In all my excitement last week, finals coming up and all that, I forgot to express my gratitude to those who made it all possible. The Hawthorn Football Club did us a big favour and that’s a rare thing for the Hawks. The last time we got anything good out of them was Scott Crow and that goes a way back. Clarko and the lads are back on the Christmas Card list although I hasten to add I haven’t sent a Christmas Card in quite some years so it’s largely ceremonial.
Belated thanks must also go to the West Coast Eagles for dropping the last game to Hawthorn and for gifting Collingwood a double chance on what looks to be the better side of the draw. This is the biggest favour the Beagles have given us since Suma hit the post in the 1990 Prelim. I tried to buy all of the Eagles supporters a beer at a recent function. There were a lot of them and it would have been an expensive exercise but most of them were a bit salty and those that accepted only wanted chardonnay.
So the boys go straight through to a home prelim after a gruelling road trip (those away games against the Cats are a bitch) and then if we can knock off Brisbane or GWS, it’s back to the Grandy vs Geelong, the Beagles or Richmond. Of course there’s a bit of water to go under the bridge before that, but with the week off, we can rest Darcy’s hammy and Sidey’s left nut and if Magic Hans can live up to his name, maybe we get Jordy back. Pig won’t be back though It was awful to see him do his ACL, he’s not a young pup and he’s going to battle to make it back given he will likely miss all of next year. Best wishes Pig.
Friday night was a solid win against the Cats if not one for the ages. The game will forever be known as “The Festival of Pendles” as our beloved captain played his 300th game for the Pies. The boys started well putting three early goals on the inaccurate Cats who missed a couple of sitters that would have changed the complexion of the game early on. The 1/4 time break of eighteen points got out to 36 points half way through the second. Checkers missed a chance to make it 42 and the Cats pulled it back with three consecutive goals to go to the main break 19 points up. It was a tough 3rd quarter with the boys holding the Cats to the 19 point margin before Pendles received on 50, side stepped onto his left and put us 25 points up. The game got close in the last quarter as we went scoreless. Geelong was threatening but we held them off for a ten point win.
Howie was wonderful intercepting across half back and in the second half Darcy joined the party repelling innumerable attacks. Brodes was great in the ruck after Scott sent in two change ruckman at the expense of specialist Rhys Stanley. Billy gave us a bit up front with the return of Stevo and Hos kicked one as well – all very important in a nine goal game. The week off will freshen everyone up and we can sit back and watch GWS and Brisbane kick (and gouge) the living suitcase out of each other. Hopefully they’ll be more bruised than a two week old lunch box apple.
Some words on captain Pendles on the occasion of his 300th game: There have been many smooth movers over the years at Collingwood, Peter Daicos, Barry Price, Peter Moore and Alan Didak come to mind. All athletes that moved differently to others, did things with the ball that made them stand out. No one at Collingwood, at any club, moves or moved better than Pendlebury. His extraordinary ability to find space in chaos or to create space by going where others don’t think to go is unsurpassed.
This is not Greg Williams or Joel Selwood, bustling, digging out the ball like a Bobcat (as much as they are/were both great players). This is a Mercedes, moving elegantly and calmly – unhurried, unflustered but as up for the fight as any player in the competition. Off the field he is a role model, loves his family his basketball, UFC and just about every other sport. He has at least another four seasons in him, will finish the with the club games record and possibly as a premiership captain. In the conversation as the best Pie ever.
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AFL QUALIFYING FINAL 2019
GEELONG 1.2 4.4 5.6 7.9 (51)
COLLINGWOOD 4.2 7.5 9.7 9.7 (61)
Geelong: Miers, Tuohy, Rohan, Parfitt, Menegola, Dangerfield, Kelly
Collingwood: Elliott 2, Adams 2, Stephenson, Pendlebury, Howe, Hoskin-Elliott, Sidebottom
Geelong: Dangerfield, Parfitt, Stewart, Kelly, Menegola
Collingwood: Pendlebury, Sidebottom, Adams, Phillips, Grundy, Howe, Treloar
Geelong: Duncan (knee)
Collingwood: De Goey (hamstring), Greenwood (knee)
Umpires: O’Gorman, Chamberlain, Meredith
Official crowd: 93,436 at the MCG