However, as I texted some mates at half time, when I saw more hawks than pies with their hands on their knees, exhausted, the team that was the fittest would win the game. And that is exactly what happened.
For all their brilliant work at slowing the game when they didn't have it, all their brilliant work at making the Pies play in a way they weren't accustomed, and all their gut running and sheer desperation, they couldn't win because they were more exhausted than the Pies.
I was at the game with my 9 yo son and just before the start of the 4th we both said, we didn't think the Hawks would win. 17 points wasn't going to be enough when looking at how tired the Hawks were.
The Pies, comprehensively beaten for 3 quarters, saw their chance early, and they pounced. Swan who was magnificent all night kept on going, Thomas finally had some space, and Cloke, the man that pretty much won the game on his own running, marking and roosting forward in that 4th quarter, were able to get free because they could still run and the Hawks could not. They were dead on their, and its a credit to the Pies that they had the amazing fitness to snatch victory.
As I always say, the team that wins deserves it. And this is no different. But, without having seen tomorrow's prelim, whoever won this one, after such a tight tussle is probably going to be struggling next week.