The Footy Almanac 2007 Round 5 – Geelong v North Melbourne: Strife in the Cattery



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 Kangaroos
2.10pm, Sunday April 29
Skilled Stadium, Geelong


GEELONG OPENED THE KARDINIA PARK GATES for their first real home game of the season. Everything looked neat and clean and ready to go, although the surface was wet from steady overnight rain. More rain threatened, which can often cause problems at the Cattery.


For years, getting a beer at the city end on a damp day entailed negotiating the inch-deep mud-slop stirred up by the dancing feet of impatient drinkers. But Frank Costa is a can-do man. He has had the whole area asphalted over the summer. Now he only has two problems: the implementation of a more efficient beer-pouring system, and finding a better footy team.


The current team is in strife.


The bookies had Geelong warm favourites to beat the Kangaroos. Interrogation of sections of the terrace, however, may have uncovered a tendency (at once self-loathing and self-protection) for hardened Cats fans to back their opponent. Certainly a loyal and knowledgeable Cats man (by the name of J. Dunne) was cashed up from his flutter on the Hawks at York Park last week.


North were coming off a good win over the Lions at Carrara, set up by their tenacity and hardness. But as the sides took their positions, the Cats looked to have the better personnel.


The terrace didnt fill until shortly before the first bounce. Despite enduring yet another ANZAC ceremony we were in good spirits. The Kangaroo section couldnt have been happier with the opening minutes, Brent Harvey pinching three quick goals.


Conditions were slipperier than they looked. Players struggled to change direction and to handle the footy. The fumblers mainly wore the hoops. Fans have some knowledge of the game and Geelong people were questioning a few of the match-ups. Plodding Cameron Ling on lightning Daniel Wells? Didnt Corey Enright smash Wells in the equivalent game last year? And as Adam Simpson racked up his dozenth touch, the terrace was wondering whether the coach might find an opponent for the Roosskipper.


Plodding Steven King also struggled, although he and his opponent, unplodding Hamish McIntosh, provided a numerical highlight. It was like watching a country footy match, with both ruckmen wearing the number one. You expected both to be captain-coach as well.


The Cats fought back. Joel Selwood threw himself into contests. Travis Varcoe ran around smothering and tackling. He picked the pocket of an unsuspecting Kangaroo defender to score a runaway goal. But the Kangaroos’ pressure remained intense, and the Cats’ midfield couldnt match it. Ling continued to run with Wells. Behind Wells actually. In fact, when Wells ran across the mark and Ling followed him, he was so far behind that the umpires only noticed the Paddlepop Lion (as he is affectionately known on the terrace) and awarded a 50-metre penalty.


Simpson still ran free. By halfway through the second term hed had two dozen possessions. The Roos piled on goals, slipping five clear, with little resistance. One Cats fan yelled, Review!”, which broke the silence – and got a laugh. But generally the terrace was disgusted, then angry, then resigned. Do us a favour and lose properly, you weak pricks,” one yelled. Were playing for draft picks and a new coach now.”


After the break any hope of a comeback seemed quashed in minutes, with Aaron Edwards putting the Roos 45 points clear. But as J. Dunne was getting beer, the Cats kicked three in two minutes. The puzzled look on his face when he returned was worth the entry fee itself. It suggested he may just have had a flutter on the Shinboners, and as a true Geelong man, was about to find a way to lose. He resisted the pressure to return for more beer.


The Roos steadied and looked home. Unburdened by expectation, the Cats players started to fire. Ling went to the square early in the last quarter and kicked three from free kicks. Jimmy Bartel banged through another and with five minutes still to play Mooney marked 50 metres out to put Geelong within a kick. He missed and that was it.


The Kangaroos were impressive. Michael Firrito and Josh Gibson were too good for the Geelong tall forwards, Wells was just too classy, and McIntosh continued his steady rise.


Joel Selwood was Geelongs best, which says a lot. When your third-gamer shows more intent (and leadership) than any teammate youve got a problem.


Frank will have to get onto that.


Geelong 4.3 6.8 10.10 15.12 (102)
Kangaroos 6.3 12.5 15.7 18.10 (118)


Geelong: Bartel, Ling, Mooney 3; Varcoe 2; N. Ablett, Chapman, Mackie, Stokes.
Kangaroos: Harvey 3; Campbell, Grant, Swallow, Wells 2; Brown, Edwards, Grima, McIntosh, Petrie, Simpson, Sinclair.


Geelong: Selwood, Bartel, Chapman, Ling.
Kangaroos: Simpson, Wells, McIntosh, Firrito, Harris, Gibson, Swallow.

McLaren, Meredith, Sully

Simpson (K) 3, Wells (K) 2, Selwood (G) 1.

Simpson (K) 3, Wells (K) 2, Bartel (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.




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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 (appeared?) on ABCTV's Offsiders. He can be contacted [email protected] He is married to The Handicapper and has three school-age kids - Theo, Anna, Evie. He might not be the worst putter in the world but he's in the worst four. His ambition was to lunch for Australia but it clashed with his other ambition - to shoot his age.


  1. Remember this game vividly. Simpson had a twin brother playing that day I reckon. But the last bit of the game was the awakening of the giant. The Cats finally believed. And the coach figured out who could play well and in what position.

  2. I reckon Simpson had 40+ possessions that day.
    But that also was the day that Chappy decided enough was enough.

    Hamish McIntosh. Could have been a champion

  3. Stainless says

    Mmmm…Tigers might be a chance against the Cats next week :)

  4. Thoughts after the game. ( I was there – on the Moorabool St wing.)

    Well that was hopeless. Who the hell was on Simpson. Two lousy wins from five games – against pathetic Carlton and Melbourne. And I was so optimistic about our chances in 2007. God knows why.

    Who have we got next week? Oh that’s right – Richmond. I’m going to the Dome with my Richmond supporting wife, Marj. Could be a long day. The Tigers are pretty bad, but so are we. We look so good on paper. I just can’t work it out.

    How’s Johnson been going in the seconds? Has he served his time yet? He must get a game ahead of some of these duds. At least young Selwood had a bit of a go.


    Cheers, Burkie

  5. Who would have known how Joel Selwood turned out ?

    After a rough start to the season who amongst the Geelong supporters ( & an ex member like me) expected an end to the premiership drought ?

    Who would remember Aaron Edwards claim to fame?

    So Viele Fragen,


  6. matt watson says

    I was visiting my grandmother that day back in 2007.
    She was 96 and still living in her own home.
    Put on a big lunch for me – three course.
    And sat with me and watched the footy, although she has never cared.
    She wanted to spend time with her grandson on his first of two traditional interstate trips.
    She reveled in my delight.
    And I was bold enough to suggest North was going to have a good year.
    Turned out to be okay, but as Dips wrote, the coach figured out who could play well and in what position.
    I like to think the North game was the turning point.
    That loss just stung.
    So, all you Cats fans, you can thank North for the 2007 premiership!!

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