Oh Glorious Night

After sitting through the Carlton v Magpies game last Saturday, and been driven mad by opposition (Collingwood) supporters, I entered last night’s game Carlton v Essendon still cranky.

I could not get over how much the Magpie supporters believe the ball is their right. They have manipulated the media (say no more) and the government (think Olympic pool and Olympic Park) and expect to get everything their way. They do not much respect the opposition, and their weight of numbers lets them feel this way.

 

I needed a win against the old foe, Essendon. I have hated Essendon for a couple of decades, starting with the 1993 GF, building through the days of Sheedy, Sean Denham, Damian (Squealer) Hardwicke, and multiplied by the Maclaren factor it became fierce, the Bombers my only hated team. I booked 12 seats at the ‘G and sat with family and friends, only one opposition supporter amongst us. I wasn’t going to suffer like last week.

 

Unfortunately for the Bombers, some crucial outs hamstrung them a bit, with Jobe Watson and Heath Hocking out of their midfield, and the extremely annoying, crafty, old Fletcher a late withdrawal. The Blues have had a few weeks without a couple of important cogs, Full-back Jamison, and CHF Waite. A number of other injuries have recently made a joke of our previously perceived “depth”. We went in square, I reckon, and Ratten actually played 7 players with 20 or less games’ experience. It was Simpson’s 150th game (nearly all consecutive!), and I felt our boys would win it for him. He deserved as much.

 

Two of my (adult) kids joined us for the first time in many years. One is a passionate Blue but she has just returned from several years overseas, and was desperate to see Judd play “in the flesh”. The other fell off the bandwagon years ago, but seemed keen, sniffing a possible revenge of past Essendon injustices. I was hoping against hope that the Judd baby would not decide to appear just before the Essendon game.  This was too important.

 

The first half was tight and tough, and quite enthralling. I thought the Blues were better, but we just couldn’t shake those Dons. Our seats were just behind the Carlton bench, and the number of interchanges that occurred astounded us, as we don’t normally notice the bench. We saw Andrew Walker getting his head bandaged, and hoped he’d be all right. At half time I spoke to some Essendon supporters I knew, and told them that it would be heaven for me to see our Blues prevail, then watch some of the replay (late), then watch Cadel Evans win the Tour de France in the time trials later in the night. They laughed.

 

The second half was my entry into heaven. We started with a couple of rare marks, then the floodgates opened.  Oh my God, it was magnificent! Goals to Kreuzer, Yarran and Judd preceded a couple more to Eddie Betts, punctuated by goals to Walker and Murphy. Essendon were held virtually scoreless for the quarter, a late rushed point almost on the siren the only blot in Carlton’s copybook. We kicked 8.4, they the solitary point. I don’t know who was better in the midfield, Judd or Murphy. I hope they share the Brownlow. Not the votes, the actual medal.

 

To Essendon’s credit, they came out and  kicked four of the first five goals of the last quarter, but their revival was short lived. Betts and Walker stole the show and about 20 minutes in, a most wondrous thing happened: Andrew Walker flew halfway to heaven in the biggest leap I think I have ever seen. And he held the mark! And he kicked the goal!! Eddie Betts was in front of us when it happened, and he turned to the crowd with a look of amazement on his face, a spectator like the rest of us, in awe of what we had just seen. We were so happy we were nearly hysterical.

 

The MCC replayed that mark on the big screen so many times and every time, everyone present roared with astonishment and delight. Even the Essendon supporters. It was that good.

If I had had a heart attack then and there, I would have died happy.

 

The rest of the game is a blur now, but I can tell you that Eddie kicked 8 straight (one tricky one of which could be the goal of the year), Judd and Murphy tore the Dons to shreds, Andrew Walker received a Carlton sainthood, and the Judd baby held off for the occasion.

 

We went home delirious with delight, and watched most of the second half replay. We got to the Walker mark, replayed it several times, then flicked over to the Tour de France.

Oh glorious, glorious night.

 

What a difference a week makes.

 

Comments

  1. forwardpocket says:

    What a difference winning makes…

  2. Barb.
    Having made a rare excursion to Melbourne the victory was onme for the ages. I sadly left tad bit early so missed Walker’s mark. WE went to the Nth Fitzory Arms with Messers Harms Dafft and Phanton and brother Peter. The reason I left early was that I wanted to walks down to street with the 1000’s of Essendon supporters wingeing their way home. Ahh how sweet it was to be smug in their presence. I’ll be writing up the match report at this stage have C.Judd 6 votes
    cheers
    TR

  3. Alovesupreme says:

    Tony,
    I think that’s the least you can do for CJ; after all the Age gave him 10 in their analysis. They managed to fit Zaharakis in as a consolation.
    I’m sorry you missed Walker’s leap into the stratosphere. If you have a long memory, it was like Peter Bosustow’s mark of the year in 1981, Princes Park forward pocket (University side) v. Geelong.
    As I’m a censorious bloke, I don’t approve of your leaving to dance on the Essendon supporters’ grave – tempting though that is. I aspire to “win without crowing, lose without crying.”
    Like Barb, I found Saturday night’s second half pleasure enough.

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