Sunday, April 17, 2011

Footy Almanac Sydney v Geelong Rd 4 2011

Round 4 Sydney v Geelong  SCG April 16 2011

Friday arvo.
Chris SMS’s seeking counsel for her footy tips.
“Cats or Swans?” reads her succinct question.
Three wins from three has convinced me the Cats are the real deal still and not even the fact that the game is at the SCG dents my confidence.
“Cats” I reply.
“Na, I’m going with the Swans” she shoots back.
Why did she ask if she’s not gonna listen I wonder?
Oh well, her loss!

Saturday night.
I have to work late and the game starts before I knock off. Thank goodness for the good old tranny, wedged next to the bus window as I complete the last route 50 for the night.
Apparently it’s been raining for the last 24 hours in Sydney and the commentators are predicting a tough tight low-scoring game. Hang on, this is a Swan’s game, what else would they be predicting?

No Geelong fan needs or wants to be reminded about what happened last time we played at the SCG but that of course is exactly what every tv, radio and newspaper commentator does in the lead up to the game.
My mate Mike just says two words whenever the Cats play the Swans.

“Nick Davis”

They still stab like a knife.
2005 semi-final.
In one of the great individual finals performances, the afore-mentioned former Magpie kicked four goals in the last quarter including the last one with three seconds left to steal the game from the devastated Cats. I’ve had many bad days as a Cats supporter and that one ranks right up there with the worst of them.
Ironically, two weeks later I was lucky enough to be at the MCG and barracked hard for the Swans as they beat West Coast in the ’05 Grand Final. You can’t accuse me of being bitter!

Tonight the Cats start well and kick the first two goals. Menzel’s side-stepping effort impresses the ABC team. Go Cats I say to the empty bus. Stevie J defies gravity and the soaking conditions to pull down a screamer. The Cats are on fire but the tide soon turns. The Swans start to get on top and kick four of the next five goals to lead at quarter time.
It’s starting to sound like the soggy slogging game everyone predicted.

By the start of the second quarter I’ve clocked off and am heading for home but it’s a half hour drive to Ocean Grove so Dan Lonergan and the Grandstand team are my eyes and ears at the game. By the sound of their description Geelong are having the better of it but typically the Swans refuse to be shaken off. They are more dogged than the Dogs and have been for years.
Finally the Cats dominance of possession pays off and late goals to Chappy and Wojo give us a 13 point lead at the main break.
By then I’m home and can watch the second half.
That ought to be good news but somehow being able to see what’s going on doesn’t bring me comfort.
It’s tense and so am I. Yes the Cats are doing well but as I remind Sport Boy, so were the Eagles last week until Sydney stormed home in the last ten minutes courtesy of an Adam Goodes inspired revival and two goals from Andrejs Everitt.
Perhaps I should take comfort from the fact Everitt is subbed off but the much vaunted “super-sub” Gary Rohan takes his place so there’s no room for comfort. As long as the scores remain this close I’m worried.
The spectre of 2005 seems ever-ready to rise out of the SCG basement and create another nightmare for Geelong.

Both sides kick 2:4 in the 3rd quarter, the lead is still 13 and the game is still in the balance. When Kennedy kicks the first goal of the final quarter my pulse quickens several beats. The Swans will not be denied!

Then comes blessed red-headed relief, Lingy goals for the Cats to restore the two goal margin. Not long after the J-Pod  snaps truly and I breathe a little easier. He’s taken some great marks in the wet conditions tonight only to undo his good work by missing “easy” shots for goal, thank goodness this one’s gone through.
 The real star of the night is Bomber Wojicinski whose dashing runs and long bomb goals on the run belie both weather and age.

The Cats are safe. Not even Nick Davis could catch us now.
Four from four to start the season, three of them against finalists from last season. The signs are good. Go Cats.

3 Wojcinski  2 Kelly   1 Scarlett

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