AFL Round 11: Carlton sneak home

by Josh Barnstable

This match will be an absolute cracker. A gun up one end of the field, and quite a controversial one (Brendan Fevola) while the twin towers await the Blue defence up the other end (Jonathan Brown and Daniel Bradshaw). A different role has presented itself to Bradshaw in recent weeks though, with the loss of Daniel Merrett and Joel Patfull forcing the star goal-kicker to move into defence. Will he be forced to go onto Fev tonight? A full moon is shining brightly above the sky in Brisbane on a warm night, lucky Barry Hall isn’t playing.

The first quarter begins and I see Bradshaw make his way to Fevola. A sensible move as the Lions don’t lose any firepower up forward early with Jared Brennan kicking a snap goal to start the match. Fevola marks and goals from 40m to cut the margin to one point. Out of the centre, Ash McGrath kicks a long running goal from outside 50 before Heath Scotland snaps a goal from the boundary line and Kade Simpson goals after the siren to give Carlton the lead by 10 points at quarter time, 3.6 to 2.2. Paul Bower has had 11 touches for the Blues while Bryce Gibbs is on 10 possessions. For the Lions, Justin Sherman has 10 while Simon Black is on 9 disposals.

The second quarter began and an early goal to Fevola after a 50m penalty against his close mate McGrath saw him kick his 2nd and extend the lead out to 17 points. Brennan replied for the Lions after receiving and snapping his 2nd before Setanta O’hAilpin dropped a mark in the goalsquare only to toe-poke it through. Brad Fisher copped a knock to his face but had to recover quiet quickly as the ball fell into his lap. He snapped a goal from 45m out to take the margin out to 23 points. Two quick snaps to Brennan though and the margin was back to within 12 points. Fevola finished off the half with a mark and goal from 50m out, taking the margin out to 17 points at half time, 7.10 to 5.5.35.

The second half started and Bradshaw is moved from defence into attack. Joel Macdonald is put onto Fev. The Blues start well, with Fevola receiving a free kick in the goalsquare after Macdonald was found holding him. He slotted his 4th goal and minutes later he marked and kicked his 5th to take the margin out to 28 points. I have noted that every time Fevola has a shot at goal, Robert Walls always comments on Fev’s unusual grip on the ball without fail. It is so irritating, as Walls pretends he knows what he is talking about when it comes to Fev’s grip, yet he is just repeating it over and over every Saturday night that the Blues play when broadcast on 10 and Fev has the ball in his hands. Jonathon Brown finally gets on the goalkickers list with a strong marking resulting in a goal from 40m. Bradshaw’s swing into attack brings a goal after a kick out of mid-air in the goalsquare. Fevola kicks his 3rd goal of the quarter after marking 45m out. They need to take Macdonald off him immediately and put Bradshaw back on him. Jeff Garlett tackles hard and is rewarded with a free kick. He converts and the whole side runs up to him to congratulate him on his efforts, the margin is out to 29 points. Fevola kicks another goal, this time he goes with the snap over the shoulder from 30m out to take the margin to 34 points. Goals to Simon Black after receiving from a running James Polkinghorne and then Brown kicks his 2nd goal after a strong mark, the margin is cut back to 23 points. A contest on the half-forward line for the Lions results in the ball being punched over the boundary line and into the crowd, slamming into a middle-aged women’s head, an unusual way for the Lions and Blues to acknowledge the Woman’s Round. Ryan Houlihan goals from near the boundary line to take the three quarter time deficit for the Brisbane Lions out to 5 goals, 9.7 to 13.13. Bryce Gibbs has 25 touches for Carlton while Black is on 23 possessions for the Lions.

The final quarter begins and the Lions start with a lot of gas still in the tank. Luke Power takes a strong mark and converts from 35m out, the margin is 24 points. Brown receives a free kick and goals. 17 points. Power kicks another goal. 12 points. Justin Sherman runs the ball out of the middle, dishes off, runs, receives and kicks a long running goal to bring the house down, also bringing the margin down to 6 points. Andrew Carrazzo gives some relief to the Blues with a 50m goal and then Fevola nails his 8th goal from a tight angle, the margin is back out to 3 goals. Daniel Rich kicks a long bomb from the centre square that bounces through, the margin is 12 points. Then Bradshaw finally makes an impact, kicking a monster goal from outside 50 to cut the margin to 7 points with little time remaining. Chris Judd stands tall though. He receives the ball inside 50 and kicks a goal on the run with his left foot to take the margin out to a seemingly unassailable 13 points. A late goal to Brown keeps the Lions in it barely but, with Brown attempting another shot moments later, he sprays it, kicking it out on the full and that is the game, the Blues hanging on to win by 6 points in one of the better games of the season so far, 16.16.112 to 16.10.106. Judd finished on 28 touches while Gibbs ended up on 27 possessions. For the Lions, Black was at his prolific best, picking up 33 disposals while Power finished on 26 touches and kicked 2 goals in the last quarter. Brennan finished on 24 touches and kicked 4 goals to be one of the better players in the game.

After this performance, I think the Blues are over their travel woes, as it is not the easiest task to beat the Lions at the Gabba, despite having to withhold a withering storm called the Brisbane Lions. Fevola’s back in action for the Blues with 8.3 and 18 disposals while Brown needs to sharpen his accuracy after a 4.5 performance tonight. The Lions have a gaping problem though, that is their defence. They need Merrett and Patfull back as soon as possible, with a tough game coming up against Hawthorn and you know what that might bring if they have to swing Bradshaw and Macdonald onto Buddy Franklin and Jarryd Roughead. Brisbane also needs more consistency from Rhan Hooper. Just 4 touches and no goals tonight compared to a 4 goal performance last week. As for the Blues, the forward line is filled with attacking pressure. Fevola, Eddie Betts and Garlett can chase and tackle as good as any other tackler in the league. The midfield is settled with young superstars and the obvious hero in Judd leading the charges. The backline is going on the offence most weeks. Bower picked up 20-odd touches and Bret Thornton has the most marks in the AFL. The Blues finally have a settled team on the park and if they keep going about it for the remainder of the year, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them line up against Geelong or the Western Bulldogs on September 26.

Brisbane 2.2—5.5—9.7—16.10.106

Carlton 3.6—7.10—13.13—16.16.112


Brisbane-Brown 4, Brennan 4, Bradshaw 2, Power 2, McGrath, Black, Rich, Sherman

Carlton-Fevola 8, Carrazzo, Judd, Scotland, Houlihan, Garlett, Fisher, O’hAilpin, Simpson


Brisbane-Brennan, Brown, Black, Power, Clark, Adcock

Carlton-Fevola, Judd, Gibbs, Bower, Murphy, Thornton


33,790 at the Gabba


3 Votes: Brendan Fevola (C)

2 Votes: Jared Brennan (B)

1 Vote: Chris Judd (C)


  1. god, your sister must be so proud of you ;)

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