A Finals prelude to Warm the Soul

Another week down, another Friday, another game of Footy. I remember back to Round 1, when the season opened on a Thursday night with Richmond and Carlton under lights at the MCG, now after such a short time, it’s the opening game of the last round of the home and away season between two finals aspirants, Fremantle and Carlton at Subiaco Oval.

Another wacky day gone at school, which included a period of playing Volleyball against year nine students (we won). Once I got home, I was relieved that I could unwind. School is starting to really tire me out these days. Must be the cold starts to the morning. By the way, just a little note, there has been five sun showers in the past five days in Waaia. Unbelievable.

I rugged up on my bed as both teams ran out onto the ground. Beanie, fingerless gloves, two jumpers, trackies and ugg boots, and I still had the shivers! I warmed up though as proceedings started, with finals-like atmosphere riveting around the ground and the intensity very high. Jarrad Waite kicked the first after a good tackle by Eddie Betts on Garrick Ibbotson, then Kade Simpson kicked truly on the run from 50 out. Michael Walters gave the home crowd something to cheer about with a goal from 50m, then Matthew Pavlich was handed a goal after the Carlton runner was involved in the play, which resulted in a 50m penalty. Simpson replied for the Blues in white, running onto a loose ball to kick his second, before Waite got his second as the momentum switched. Matt de Boer marked just before the siren though, and kicked a long thumping goal as it blared across the oval, with the Dockers trailing by four points at the first break, 3.4 to 4.2.

The second quarter began and the late inclusion pocket rocket Hayden Ballantyne (who people just really need to leave alone) goaled after de Boer shook a Paul Bower tackle before passing off. Pavlich got his second 50m penalty and converted again to give Freo an eight point break, before Lachie Henderson dragged one back for Carlton. Walters booted his third after swiftly gathering and breaking out of a pack, then goals to Stephen Hill after some good run and carry from Ballantyne and Chris Mayne after some brilliant end to end, high intensity footy. Jeff Garlett took a clever mark and got his first just before half time as the Dockers led by 16 points, 8.6 to 6.2.

I was feeling quite tired, but wanted to watch on as the placing of the bottom half of the top eight would be decided on this game. Henderson got Carlton off to a good start, snapping a clever goal from the behind line, before Hill replied for the Dockers, snapping a terrific goal over his shoulder. Hill was involved again, transferring the ball across the ground where Mayne marked and booted his second, then a goal from the forward pocket to Michael Johnson saw Freo lead by 29 points at the final change, 11.11 to 7.6, and Carlton looked done and dusted.

That’s what I thought anyway. Marc Murphy goaled from 50m after a poor turnover from Nic Suban, before Heath Scotland kicked his first of the night from a free kick against Antoni Grover. Garlett landed another one after a Docker turnover in the midfield, and the look on Mark Harvey’s face said it all. Fremantle gained some breathing space with Johnson kicking a goal from a clean centre clearance, before Anthony Morabito goaled on the run after another quick clearance. The margin was 23 points, and the result seemed settled. David Ellard produced a remarkable goal with a great major on his left boot, before Garlett landed his third from 45m out. 13 points the margin. Would Fremantle play a home final in Perth? Or would the Blues stay in Victoria next week? Could both teams play against each other again next week? That’s something no one would mind, as these two played a ripper game, and the climax was worth it. Eddie Betts, having a horror night, got onto the end of a long Bryce Gibbs kick after another turnover by Fremantle, this time through Ibbotson. Betts goaled, and the deficit was a mere seven points. Time was definitely not on their side, and even a Waite mark in the forward pocket wouldn’t change the way the four points went. Waite missed after the final siren, Fremantle won by six points in a cracking game of football. What a way to warm up to the finals.

Fremantle 3.4—8.6—11.11—13.15.93

Carlton 4.2—6.2—7.6—13.9.87


Fremantle-Mayne 2, Walters 2, Hill 2, Johnson 2, Pavlich 2, Morabito, de Boer, Ballantyne

Carlton-Garlett 3, Waite 2, Simpson 2, Henderson 2, Murphy, Scotland, Ellard, Betts


Fremantle-Hill, Johnson, Pavlich, Sandilands, McPhee, Mayne, Ibbotson, Hayden

Carlton-Judd, Murphy, Simpson, Grigg, Ellard, Garlett, Warnock


39,376 at Subiaco Oval


3: Stephen Hill (F)

2: Chris Judd (C)

1: Michael Johnson (F)

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.

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