Spirit v Marconi

Playoff report by Fred Legget
Northern Spirit v Marconi-Fairfield

Quite a nice night at North Sydney oval, as it turned out.

At least 8 buses left Marconi for the game, but unfortunately the one we were on decided that Parramatta Road was the best option on a Friday peak period, thus seriously reducing the amount of 'swally' time in the Percy, where I had arranged to meet Groundskeeper Willie.

GKW was already talking in shorthand when I arrived, the victim of a 5 hour lunch, and was attempting to convince two Spirit fans that Francis had scored the winner with his foot last week(?!).

Pleasant banter with a few Spirit fans in the pub, and I have to say that the Spirit supporters I met last night, were, unlike our first visit, both friendly and good humoured (ie they laughed at our jokes).

Bob standers colourful and noisy as usual, even if their noise is amplified through a few microphones........or perhaps they just forgot to turn them off after the national anthem?

Onto the game, Marconi hit the bar early on, playing what is now their counterattacking game. Although Spirit had most of the possession, never really worried.

When they did get close, the phrase 'couldn't hit a cow's arse with a banjo, let alone hit the goals" applied to their strikers, as per usual, and long may it continue.

Crooks(?) committed a tackle on Macdonald, which if it had have happened in Kosovo would have seen the Englishman declared a war criminal.

Bilakopic too, in my not so humble opinion, should have been red carded, but then again, him just standing there is a red card offence in my book.

Second half, I honestly thought Marconi were going to score the winner, and nearly did, with a ball being kneed/ersed off the line.

By this time, owing to the unfortunate fact that the Marconi supporters were standing in the 'no alcohol' area, I had been dragged by GKW to near the Bob stand, just in front of the tooheys beer caravan, and he seemed intent on trying to outsing the Bob Stand single handedly, with his constant rendition of "Wild Thing"

Banter in that area was good, and as I say the Spirit fans were a bit friendlier than the first time we met.

Then again, they could have just been humouring us, as GKW was a fearsome sight by this time.

I have to say, in a completely unbiased way you understand, that I thought Spirit were a bit over the top.

Marconi looked like the walking wounded after the game with players in head bandages, stitches, and Sean Babic appeared to have greater difficulty in walking to his car, than GKW had in walking to the bus.

It was almost as if Spirit embarked on a war of attrition.

0-0 scoreline very satisfying from my point of view, but I'm just a wee bit worried that we won't have 11 fit players for the return leg.

I might have to dig the boots out.