The Footy Almanac 2007 Round 19 – Geelong v Adelaide: A dour forecast for an exhilarating side

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 Adelaide

Sunday, August 12, 2.10pm

Skilled Stadium, Geelong



A BRIEF SHOWER BLEW ACROSS MELBOURNE ON SUNDAY MORNING. But nothing much. When J. Dunne rang from Geelong insisting I come prepared for serious rain I scoffed. “Hasn’t let up all morning,” he said, as I glanced out the window at blue Northcote skies.


It was warm in the car. But as I turned from Ballarat Road onto the Princess Highway the sky over Geelong was black and wet. On the radio Rodney Eade was saying of Geelong, “They’re the best I’ve seen in three years.” And I was agreeing. I was confident we’d rack up our 14th win in a row. The last bloke to think that going to Geelong was driving a brand-new Austin A40.


The sprinkles started as I reached the boulevard of flags on the edge of town. Then stopped again. A quick beer at the Clarendon and it was off to find a spot on the terrace.


Bomber Thompson had left out Mark Blake whose still-gawky body needed some respite. Steven King got his chance. He started on the bench.


Kardinia Park looked sodden (even squelchy in places). But that didn’t affect the style of footy the Cats set out to play. In the opening minute Jimmy Bartel got things rolling. The mudlark won a clearance and then drifted forward to take a strong wet-weather chest mark inside fifty after a quick kick from Johnno.


Across Geelong’s half forward line McLeod was playing on Stokes, or maybe Stokes was playing on McLeod. I couldn’t work it out. Neither could they, because at one stage Stokes was 40 metres in the clear. The Cats were playing dry-weather footy on a slippery surface, and racking up early goals. The Crows hardly had a touch.


I once asked Malcolm Blight what was his intent; what was he trying to get his players to do when he coached. He rubbed his chin. “It was pretty simple really. At the centre bounce the ruckman taps it to the rover on the burst,” he explained. “He streaks clear, and hits the leading full forward on the chest.”


He’d have been pleased with the next play. From the centre bounce Ottens caressed the footy back over his head to Corey on the fly. Corey burst clear and hit Kelly on the chest. Kelly dished off to Mackie. Who missed his set shot.


In no time the Cats led 4.3 to nothing. We had the first 10 inside fifties. Indeed the Crows had hardly taken the ball beyond the centre circle. The mood of the terrace was already celebratory. We marvelled at the decision-making, the physical pressure and the tackling of Joel Selwood. Travis Varcoe was whizzing around the forward line. Bartel had it on a string.


When the Crows finally won a clear possession they decided to chip the footy around for a few minutes. I think they were just reminding each other of what it looked like and how it felt. That seemed to settle them down. But they were a long way behind.


They did have the breeze in the second quarter, though, and started to show a lot more persistence. The Cats lost concentration, bombing the ball into the forward line without system. The Crows fought back. Johncock was creative from defence. Brett Burton worked Harley under the footy. Goodwin had an influence. And the Cats made some silly mistakes.


Clouds loomed. People reached for their water-proofs as a freezing squall hit. The Cats were only nine points up when right on half-time Scarlo drifted forward and stole a much-needed goal. It warmed us up.


The Crows threw everything at the home side in the early part of the third quarter but kicked four behinds in a row. They used a lot of energy, and couldn’t sustain the effort required. Although the Cats looked a little wobbly for a moment, Adelaide failed to attack. Instead they tried to use up some time into the strong wind by playing possession footy. The inevitable happened. Turn-over. And the Cats were away again.


The home side lifted, running in all directions, and playing on at every opportunity. In an instant, it seemed, they were six goals up and in total control. They crafted one of the goals of the year. Johnno turned Scott Stevens inside out on the flank and passed on the bounce to Mooney’s lead deep in the pocket in front of the terrace. Mooney kicked the loose footy off the ground, squaring it to Selwood like a George Best cross. The rookie marked and put the Cats further ahead.


Varcoe produced a couple of short, sharp handballs which set up first Corey Enright, and later Gary Ablett, for pretty goals. Ling swept onto a Stokes handball and sent the ball sailing into the Doug Wade Stand to rapturous applause. And Mackie kicked the sealer.


The Crows never shirked the issue, but the Cats were just too good. They always seemed to have a bit in reserve.


And thankfully, the rain held off.



Geelong  5.3 6.5 11.8 15.13 (103)

Adelaide  1.0 4.2 6.7 10.10 (70)



Geelong: Bartel, Selwood, G. Ablett 2, N. Ablett, Scarlett, S. Johnson, Mooney, Kelly, Enright, Ling, Mackie, Ottens.

Adelaide: Porplyzia 3, Burton 2, Goodwin, Perrie, Jericho, Gill, McLeod.



Geelong: Bartel, Selwood, Scarlett, Enright, Corey, Egan, Milburn, Harley.

Adelaide: Johncock, Goodwin, Edwards, Bock, Burton.



Rosebury, Ellis, K. Nicholls.



Bartel (G) 3, Selwood (G) 2, Johncock (A) 1.



Bartel (G) 3, Corey (G) 2, Selwood (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

About John Harms

JTH is a writer, publisher, speaker, historian. He is publisher and contributing editor of The Footy Almanac and He has written columns and features for numerous publications. His books include Confessions of a Thirteenth Man, Memoirs of a Mug Punter, Loose Men Everywhere, Play On, The Pearl: Steve Renouf's Story and Life As I Know It (with Michelle Payne). He appears on ABCTV's Offsiders. He can be contacted [email protected] He is married to The Handicapper and has three kids - Theo13, Anna11, Evie10. He might not be the worst putter in the world but he's in the worst three. His ambition is to lunch for Australia.

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