Posted by: jkirkby8712 | March 6, 2012

Sunday, 4th March 2012 – an early season visit to the football

I was not expecting her home until later today, but Susie returned from wherever she went yesterday – Nyora as it turned out, on the eastern side of the city towards Phillip Island –  at about 4am this morning. I’d not slept much, wondering if she was okay, and while the mind relaxed a little when I realised she had returned, there was the concern about her driving through the rural and city areas at that time of night/early morning. Anyway, it was another 90 minutes, and I had to be up and preparing to go to the radio station – in fact, I went back to sleep, and ended up having to leave the house less than ten minutes after waking again!!

Nevertheless, started on time, on air before 6.30am, and rather enjoyed this morning’s program of classical music. Featured a couple of beautiful pieces of music by the Estonian born composer [in 1935], Arvo Part – two compositions for violin [Tasmin Little] and piano [Martin Roscoe –  Spiegel im Spiegel [from 1978] and Fratres [1980].  This morning, it was Sunday Classics program No. 298, a show which I began in February 2006, and I sometimes find it hard to believe that I have continued to manage to get up early on a Sunday morning virtually continuous since that first program. The only Sundays I have missed have been the odd day of sickness, or when interstate or in Ballarat.  Quite proud of that record, but must admit to finding the early Sunday rising is becoming more difficult as time passes – particularly, when most Saturday nights, for one reason or another, I find it difficult to sleep!!  Like last night!

Email news from the home of the Blues this weekend –   This Sunday Carlton will play the Western Bulldogs in round 2 of the NAB Cup, Carlton’s first match in Melbourne for 2012.   While the Blues didn’t come away from Adelaide with victories, there was plenty gained from the trip, in particular the experience for a number of the young players at the Club.   Carlton’s 29-man squad for Sunday’s NAB Cup match against the Western Bulldogs at Etihad Stadium is a mixture of youth and experience as the Blues prepare for the 2012 season. As indicated earlier in the week a number of senior players who did not play in round one of the NAB Cup are being held back until Round three and Carlton will go into this week’s without Judd, Waite, Walker, Robinson, Duigan, Warnock and Jamison. Of these players, only Jamison and Warnock are expected not to play in round three of the NAB Cup in Maroochydore against Brisbane the following week. While the first round of the NAB Cup consisted of two games, each being of two 20-minute halves, tonight’s twilight game against the Western Bulldogs, and the remaining NAB Cup games, will be full-scale matches.

Well, I decided it was an easy outing by train this afternoon, down to the Edihad Stadium which is located within walking distance of the Southern Cross Station, although I was still in two minds about whether to go, until James rang with the query ‘was I still planning to go to the football?’ Actually, there was quite an interesting ODI cricket 1st finals match on the TV between Australia and Sri Lanka  – conflicting interests! Nevertheless, met James at the Sunbury station, and we joined the crowds getting onto an already crowded train that had come through from Bendigo, for a relatively swift trip into the city. There with plenty of time to spare, and this game James the opportunity to purchase for me my promised birthday present from last October from each of the four ‘children’, my Carlton Member’s ticket for the 2012 season. I was happy with a general admission ticket to each of the 11 home games for Carlton, not sure if I will get to them all, but at least the option was there. Actually forgot to use my concession card when we made that purchase – James, always keen to save himself some money, went back outside the stadium before the game started, and was surprisingly able to get the change affected, I wasn’t sure they would do it after the original transaction had been finalised.

Anyway, here to watch a game of football. Carlton started off well, but for most of the four quarters, the Bulldogs seemed to have just enough brilliance on the forward line to make better use of their opportunities, and were in front, just, at the end of each quarter as the scores below show. Serious injuries to a player from each team, marred the game a little, and the smallish crowd of just over 10,500, tended to take away a bit of the normal atmosphere of the Edihad Stadium, though remembering that it was a game in the pre-season competition. The Blues got in front midway through the last quarter, and while the Bulldogs hit the front again late in the quarter, we felt there was still plenty of time for Carlton to regain the lead. Not so, the quarter was a little shorter than anticipated.  However, despite the lost, it was quite a young team on the field for the Blues with a number of our better players not yet ready to play. Yet with backline problems, added to tonight by the injury to Jeremy Laidler, we do look a little vulnerable as the main season approaches, and the team having lost it’s first three pre-season games, one more next weekend, up in Brisbane.  Final scores tonight were:

Carlton Blues:                 0.4.1.25      0.7.1.43      0.10.3.63      Final:      0.11.4.70

Western Bulldogs:          0.5.2.32      0.8.3.51      0.10.5.65       FINAL:  0.11.8.74
It was an extremely crowded train home to Sunbury, James & I lucky to get a seat, as when we got off the train at Sunbury, discovered people sitting all over the passageways and door entrances  – it was the regular Sunday night train to Bendigo, but V Line didn’t seem to have added any carriages to account for the football crowd, even though they scheduled the train departure time to go 20 minutes later than usual!

‘Old’ Bill feeling a little weary by the time I got back to Sunbury, and home.  No energy for much, other than a bit of food – ended up watching the closing stages of the cricket match – first Final between Australia and Sri Lanka.  Gutsy team the Sri Lankans  – halfway through the innings, there was no chance that they were going to catch the Australian score of 6 for 321, when they had 6 down for 144. But a century partnership and some great middle order batting gave the visitors a definite chance of winning, and gave Michael Clarke, the Aussie captain, a real scare!! Sri Lanka  finished up on a score of 306, losing the game by  15 runs with just 4 balls to be bowled. The teams go to Adelaide now, with Australia leading 1-0 in the best of 3 series.

Incidentally, today was Clean Up Australia Day  –  an annual event which began in 1989. Every year hundreds of thousands of Australians get stuck in and clean up their local environment – parks, beaches, bushland, streets, etc –  by collecting and removing rubbish on one of the Clean Up days. It involves campaigns and projects  to collect and remove rubbish from the local environments, promote the recycling of materials, and provide education on climate change issues.  I admit that I’ve not been involved in this for many years, but in it’s early stages, we often worked as part of a school group organisation in different parts of Sunbury.

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