The Dockers were in complete control but still the feeling of calm satisfaction that had overcome me was surprising. Then I realised the extra element – the sound system was down. No mindless music after home-team goals, no exaltations to MAKE SOME NOISE. Just crowd noise, real footy atmosphere.
Fremantle scored goals from their first two forward 50 entries in the first quarter but Collingwood did well into the breeze and kept things in check.
However scoring into the wind has been a feature for the new-look Freo. They kicked three in the second quarter, the best coming after an astonishing Ashlee Atkins handpass set up Dana Hooker. Collingwood tried to take advantage of the conditions but the pressure, tackling and ball use by the Dockers was superior.
Fremantle seemed to get the best of the umpires in the first half but consecutive 50-metre penalties early in the third handed Collingwood their first goal, through Sarah D’Arcy, and was some compensation to the visitors.
The second half was a bit of a struggle – two goals apiece as the Magpies improved and the Dockers tended to blaze away.
The stars Ebony Antonio, Kara Donnellan and Hooker were again good for Fremantle: Antonio kicked two goals and her effectiveness despite lots of attention was impressive; hard running Philipa Seth has been a very useful addition to the team; Kellie Gibson also kicked two goals and is a classy player; Parris Laurie often won the ball at stoppages and Evie Gooch stopped a lot of attacking moves.
D’Arcy was active for Collingwood as was Brittany Bonnici, who had a good battle with Hooker, and Ash Brazill took some knocks in putting her body on the line.
The sound system came on during the third quarter break. It wasn’t me that pulled the plug…