AFL Round 9 – North Melbourne v Adelaide: Who booked my flight?

By Rajesh Singh

When Grant organized our Melbourne trip it all looked good on paper. Swans vs. Pies Friday Night, Caufield Saturday, Dreamtime game Saturday night and Crows vs. Kangaroos Sunday. The only query was the 7-10 flight back to Adelaide on Sunday night. Would we be able to stay until the end in the event of a tight finish?

The weekend started superbly with the Swans beating the Pies on Friday night. The highlight of our weekend was jagging the quaddie at Caufield. We had a couple of Coast FM experts who suggested a quaddie was the way to make money. Everyone chipped in with ideas but it was yours truly who suggested we only need one in the last leg. The pressure was immense coming to the last and I couldn’t watch. Strawberry Boy led until the last bound where an Italian import lunged at it to make us very nervous. Jarv was confident he had held on and he did. A $40 dollar investment for a $4000 return between 8 of us –  fair to say the celebrations were raucous. The Dreamtime game was poor and we vowed never to attend another Richmond game and consoled ourselves playing Poker at Crown until 2AM.

A few sore heads called for Breakfast at Albert Park. Seemingly the Bombers had the same idea after recovery. Was it mere coincidence that we had to walk down Dank Street to get there? After a delayed checkout we headed to Etihad for a fitting finale to the weekend. We left our bags at the Savoy and ordered a cab for 6pm. It was going to be tight.  My friend at the Crows who gave me the player passes didn’t tell me the Gestapo at Etihad would try and send us up to Level 3. We tried 3 Customer service operators who wouldn’t let us in at the ground level informing us that is was reserved. Reserved by who I asked the whole area is empty. Eventually we snuck our way into the pocket next to Adelaide luminaries such as Mark Ricciuto, Rob Chapman and Peter Argent.

North Melbourne were all over us early with Thomas, Ziebel and Harvey red hot. It was evident that they were fired up after the previous week’s loss and the Crows seemed flat.  The Crows stayed in touch through Kerridge and Sloane and went in to half time only 10 points down which was flattering. We were adamant if the Crows stayed close the Kangas could choke again late as they had against Hawthorn, Geelong and last week against a Nattanui inspired West Coast. It wasn’t to be though. North put the foot down and kicked away again to be 39 points up in the third quarter. Sanderson took a gamble and subbed out the ineffective Jacobs for Porpus who added some run. It still seemed a forlorn task. With a Taxi booked at 6pm Grant gave us the 2 minute warning to finish our beers at the 20 minute mark of the last quarter. As we walked out with the Crows down by 4 goals with 5 minutes left what were we going to miss?

We listened in the Taxi in disbelief as the Crows kicked 5 goals to get up by a solitary point. The tones of Gary Lyon “don’t tell me” the same line he used last time I was at Etihad when McLeod snapped form the left pocket to sink the Pies. Petrenko kicks the winner with 16 seconds left.  Then the phone calls and messages started. You guys are so lucky, you have witnessed the greatest finish ever. We didn’t answer. We need time to watch the replay at home and get our stories straight. The fact that we had time for a Corona at the bar before boarding leads me to believe we could have stayed another 5 minutes. Then as I take my seat on thepPlane over the loudspeaker comes the call: “Passenger Raj Singh report to cabin crew”. Grant looks at me in disbelief. What now? Surely the pilot hasn’t heard our story already? Who booked my Flight!

Malarkey votes: Kerridge (A) 3; Thomas (NM) 2; Thompson(NM) 1.


  1. mickey randall says

    You’ve had a great weekend! I was watching at Boomarang Bar in Singapore, and nearly left early a few times but each end of quarter comeback kept me there! It was astonishing. I especially loved Bruce McAvaney’s “here we go” as Petrenko kicked it through. Nice read!

  2. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Very Entertaining Read Raj Singh

  3. Michael Aird says

    Sounds like you had a great weekend. Take me next year

  4. Jason freer says

    Great story. Maybe book your flight a bit later next time

  5. Heath Moss says

    One of the great highlights in what has thus far been a disappointing season. I sat there from my couch in disbelief. Had been chatting to a mate via xbox live whilst the game was on. I think we both hit the roof when Pup kicked that goal. Danger was again instrumental in the last with 12 touches and a handful of clearances. Dougie continued his best ever season for the crows and Kerridge showed what he was made of. That kid will be a 200 game player for us. Awesome read once again Rajesh

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