off with a bung knee. The young man has all the elements you want in a young footballer. He is tough, skilful and from all reports a humble kid. Let’s hope this is not too serious. The baton is passed to the champ as Goodsey enters the fray. The Swans by forty at half time.


‘Old mate’ two rows back is a passionate Dees man. He has spent the last hour challenging every call from the whistle blowers. He has questioned several times if a kick has travelled the required 15 yards? This man has no regard for the metric system.


My back is starting to tighten in the stands, after going for a run and kick this morning. I’m in ‘training’ for an over 35s game for my old club, the mighty Mangoplah Cookardinia United Goannas. I wonder what the young kids from Seddon Auskick thought this morning as they watched an unfit, balding man, running around their ground trying to recapture his youth?


Kennedy bursts through a tackle and drills one from forty to start the third. Sophie comments that he has been quiet. A quick look at the stats suggests otherwise. That is the Kennedy way. He gets the in-and-under ball and just racks up the possessions with a minimum of fuss.


The Dees seem to be going from Sydney to Melbourne, via Perth, with their ball movement. It is slow and stilted. They are trying hard but not making progress. The Swans march on and have total control of the match. Somehow Ted Richard finds himself at Centre Half Forward at one point. I think his compass must be broken.


To their credit the Dees keep plugging away and kick a number of late goals. They could have been belted tonight, however, keep fighting the good fight. Goodes kicks the Swans final goal for the night and we walk away with a 38 point win. This is not a game for the ages. The Swans were professional, and just came in and got the job done.  Good to see Tippett hit the scoreboard with four goals and Jetta provide spark on a wing.


Hand in hand, Sophie and I head for the Camry. It is fair to say this date night will probably not rival the night we dined at the Eifel Tower, in Sophies’ book of classic evenings. All in all is was a good fun night spent together, the Swans bag the four points and we head home with the hope our little men are sound asleep.


About craig dodson

Born in the sporting mecca that is Wagga Wagga and now reside in Melbourne with my lovelly wife Sophie and son's Jack and Harry. Passionate Swans supporter and formally played cricket at a decent level and Aussie Rules at a not so decent level! Spend my days now perfecting my slice on the golf course and the owner of the worlds worst second serve on the tennis course.


  1. Mathilde de Hauteclocque says

    Cheer cheer!

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