Two games are better than one

By Steve Healy

Two footy games in one day, could there be a better way to spend a Saturday? I walked towards Etihad Stadium as the sun set over the Melbourne CBD. The Dees had lost, but I was excited about going to the Roos V Crows game, where I would get to catch up with friends, Josh Barnstable, who came down from Waaia with his Dad, and Adam Bulman, who came down from Eltham alone.

Josh and I had a bit of a kick around with the footy before Adam came and poorly attempted to give me a high five.

We went up to our seats, in level three, where we had to sit even though there were massive areas of spare seats in the bottom level, especially behind the goals. The Crows won the toss and elected to kick to the Coventry end and that was where Scott Stevens managed to dribble through the first goal of the match. An average first quarter unfolded with both sides playing kick to kick in their back halves. I could sense that Josh was getting worried that the Crows would win the match. But he didn’t need to fear, as the Roos began to pile on the goals, Harvey and Swallow stuck one each through on the run, and Edwards marked superbly in the square to put the home side 11 points in front. Despite being under an injury cloud coming into the match, McLeod showed no signs of this when he snapped a superb goal on his left foot from deep in the pocket. Swallow marked and handpassed to Harvey who banged it home on the run from inside fifty. According to the Etihad stadium scoreboard, Swallow’s assist was worth a goal. The Roos lead by a healthy 12 points at the first break. An unbelievable 256 possessions were racked up in the opening term from both sides, Bock lead the charge with 14 and eight marks in the first quarter alone. David Hale’s injury was the only blow for the Roos.

As the second quarter rolled on it was evident that the Crows were a terrible team and the Roos were a young side full of confidence. Leigh Harding, the late inclusion, put through two goals in a row before Swallow and Wells added goals to widen the margin. The Crows only added one behind for the quarter, in a dismal display. The Roos lead comfortably at half time, 8.6 54 to 2.4 16. Ryan Bastinac and Ben Cunnington showed plenty of poise, but it was veteran Brady Rawlings who continued his claim for making the All-Australian team with 24 first half possessions. Thankfully, the half time break also meant that we could move seats.

We settled down near the Adelaide cheer squad and the third quarter began. The Roos continued to apply their relentless pressure and after a few misses Brent Harvey took three bounced on the outer side and kicked one of the goals of the year from 40. Taylor Walker made an already shocking night for the Crows even worse with the worst decision and kick you will ever see in the AFL, while Goldstein took a mark at the other end and bombed a goal through, widening the gap to 52 points. Finally a streak of seven unanswered goals came to an end with a snap from Petrenko, which was followed up with a mark and goal from Walker, which helped erase his blunder from earlier in the quarter. While the Crows had some momentum, the Roos counterattacked with goals from Thomas and Edwards (set up by Thomas) to widen the gap to an unbeatable (just) 54 points.

It was all Adelaide in the final term, simply put. Just as Adam read out Myke Cook’s profile in the Record the Crows’ youngster bobbed up and kicked a goal before Taylor Walker added two more goals, one an impressive snap from deep in the pocket. Vince kicked another and there was a strange feeling around the stadium, could the Crows do the impossible? After a dreadful game, Tippett drilled one through as the clock ticked into time on. Porplyzia then went on to kick two in a row from a few metres out, but it was a case of too little, too late. “37 seconds left!” yelled an Adelaide supporter near me. The siren sounded, and the dismal crowd rose as one. That made it two weeks in a row Adelaide had won the last quarter by 45 points.

We headed home and Josh proclaimed that it was the “Most people he’d ever seen” crossing the bridge to the train station. He was happy because his two trips to Melbourne this year had resulted in two North Melbourne victories.

It wasn’t the best game ever, but the Adelaide comeback at the end did wonders for their confidence and for the spectators. Going to two games in a day is certainly better than going to one.

North Melbourne 4.3 8.6 12.11 12.12 (84)

Adelaide 2.3 2.4 4.5 11.9 (75)


North Melbourne: Harvey 3, Edwards 2, Swallow 2, Harding 2, Wells, Thomas, Goldstein.

Adelaide: Walker 3, Porplyzia 2, McLeod, Vince, Petrenko, Tippett, Cook, Stevens.


North Melbourne: Harvey, Rawlings, Swallow, Goldstein, Harding, Firrito, Bastinac.

Adelaide: Goodwin, Bock, Reilly, Armstrong, Rutten.

My Votes: 3. Brent Harvey, 2. Brady Rawlings, 1. Andrew Swallow.

Umpires: Nicholls, Jeffery, Keating.    Crowd: 16,479 at Etihad Stadium.

About Steve Healy

Steve Healy is an entity of a Melbourne supporter.


  1. Terrific report Steve, it was a great night. At least the comeback by the Crows kept a little bit of interest in the match. Hopefully it’ll be 5/5 or something like that with wins from games i’ve gone too in Melbourne.

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