Round 4 – Essendon v Collingwood: From Dawn til Dusk

“They shall not grow old, As we that are left grow old. Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun, and in the morning, we will remember them.”

I woke up at 5 this morning, for my first ever dawn service, with my footy team. Fittingly, my first was in the 100th anniversary of ANZAC day. I went, and met up with my teammates at 6:30. We were all humbled to be in the presence of the veterans, and could only hope that nothing as bad as what happened to them would befall us.

With the service over by 8:30, it was home, for a warm breakfast and relaxation, before the afternoon’s game. I turned on the St Kilda-Carlton match, and watched for a bit. That was not the most enthralling match, with the Saints leading easily.

After a quick lunch, we headed off to the main event. Even though there were still other games on the day, this was the main event. Collingwood-Essendon, at the ‘G, on a Saturday afternoon. The weather had been cold and wet all day, perfect for a good, tight game of footy.

We got to the ground at about one, and got to our seats. The players ran out earlier than usual, to fit in all the pre-match. It started to rain slightly.

The pre match entertainment, the army band: “Rising Sun”, was excellent. It wasn’t too loud, like entertainment sometimes gets at the footy. Soon enough, the big double banner was raised, and the players from both sides ran through it, united as one, if for a fleeting moment.

It has always amazed me how you can get a crowd of 90,000 people to be dead silent, for a bugler. The last post always sends a shiver up my spine, and this year was no exception.

The game started, and it lived up to the hype. Whenever these teams play, it is always close, and this game was no different. Within a few minutes, Billy Elliot put a goal through, from outside the boundary. This is going to be full of controversy throughout the week, as when Billy kicked it, he and the ball were clearly outside the line, but hey, I’ll take it.

We made it to quarter time with an eight point lead, with no indication as to who would win. The second quarter, I can only remember one part of. Fletcher took a mark 55 metres out, and bombed it with a drop punt from 60.

Half time, the Woods were up by a point. At half time, the rain started tumbling down, and the when the game restarted, it was a scrappy affair. Seeds kicked a long, running goal, followed by one from Crispy, from the 50. The quarter was topped off by a goal to Swanny, busting a pack, in vintage Swanny style. Shades of last years’ ANZAC day were flashing through my brain.

We held on for the rest of the match with a goal from the top of the square to Clokey, who kicked 2.0 for the day. Then Sammy Dwyer kicked the sealer, and we were home. My thoughts turned to the medal, and I instantly thought Seeds, for 31 touches and 14 inside 50’s.

The win capped off a great day, from dawn ’til dusk, and I went home happy, with the knowledge that we are 3-1, and going well. A great day for footy, and to remember the sacrifices so many made to protect us and our country.

COLLINGWOOD 3.2  4.9 7.12 9.15 69
ESSENDON           2.0 4.8 5.10 6.13 49

COLLINGWOOD: Elliot 2, Cloke 2, Swan, Crisp, Pendlebury, Seedsman, Dwyer
ESSENDON: Daniher 2, Stanton 2, Fletcher, Zaharakis

COLLINGWOOD: Seedsman, Frost, Crisp, Adams, Goldsack
ESSENDON: Heppell, Hooker, Fletcher, Stanton





UMPIRES: Hay, Pannell, Stevic

CROWD: 88,395 at the MCG

About John Harms

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

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