Friday, July 17, 2009

AFL: The crying game for the Swans last Sunday.

I would have to say Micky should cry as he and the rest of the team are not going into the finals this year. It would be a miracle if Sydney get over the line.Another classic game at the SCG with Sydney showing strong momentum but falling flat in the 2nd half.
As Barry Hall said himself during the week Players don't always go out on their terms and the way they want. He may he left not on the shoulders of his team-mates but on the back of a ute, it still was a tearfull good-bye to a footballer we have grown to love to hate. This was the final verse. The speculation was there for a week after his strike on Adelaide's Ben Rutten before finally, on Tuesday, the resignation announcement was delivered.

Yesterday, in front of 30,924 fans at the ground where he terrorised defenders and helped his beloved red-and-whites win numerous matches - the place he has called home for the past eight seasons - he said one final goodbye. And as he had done with his skill so many times, he brought the crowd to its feet.
"It's a bit emotional today," he said halfway through his lap around the ground, in that ute, at half-time. "This is why we play footy. People supporting us - we wouldn't be here without this."
As that booming voice started to crack a little, he added: "I want to thank everybody from the bottom of my heart. I've had nothing but support, not only from Sydney fans but footy in general and I'm really appreciative for it.
"I'm really proud of what I achieved at this footy club and, despite what has happened, I genuinely believe I've left the footy club a better person and I'm forever indebted to the Sydney Swans.
"I'm so honoured to have played for the club and, although it's not rosy the way I'm going out, I'm still proud of everything I've achieved here."
With that - and with his now former teammates preparing for the second half against Essendon - Hall waved some final farewells from the back of the ute to those standing patrons, battled to hold back the emotions, then disappeared up the race under the Bradman Stand.
His colourful 162-game Sydney career was suddenly over - at least for now.
Hall will decide later this year if boxing will be his next endeavour or whether he attempts to restart his football career at another club. For now, it's over.
With the emotion of Hall's final ride and the Swans' hopes of reaching the finals a week-by-week proposition that, according to Paul Roos, has "not much margin for error", you might have thought the players would return from the major break and turn the day into a complete celebration. Instead it became a little like a wake.
Fans reminisced with their favourite Bazza stories, the way people speak about the recently departed, while in the background they looked on as their team was torn apart.
The 10.12 (72) to 15.17 (107) loss - their fifth in their past six outings - leaves the Swans now two games outside the eight, and with five of their last eight matches against top-eight teams, including Geelong and St Kilda, even the most optimistic fan might be wondering already what they will do in September.
Essendon dominated the opening quarter and, had they not squandered so many opportunities, the game could have easily been over very early.
The largest lead the Dons would hold in the first stanza was 10 points but by the first break there was less than a kick in it, with the visitors leading 4.6 (30) to 4.4 (28).
In the second term Essendon took their opportunities and opened up a 25-point lead after an Andrew Welsh goal in the 22nd minute. Finally, almost 25 minutes into the quarter, Sydney's first goal arrived through Ryan O'Keefe. It wasn't quite a comeback but it was something for the Swans to take into half-time, and at the main break they trailed Essendon by 18 points - 8.8 (56) to 5.8 (38).
Despite the half-time emotion, it didn't help the Swans. When the Dons kicked four goals to two for the third term, they led by 31 points at the last break, and it was impossible to see Sydney getting back into the game. Despite Michael O'Loughlin finishing with three goals for the day, there was no magic comeback yesterday.
All I can say is "better luck next year Sydney" as I really don't think we will win enough games to get into the finals this year.
Not even the spunks of Sydney, could save the day as the Swans had there first defeat this year at the SCG.

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