The Irish, always ready for a good bout of fighting, or a good drinking bout, came to Perth with aspirations of an International Rules footy victory over their Aussie hosts, but all they got for their effort was a bit of a push-and-shove at the half.
We cannot say with certainty that they got the other bout, although we are not currently standing near the ocean and we know that the waves are coming to the shore.
The tourists squandered a 16-point lead in the third quarter and goals to Eddie Betts and Dayne Zorko in the final one minute and one second of the game gave the Aussies a 53 – 51 win and allowed them to reclaim the Cormac McAnallen Trophy.
Geelong skipper Joel Selwood started the near fight when he hit Chris Barrett both late and high after Ireland’s star had disposed of the ball. Doing his best soccer player imitation, Barrett stayed on the ground while some of the other Irish players had a friendly word with Selwood.
Selwood was black-carded and sent off for the remainder of the match, but the black card meant that Australia could replace him with another player.
The good news for Geelong Cats supporters is that the incident will not impact the club or Selwood when the 2018 season of the AFL gets underway in 2018; even though AFL rules indicate that serious incidents during an International Rules match can result in a suspension from the AFL. Umpires reviewed the incident after the game and decided not to send a report to the AFL tribunal.
The earlier game last week in Adelaide gave the Aussies a 65 – 53 win, which put them in the position that so long as they did not lose the game at Perth by more than nine points, they would win back the trophy.
That margin for error was quickly erased in the first eight minutes of the game when the Irish poured in two quick goals.