A day in the shade in the Ponsford bottom deck public access seats behind the city end goals for this Hawk member’s replacement game. We’re concerned about the Don’s take it to the limit three quarters domination against the Swans last week before they succumbed in the last stanza mostly to a lack of tribunal imposed match fitness.
We keep that in the back of our mind again and again during this game as we fall quickly behind by quarter time, almost at pack up for an early escape by half time but stay after late goals to Rioli and Paul “Poppy” Puopolo; before we claw back in the third to narrowly get up by 2 goals in the last with 2 minutes to go before martyring our lead on the final siren.
Pre-game comes the news that Sammie Mitchell is a non starter with a corked calf and Josh Gibson too with the euphemistic “general soreness”, an affliction I also have carried mentally for some years now. Early in, ex Dee now Hawk soldier James Frawley “does” his pec and is subbed off. Now down 2 defensive gorillas to quell the atmosphere piercing Essendon forwards Jake Carlisle and Joe Daniher. Mix this into a brew from which this weekend Don warriors from the 1984/85 back to back flags are guzzling in a beer googled driven reunion high above us in a plastic lined hospitality suite and you cop a pass of Windy Hill emotion as you check your card at the turnstiles.
While I pour my hand ground half time coffee from the brown thermos, my nostrils flame with a familiar smell over powering my Coburg Columbia mix. Hawk coach Clarko’s ropeable half time address is stripping the players like the skin from the franks pulled lovingly from the special “wide mouth” thermos with a fork by the Hawk fanatic next to me. Weezend and shrunken by the long encasement within the famous glass vacuüm, they emerge red and wrinkled as if from a difficult birth gasping for their first breathe. Bread rolls and a small dead horse squirter serve as lungs to construct the meal we’re hoping to make of the Don’s after half time. For confirmation that hot dogs are essentially creations shat out of a machine, consult the performance support video at the end of this post.
Slowly during the third we reel them in, get just ahead and then go into three quarter time 10 points down. Halfway through the final term we dominate and are leading by 16 points. The situation almost instigates a sun well over the yard arm food fight up in the reunion suite reminiscent of Jacko’s chimp Bubbles unstoppable tantrum when refused the keys to the Neverland golf cart.
Essendon get back to within 10 when incredibly a Poppy goal that would have sealed the game is disallowed when Cyril is pinged for “throwing” the ball after an obvious open hand tap into the diminutive forward’s hungry palms.
The ball then travels quickly through the centre of the corridor to the Colyer who goals from a handball give via Paul “I wont ever lose to Hawthorn again” Chapman.
In the parallel round two game between theses two sides last year the Hawks also trailed most of the game, getting up with seconds to go after Cyril rolls the dice with a contest up forward that ends with Burgoyne strolling into an open goal. Drifting down backman Carl Hooker’s defiant mongrel snap to put the Don’s incredibly up by 2 engenders a caphony far beyond anything heard in recent times even Grand Finals. On the restart Cyril roosts the ball long to just beyond the Hawks square where it spills from Roughead’s 3 man contest direct into an open Bruest’s arms the momentum carrying him into an open goal before the siren sounds one second before he drops the ball onto his boot and a Hawk win.
Hawks were out pressured, under sized down back despite Brian Lakes superlative efforts, lured into uncharacteristic mistakes with the short precision kicking game breaking down particularly with Jobe Watson, Dyson Heppel and ex dog Adam Cooney run amok in the absence of general Sam Mitchell. We regroup for the resurgent Western Bulldogs who at 2 straight wins are showing all the signs of reunification exhibited by Yugoslavia under Marshall Tito.
For Hooker its a gift to balance being forever remembered as the chaser to one of the two sensational Buddy Franklin on the run goals from the boundary back in 2010.
Our shock is amplified on the walk back to the city when our ears are mugged once more, this time by the thrash merchant buskers whose shrill tortured out of tune vocals and over amplified unadorned guitar exhibition showcases the type of performance normally reserved for the bong fume filled experimentation of the punk driven squat parlour.
Essendon 12 6 78 defeated Hawthorn 11 10 76