Roos limp home at the Dome

This was a big day for me. Attending the AFL for the first time this season. But first things first, I had a game to play against Katamatite, Sam Wright’s home town. Playing against his brothers, they stitched Waaia up by a very disappointing 109 points, with two players taken to hospital with badly broken noses. Luckily I wasn’t one of them. After watching the reserves match and some of the seniors, Dad and I made our way back to the car. Dad had heard from Wright’s Dad that Hamish McIntosh was to be out of the side. I pondered who would come in from the emergencies as we made our way to Seymour, not before a quick stop in Shepparton to see Jessica Watson making her way home in the Harbour City.

After arriving in Seymour, Dad and I caught the train as I wondered about the result of the Melbourne v West Coast match. As I left the car a while back it was the Eagles who were taking control of the dour game. Shortly into my trip I got a text from fellow Almanacker Steve Healy, who confirms the result that the Eagles had run away with the win. He was making the trip to Etihad Stadium from the MCG, as well as Adam Bulman. We arrived at Southern Cross, and I soon spot Steve amongst a big crowd of people. We waited for Adam to arrive, and when he does we entered the stadium to find our seats as the Adelaide players start running out on the ground. We were forced to sit in the top level, despite being North Melbourne members. Why James Brayshaw?

Despite having to sit a million metres in the air, we had quite a good view, but we were poorly seated right below the big screen and the siren. The bloody, annoying siren. Adam and I seemed to jump out of our seats everytime it went off. It didn’t seem to bother Steve much. The game began and after the ball spent all of it’s time in the Adelaide forward line, Scott Stevens got an easy goal from the goalsquare. I was slightly concerned that this would be the game where the Crows would announce they are still a force. Brent Harvey eased those fears with a clever goal from the goalsquare, before Andrew Swallow goaled from 45 out. Aaron Edwards took a good mark in the goalsquare to kick the Roos’ third, before the magical Andrew McLeod received a handball and, from 35m out on the boundary line, he curled through an absolute ripper. It was hard not to be amazed by it, even if it was for the other team. Andrew Swallow marked before giving off the handball to Harvey on the run who put through his second. Strangely, the goal went under Swallow’s name. A bad mistake from Tex Walker saw the Crows go without another goal for the quarter as the Roos led by 12 at the first break, 4.3 to 2.3.

The second quarter started (again, that stupid siren) and Leigh Harding showed his worth to the side with the opening two goals, giving the Roos 25 point lead. I couldn’t work out if it was a comfortable lead or a handy lead. Swallow put through his second from a free kick, but according to the Etihad ground attendants it was his third. Daniel Pratt, playing his first game of 2010, used his thumping boot to advantage, spotting the much improved Daniel Wells in the forward line. Wells kicked the goal as the Roos 38 points at the main change, 8.6 to 2.4.

We decided to move down into the first level, and found quite good seats at the Coventry end, a few rows back from the fence. This was the advantage of barracking for North Melbourne, you get good seats once your finally get into the first level. Unfortunately, if we had of stayed put, we would have gotten a great view of Harvey’s magical goal. After marking on the wing, he took off, with Matt Jaensch in hot pursuit, but the 32 year-old was too quick, taking three bounces and slotting the goal from 40m out, kicking his ‘second’ goal (actually his third) as the Roos led by 47 points. The biggest winning margin I’ve seen the Roos win by in the flesh was 41 points against Richmond in 2008, and they were on their way to eclipsing that. Todd Goldstein improved that margin with a goal into the top deck from the goalsquare (near where we were originally sitting) before the Crows kicked their first goal since McLeod’s beauty. Jared Petrenko gathered and snapped a good goal, before pumping himself and his teammates up with an over-the-top celebration that I laughed at. Walker, the most disliked player on the ground at the time, kicked his first as the margin was cut to 40 points. Lindsay Thomas snapped his first, before Edwards got his boot onto a ball in the goalsquare to kick a brilliant goal, taking the margin out to 54 points at the final break, 12.11 to 4.5.

