Preliminary Final – Hawthorn v Collingwood: When the Pies met the Hawks

By Jessica Landy

I am leaving for America in two days and it’s probably the most important AFL game of the year. If Collingwood wins we are in the grand final for the second consecutive year. Collingwood haven’t defended a premiership since 1936. My dad had almost just broken my heart. He had forgotten that the grand final would now be in October and he booked a holiday of a life time to America so I was counting on this match for my Pies to make me proud.

My dad and I begin our usual routine, pack the bag, get the pen (I can’t forget the pen as I need it for my footy record) and drive into Clifton Hill train station. I can see the flood of people quickly running up to the window so they can buy their ticket to jump onto the next train. We try our luck and look for a car space in the car park,but there is no hope, so we drive to our usual spot. We reach Abbott Grove and grab our usual park,equipped for a quick getaway.

Collingwood must be the favourites going into this match, (they have been the premiership favourites all year), but I knew if one team was to knock us off it was going to be Hawthorn. I bet Lance ‘Buddy’ Franklin would pull something out of his hat and maybe kick a match winner (I hope he doesn’t tonight). So we arrive at the G’ and collect the record. Tonight we aren’t sitting in our usual seats, it’s the finals, and tonight it is all or nothing. My Dad collects a cold one, a meat pie and I get a bucket of chips. Tonight we are sitting in the pocket and I have a full view. The siren goes and the atmosphere is amazing. Every single one of the 87,112 of the Collingwood or Hawthorn diehards are ripping into the players, the umpires or each other. Typical Australian Culture.

It was an amazing match. Collingwood was beginning to get tired and we were down, but I knew that they couldn’t and they wouldn’t give up, for the sake of our legendary coach Mick Malthouse in one of his final matches coaching the Collingwood football club. We caught up and were in front when a miracle goal from Buddy put them back in front. I have to give him credit, it was an amazing goal. The fans all around me were going wild. It was either good or bad and I was almost in tears. Three minutes to go and I thought we were done for. (If I ever told my Dad that he would shoot me down and tell me to be positive) I was trying I really was to be positive.

The crowd was still going wild and all we needed was a goal, then the unthinkable happened. It was in Collingwood’s forward 50 and it was time for a ball up.  A Hawthorn player hit the ball out and my favourite player ‘Luke Ball’ collected the ball from the stoppage, put it cleanly on the boot and then I watched it sail over the goal line. A GOAL!!! Finally, this will get us over the line. This is why I have number 12 on my black and white jumper. A moment I will remember forever, a tired 22 had just got up.  I was so excited the next two minutes were breath taking, my boys doing what they could so the Hawks couldn’t score. It was in the final minute and Cyril had the ball.  It was amazing you could see it Dale ‘Daisy’ Thomas running behind him ready to take him down. Then the siren blew and I stood on my seat singing my heart out. They crossed to the screen and saw the pure passion of Micks’ tears. It was almost the best moment of my life, to witness this amazing victory.



About John Harms

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

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