Posted by: jkirkby8712 | May 7, 2012

Sunday, 6th May 2012 – another afternoon at the football [and blog about]!!

Sunday Classics as normal, on the radio this morning from 6.30am. Difficult to want to get out of bed on these cold Autumn, but nevertheless, well worth the effort once we are on air!  Must say I had a bit of a silent whinge about the way some parts of the studio had been left by the last presenters yesterday, but some things and people, one has to tolerate I guess.

Football match today at Edihad Stadium, near the Southern Cross Station – an easy trip in from Sunbury, if you can put up with a train load of football fans – at least most of them are fellow Carlton supporters, because today’s game is against the new AFL team this year, Greater Western Sydney. If the Blues can’t win this one, I think I might switch to following hockey, or something!!!  An early start this week – 1.10pm.

Meanwhile,  as for the line-up for the clash, we find that, originally listed in the squad of 25 was ruckman Rob Warnock and forward Andrew Collins, both however have been forced out with hamstring soreness. Replacing them will be Mathew Kreuzer, who will start in the ruck and Mathew Watson who has been named as an emergency. General Manager of Football Operations, Andrew McKay said Kreuzer’s inclusion was a boost to the line-up. “Kreuzer tweaked his knee at training yesterday, so we took the ultra-conservative approach in not naming him to play, however he has pulled up very well this morning and has been given the all clear by the Club’s medical team,” McKay said. “It is unfortunate that Rob pulled up sore after training yesterday, it was to be his first game back for the year after having both shoulders operated on in the pre-season. “He had a scan on it this morning as a precaution but it is only a low grade strain and we expect him to push for selection in the coming weeks.” Changes to the team from last week are – IN: Ellard and Bower OUT: Judd (General soreness) and Waite (Hip).  In the meantime, small forward Eddie Betts will celebrate his 150th match alongside teammates Kade Simpson who will be play his 150th consecutive match (163 matches overall) and Shaun Hampson will line-up for his 50th senior game.  While Carlton is not expected to lose this one, hoping for a good game of football!   At the last minute, because of a minor injury,  Ed Curnow was replaced in selected side by young Josh Bootsma

James was working today, while Jodie had other things to do, so I went to the football alone this afternoon, and chose a comfortable viewing spot up on the 3rd level of the stadium. Had brought along various bits and pieces to eat, as I usually find there is not much of a healthy value at these venues [though should admit that I began the afternoon by indulging in a couple of hot jam donots –something I used to purchase outside Princess Park after the match, on Carlton’s home days at their original ground back in the 70s].

Today’s game, from a Carlton viewpoint was very frustrating. The Blues should have dominated the match from the beginning, but instead, what lead they had was at times threatened in that first half, and the performance they were putting on, looked second rate and outright embarrassing. Mind you that tends to take away the ferocity and effort put into the match by the inexperienced and match weaker opposition, but nevertheless, the effort by Carlton, even to the point of very poor kicking for goal, and putting themselves under a pressure which shouldn’t have been allowed. One kept expecting Carlton to turn things up a notch, but it really didn’t happen until the final quarter, at which stage  they were still only 4 goals in front!

Thankfully, that final quarter saw the team play as they were expected to have for the whole game, and a bit of excitement was added as well, when the young Josh Bootsma came on for his first game for the team, and was cheered by the Carlton faithful every time he went near the football!!  The following report from the Club sums up my feelings –    ‘Although the eventual outcome of the match  was the result everyone expected, it was achieved by means that few would have predicted.   Carlton, with a 67-point win over Greater Western Sydney at Etihad Stadium on Sunday, has moved back into the top four on the ladder.  But don’t let the 15.20 (110) to 6.7 (43) margin fool you. It was the Giants’ resolve rather than the Blues’ win that was most admirable.  However to point only to the Blues’ sloppy approach would be discrediting the fledgling club’s endeavour. First-year players took on premiership hopefuls and, in many cases, held their own.  If not for some poor decision-making out of the backline and some crucial turnovers, the Giants might have gone closer to winning their first AFL game.  The Blues’ sluggish start set the tone for the day. Their three first-quarter goals only came as a result of Giants’ mistakes, and instead of making the play, Carlton was sweating on their less experienced opponents making errors.  In fact, the Giants led Carlton in disposals, contested possessions and marks, and had six more clearances by the first change. The 10-point margin was something of a façade.  Seven minutes into the second term Tom Scully levelled the score with a set-shot goal. The high-profile recruit’s straight kick left the crowd in stunned silence, but it did sting the Blues into some form of action.  They kicked the next three goals to open a 16-point advantage. But the Giants kept coming, holding the deficit to 10 points at half-time and breaking even for the term.  With Carlton’s champion captain Chris Judd missing, the Blues lacked someone to take control of the game. Marc Murphy was solid, and finished with 27 disposals (19 were contested), but couldn’t find the space or run that has become crucial to his game.  With three goals to one in the third quarter the Blues established a 25-point lead at the final change, and a goal to Bret Thornton in the opening minute of the last quarter all but ended the contest.  They piled on six goals for the quarter and held the Giants to only one major for the half.  But the final margin was not indicative of the Giants’ efforts. Losing ruckman Dean Brogan to a wrist injury at half-time, and then Setanta O’hAilpin in the third quarter with a knee complaint severely changed their structure. They might have lost the game, and key mature players to injury, but GWS lost no respect in the defeat.  The final  quarter by quarter scores were:

CARLTON                                         3.5.23    6.8.44      9.14.68            FINAL:   15.20 (110)
GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY      2.1.13    5.4.34       6.7.43              Final:      6.7 (43)

Carlton Goals: Hampson 3, Thornton 3, Lucas 2, Simpson 2, Walker 2, Bower, Robinson, Garlett
Carlton Best players: Robinson, Murphy, Simpson, Scotland, Thornton, Walker [and I have added Paul Bower to that list, a player I have maligned a bit in the past].

Another packed train for the return to Sunbury – in fact this was the Bendigo train, and it was to Bendigo that I should have been going this evening. Jan {Emily Bower’s daughter] and her family were up in Bendigo this weekend and had invited me to join them for dinner tonight. I guess my trip to Daylesford yesterday to spend the time with Heather, more or less decided for me that I would not do a rushed trip to Bendigo the next day. But sitting there on the ‘Bendigo’ train, I found myself wishing that I was more appropriately, and had made arrangements for an overnight stay – this train would get into Bendigo just after 6pm, perfect timing for the dinner plan! Anyway, that was not going to happen – I’d more or less intimated to Jan that it was unlikely I would get to Bendigo, and that saw me alight from the crowded train, at Sunbury.

Got home to find Susie had been unwell through the day – heavy cold and throat infection. I didn’t feel like cooking [again], so went out later and bought some takeaways for us both from one of local ‘fish & chip’ shops, though our purchases never include any chips, and grilled fish for yours truly.

A  bit of an exchange of messages and phone calls between Ballarat and here tonight. Not sure why I bother, but I attempted another early night this evening – it did take a while to sleep, but overall, a better outcome than Saturday night.

Meanwhile, after 5 rounds of the 2012 season, here are the leading 8 teams in the AFL competition:-

  1. West Coast Eagles……………………24                    [161.5]
  2. Carlton Blues………………………….20                   [157.8]
  3. Sydney Swans………………………..20                    [137.2]
  4. Essendon Bombers……………………20                    [128.2]
  5. Adelaide Crows………………………20                   [119.9]
  6. Geelong Cats…………………………16                    [114.2]
  7. Fremantle Dockers……………………16                   [106.9]
  8. Collingwood Magpies……………… 16                     [97.3]




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