The final quarter started and as Adam and Steve read Myke Cook’s player questionnaire in the AFL Record, he bobbed up to kick a goal. These two were bad luck. Walker quickly became the most-liked player on the ground, booting two goals as the Crows climbed back within 36 points. Bernie Vince kicked an easy goal from the goalsquare, and Swallow missed an attempt at his ‘fourth’ goal. Kurt Tippett finally did something as he goaled, and Jason Porplyzia booted his first and the Adelaide fans started getting a bit of a swagger about them, trailing by 16 points at the 26th minute mark. Surely not. Richard Douglas kicked yet another behind as the rowdy blokes sitting behind us started abusing the umpire (you bald-headed prick! Grow some hair!) much to our amusement, but I got worried as Porplyzia marked and ran into an open goal, cutting the margin to nine points. But the Adelaide girl sitting in front of me spoiled the result. She announced there was only 37 seconds left, much to my relief and delight. The Crows were not going to win. I counted down the final seconds and jumped out of my seat as the final siren sounding, ending a dour affair between two under-performing teams, 12.12.84 to 11.9.75.

Despite getting the four-points, I don’t feel good about this match. I don’t feel happy and elated. I feel cheated and grumpy that the Roos didn’t get the muchly-needed percentage boost that we were, at one stage, going to get. 54 points up in the last quarter to win by nine. Nine points that is, not nine goals. But I was happy with the form of many players. Brady Rawlings is having a career-best season; he collected 37 possessions, while Swallow and Harvey were at their best. Todd Goldstein shouldered all of the ruck after David Hale went down with a back injury in the opening minutes of the match, and he passed with flying colours in his best match ever. Ben Cunnington is slowly putting good, solid games together, while Ryan Bastinac keeps performing. Harding deserves a spot in this side, as does Pratt and Edwards. Scott McMahon was solid in defence with 20 possessions, but the form of Josh Smith is worrying. He had quite a few touches, much to my amazement after looking at the stats, but he never looked like scoring anything. That’s not a welcoming thought when our main targets, Hale, Drew Petrie and Ben Warren weren’t playing. But we still found a way to win, even if it wasn’t comfortably.

As I bid Adam and Steve farewell amongst the 16,000 people on the bridge at Southern Cross Station, Dad and I get on the train and make our way back to Seymour. As I stumble into my bedroom at 1:20am, I try to sleep, feeling as if the Roos have just lost.

North Melbourne 4.3—8.6—12.11—12.12.84

Adelaide 2.3—2.4—4.5—11.9.75

Goalkickers:

North Melbourne-Harvey 3 (not 2), Swallow 2 (not 3), Edwards 2, Harding 2, Wells, Thomas, Goldstein

Adelaide-Walker 3, Porplyzia 2, Tippett, Petrenko, Stevens, McLeod, Vince, Cook

Best:

North Melbourne-Harvey, Goldstein, Swallow, Wells, Firrito, Rawlings, Ziebell, Grima, McMahon

Adelaide-Goodwin, Armstrong, Vince, McLeod, Rutten

Worst on Ground: Kurt Tippett

Crowd:

16,455 at Etihad Stadium

Votes:

3: Brent Harvey (NM)

2: Todd Goldstein (NM)

1: Andrew Swallow (NM)

About Josh Barnstable

21 year old North Melbourne supporter from country Victoria. Currently living in Melbourne studying a Bachelor of Sports Media. Dreams of becoming a sports journalist and broadcaster.

Comments

  1. Andrew Starkie says:

    Good report Josh. I thought Goldstein was BOG due to his secon and third efforts. He responded well to the lone ruckman challenge. You’re right about Cunners and Bastiac, they’ve going well. Cunners is adapting to the tempo. Smith is a concern, I agree. No ball sense, he can’t read the play.

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