Belfast Telegraph

Biting Back: The elation, the disappointment and the passion at Etihad Stadium

Declan Bogue
Declan Bogue
Declan Bogue

By Declan Bogue

Events at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday night were pure hectic.

Melbourne Demons were chasing a rare win over St Kilda - their last coming in 2007 as the commentator reminded us - in the Australian Rules Football League.

A couple of points adrift, Melbourne were pushing hard in the final couple of minutes when the camera lingered over a typically healthy-looking Aussie boy of about 10 years of age. His hands were clasped in prayer and what we take to be his father looked on with a smile on his face, watching his son lost in reverie.

Demons pushed up on a restart and forced a turnover. The ball in found Jeremy Howe with an incredible leap and he secured the mark, before converting and making light of the tight angle.

The camera went back to the boy. Pure elation.

However, Saints went back up the field with 20 seconds left on the clock. A ball was sent into the danger area and, because it wasn't secured by the many grasping hands, hopped loose like a rabbit before it skipped into the path of veteran Leigh Montagna.

He took it without breaking stride, advanced to a metre from the goals and kicked it into the heavens.

The young boy's face crumpled. For that moment, his devastation was absolute. But as we know, children are resilient and by the time he would have been making his way out of the stadium, plans would have been in place for the next game.

A wonderful thing, sport.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph