AFLW Round 5 – Adelaide v Carlton: Not too much to ask, is it?

 

At last sanity prevails at Coopers Stadium!

 

In Round 1 the choice was a beer named after a Melbourne suburb/football team or beer from, allegedly, where you’d rather be (when marketers describe a beer as ‘crisp’ it means ‘this beer tastes like nothing because we know you prefer the appearance of drinking beer to actually drinking it’).

 

A Norwood Footy Club stubbie holder was acquired to hide the evidence.

 

It is a great shame that SA footy venues are not a celebration of all things South Australian. I know it’s just about the money and Adelaide Oval gets more of it from contracts with the big players but just imagine the mecca for tourists the Oval would become if you could get Coopers and Pirate Life, Grant Burge and Wolf Blass.

 

All that to wash down a pie floater, a frog cake or simply some chips generously dusted with chicken salt. Maybe just a slice of fritz or a piece of beesting (bienenstich) cake. Surely there’s money there, if not quite as much, if we just use our imaginations (and loosen our waistbands). Is that too much to ask?

 

Imagine my surprise this week, then, when, having deposited the family in seats in the Edwin T Smith Pavilion (himself making a fortune founding the Kent Town Brewery and subsequently the SA Brewing Company), I amble to the nearest bar to find the ground’s naming rights sponsor’s product available.

 

So excited am I that after purchasing and social media-ing a photo of said beverage that I proceed to spill most of it down behind my seat. The gentle pool of beer slowly expands its rivulet of influence, thankfully halting its progress under the seat of the row in front.

 

The spilled sponsor’s product in happier times

 

On the ground the manual scoreboard confirms that Norwood lead South Adelaide in the SANFLW 3.3 to 2.2, early in the last quarter. As two of the three teams vying for a grand final spot, this game has import. South kick a point and the scoreboard operator changes the score to 3.3 to 3.3 – why did he just award the Panthers seven points? It’s not until five minutes later when South kick the first goal of the match that I work out what is going on. In the end South win 2.4 16 to 0.3 3.

 

While still well and truly in the hunt for the grand final, Norwood could be forgiven for a dip in form this season as, soon after, three of their 2017 premiership players run onto the field for the AFLW match: Ruth Wallace and Mirjana Rajcic for the Crows and Sophie Li for Carlton.

 

Li, as well as having the shortest surname ever for an AFL (era) footballer (the only other two letter players I could identify were David Ey who played for Sturt in the 1980s and Tom Re who played three games for Fitzroy in the 1930s), was outstanding in the first edition of the SANFLW, winning the medal for best on ground in the Grand Final.

 

For whatever reason Li (a Murray Bridge based paramedic by day) nominated to be drafted in Melbourne, so we have missed her run and carry. As she warms up she is enthusiastically greeted by a number of ex-teammates.

 

Carlton’s banner has a dig at Adelaide water, (I could be wrong but from memory it said something like “Sure we’ve been rubbish, since getting caught as cap rorters, but at least we don’t have to, drink your tap water”) and the game is underway. 6,000 are in attendance, and while the number is not as impressive as Round 1, it certainly makes for a more comfortable viewing experience.

 

Carlton get the ball forward early but spray a shot and soon are made to pay by the Ruth Wallace show.

 

The Crows spread the ball (containing opposition spread has become a major issue for Carlton, who tend to block the corridor) and get it in quickly on repeated occasions to Wallace who manages 2.1 from the subsequent chances. Adelaide may have been ruthless in 2017 but in 2018 they are certainly seeing the benefits of being Ruthful as she now has five goals for the season.

 

The Blues are getting their fair share of the ball, Sarah Hosking first to it on several occasions, but again are wasteful going inside 50, missing another three opportunities before a literally last second running goal from Tayla Harris. Remarkably, within a minute of the restart, Carlton are in front as the first clearance of the second quarter leads to Darcy Vescio beating Ange Foley to the ball and snapping truly from five metres out.

 

The game waxes and wanes thereafter with duelling misses until Eloise Jones takes a leaping mark to put the Crows back in front and then runs onto the ball deep in a northern pocket and snaps a cracker. These passages of play are sufficient to wake the crowd from a brief slumber and the Edwin T Smith is rocking again. The Crows win the next clearance leading straight to a McCormick goal and in the blink of an eye they have a decisive 23-point lead at half time.

 

So decisive is it, that the Crows choose to rest Erin Phillips and her troublesome quad for the remainder of the match. They must have been sorely tempted to bring her back on in the third, however, as Carlton dominate with repeated forward 50 entries. Randall, Rajcic and Foley hold firm, though, and are able to restrict the Blues to just three behinds while managing only two forward 50 entries themselves.

 

Daylight fades over the Parade

 

As the daylight fades and Norwood’s (sufficiently adequate) lights take over, Carlton continues to press. Their best chance of the last quarter is defused by a desperate Randall lunge on the goalline, preventing a certain goal. Unsurprisingly, when your captain provides such an example, the team lifts.

 

The Crows mess the ball through a disrupted midfield and Wallace runs into an open 50, making no mistake. Now with a four goal lead, any remaining pressure dissipates. Sedunary finishes off the night, giving the Crows a 35-point win and keeping them in the finals race.

