CARLTON GIVE GEELONG
THE BLUES Ben Jensen 8 August 2009
By Ben Jensen.
I WAS TORN on
whether to wait until I got home or to listen to this one from work
but after a. called to a hasty meeting for 10:30 and b. dropping my
3G phone in a cup of coffee the decision was made for me. It was already
going to be one of those 'too much sport is never enough' days with
the 4th Ashes test kicking off at around the same time, now I was given
the option of going on a media ban and waiting until I got home to watch
the game on the telly. You see, this was the first day of ESPN's Aussie
Rules coverage, having picked up the pieces from Setanta Sports' demise.
At twelve quid a month it was 99P cheaper than the old but unfortunately
no Blue Square Premier coverage. So after seeing Melbourne's 'Sammy
J' perform in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival it was upstairs to the
mezzanine level to watch the Cats hopefully beat my other half's Blues.
INJURIES CARLTON: Nil on night; Mark Austin replaced by Simon Wiggins GEELONG: Wojcinski (ankle), Milburn (ankle)
at MCG, Melbourne
kicked the first two goals of the match but wouldn't trouble the scorers
again until there were four minutes to go. Matthew Stokes goaled in
the opening minute and when Cameron Mooney converted a set shot from
just inside fifty a few minutes later the Cats were off to a flyer.
The Blues peppered the goals from that point on, the Cats twice saved
by 251-gamer Darren Milburn on the last line of defence, Brendan Fevola
kicking the only goal.
Mooney missed a shot from closer in, while Corey Enright and Shannon
Byrnes both had attempts at goal spoiled on the line. Nick Stevens struck
home with a soccer kick to a vacant goal square to snatch a two point
lead with two minutes remaining and made a few bookies who gave away
$4+ nervous (let alone this Geelong fan). Another one of Carlton's draft
gems Marc Murphy buried his post-siren shot deep behind the goals, giving
his side a deserved 7 point lead at quarter time.
After nearly ten minutes of end to end footy with only minor scores,
Simon Hogan broke the shackles, after Steve Johnson did the hard work
before handpassing to Hogan who ran on from just inside fifty to goal.
Mooney had a chance to stretch the lead to seven points the very next
play and did so, his second goal again from a set shot just on fifty.
Kade Simpson showed Geelong fans he's a force to be reckoned with Carlton's
first goal to answer Mooney's, cutting the Cats' lead to just one point.
Murphy's second goal from a not-dubious free kick in the goal square
against Jimmy Bartel put the Blues in front by a goal. Earlier Chris
Judd levelled the scores with an astonishing burst of speed from a stoppage
that would have brought the house down had he goaled. Evidently Juddy's
been not only attending three hourly biomechanist and pilate sessions,
and also bounces on trampolines, attributing this regime to now being
virtually injury and niggle free for the first time in several seasons.
It was then Geelong's skipper Tom Harley's turn to level the scores,
benefiting from a fifty metre penalty given on the wing for his first
goal of the season. The only class ruckman on the field, 20-year-old
Matthew Kreuzer snatched the lead back the next minute, grabbing the
ball from a ballup in front of goal and confidently slamming it home
through traffic. Ryan Houlihan, who this correspondent minutes earlier
said was no good, made certain of a half time lead to the Blues with
a goal two minutes from the main break.
The second half didn't really start
off too well for the Cats. Fev missed his early chance but then Wojcinski
was spotted walking the boundary wearing trackie dacks. Not quite as
obvious as showering and getting back into the suit but it appeared
as though he would 'be taking no further part in this match' to quote
Billy Birmingham as Tony Greig. But Cameron Ling, the next skipper of
the side, curved back a shot to peg the lead back by a goal, another
goal sparked by Johnson. Milburn still attracts plenty of boos, more
so than Ricky Ponting at Headingley (where I was heading for day 2).
For the uninitiated, see the Youtube video further down the page (or
click here). Simpson's second pushed the Blues'
lead back to thirteen points. Stokes soon had his second, a tough shot
ten out from the boundary forty-five metres from goal.
Corey had a real good game, one of Geelong's only midfielders to really
stand up after half time as Ablett, Bartel and Ling were quiet. Mooney
had a chance to answer back Fev's second goal with a set shot about
thirty metres out but could only manage a poster. Max Rooke though showed
he has the right stuff with the next goal, nearly stuffing it though
up as he took on three opponents to step around them and snap it high
straight through the middle, Carlton's lead now just seven points.
Again however the Blues struck back early, Heath Scotland kicking probably
the best worst goal of the season, but six points don't lie and the
Cats trailed by 13 points again. Although Carlton were scoring, Tom
Gillies acquainted himself well in defence. The Blues lead was less
than at half time but only just, an eleven point lead at three quarter
Guy Pearce was deployed to the Cats coaching box for the final term
however his initial move didn't appear to have worked, as Simpson's
third goal put the Cats the better part of three goals down. The Cats
came so close to being four goals down it was not funny, Milburn kicking
straight into Setanta O'hAilpin but instead the ball was rushed downfield
to Travis Varcoe, who missed his second set shot from on the fifty metre
line. The monster from Bunyip Shane Mumford took a good grab that could
have sparked something but it wasn't to be.
Gillies took three or four bounces on the wing to get the ball deep
into the forward line to Stokes, who kicked terribly for a behind from
just ten metres out, but still with twelve and a half minutes to go.
First year player Aaron Joseph's second career goal put the Cats' deficit
at seventeen and too many points as it turned out. Fev ended up with
for goals on a night that wasn't great for tall forwards, Mooney two.
The final margin was thirty-five points, clearly Geelong's worst effort
of the season as they went goal-less in the last quarter.
Not quite the way I expected the night to end up, listening to the not
so sweet sounds of 'We are the navy blues' on the way to bed. Still
it kept the Mrs happy!