AFL Finals — Week 1: Comeback kings on top after one of the great finals finishes

Brisbane v Carlton. What a game it should be. Nothing separates these two sides betting-wise. It should be a great game.

I’ve tipped Brisbane, by six points, but when I hear that Drummond and MacDonald are out my mind changes a bit. Hawksley and Hooper are coming in to replace them.

The game begins, and after a couple of scoreless minutes Carrazzo smashes one through from the goal square. The next bit of play is sensational. Kreuzer taps it down, receives it back and runs to 50 and kicks a long goal. Amazing goal, that’s why he’s a number one pick. The Blues are rolling, and Houlihan intercepts a Brisbane clanger kick and snaps a great goal. Signs of worrying already floated through the Gabba, but after 3.3 to nothing Brown marks and bananas one from close range. Bradshaw marks and snaps it through from the opposite pocket, and all of a sudden it looks even. The next two goals are kicked from previously suspended players Garlett and Betts, both brilliant. The Lions need a reply, and they get it from Sherman. He goes bang from 55 and it sails through the sticks. Rich sets up Redden, who strolls in and kicks a goal. Judd marks in the pocket, and misses a sitter and the home crowd lets him know about it. It’s quarter time and the Blues still hold on to a six point deficit, 4.4 28 to 5.4 34. Black easily leads for Brisbane with 11 touches, Houlihan has the same number for Carlton and Carrazzo has nine.

The second quarter begins, and Judd makes up for his mistake with a massive goal on the run from 60. Judd is in the spotlight again, immediately afterwards when his hand strays too close to the eye of Rischitelli. Sherman kicks his second, and Brown snaps one to level the scores. It turns into a goal-for-goal contest. Russell dashes inside 50 and goals, Brown marks for the Lions, but gets cut above the eye. Brown comes off and Johnstone takes the kick, and the former Demon doesn’t miss. Fevola answers with a goal from the goal square before Bradshaw kicks an impressive one from 50. At half time, the score is 8.7 55 to 8.6 54. The Lions lead in a close, tight, entertaining contest. Black has 17 touches for Brisbane; Power has 14 while Judd and Houlihan have 15 and 14 possessions each respectively.

Murphy starts the third quarter in style, putting the Blues in front before Bradshaw answers with his third. Fevola marks, and kicks a meaningful goal to become Carlton’s first multiple goal kicker after 10 goals. Carlton break ahead with a goal from Stevens (breaking the goal-for-goal sequence) and Stevens gets it again and kicks a left footer from the boundary! What a goal! That was a match defining two goals, but Johnstone kicks a badly needed one for the Lions. Carlton has the skill, and Cloke kicks an amazing goal over his head. Judd is at his superb best, breaking through the stoppages and delivering long kicks to the leading forwards. Fevola marks and kicks his third and at three quarter time, its 10.10 70 to 14.10 94 in favour of Carlton. Black leads with 22 touches for Brisbane and Judd has 26 for Carlton. I’m sure most Carlton supporters in the country would have been confident of a victory.

The Blues start the final term on song, and Cloke kicks a huge goal from 55. Brown marks a Bradshaw kick in the square, and winds the margin back to 22 points. There’s still hope. The Lions immediately get another, through a snap from Hooper (just his third possession). Rich, who’s been quiet, finds his feet and passes superbly to Brown who goals from 50. He knows that area of the ground so well. Rich doubles up with a long goal from a stoppage to put the Lions within four points. That’s why he’s the Rising Star, I thought. Hawksley drills a pass that hits Bradshaw on the lead. He kicks a goal! What’s going on? Bradshaw nearly seals it with a freakish snap from the pocket, straight afterwards. The Lions are up by seven.

The last few minutes of the game are played out frantically. The Blues get a behind to bring it back to a goal but the Lions hold strong, winning by seven, 16.15 111 to 15.14 104. Black finishes with 29 disposals, Power 24 and Judd 30 for Carlton.  How did they do it? 30 points down! It was one of the great finals finishes.

Questions are buzzing in my head, and in my opinion this could start a great rivalry between the two sides, like a Sydney v West Coast. The last four games between these two teams have been close, tight battles with both teams scoring over 100. But I couldn’t help but feel for Carlton supporters, and feel happy for Brisbane supporters, and their team, who are starting to be known as the comeback kings.

Brisbane  4.4  8.7  10.10 16.15 (111)
Carlton  5.4  8.6  14.10  15.14 (104)

Goals
Brisbane: Bradshaw 5, Brown 4, Sherman 2, Johnstone 2, Rich, Redden, Hooper.

Carlton: Fevola 3, Stevens 2, Cloke 2, Carrazzo, Kreuzer, Houlihan, Judd, Betts, Garlett, Murphy, Russell.

Best
Brisbane: Black, Bradshaw, Brown, Power, Sherman, McGrath, Johnstone, Rich.

Carlton: Judd, Carrazzo, Stevens, Cloke, Murphy, Houlihan, Kreuzer.

My Votes: 3. Simon Black (BL), 2. Chris Judd (Carl), 1. Daniel Bradshaw (BL).

Umpires: McLaren, Wenn, Jeffery.                         Crowd: 32,702 at the Gabba.

About Steve Healy

Steve Healy is an entity of a Melbourne supporter.

Comments

  1. Peter Schumacher says:

    Great game and a great coverage. Just hope that the dream doesn’t end here. And yes I have to agree that I too felt some sympathy for the Carlton supporters, like us, after so many years to make a final but then so near yet so far.

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