AFL Finals — Week 1: Lions get up no thanks to Zach Zoomer

By Josh Barnstable

I’ve got the same feeling I had 13 weeks earlier. In Round 11, Brisbane played Carlton at the Gabba, and I tossed and turned on whether I should watch the match. I decided I would, and what a game it turned out to be. High scoring, close, and Brendan Fevola in magic form, kicking eight goals. So as I try and decide whether to watch tonight’s game, I look back on that match and make my decision to curl up on my bed and watch. Whoever loses is out, and both sides are returning to the finals after a lengthy hiatus, the Blues out of the dark since 2001 while the Lions’ first final since 2004. Question marks still hover about Simon Black, Daniel Merrett and Daniel Bradshaw, but they are going to play. I pinch myself, as Channel 10 are showing the match live. Has the world gone crazy?

The game starts and Andrew Carrazzo kicks the first goal. Typical, as the Z button is stuffing up on my laptop. Then Matthew Kruezer goals out of the middle. Carlton are really trying to make me annoyed. Who next? Zach Zoomer?

Ryan Houlihan breaks the trend with a terrific smother and snap goal, giving the Blues a 21-point lead. Jonathan Brown kicks a simple goal with a banana kick, followed by Daniel Bradshaw. Carlton’s bad boys, Jeff Garlett and Eddie Betts, kick goals, with Betts kicking his first goal ever at the Gabba. The margin is 18 points, but the Lions kick goals through Justin Sherman and Jack Redden to cut the margin to six points at quarter time, 4.4 to 5.4. Black and Houlihan are both on 11 touches each. The margin at quarter time in the Adelaide v Essendon Elimination Final on Friday night was also six points. I hope we don’t get the same end result tonight.

The second quarter begins and Chris Judd kicks a goal to take the margin out to 13 points. Sherman kicks his second on the run, then a snap to Brown draws scores level. Jordan Russell goals on the run but Travis Johnstone, who I hadn’t notice was playing, kicks a goal after Brown marked but fractured his eye socket after slamming his head on someone’s shoulder. Fevola gets into the game with a one-handed mark in the goalsquare, but a late goal to Bradshaw sees the Lions leading by a point at half time, 8.7 to 8.6.

The second half starts, and Marc Murphy continues his stellar season with a long goal on the run. Bradshaw kicks his third, but Fevola kicks his second after a good chase and tackle. Nick Stevens kicks a beauty on the run from near the boundary line, and follows it up with another goal to give the Blues a 17-point lead. Johnstone snaps a goal on the run, his second, but Cameron Cloke replies with a ripper out of mid-air from the goalsquare. Fevola finishes the quarter with his third, giving the Blues a 24 point lead going into three quarter time, 14.10 to 10.10.

I expect the Lions to fight hard this final quarter, but after Cloke almost betters his previous goal with a ripper from long range, extending the lead to 29 points, I can’t see Brisbane featuring in the finals next week. Brown kicks his third, Rhan Hooper kicks a goal with his second possession of the night and Brown kicks his fourth, slicing the margin to 10 points. Daniel Rich explodes from a pack and kicks a goal with his raking kick, reducing it to four points with five minutes remaining. I start getting nervous, but I don’t know why. I think of Damian. Poor guy must be going through hell. Bradshaw gives the Lions the lead with his fourth goal, but for some reason I can’t get the image of Fevola kicking a goal after the siren to win the match out of my head. But it’s another known goalkicker who does it. Not quite after the siren though. Bradshaw, after an errant kick to him on the lead falls towards the Forward Pocket, Bradshaw leads a limping Paul Bower to the ball. He looks to the middle, then snaps the ball around his body. “It’s curving the right way,” I think to myself. It curves through the goals, cementing the Lions position of playing the Western Bulldogs next week. The siren sounds, and the contrast between Brown and Judd is amazing. Brown pumps the air with his fists, while Judd hangs his head in despair. 16.15.111 to 15.14.104.

After tonight, I have a new opinion on Chris Judd. Dirty player. After his eye-gouging on Campbell Brown in 2007, I thought he would have learnt his lesson. But no, he was back to his old tricks again. After eye-gouging Michael Rischitelli, Judd will face the AFL Match Committee. In the Monday Herald Sun, Judd claims he didn’t eye gouge Rischitelli, but in fact tried poking him in the pressure point behind his ear, which is quite painful after doing it to myself after reading it. He says it was a simple Martial Arts move, but this isn’t Martial Arts, Mr Judd, it’s Football. The only artist he is, is a bullshit artist. No Brownlow for him this year, but I tell you what, Simon Black deserves another one. Despite being injured, Black put in a brilliant performance, collecting 29 possessions. Hopefully his inspiration, along with the heroics of Brown, Bradshaw, Sherman and Luke Power, the Lions can put in another good performance next week.

I text my Nana, “Hey! Did you hear the entire Carlton side was admitted to hospital?”

“No, what happened?”

“They were taken away in 22 ambulances after a severe case of choking!”

Brisbane 4.4—8.7—10.10—16.15.111
Carlton 5.4—8.6—14.10—15.14.104

Brisbane-Bradshaw 5, Brown 4, Sherman 2, Johnstone 2, Rich, Redden, Hooper
Carlton-Fevola 3, Cloke 2, Stevens 2, Judd, Carrazzo, Kruezer, Betts, Garlett, Houlihan, Murphy, Russell

Brisbane-Black, Bradshaw, Brown, Sherman, Johnstone, Power, Merrett
Carlton-Houlihan, Murphy, Stevens, Cloke, Simpson, Fevola, Judd


32,702 at the Gabba


3: Simon Black (B)
2: Daniel Bradshaw (B)
1: Ryan Houlihan (CARL)


  1. Peter Schumacher says

    Regrettably I have to agree with your comments re Judd. How he gets only two to three weeks for such an indiscretion is totally beyond me. He should have been outed for at least 12 games given that he has form and he is after all the Carlton captain.

    It is ironic that two of the captains used by the AFL to preach against violence have been found wanting themselves in this regard. Also I bet that the Ruddster will be a bit more careful in future in deciding who are to be his new best friends.

    Loved your gag and indeed your commentary. You and some other contributors to this forum have certainly kept proper track of the events as they unfolded.

  2. Naww Cameron! :( i really miss having him at Collingwood but hes such a rebel!
    its funny how both your mother and i had a thing for one of the Cloke Men LOL.
    As for the joke in your text- brilliant! :)

  3. Josh Barnstable says

    Thanks Peter and Danielle! The next day at the annual Father’s day BBQ at my Nan’s house, she gave me the evil looks all day lol

    Well Danni, you like C. Cloke who is tall, dark and tough looking, while my mum liked D. Cloke who was medium, had a shocking mustache and wore horrible short footy shorts haha

  4. Lol bring back the short-shorts!!
    you know when the commentators see Cameron they alwasy point out that hes the Cloke brother sho looks most like his father!! :)
    i spent hours on the net trying to find pictures of Cameron during his Collingwood days. he used to be so cute and innocent but now hes gorgous and bad LOL

  5. Josh Barnstable says

    Poor Jason, could never really match his brothers at AFL level lol

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