It was one hell of a ride. It had to end somewhere and sadly last night was that somewhere. My evening got off to a shocking start, with my train running over 40 minutes late. I walked through the door to discover the game had already started and I had a sinking feeling it wouldn’t end well.
Despite kicking the first goal of the match, we didn’t play particularly well from the get go. We were outclassed all over the park. Everything we tried to do, they did better. We couldn’t take a mark, kick a goal or even defend it appeared. Sadly, it was last week all over again and this time we had Essendon’s role.
Buddy failed to kick a goal, contributing only three behinds, while Dangerfield kicked four. Everything they touched turned to goals and everything we touched was dropped. I felt for McVeigh, who kicked an admirable goal in his 300th game. He deserved a match to remember but he got one that will be remembered for all the wrong reasons.
By half time I knew it was over. We didn’t have it in us to fight back. The commentators claimed it was down to our star players not performing. They listed Kennedy, Franklin, Parker and Hannebery, but really the list could have been longer. What I found amusing was they highlighted just how many stars we have. Despite the loss, we still have a hell of a lot of talent and I don’t see that as a downfall at all.
Given the result of the match was decided so early, I had plenty of time to reflect. The entire second half in fact. It has been an undeniably amazing season. To turn it around the way we did after losing our first six on the trot was a feat to be admired. We played into week two of finals footy. That in itself is unbelievable. Longmire has suggested they were exhausted and it is little wonder after playing for their lives every week since round seven.
Geelong could afford to have a bad week last week and so could GWS. We couldn’t. We robbed ourselves of that luxury long ago and last night we finally paid for it. The harsh reality of footy, is to experience those exhilarating wins, someone has to endure a heart wrenching loss. Last night, we enabled Geelong and their fans to celebrate. Sometimes, that is how it goes.
At three quarter time, I was nothing short of heart broken. It hammered home for me just how much I love this team. Those who say only love can break your heart clearly aren’t football fanatics. What they achieved this year was inspirational and watching them limp towards the end of their season was difficult to watch.
In the closing minutes of the game I left the room but forced myself to return. They deserved my support in the closing moments of their season. Like any relationship built to last, you have to be there through thick and thin. I am committed to the Sydney Swans and while they were beaten last night, I will be proud to cheer on the red and white next season. They are an extraordinary club and they will always be my club.