The Footy Almanac 2007 Round 13 – Geelong v Sydney: Bucketing down toys and goals

The first printed edition of The Footy Almanac came out in 2007, before we had a website. In the absence of a real 2020 season, we will be publishing the 2007 pieces for the first time ever on Follow the season!



Geelong versus Sydney

2.10pm, Saturday, June 30

Skilled Stadium, Geelong



AGE CAN LEAD TO FORGETFULNESS. There I was, all revved up and ready to take the V-Line Geelong flyer to Sleepy Hollow to see the Cats versus the Swannies, overcoat and scarf at hand. The only problem was that I had completely forgotten that it was also the same day as my daughter’s first birthday party.


With no opportunity to get down to Kardinia Park, the only option was to revert to the television. My viewing was likely to be a challenge with a house full of excited young children and a bucket-load of new toys, gadgets, splat-balls, red cordial, lollies and birthday cake.


As I pulled myself away from Hire-a-Snow-White, the Swans lined up without spearhead B.B.B. Barry Hall and revealed a restructured forward line. Nick Davis’s early goal and another to Luke Vogels led to the misguided belief that the Swans might have finally discarded their recent scoring shackles.


Weather bureau bulletins warned of dark clouds and a rapid drop in temperature at the Cattery. The Swans failed to take advantage of the first use of the breeze while Geelong warmed to the task with a series of bone-crunching tackles. The Pussies were in for a serious slog and before long the goals came for Geelong after a beautiful snap by the reformed Steve Johnson and partner Cameron Mooney, who scored two more. Throw in some creative efforts from the Abletts, Gary and Nathan, and the Cats were well and truly away.


The second quarter proved once and for all that television just does not do rain well. Elevated camera angles have never quite captured the intensity of a downpour and it was only when the vision dropped down to ground level that the bite, steam and slice of the rain could be felt by the viewer. These were hard and demanding conditions. As the rain belted down, the control of the home side increased through further goals to Johnson, Ablett the Elder and then two absolute gimmes after the Swans had given away stupid 50-metre penalties.


As infant children ran around the lounge room and smeared fairy bread all over the new sofas, I realised that things were getting out of hand. Leaping Leo Barry, possibly the nicest of the nice guys in the competition, dropped a forbidding shoulder into the head of Cameron Ling. Instantly he became the villain of the piece. The Geelong crowd wanted Barry tarred and feathered and run out of town. And while I wanted to look more closely at this incident, I was headed off by a gaggle of two-and three-year-olds who thought it would be an excellent idea to turn the television on and off.


By the half-time break, with the Cats holding a seven-goal lead, the game was as good as over. My only comfort was in trivia and the commentators did not fail me. As Sydney went to the long break with a measly 2.5 (17) on the board, it was noted that it was the second week in succession in which the Swans had only scored two goals in a half of football. The last time this had happened, in case anyone was wondering, was way back in 1972.


The game drifted after half-time. With the home side sitting on? a commanding margin, play moved into a holding pattern. Despite many? efforts from the Swans to break clear, they kept coming up against a solid Geelong defence led by Harley, Mackie and Scarlett. Joel Corey bobbed up in every contest. Smaller players in Joel Selwood and Matthew Stokes were playing that kind of rugged, nondescript football that pushed the Swans players out of the action.


As the last quarter started, I was almost relieved to be called upon to deal with a crash between a plastic motorcycle and a Freddy Flintstone toy car before returning to find that the Swans had made something of a rally. In typical form, the visitors had cobbled together some goals from spirited efforts and suddenly Geelong looked at risk. And, of course, if any team could lose from there… well, Geelong wrote the book.


This day was shaping up to be a memorable first birthday party after all. But just as the nerves started to jangle, the nous and instinct of the Ablett brothers helped set up the final two goals that pushed Geelong over the line.


This was the eighth win in a row for the Cats. It was a worthy victory in difficult conditions, especially considering the threat of a surge from a persistent Swans outfit. There is no doubt that Geelong are a formidable line-up and like some recent premiers (Port in 2004, Sydney in 2005) they have the capacity to sneak up on the competition without any great respect from the football public. The Cats’ former rat-pack – Mooney and Johnson – appear to have learnt something from past indiscretions and are performing at the highest level.


I only hope for the sake of the Geelong faithful that their boys convert this mid-season dominance into September success. That would be an occasion that wouldn’t be forgotten for a long, long time.


Regardless of age.



Geelong  5.1 9.4 11.8 13.9 (87)

Sydney  2.1 2.5 5.8 10.9 (69)



Geelong: Mooney 4, S. Johnson 3, G. Ablett 2, N. Ablett, Varcoe, Chapman, Corey.

Sydney: O’Keefe, Schmidt 2, Davis, Vogels, L. Ablett, Fosdike, O’Loughlin, Jolly.



Geelong: Corey, Mackie, S. Johnson, G. Ablett, Stokes, Selwood, Harley.

Sydney: Kirk, Malceski, Goodes.



Egan (Geelong) 50 games.



Laidlaw (Sydney).



McLaren, Chamberlain, Meredith.



Corey (G) 3, Mackie (G) 2, S. Johnson (G) 1.



Chapman (G) 3, S. Johnson (G) 2, Mooney (G) 1.






For more Round by Round reports of the 2007 season click HERE


Printed copies of The Footy Almanac 2007 can be purchased here.


2007 Footy Almanac

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