The weekend did not start well. Geelong, despite playing heroically and coming within a whisker of reaching the Grand Final, lost to Hawthorn by 5 points on Friday night. Despite the loss I was not really disappointed. I expected Hawthorn to win based on form, fitness and player availability. The fact that the Cats came so close was inspirational and the game was such a classic encounter that it was exhilarating being there with 85,000 other people. In the end, the best team won, thus ending an 11 game winning streak by Geelong and putting to bed the infamous Kennett Curse.
Things took a slight upswing on Saturday night when the Dockers easily beat Sydney to reach the Grand Final for the first time. While I am a little less fond of the Dockers than when I lived in WA (and went to many Fremantle games), due mainly to the presence of the Freo Trio of Obnoxiousness, messrs Crowley, Ballantyne and Lyon, I have a number of close mates who are long-suffering die-hard Dockers fans and for their sake alone I want them to win the flag. Numerous nervous texts were exchanged before my Docker mates finally believed they had the preliminary final won and they were on their way to The Big Dance. Collo even rang me as the clock counted down the final minute and his unbridled joy, the sound of the wild celebrations of the crowd all around him accompanied by his exuberant commentary actually moved me to tears! The combination of exaltation and relief borne of so many years of disappointment and under-achievement spilled out of Subiaco Oval and tumbled all the way across the country to my lounge room in Ocean Grove. (He is now anxiously awaiting the results of the ballot to see whether he gets a ticket to the Grand Final, and considering how to get himself to Melbourne if his number comes up. Flying via Brisbane, Darwin or Port Moresby are all possibilities!)
Today was supposed to bring some redemption for Cats fans. Our VFL team were playing the Box Hill Hawks in the VFL Grand Final at Docklands. Having finished three games clear on top of the ladder and cruised through the finals Geelong were the hottest of favourites to win back-to-back premierships. Except that nobody seemed to have told Box Hill that!!! They kicked the first three goals of the game and never relinquished the lead in what was one of the most disappointing and deflating afternoons of football I've had in many years! Geelong were almost still in the game at half time courtesy of the Hawks wayward kicking but kicking a solitary point in the third quarter put paid to any remote chance the Cats had of staging a comeback. And just to emphasise the point, Box Hill kicked the first goal of the last quarter after 15 seconds! It was a dreadful performance by Geelong and left Vicki and I as flat as tacks on the train home.
There was one small glimmer of hope left for football joy in the weekend with East Perth playing West Perth in the WAFL Grand Final. With no radio or TV coverage my only way of monitoring the game was via updates on the net on my phone. The scores see-sawed for the first three quarters but remained close. Maybe the Royals could redeem the weekend? No! They couldn't! Old rivals West Perth ran away with the game in the final quarter and won by about 50 points!!!!
Woe is me!
I'm almost scared to mention that Tottenham play Cardiff City in the EPL tonight. The way things are going...