Round 3 – Geelong v Brisbane: Wheels back on!

GEELONG VERSUS BRISBANE

A nice Sunday afternoon, the mild breeze is flowing through the air. There is nothing better to do than relax by getting your seat at the football and watching our great game being played live. My Mum and I drive down to Kardinia Park and walk to the Cattery. As we arrive at our seats, Brisbane enter the field to complete silence. All we could really hear was their theme song being blasted over the loud speaker. We look at the big screen and see that Tom Lonergan has been withdrawn and Nakia Cockatoo has been brought in to the side. This concerns me a little bit, Tom Ruggles now has added pressure in his debut. The Cats are just about to enter the field, Mum and I remember that the area that they normally enter the ground is under construction. We realise that they are going to enter through the race ten seats away from where we are sitting. We suddenly got excited and as they enter the stadium the crowd goes mad. Cheering and clapping as the Cats song is played and as they enter the field. It is a great atmosphere to start a game of football.

The game starts very well for the Cats, Hawkins marking and goaling within the first minute. Soon after McCarthy snaps and the Cats have a second. Tom Bell then gets paid 50 and kicks the Lions first major. Hawkins then kicks the easiest goal of his life and the Cats have three. Menzel completes an interception and he kicks a goal.

The man sitting next to me is excited whenever Menzel gets the ball and I don’t blame him. Danger gets loose and kicks a lovely running goal, his first at the Cattery. The crowd are ecstatic, a loud roar spreads the ground. His running through the mid field is magnificent to watch, like a cheetah hunting prey. I catch the man next to me checking his phone, the Doggies lead the Hawks. He laughs and I am hoping the Dogs can hold on. The siren sounds, Danger has the ball from around 55 out on a tough angle. I knew he would have a crack, but I wasn’t expecting anything. He fires the ball towards the goal, it keeps sailing closer and closer. As it crosses the line the crowd go bananas, cheers by the fans and the cheer squad are leading a chant.

The second term starts with Hawkins kicking an easy goal in the goal square. Walker (playing against his old team for the first time) marks but misses. Some members of the crowd applaud. He gets another mark even closer in. ‘Don’t talk about him getting it, it will give him good luck’ says the man on my left. ‘Oh my god, he’s the worst kick’ he states quickly after he misses. Menzel takes four bounces from the half back flank to the forward pocket then misses, Mum reckoned it would’ve been goal of the year. Ruggles is playing very well across the backline, ‘I knew I loved that name’ the man says. Blicavs follows up kicking a lovely snap. Brisbane mark inside 50. ‘Oh, if its Walker don’t worry, he’ll miss’ says the man to my left. It isn’t Walker, its Lewis Taylor and he goals from 50 out. McCarthy get paid 50 from an indiscipline kick, ’was it Walker?’ the man asks. McCarthy goals. Tom Bell kicks another for the Lions, ‘Oh, nice the Bulldogs are ahead again’ states the man as he checks his phone again. The Cats kick another and it is now half time. I go and stretch my legs and go for a walk before sitting down again.

The third quarter begins, I overhear the people in front of us talking about how the Hawks won, Ohh. Bastinac kicks a steadying goals for the Lions. Motlop then snaps, the crowd go silent before realising that it was a goal. Danger is showing round ones form all over again as he kicks to Hawkins who goals. Now the Cats have a comfortable lead of 46 points. The Sun has just about set, the blood red sky above the ground is quite amazing. Brisbane kick a goal as Kolodjashnij is badly outnumbered in the square. ‘If only it was Ruggles’ says the man next to me. Josh Greene then kicks a goal from a 50 metre penalty. A shocking quarter for the Cats two goals is bad enough, but the nine behinds is terrible kicking. I have to admit.

The fourth quarter begins and the Sun has now fully set, the sky covered in complete darkness. The fresh light towers are beaming the light down on the game for the entire final quarter. Lincoln McCarthy marks on the lead and passes it to Shane Kersten. I’m hoping he kicks it, for his own good. To get his confidence up again. He shanks it out on the full and the crowd are letting him know about it, the bad thing is that they are Cats fans.

Kersten very soon after gets a free kick inside his offensive fifty. Mum and I hope he kicks it to prove the crowd wrong. He does kick the goal, the crowd cheer and some laugh. Kersten gets another free, but kicks a point. The ball is on a string connected to Kersten, he is rewarded another free kick. He kicks the goal, we are very happy for him. Danger then gets free and kicks a third goal for the game. Cockatoo then gathers the ball and spins smoothly, lays it off to Duncan, another goal for the Cats. Kersten then marks on the lead he has another set shot and kicks truly. He gestures to the crowd who were booing him, now he has three and is playing well.

A brawl breaks out in the Lions forward 50, Joel Selwood and Mitch Robinson are giving it to each other. In the meantime Hawkins has a shot but misses. Josh Walker marks for Brisbane, ‘Don’t worry, he’ll miss…. I told you’ says the guy next to me as he does miss. Brisbane get a 100 metre penalty, the crowd is going crazy. They’re not at all happy with the calling the umpires have made in this game. Brisbane end up getting a goal from the square. The crowd are now really into it but we’re sixty up, so a few terrible calls won’t change that much. Jimmy snaps a goal for us, the crowd are cheering. People are jumping around, the game was never really alive. However now it’s well and truly over we lead by nearly seventy points. For the last minute the crowd are booing with pretty much every Lions touch, it’s crazy. The siren sounds, we arise from our seats to chant the song along with everyone else.

We have to rush though, we power walk out of the stadium, so we can get to the car and get out before we are caught between all the other cars and walking spectators. We get out quickly and we’re relieved. Mum and I drive home and talk about the game the whole way home, before getting home in time for dinner.

About John Harms

John Harms is a writer, broadcaster, publisher, historian, speaker and teacher.

He loves stories.

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