CATS TESTED IN
THIRD TERM, BUT PUT MAGPIES FIRMLY BACK IN THEIR PLACE, REGAIN TOP SPOT
COLLINGWOOD MAGPIES V GEELONG CATS GEELONG have smashed any designs Collingwood had of challenging them for immediate supremecy in the AFL, winning by six goals and snatching back top spot on the ladder, to celebrate Cameron Mooney's 200th game. He certainly performed on the big stage, booting three key goals in front of a massive crowd. A huge crowd of 88,115 packed into the MCG on a Friday night blockbuster, after pubs surrounding the ground emptied and the masses flocked to the cauldron decked out in their respective colours. At least that’s how I imagine it was, as I sat in my Edinburgh office with the window open on a fine Friday morning, where it was a balmy 20 degrees, which here feels more like a Melbourne 35. Decided to listen to the game via the 3G phone today rather than the work computer, whose bandwidth was limited and to keep off the IT police’s radar.
UMPIRES: McBurney, Ryan, Pannell
CROWD: 88,115 at MCG, Melbourne
1/4 TIME GEELONG 1.3 (9) COLLINGWOOD 1.2 (8)
Collingwood briefly regained the lead just 46 seconds into the second term through Dayne Beams. It was a long six minutes before Steve Johnson answered back with his first goal. In keeping with the theme of the game it was again a while between drinks, but happily for Cats fans like myself it was Cameron Mooney who broke the deadlock, Shannon Byrnes feeding him 20 metres out, Geelong now leading by eight points after scoring the first consecutive goals for the game.
It was about this time one of my colleagues who were captive to the game by now as I had to unplug my headphones and plug the phone into the power, mentioned that this morning on Sky Sports News there was something about Aussie Rules, a bloke with bleached blonde hair and a wee black beard. Aww Aye I said, that’d be Jason Akermanis, who said something about a hypothetical gay footballer. Yes he said, and they had one of the few remaining English FA officials who was asked his opinion.
Twenty minutes in, Mooney put in a solid effort to keep the ball in play inches from the boundary line, culminating in a mark to Tom Hawkins 20 metres out directly in front. Hawkins only just snuck the ball home for a goal, but it counts for six points and Geelong now led by 15 points.
Byrnes scored his second behind to improve the lead to 16 points. The Cats regretted that when Beams kicked his second, less than a minute from half time, a costly turnover by the Cats, to cut the lead to 10 points. They were really cursing too soon, Beams’ third shattering the Cats’ grip on the game and igniting the wobbler crowd, the kick making its way off his boot a second or so before the half time siren sounded, Geelong’s lead just 5 points now at the main break.
1/2 TIME GEELONG 1.3, 4.7 (31) COLLINGWOOD 1.2, 4.2 (26)
Dayne Beams carried right on where he left off just before half time with his FOURTH goal two or so minutes into the third term, snatching back the lead from the Cats by 3 points. By this stage we had the radio commentary off after speaking on the phone to the power & gas company, but after this weren’t in a huge hurry to turn it back on. When the Magpies scored three behinds and then finally a goal to Shane O’Bree in the following four minutes we were definitely not in the mood for it, the Wobblers now up by 10 points.
Gary Junior and Cameron Ling did peg the lead back slightly with behinds, but for the next five or so minutes the Cats really battled. The Magpies fortunately could also only manage behinds, three of them, while the Cats’ first real chance all quarter was a slim one, Steve Johnson managing only a behind from an acute angle almost fifty metres from goal, the Magpies’ lead now ten points.
Varcoe was the man who stood up for the Cats, breaking the Cats’ goal drought with his first for the day almost 20 minutes in, setup beautifully (apparently) by Paul Chapman who broke a tackle to get off his kick, straight down Varcoe’s throat. The prodigal son, Matthew Stokes, sensationally kicked his first goal off the very next play, a brilliant ‘team goal’ by the Cats, to snatch back the lead (2 points) and bring the Geelong fans back to life in the 21st minute.
It wasn’t raining, it was pouring for the Cats. Byrnes surprised everyone, none better than himself, using his right boot to setup Mooney. The crowd chanted ‘MOOONS’ as the Big Hairy Cat booted his second just a minute after Stokes’, the Cats now back in control by 8 points.
You wouldn’t believe how the Cats got back in touch so easily; the J-Pod had his first next, 25 minutes in he found himself directly in front but right on the fifty metre line; but it was no worries, the ball ending up well over the fence, the Cats in front by 14 points now. Cameron Ling nearly made it 20 points a minute later but swung it the wrong way.
MOONS had his third, and Geelong’s fifth on the trot, just under 30 minutes into the quarter, we could imagine severely PO’ing the hoards of Magpie fans and anyone else who tipped the Wobblers. The Cats led by 21 now, and were desperate to hold onto this lead into three quarter time. They would do just that, and went very close to extending the lead by another goal, alas the J-Pod's shot after the siren was only a behind, the Cats 9.12 66 leading the Magpies 6.8 44.
3/4 TIME GEELONG 1.3, 4.7, 9.12 (66) COLLINGWOOD 1.2, 4.2, 6.8 (32)
Collingwood booted three behinds in the opening few minutes, Dayne Beams losing some of his midas touch with one of them. Geelong were lucky Collingwood wobbled when up foward; FIVE behinds to the Maggies while Stokes made them really get teary, his second goal, 11 minutes in, putting the Cats in front by 29 points, surely too much for the Maggies to make up?
Geelong rarely added to their score for the remainder of the match but the Magpies also struggled; a behind from Darren Jolly in the 22nd minute was their first score in well over ten minutes and meant they had not scored a goal since the 6th minute mark of the third quarter. The Cats took it easy, not in a hurry to improve on their seven consecutive goals. The leftover lunch, a home-made Mee Gorang with 'prawns' (the British have no idea), tasted all the more sweet with Stokes' third goal, deep into 'junk time', to put the Cats 29 points in front.
Just when Colliwobble fans the world over thought it was safe to peek from between the fingers at the TV, David Wojcinski, until this point not mentioned often on the 3AW call, popped up with an opportunistic but nevertheless skillfull goal with just 12 seconds left on the clock. When the siren did sound, the Cats had defeated the Magpies by six goals, or 36 points. Well deserved win.
FINAL SCORE GEELONG 1.3, 4.7, 9.12, 12.14 (86) COLLINGWOOD 1.2, 4.2, 6.8, 6.14 (50)