As I reflect on last night’s Adelaide vs Hawthorn Preliminary Final I cannot help but see it as a chance missed and a plucky end to a transforming season for Adelaide.
Hawthorn missed countless opportunities and could have had a major scoreboard advantage at quarter time but the same could have been said for Adelaide in its Qualifying Final against Sydney a couple of weeks earlier. It’s a boring saying but “bad kicking is bad football” and as Dermott Brereton said in the lead up to the game on Fox Footy the “footy gods” only give you so much. Hawthorn seemed to fully test that last night.
All of that said in a close match the moment of true class was a centre break late in the game Burgoyne to Rioli – goal – quite simply all class and yes very annoying!
What of Adelaide – gallant in defeat. Maybe a little unlucky and didn’t seem the breaks necessarily went their way but as the rank outsiders I guess that is no surprise. Here my bias will show, but why is that the only decision made by the umpire 100 metres from ball went in the favorites favour? Why is when the player signals no advantage exactly as the rule applies its still advantage – I could go on!
All of that said against the team most have said is the best and would “belt them” Adelaide stood up justifying their new status in the AFL. Without two of their key defenders Smith and Thompson stood up. No surprise from Smith, what a finals series. As for Doughty only he thinks it’s time to retire. Walker a new superstar of the game, of that there is no doubt.Dangerfield when it counted again. The much maligned Kurt Tippett, a best a field performance in what I hope is not his last game for the Adelaide Crows. Not good enough for All Australian selection but another great game from Jacobs – one can only wonder how he missed out?
Whilst nothing is certain Adelaide seem destined for great things. In their and their supporters disappointment they would do well to reflect on the same weekend 12 months ago -Adelaide’s season well over and little expectation for 2012 and Hawthorn losing Preliminary Finalists. If the ” footy gods” are looking over Adelaide, 2013 may well bring even greater rewards to Sando and his team.
I for one can’t wait and it’s a long time since I have felt like that!