To visit the Sydney Swans website click the logo below.

Round 8 – Sydney v Essendon: Either way, I win (and yet lose as well).

By Caspar McLeod.
10/5/2019. Sydney Cricket Ground.


Ok, so. Let’s get this out of the way first. Yes, I am an Essendon supporter, who, yes, also supports the Sydney Swans. I love both teams. I fly the colours of both of them proudly.


And yet in recent years, my Sydney side has had a lot of success, especially compared to my Essendon side. The last few years have been hard on my red and black half, while quite enjoyable for my red and white half.


The tide seems to be turning. Sydney this year, for the first time in a decade (maybe even two) are very clearly not a finals side, already this early in the season. But, we’re getting youth into our team with the game against Brisbane representing the youngest Sydney squad in eons.


While for Essendon, the season has been mixed so far. Shocking round one, bad round two, excellent rounds three, four, and five, gallant in defeat in round six, and meh last weekend. We need a win to prove that this year is the year we’ll return to September.


Whenever these two teams play, I always come out with a cocktail, mixed with happiness and a side of sadness. No matter a close match or a blow out, either way I always win, and yet always end up loosing.


I’m down at Aireys with Mum; Dad is in Dubai. He loves the Bombers and Swans as much as I do (guess where I get it from, I’ll give you one chance to guess it properly!). For the first time in a long time, the Essendon part of him, hard-wired red and black through the disappointing seventies, then the glories of the eighties and early nineties, the brilliance of 2000, and mediocrity ever since, feels confident of a win against the Sydney part of him, who dove into Swans colours with a membership the year they made the grand final against North.


I shall write this report from both the perspective of an Essendon and a Sydney supporter.


First quarter:


My Essendon half:
Hmmm. This isn’t as easy as it was supposed to be. I mean, we had momentum, and then we lost it. We are lucky to be only three points down.


My Sydney Half:
I feel like we should be leading by more. We’ve had our chances. Cannot kick straight. Allir Allir is a genius. We have been so unlucky this quarter. But it is one of our best this season thus far.


Second quarter:


My Essendon half:
A real game of momentum. We lead by nine points midway through… and then we lost the plot for ten minutes, allowing Sydney to grab the lead. Lucky for us, we managed to swing that sweet momentum our way. We lead by a point at the half. We have had a couple of lucky decisions go our way… not that I’m complaining. Anyone’s game after a much better second quarter.


My Sydney Half:
Jeez, the quality of umpiring just continues to suck this season, doesn’t it? I think we should be in front. We would be if we kicked straighter. The scary thing is, we seem to be playing our hearts out, while Essendon seem like they haven’t gotten out of second gear yet. Still, anyone’s game.


Third quarter:


My Essendon Half:
The less said about that quarter, the better. So, I won’t write about how we are lucky to be only nine points down and that Sydney walked all over us. I still have faith, though. We can kick goals very quickly.


My Sydney Half:
Talk about going to another gear! What a quarter! And who knows? If Sinclair attempted a torpedo instead of (bizarrely) a drop punt after the siren, we could be leading by more.


Fourth quarter:


My Essendon half:
What is up with us playing teams ranked 18th in round 8? Last year we lost to Carlton. This year to the Swans. Great game. But one of the most frustrating teams in footy to follow.


My Sydney Half:
WHAT A WIN! ONWARDS TO VICTORY! CHEER CHEER THE RED AND THE WHITE! Who said the Swans were dead? Not yet we aren’t!


In summary:
I swear, games between Essendon and Sydney will be the death of me. Swans in a classic, and yet this feels like more of a significant loss for me than a significant win.


SYDNEY      2.6   6.8   9.9   11.11 (77)
ESSENDON  2.3   7.3   8.6   10.12 (72)


Sydney: Dawson 2, Fox, Blakey, Florent, Papley, Heeney, Reid, O’Riordan, McCartin, Hayward
Essendon: Fantasia 4, Parish 2, Bellchambers, Merrett, Stringer, McKenna


Sydney: Parker, Hewett, Kennedy, Sinclair, Rampe, Blakey
Essendon: Hurley, Heppell, Merrett, McGrath, Hooker


Sydney: Nil
Essendon: Michael Hurley (ankle)


Reports: Nil


Umpires: Meredith, Gianfagna, Mollison


Official crowd: 26,502 at the SCG




Do you really enjoy the Almanac concept?
And want to ensure it continues in its current form, and better? To help keep things ticking over please consider making your own contribution.

Become an Almanac (annual) member – CLICK HERE
One off financial contribution – CLICK HERE
Regular financial contribution (monthly EFT) – CLICK HERE


About Caspar McLeod

Third Culture Kid at Heart. Grew up in Asia, discovered footy at age 9. AFL has since been my burning passion. Ask me who were the winners all the grand finals between 1938 and last year's decider, and I'll be happy to tell you. I'm a footy nut with a passion for writing and acting. All though I love writing and acting, during the footy season, AFL is my true passion. Waiting ever so patiently for the day when Essendon Next win the flag.


  1. george smith says

    I’m just upset that the Swans are back in town, well at least back in Campelltown or Kalkallo to paraphrase the Coodabeens. What looked last week like a cruisy night at the footy for round 10 now has the hallmarks of last year, 2 point win to Swans, or the year before, 1 point win to Magpies. I look forward to these matches, when the Magpies visit Sydney, but I could do without the stress.

    The enigmatic Lance Franklin will be there as well, bolstering the Swans forward line big time. As Sandy said, it is no season for the fainthearted…

  2. Caspar, unfortunately I only saw the first half – kept falling asleep much to my annoyance – just very tired. I’ve only just found out the results and am most disappointed i missed so much enjoyment. Caspar, where is ex Norwood’s Heath Grundy these days?

    I have followed the Swans with much interest since the early eighties of a Sunday arvo when the flamboyant Dr Geoffrey Eddleston bought the club and players such as Barry Round and David Rys- Jones(not to mention a certain high flying full forward in extra short shorts whose name escapes me).

    As far as Essendon goes, I’m always interested in ex Norwood player Fantasia’s performances. I see he booted 4 goals last night

    At least Jan should be happy with her Mighty Bloods again – that’s provided she didn’t have a heart attack in the excitement. Cheers

  3. PS I’ve done it again. My mind works much faster than my lousy typing. In the second sentence I left the words were playing. Hope you’ll forgive me folks. Looking forward for toward to tonight’s big Crows v Power clash.

    Perhaps if I arm myself with an apple turnover I my stay awake.

  4. george smith says

    The climbing the goal post thingy, while very boys own annual, could have resulted in a free kick to Essendon and the loss of a well deserved victory. I can imagine the horror on the face of goal post guy had this happened.

    Lucky for the Swans a more officious umpire, can’t think of his name just now, was not participating this night. Essendon fans, however, have a right to go into full Charlie Brown mode, after another unbelievable set of circumstances occurred to snatch victory from his baseball team…

  5. For your sake and your Dad’s, I’m pleased you mange to love two teams, especially when they play each other. I can’t for the life of me understand it! So there’s no point in me even trying. Good luck in your support and let’s hope the red and the white eventually permeates your heart!

Leave a Comment