These are getting harder to write every week.
On Friday I will admit I nearly cried all the way home after the game – or, I should say, during the final quarter of the game. I was working afternoon shift and not due to finish until 8pm. This meant if we were busy and I had to work all the way though, I’d make it home some time in the third quarter. So a colleague and I ordered pizza and settled in.
I suppose both my offsiders got an unexpected glimpse into what kind of supporter I am. I turned the sound down to almost mute because I couldn’t take the commentators. All the non Victorians will know what I mean when I say they always tend to try and ride a Vic team home. I grabbed a wooden ruler and twisted it repeatedly in my hands because otherwise I’m going to end up with scarring across my knuckles from digging my nails in. And then I paced. And paced. And jerked around. All while being totally silent in a mostly silent room. Nah, that wouldn’t have been odd at all.
The first quarter was good. We looked like we might have this one and even pushed out to a five goal lead at one stage. It felt like we were just getting the car warmed up and were waiting to accelerate off down the road. Then the Cats got a couple of lucky ones – that Robbie Gray handball kicked mid-air by Motlop springs to mind – and it was closer than I wanted.
Second quarter was alright but not as promising. Third quarter I waited for that acceleration to kick in and it just never did. Every time we grabbed a goal I expected the tide would start to turn but Port just didn’t want to put the effort in. It’s like they were doing just enough to stay in it and give me hope without actually wanting to win.
At three quarter time I packed my on call gear up and headed to the car. It was the vibe… And I was right because by all accounts we were hideous in that final 30 minutes. I just couldn’t bear to see this happen again and be forced to stand there while the Cats belted out their song. So I drove home, mostly in silence, and wanted to cry. The next couple of days I struggled to shake off the glum feeling because that was a win we definitely should have grabbed. It was a Friday night game at home FFS!
Wingard was sensational, the one shining light on an average night. The thing that pleased me most is that he played such an unselfish team game despite his individual brilliance. Shows to me how much he’s maturing as a player. Carlisle also tried hard and pretty much kept Hawkins right out of the game. Hombsch continues to improve each week as well; right now it’s our backline holding us up because out forwards don’t seem to be able to find a kick anywhere. Our game plan has stalled and we struggle under pressure. The fitness just doesn’t seem to be there or maybe it’s the willingness.
This is getting harder and harder and more heartbreaking each week. I want that side who kicked 60 God damn points in a quarter against last year’s premiers to run out again. Because the way we’re going, we’re not going to see September, not one tiny little bit.