Bombers Prevail In a Bruising Encounter Over the Error-Riddled Blues

By Damian Watson

I am in the midst of another lazy Saturday Afternoon and while recovering from laser surgery on my teeth I make the observation that footy certainly has the ability to both cure and compound on the resulting pain.

While striving to shift my focus off the irritation in my mouth I intently follow a couple of entertaining contests both at VFL and AFL level on the TV in the afternoon. Judging by the recent history between the mighty Blues and their Essendon rivals these two outfits can emulate a magnificent free-flowing match. However Carlton’s record against the Dons represents an escalating losing streak, not since the infamous comeback in Round 3 2007, at the tail end of our dire unsuccessful era have the Blues reigned victorious against this frustrating Essendon mob. As my Dad and I cruise down the Eastern freeway on route to the MCG I’m reasonably confident the Blues can shake the 3 year monkey off their backs.

Darkness descends upon the city as a crowd of 70 000 are poised for action for what is a relatively important match in the context of the season for these two old heavyweights.

The ball is bounced to commence this glorified contest and my toothache becomes almost irrelevant. Within the early stages the Blues are obtaining the bulk of possession and in a similarity to last week Carlton fail to capitalize on the scoreboard. The Bombers use their pace and height to advantage, transitioning the ball through the centre with speed and grace. The Dons are rewarded with the opening three majors through the likes of Ryder, Reimers and Lovett-Murray- their movement and height turns my face green with envy! Our first six-pointer arrives in fortunate circumstances with the big Setanta O’hAilpin affecting a smother and a soccer goal on the second effort. The momentary spark is lit as the dynamic duo in Betts and Yarran continue to crumb effectively and with the maturity and precision of Kade Simpson the Blues take a slender lead into the first change.

Due to the input of impressive debutants Jake Melksham and Travis Colyer and the addition of promising forays into attack the Bombers have the opportunity to place the nail in the coffin. However woeful accuracy allows the Blues to stay under the canvas. Youngster Mitch Robinson is conveying plenty of aggression winning the contested footy and as a result of a miraculous Eddie Betts pearler from the boundary the Blues are almost within a straight kick. A vital goal manufactured by midfielder Sam Lonergan extends the buffer to 10 points at the main break. Although I am still confident many of the Blueboys can add more impetus in the second half.

What triggers more frustration than a toothache you may ask?  Inexcusable skill errors.

The lack of composure and the amount of skill errors conceived by the Blue baggers would send even Donald Trump to tears! The number of occasions the ball sailed over the boundary line on the full, even while many of the Blues decorated players were under no ounce of pressure, would match the likes of a 20/20 cricketer. Fortunately the ineptitude of our players remains unpunished, at least in the third term, as the margin is a diminutive 2 goals by the final change. The atmosphere is once again electric throughout this great colosseum, which has stemmed from a couple of questionable umpiring decisions late in the term. While many, including myself, are anticipating a thrilling finale.

As has usually being the case for an avid Carlton supporter over the past decade, my hopes are snuffed within the course of 15 minutes. Tayte Pears provides an admirable performance in defence as well as creating drive and pace off the Half Back line. Former Hawk Mark Williams imposes himself on the match in the final term increasing his tally to 4 goals although he needs to present up the ground in order to improve his contribution in the future.

I am struck by surprise at the lack of intensity and hunger displayed by the Carlton side. After converting two goals in quick succession the margin is whittled down to 13 with ample time remaining. However I sense a lack of belief within the navy Blue camp giving me the impression they have conceded. The old man is eager to head home but I urge Dad to wait until the final siren rings.

The fact that many of the Essendon midfielders are roaming free and finding space away from the contest is evident. The Blues in contrast are frequently disposing in a congested situation.

As Kyle Reimers drops the footy onto his infamous yellow boot and sails through the big sticks I am willing to concede. Eventually the siren blares signaling Essendon’s first victory in 2010 by 20 points in a physical encounter. The pain from my toothache is again prominent throughout the ride home, however I’m presuming the headaches that the Carlton coaching staff will experience in the coming days after a dismal performance tonight should provide greater pain.

I reflect on yet another loss at the hands of this Bomber tribe. I ponder on why this team from the Northern suburbs tends to produce their best performance against the Blues year after year.

It is amazing how a deep historical rivalry on the big stage can ultimately lift a Football Club and serve as a possible foundation for the season ahead.

Carlton    4.5    6.6    7.12    10.15 (75)
Essendon    4.2    7.10    9.12    13.17 (95)

Carlton: Betts 2, O’hAilpin 2, Simpson 2, Houlihan, Robinson, Waite, Yarran
Essendon: Williams 4, Reimers 3, Gumbleton, Hocking, Lonergan, Lovett-Murray, Ryder, Zaharakis

About Damian Watson

Hey,my name is Damian Watson and I am 14 years old. My ambition is to become an AFL broadcaster/journalist in the future. I am a keen blues supporter and I live in the Eastern suburbs of Melbourne. I play and write for the Knox Falcons U/16's.


  1. Badluck Duckie, this wasnt supposed to happen, The Bombers winning i mean.
    Not after what i saw with my own eyes when they played Freo.
    Better luck next time.


  2. Great report Damo, well written as usual. You almost made me sympathetic towards Carlton…actually, no you didn’t :P

    What would we do about dentists? We’d endure a lot less pain, that’s for sure. I myself went on Thursday.

  3. Did Carlton set a world record for most out of bounds on the full?

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