All over for the Bombers

The “refugee” from the Isle of Jersey rang me up earlier in the week suggesting we go to the G on Friday night for the Dons v Blues game. I was a little pessimistic as the last time we went to watch the Dons, they were thrashed by the hapless Eagles, surely this result will be better for Essendon,  especially after two wins in a row, the last one against the highly fancied St Kilda.

Over the years our family have not shown a lot of love towards the Carlton Football Club. One of the families darker secrets  is that my great great uncle played with Carlton around the late 1890’s but it was never spoken of. The real catalyst for us not liking Carlton  a great deal was the “Casper incident” late in the 1951 season. John Coleman was the dominating full forward for the Dons and even though full backs tried all sorts of tricks to unsettle him, he was still averaging 4or 5 goals a game.  In the last home and away game  Carlton’s Harry Casper  lined up on John Coleman. Press reports of the day state the Coleman was”  under  continual provocation” through out the game, resulting in he and Casper  both being reported. Both got 4 weeks, which meant nothing to Carlton who weren’t in the finals, but to the Don’s a very bitter blow. Essendon managed to get through to the Grand Final, but Geelong defeated them by 11 points to win the flag. One of the great ironies of the game was that Geelong’s  George Goninon who couldn’t get a game with Essendon because of John Coleman, was full forward for the Cats on this day. He ended the season as the leading goal kicker with 86 goals and played an important part in their win.

But back to the current game, there is a lot resting on the result, both need a win to stay in contention for the 8 and both need a win for their supporters. Sitting among the crowd of red and black you can sense the expectation they demand  from the players, and some  have exceedingly high expectations.  God, they must have been” great champions ” in their youth. The main difference between the teams was accuracy  at quarter time it was Carlton 6.3 to Essendon 3.6. I had a feeling Carlton were playing with greater certainty and confidence, Essendon weren’t sure where to go with the ball. They over hand balled, usually resulting in  a turn over and their kicking  to team mates was way off.  Mind you Carlton wasn’t much better but they had more organisation in their forward line, especially with Garlett and Waite playing great footy for them. Half time Carlton 10.5 Essendon 5.13  Essendon should have been closer, young Kyle Hardingham  was presenting very well a taking some great marks, alas his kicking for goal let him down badly.

Alwyn Davey was not to be seen after half time with a broken arm and Jason Winderlich seemed to re injure his hand, so we were two down for the second half. The third quarter was a pretty even affair, both teams kicked 3.3 although i reckon Jay Neagle was a bit unlucky when a snap from him was deemed a point. Carlton 22 points up at 3/4 time, and I said to Jamie this could be a BIG last quarter for the Dons. Stupid me.  Carlton kicked 3 goals in as many minutes and the Don’s dropped their collective bundles. Carlton turned the last quarter into a training run, kicking goals from all angles with Garlett ending up with 6, Waite 4 and a multitude of other players contributing. Essendon on the other hand were clueless going forward. The only sort of bright spot  up forward was Hardingham, a great mark but pathetic kick. A lot of work for the Essendon kicking coach, if they have one.

The Dons had great triers, Watson, Hurley,Houli,Ryder and Colyer never gave up for the entire game. A suggestion for the Essendon match committee, what about a game for Atkinson, he can run and kick and take a good mark, could be a good selection for the last few games.

Final scores Carlton 23.11 Essendon 9.19   Good bye the Dons for season 2010.

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