Our preparation for the Grand Final started immediately after the Pies took the Tigers by surprise and won the preliminary final.Immediately the phone calls and text messages started as we workshopped plans to get all the footy crew into the MCG for the big match. Six dedicated Magpie members - but three of us are restricted so attending the Grand Final is a challenge.
There was excitement when the MCC announced Restricted member tickets might be offered and this chance was factored into our planning. Grand Final Eve brought wind, rain and a pick up from Tullamarine as my brother arrived from Perth. We had lunch at a Clifton Hill pub with family before heading back to their place for some sleep before hitting the Gate 2 queue later in the evening.
Around 11pm we headed to Gate 2 to take a spot in the queue. There weren’t as many there as we expected, the numbers still contained within the forecourt area. There were a few determined souls lined up at the ticket box in the hope that restricted tickets would be offered once the queue cleared the following morning. It was bitterly cold as we set up chairs and rugged up for the long, sleepless night ahead. As a restricted member, I left them to it and headed back for a warm bed. I’d been lucky enough to be offered a ticket in the Ponsford stand from a Collingwood member who wasn’t able to go.
Grand Final day dawned with great seats on Level 1 for the Gate 2 queuers, worth queuing for! Next task was to get our hands on two Restricted tickets which we achieved despite the unlikely odds. A week of preparation and all six of us were in, four in the reserve, two on level one and two on level four, one standing in the Great Southern and me with a seat in the Ponsford. The queuers came back to the house to warm up, get changed and have some breakfast before we all headed off to the game together. We separated at Gate 2, two of us heading in opposite directions around the ground while the other four went back into the reserve. It is tough to be watching the game without the usual family and friends beside you.
We were all delighted the Pies had surprised us by having such a great finals campaign and our hopes were high they would continue to show the scintillating form we’d seen the previous week. We knew the Eagles would be tough competitors as we’d played and lost to them twice this year. The match didn’t disappoint, it was a cracking Grand Final with both sides playing committed, skilled and tough footy. The atmosphere was amazing, a close match with highs and lows for supporters of both teams but with mutual respect. A Grand Final for all of us there to talk about for years, we were happy to be there although we’d hoped for a different result.
WEST COAST 2.2 4.3 8.7 11.13 (79)
COLLINGWOOD 5.1 6.3 8.7 11.8 (74)
West Coast: Kennedy 3, Hutchings, Shuey, Sheed, Darling, Yeo, Cripps, Vardy, Rioli
Collingwood: De Goey 3, Cox 2, Stephenson 2, Hoskin-Elliott, Varcoe, Mihocek, Adams
West Coast: Shuey, Sheed, Barrass, Kennedy, Hutchings, Schofield, McGovern
Collingwood: Adams, Langdon, Crisp, Treloar, De Goey, Mayne
West Coast: Nil
Umpires: Stevic, Ryan, Rosebury
Official crowd: 100,022 at the MCG
Andrea Buckland is Collingwood supporter who has spent many years at the MCG watching the highs and lows of the Magpies with her extended family and friends.