Round 9 – Collingwood v North Melbourne: From Despair to Joy

Going to the footy with my two boys has become something of a regular happening over the past 18 months. Mrs R and Emily (a few weeks off being 2) are always left behind. This all changed on Sunday. All five of us, myself, Mrs R and the three kids, set off for the ‘G. We had to wait until Mrs R finished work. Normally a 12pm finish, the doctors were slow. Of course they were. We left just after 12.30PM.

The plan was to drive to Lara and catch the train in to the game. No time for that now. The excruciatingly slow drive between Power and Swan St made our lateness worse. We made it into the ‘G just in time to see Jarrod Witts kick the pies first, leveling the score with the ‘roos.

We’re in the top level. It’s sparsely populated. Emily, in her AFL debut, is running up the aisles, and loving the sound of pulling the plastic seats down and letting them go.

Half time and I’m thinking about leaving early. The Pies’ skills are horrendous. Their endeavor seems barely better. North should be further ahead. I’m cursing the two hour drive for seemingly nothing. Even the great man Pendles is being bagged on Twitter. It’s unjust. But he looks to be struggling with some sort of injury. I’m thankful Emily won’t remember her first game.

A $4 bucket of chips is all that is required to settle down our nearly 2 year old terror. She remains seated for the rest of the game. Pendles gets an early 3rd quarter goal and there’s a glimmer of hope. Goals to Cloke and Elliot see the margin cut to 23 points. The pies are having a crack. A running goal from 55 metres out by the left boot of Jack Crisp brings us to within 3 goals, and just as importantly brings the crowd right into the game. My quiet groaning of the first half is finally replaced by a roar. Even Mrs R, a lapsed St Kilda fan (and lapsed football follower) is yelling with approval.

This is one of the best quarters I’ve seen Collingwood play. We kick 9 goals to the Kangaroos 3 behinds. The black & white faithful in attendance are lapping it up, making much noise for what is a less than half full stadium. Elliot and Swan play a huge role in our resurgence, but it’s our skipper Pendles, who has willed himself into this game, who was hugely influential, taking control of the mid-field, using the ball with precision.

Elliot starts the final term with his 4th goal, our lead hits 20 points, the 3 kids are eating lollies and watching the footy attentively, my family is together at the MCG. Life is great. Well it was until North kick the next four goals to take a 3 point lead. It’s raining now. I’m feeling the chill for the first time. A wonderful pass from Elliot to Swan, who positions himself well against his opponent, sees the Brownlow medalist kick truly from dead in front and the pies hit the lead again. There’s errors aplenty with the wet ball and slippery surface. Blair goals, giving us a 10 point lead at the 26 minute mark. Elliot marks and kicks a goal after the siren. What seemed a lost cause at half time has turned into a wonderful celebration. I’m’glad we all made the effort to come. Emily still won’t remember her first AFL game. We might buy her the DVD so she can watch it when she is older. Only the second half of course…

COLLINGWOOD 1.2 4.3 13.5 17.10 112
NTH MELBOURNE 4.4 10.6 10.9 14.11 95

COLLINGWOOD: Elliot 5, Fasolo 2, Swan 2, Witts, Grundy, White, Cloke, Pendlebury, Sidebottom, Crisp, Blair
NTH MELBOURNE: Waite 3, Nahas 3, Petrie 2, Macmillan, Bastinac, Thomas, Higgins, Gibson, Goldstein

COLLINGWOOD: Elliot, Swan, Sidebottom, Crisp, Pendlebury, Toovey, Fasolo
NTH MELBOURNE: Goldstein, Cunnington, Harvey, Nahas, Dumont

UMPIRES: Mitchell, Nicholls, Schmitt

CROWD: 43,452 at the MCG

Malarkey Medal Votes:
3. Elliot (Coll)
2. Swan (Coll)
1. Goldstein (NM)

About Luke Reynolds

Cricket and Collingwood tragic. Twitter: @crackers134


  1. Dave Brown says

    Nice one Luke. Another characterful win for a Collingwood side that didn’t look capable of it at the start of the season. Always good to celebrate a win with the family, even better if your kids are actually watching (my game day bag is a veritable ‘500 things kids can do instead of watch footy’ show)!

  2. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Make sure you keep the Footy Record for Emily, Luke, to go with the DVD.

  3. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Great stuff Luke this will become part of the Reynolds clan footy folklore and your better than me getting the better half go to the footy.Glad you managed to sneak
    Dumont in to the roos bps I rate him v highly the Redleg 2012 premiership player can really play( should have put him on Pendlebury when he got on top in the 3rd q )

  4. Glad you got there, and glad you hung in. Incredible second half by the Pies. I certainly didn’t see it coming.

  5. Neil Anderson says

    Well done Luke. Taking the family to the footy with a 50% chance you could lose. You’re a braver man than me when I think of that long drive home after a loss.
    As you know I have an extra hour to drive home if we lose, not wanting to turn the radio on and listen to all the players from the victorious team being interviewed.
    The time just flies if you win.

  6. Nice report Luke.

    Good job on recognising that the $4 bucket of chips was required! That’s a top coaching move right there. Without that, you might’ve been in the car and missed the Magpies tidy work!

  7. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    Great stuff Luke,
    Amazing 3rd quarter. In a few years when you watch the replay with young Emily she’ll understand the bonding and I wager that it will cement her allegiance to the Mighty Pies!

  8. great writing Luke what a great husband & dad to take them all to the G

  9. Peter Fuller says

    Well done Luke, a big adventure for all the Reynolds family, crowned with a wonderful fightback and a famous victory.
    This is a great account of your collective big day out.

  10. Enjoy this time with the kids, Luke.
    Time moves on very quickly!
    (says old Father Smokie)

  11. Was a great day out, just need to get Emily a Collingwood flag to wave next time we take her. ( In two years when she can sit still!!!)

  12. Gillian Coote says

    Great story! Still upset I havent managed a little saint follower yet!!

  13. Dave Nadel says

    Mrs R is right, Small kids love waving footy flags. Mind you I would have waved a flag myself during the third quarter if I had brought one. It was such an inspirational performance

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