Sunday, 19 August 2007
Phoenix: end of the road (Vale)
After finishing minor premiers in the final year of the Commonwealth Bank trophy competition, Melbourne Phoenix made it to the grand final, but stumbled at the final hurdle. They went down this afternoon to the Sydney Swifts 45-37.
Many times this season, Phoenix have won the game in the first quarter, but it was the Swifts who did that today. Four of us passionate followers of the purple gathered together to watch the game on TV, and felt our hopes fade as our team was, in truth, outclassed.
We'll never know whether the outcome would have been different had it been a home grand final -- as it should have been. Perhaps in front of a home crowd, a sea of purple instead of yellow, they would have been more fired up, found something extra. After all, only once in the history of the competition has a team ever won away from home. (Phoenix in 2003)
We'll never know whether the emotion of playing the last ever Phoenix game had an impact. Apparently the Swifts are sticking around next year, so they didn't have the trauma of knowing it was the end of the road. After the game, the Phoenix girls were all in tears, and I'm certain it wasn't because of the loss of the game, but because of the loss of the club.
Pundits are calling it a great game, but I can't call it that. It's all too shattering to know that it's over, and we've lost. Phoenix is gone.