 

The reigning premiers are still in it – all they can do from here is beat Fremantle and Collingwood and let the other results take care of themselves. Remarkably, a Crows home grand final is still, mathematically, possible… if the Bulldogs lose to GWS and Melbourne, Brisbane lose to Collingwood, Melbourne lose to Carlton, and GWS loses to Brisbane.

 

That’s not too much to ask, is it?

 

 

 

ADELAIDE   2.2   6.3   6.3   8.7 (55)
CARLTON   1.4   2.4   2.7   2.8 (20)

GOALS
Adelaide: Wallace 3, Jones 2, McCormick, Hewett, Sedunary
Carlton: Harris, Vescio 

BEST
Adelaide: Wallace, Randall, Jones, Marinoff, Phillips, Rajcic
Carlton: Loynes, S.Hosking, Harris, Moody, Audley, Gay 

INJURIES 
Adelaide: Phillips (quad), Cramey (hamstring)
Carlton: Nil 

Reports: Nil

Umpires: Mirabile, Strybos, Crosby

Official crowd: 5970 at Norwood Oval

Votes: 3. Randall (ADEL), 2. Wallace (ADEL), 1. Rajcic (ADEL)

 

About Dave Brown

Upholding the honour of the colony. "Play up Norwoods!"

Comments

  1. John Butler says:

    Dave, a formula that relies on the Blues beating anyone at present may be a long shot.

    A Coopers related question: why is Sparkling always pricier and harder to find than Pale Ale? Pardon a Victorian’s ignorance on essential cultural matters.

    Cheers

  2. Rulebook says:

    Good stuff Dave v happy that common sense prevailed and that our sponsors product was available.The Redlegs trio of 2017 were decisive,Wallace has become a key player.Norwood oval is a fantastic venue it provides the real cauldron atmosphere.( I did walk behind Sam Lane to get on tv for the knackery get together ) love the old mathematic possibility

  3. Verity Sanders says:

    Dear John – Re the ‘essential cultural matter’ – or Intangible Cultural Heritage as they call it in history circles – Pale Ale has become the ‘all occasion’ beverage for most South Australians, and so is produced and distributed in vast quantities, which I think also makes it a bit cheaper to produce. The lovely old sedimenty Sparkling Ale ( which saw me through university very nicely – a complete meal in fact ), the Dark Ale, and other Coopers’ varieties are a bit more niche, so probably not so proliferated.

    Norwood Oval is a great home for (twilight) AFLW in Adelaide into the future, so having some removable shade structures on the eastern side for the games would be very do-able, and allow that side to be a great spot to see the action as the sun goes down. Its always the last side to fill as its hard to see into the setting sun, and bloody hot for bottoms on the cement. There’s always a bunch of people crowding under the one tree on that side, like sheep in a paddock ( sheep ain’t silly).

  4. Dave Brown says:

    Thanks for the comments folks. Yes, very much a mathematical possibility, John, when it requires 7 of the 8 remaining games to fall a specific way, including Carlton winning. The Blues are missing Bri Davey so much. As Verity says Pale is the quaffing product and Sparkling more for the connoisseur (if you ever get a chance to taste the three or six year aged sparkling ale, jump at it). There is also the matter of taxation – a stubbie of pale ale has $0.84 excise on it while a stubbie of sparkling (due to its higher alcohol content) has an excise of $1.08. While that doesn’t seem much, over a slab that’s an additional almost $6 of taxation.

    Yes, I saw you patrolling the walkway in front of the Edwin T Smith, Rulebook.

    It will be interesting to see what, if any, investment the AFL will put into venues, Verity. Would love to see some minor but meaningful improvements at the Parade, as you suggest. Women’s toilets the other biggest issue as far as I can tell.

  5. Imagine if you could get fried fritz at the footy?

  6. Rulebook says:

    The shade is a great point,Verity I will pass that on it is interesting being involved,Dave

  7. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says:

    I’m envious Dave. The Crows are at least keeping things interesting.

    We need more venues where you can consume the sponsors’ products. I’d love to watch footy at Amscol Park or the Sno Top Dome. Maybe they could play off for the Jacobs’ Fritz Cup.

  8. Dave Brown says:

    Footy Fried Fritz, Mickey. It has a ring to it.

    You don’t fancy getting a mortgage next time you come over to watch Centrals play, Swish? Slightly more practical than leaving the Bay with a roller door or Unley with a Peter Motley.

  9. Yvette Wroby says:

    Good stuff Dave,
    the beer conversations just flies by me (fine whisky on the occasion for me) but the stuff about making venues both comfortable and manageable – I’ll take that any day. There are never enough women’s loo’s anywhere! It’s a thing. And thinking of ways to get crowds there with good food, proper shade and seating, and no ongoing racket…that would be a win.

  10. Luke Reynolds says:

    Dave, another cracking picture of The Parade. Fantastic that you can get a Coopers at Coopers Stadium now!

    Pretty sure ‘crisp’ translates to ‘tasteless’ and or ‘bland’.

  11. John Butler says:

    Thank you folks.

    As always, the Almanac is a place of continual learning.

    As to investment in venues, I can confirm there has been minimal upgrading of Princes Park thus far. Not sure who’s taking responsibility for that.

  12. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says:

    Still alive.

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