AFL Round 15 – Collingwood v Carlton: no heat in the fireworks

I’ve been looking forward to this game, despite the dreaded Sunday night timeslot. Off to the ‘G with a good mate, Brent, a Carlton supporter and best man at my wedding some nine years ago. Our catch-ups are far too infrequent these days. After picking Brent up at his Geelong home, we journey to his twin brother Aaron’s apartment in East Melbourne. The best way to avoid the exorbitant prices of food and drink at the footy is to eat before you go. The chicken schnitzel and red wine served up by Aaron and his partner Chelsea are superb. As we eat we learn Aaron has a 4 way multi-bet happening that all of a sudden looks a huge chance to get up. The two horses have won, and Adelaide looks like beating Port. All that is required is for Carlton to kick a behind as the first score of tonight’s match for a tidy collect. We wish him well as Brent, my two boys and I make the short walk to the MCG.

We find our seats in the Olympic Stand and it’s as cold as I can remember at the footy in the post Waverley era. A fireworks display as the Pies run out doesn’t warm the arena. A few minutes in and Ed Curnow soccers the ball towards the Blues goal and it hits the post. Before we can marvel at Aaron’s punting genius, the ball is called back for a Chris Judd free. He puts it through the middle, the Blues lead for the only time in the game and we can almost hear the groans of despair from a nearby East Melbourne residence.

At quarter time the Pies lead by 25 points. Pendlebury has been fantastic with two goals. Swan finding the ball at will. Even Lachy Keefe kicks a goal. Brent asks for the car keys. He’s seen enough. Dale (we don’t call him ‘Daisy’ anymore) Thomas loudly booed again every time he gains possesion, just like he was in Round 7. We take particular notice of Grumpy Mick walking out to the huddle below us. His formerly grey locks look decidedly white. Coaching Carlton will do that.

Travis Cloke kicks the first goal of the second quarter and the resulting 31 point lead is as far ahead as the Magpies get for the rest of the night. The Blues threaten but can’t get close enough. Chris Yarran is explosive, untouchable and sets up most positive forward Carlton moves.Dale Thomas’ kicking has lost all penetration. His goal from outside 50m in the first 2010 Grand Final is all but a distant memory. At least he’s being well paid.

It’s off to the merchandise stand at half time to buy beanies for the boys. Gavin was trying to show no weakness but Joshua was turning purple. Amazing the difference some warm headwear makes. It’s the first time I’ve taken the boys to the footy that they haven’t asked for a cold drink. More than happy to not be buying them a $5 lemonade.

Collingwood do enough in the second half. We hang on, despite Carlton challenging at times. It’s the sparsest, less atmospheric attendance at a Collingwood v Carlton game I’ve been to. The scoreboard flatters the Blues. We should have beaten them by more than 15 points. Sidebottom seals the game with a goal that rounds out a best on ground return from suspension. Witts plays probably his best game in the black and white.  I wouldn’t care if the game was played on a Tuesday morning, it’s always a great day when Collingwood beat Carlton.

The heater is on full bore in the car on the way home. Brent regains feeling in his hands somewhere near Little River. My boys are asleep by then. Throughly enjoyed my first and more than likely last taste of Sunday night football.

Buckley 4 – Grumpy Mick 0.


COLLINGWOOD      6.3     8.8     10.12     13.13 (91)

CARLTON                   2.2     6.3       7.7        11.10 (76)


COLLINGWOOD: Pendlebury 2, Ball 2, Young 2, Sidebottom 2, Keefe, Goldsack, Witts, Cloke, Beams

CARLTON: Everitt 2, Henderson 2, Casboult, Thomas, Judd, McLean, Gibbs, Menzel, Murphy


COLLINGWOOD: Sidebottom, Pendlebury, Witts, Macaffer, Keefe, Swan, Adams, Seedsman, Lumumba

CARLTON: Yarran, Gibbs, Curnow, Robinson, Henderson, Judd, Simpson


3. Steele Sidebottom (Collingwood)

2. Scott Pendlebury (Collingwood)

1. Jarrod Witts (Collingwood)

UMPIRES: Jeffery, Nicholls, Ryan

CROWD: 40,936 at the MCG


About Luke Reynolds

Cricket and Collingwood tragic. Twitter: @crackers134


  1. Neil Anderson says

    It was a weekend for hardy football supporters Luke. It’s amazing how a win can make all the difference when you can’t feel your fingers or toes.
    And there is is the long drive home. You nearly traveling as far as me. If we win I can’t wait to get in the car and listen to all the wrap-up talk and talk-back. If we lose I don’t want to even turn the radio at all so it makes for an even longer drive home.

  2. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Good summary Luke actually the number of reports of the game being written for the , Knackery compared to spectators at the game is bloody high . What odds would you have got that a crows v power game would be significantly the biggest of the round . Interesting re the protest at this time slot compared to crows v pies at footy park on a monday night years ago .. The pies did enough and with the youth and depth in there list are building for a crack at a flag in the next few years . Carlton like a number of teams are a mile off , thanks Luke

  3. Gillian Coote says

    Excellent write up!

  4. Good work Luke……and you won the bet again ! 6 James Boags in the fridge waiting for you to pick up !

  5. Nice wiret up Luke. Would love to know what that multi was paying. You coudl have been dropping inf or some Bollinger on the way home.

  6. Luke Reynolds says

    Neil, love the radio talk on the drive home. When we win. It’s music after a loss.

    Thanks Malcolm. Seems a fair percentage of that 40,000 crowd were almanackers!

    Thanks Gill and Dean. Looking forward to those Boags.

    Cheers Raj. The multi was paying $55. Think he had $10 invested. I’m sure he’s still complaining about the free!

  7. E.regnans says

    Grand stuff Luke.
    A couple of young ones in front of me had blue lips by half time.
    I’ve probably been colder at the footy, but I don’t remember when.

    Love the image of the car with heater on full bore.

  8. Dave Nadel says

    Mind you, he was right to complain about the free. I couldn’t see that Judd deserved a free.

    Good piece, Luke.

  9. Luke Reynolds says

    Thanks Dave & Dave.

    Yeah just another soft Judd free.

  10. Well done Luke. Your club and your president thank you for your brave attendance! As an Adelaide fan I needed you to get across the Suns today. Grrr.

    At least you and your kids won’t have to endure future Sunday night games!

  11. Luke Reynolds says

    Thanks Mickey. Can handle the occaisional Sunday twilight, Sunday night games just don’t work.

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