Votes and notes this week by Ryan Seccull of the Capital Tigers
Oh how we have fallen. It was just less than a year ago, playing the same opponent, that I actually believed. Standing high up on the MCG’s fourth tier, I was yelling, screaming and jumping up and down in ecstasy as Hunt and Lambert turned an errant Josh Gibson kick into a glorious three goal lead in the shadows of three quarter time. In that fleeting moment, anything seemed possible.
Of course that dream would die, along with all of our hopes for 2016, in a way that is all too painfully familiar, having been smashed into a million pieces, lying in the middle Punt Road (or ‘The Boulevard of Broken Dreams’ as I have been known to call it). Nonetheless, remembering that wonderful August night last year, I went to watch with my fellow Capital Tigers, optimistic we could show enough to allow us to front up to Manuka Oval next week with some prospect of victory, and maybe even go on to crash Sam Mitchell’s milestone party as well.
It was of course, not to be. It was as if the footy gods decided they liked our Round 7 clash against them so much, they wanted to see it all again. Hawthorn didn’t really bother showing up until late in the third, and once they did, two goals in a minute to Jack Gunston and a hitherto whisper-quiet Cyril Rioli opened the floodgates to a complete, embarrassing capitulation, Hawthorn piling on nine goals to two in the final quarter in a game of few highlights. This game joining many in the pile of ‘2016 games never to be spoken of again’.
We are all feeling the pain right now. Hope sustains football clubs and at the moment there is none. But we are too proud and too powerful for this to go on forever. One day, in my lifetime, we will reach the promised land. And when it happens, I will be there.
In any case, here are the votes.
5 Votes: Dustin Martin
One of the few joys of 2016 has been seeing Dusty maturing both as a man and as a footballer. Kept up his incredible level of form and almost single-handedly kept us in the game for the first three quarters. I would like to see him be a bit more damaging by foot, but to his credit, was one of the few who made an effort to get the ball going forwards.
4 Votes: Taylor Hunt
It pretty much says it all that Hunt was clearly in our best. Nonetheless he battled hard, got plenty of touches, and didn’t turn it over that much. Will never be a star but has been getting the most of his talents in recent weeks, which is more than what could be said for most on our list right now. I would much rather the ball in his hands than a certain outside midfielder at the moment.
3 Votes: Alex Rance
Put his heart and soul into every play as we expect him to do, made and impacted more contests than he should have able to and held the defence together for most of the game before it was overwhelmed.
2 Votes: Anthony Miles
Been somewhat down this season but crashed in hard, was the only other mid who was able to offer consistent support to Dusty inside.
1 Vote: Nathan Drummond
Had trouble filling out this list to be sure, but I felt he deserved a vote more than any of the remaining players for his perseverance in coming back from such a horrific injury in his first game. Tried hard and looked good early, drifted out of the game in the second half, to be expected given he is probably well short of match fitness.
23: Rance, Miles
12: Deledio, Lloyd
7: Edwards, Grimes
5: Lambert, Grigg
3: Townsend, Short, C. Ellis, Vlaustin
2: Rioli, B. Ellis
1: Menadue, Drummond
Blair Hartley Appreciation Award
Anthony Banik Best First Year Player
1: Menadue, Drummond
Joel Bowden's Golden Left Boot
Greg Tivendale Rookie List Medal
Next week the Tiges play the Suns in Canberra. The dozens of people present will hopefully include Darren Crick, also of the Capital Tigers, who I have asked to vote for us.