The Footy Almanac 2007 Round 22 – Collingwood v Adelaide: A nightclub vibe for two finals bound sides

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 www.footyalmanac.com.au. Follow the season!

 

 

Collingwood versus Adelaide

7.40pm, Friday, August 31

Telstra Dome, Melbourne

MATT O’CONNOR

 

THE ROAD TO DOCKLANDS IS PAVED WITH INTERVENTIONS. Having climbed to the top of the Bourke Street steps on Friday night, I was assailed by waves of peddlers with designs on my tattered wallet.

 

It brought to mind my favourite childhood video game, Galaga. No sooner had I negotiated my way through the sailors collecting for Legacy, than I was confronted with swooping tracksuited raffle ticketers. These guys can be pushier than an Indian call centre worker at dinnertime, so I congratulated myself on brushing them off. The fluorescent footy record vendors were sitting ducks by comparison and I was able to blast my way into the TAB with my weekend multi-bet stash intact.

 

The Dome becomes just another city watering hole on Friday nights, and with Collingwood’s only aim to avoid significant injury one week before the finals, a fair swag of the patrons decided to treat the Adelaide game as an extension of after-work drinks. The mood in the packed E.J. Whitten Bar upstairs was relaxed and analytical at the same time. Who would we get next week? Sydney? St. Kilda? Or even Adelaide again? Whose shout was it?

 

A late season stumble meant that the top four and double chance were practically out of reach for the Pies, while Adelaide were playing for September sheep stations: eighth spot and an elimination final against Hawthorn or the Roos.

 

The added motivation was apparent as the Crows took an early stranglehold on the game. Andrew McLeod on song is sublime, and he turned Docklands into his own opera house in the first half. Gathering up anything that spilled free across half-back, he skated unchecked through the middle time after time to launch Adelaide attacks. You could almost hear his Norm Smiths jangling as he goose-stepped his way around grasping Pie forwards.

 

Scott Pendlebury may become Collingwood’s version of McLeod. He is light on his feet and seems to have extra time. His two first-quarter goals kept the Pies in the hunt and he maintained poise under fire all night. But with Scott Thompson and Brett Burton dining out on McLeod’s silver service, the Crows had a 21-point lead at quarter-time, with eight scoring shots to two. The game degenerated in the second stanza, as the Pies chipped and Adelaide flooded.

 

Nathan Buckley moved into the midfield to get the Pies rolling, but it was not until late in the term that they breached the Crows’ cordon. Three late goals, the last a long ranger from Scott Burns, brought the Pies back to within two points at the main break. Any momentum the home team had gained was quickly snuffed out by a seven-minute, three-goal reply from Adelaide at the start of the second half. With the Pies constipated, I decided to change my perspective and shifted from my vantage point behind the southern end goals around to the western wing. The strategy bore immediate fruit for a couple of reasons. First, Pendlebury set up Dale Thomas for a badly needed goal. Second, I ended up next to one of the most gloriously negative Magpie fans I have encountered for a while.

 

He had long hair, motorbike boots and was between 20 and 50 years old. Unmoved by the Thomas goal, he sprang to life over the next five minutes to savage any Magpie who failed to meet his exacting standards. “You’re useless” (Leon Davis), “All you’re good for” (Dale Thomas chasing an opponent) and “You’re gunna cough it up, aren’t ya!” (Tarkyn Lockyer missing a target), just some examples from his critical commentary.

 

Only Buckley was spared the rod. Hard running and long kicking from Martin Clarke set up his skipper for a mark close to goal midway through the term. “You’re better than the lotta them,” my neighbour roared as Buckley converted from a tight angle with the left foot. Gill answered five minutes later after easily out-bodying Guy Richards, and while Anthony Rocca’s goal after the siren reduced the margin to eight points, the Pies were only treading water.

 

That sense heightened in the opening minutes of the last quarter when Rocca missed a set shot and Ricciuto didn’t. Determined not to end his career in a giant night-club, the Adelaide captain added another to push the lead out to 19 points.

 

The Pies had one final dip, with goals to Rocca and Shane O’Bree. But an inventive free against Shane Wakelin for deliberate out-of-bounds led to a neat Brent Reilly goal that booked his side into an Elimination Final.

 

An unusually ambivalent Collingwood crowd meandered back towards Bourke Street looking for the positives. Foremost among them was that it would be September in a couple of hours and we had an invitation to the finals festival. Even if we are useless.

 

 

Collingwood  2.0 6.3 9.6 11.9 (75)

Adelaide  5.3 6.5 10.8 14.10 (94)

 

GOALS

Adelaide: Ricciuto, Burton 3, Gill 2, Porplyzia, Thompson, Shirley, Welsh, Reilly, Goodwin.

Collingwood: Rocca 3, Pendlebury, O’Bree 2, Reid, Burns, Thomas, Buckley.

 

BEST

Adelaide: McLeod, Thompson, Bock, Johncock, Hudson, Gill.

Collingwood: Pendlebury, Swan, Goldsack, H. Shaw, Lockyer, Clement.

 

MILESTONES

Burton (Adelaide) 150 games, H. Shaw (Collingwood) 50 games.

 

UMPIRES

Rosebury, Ryan, Vozzo.

 

OUR VOTES

McLeod (A) 3, Thompson (A) 2, Pendlebury (Coll.) 1.

 

BROWNLOW

Thompson (A) 3, H. Shaw (Coll.) 2, Bock* (A) 1.

 

CROWD

47,915

 

 

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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