Cats Crash Blues Party

Looking around, I started to get the shakes real bad. My legs were trembling, the wind was swaying me around, I held onto the hands of the two students helping me with my balance. The teacher quietly said to me “It’s alright, are you ok?” I replied with a simple “F*** it’s windy up here…” You see, one of my classes involves learning about leadership and trust within your classmates. At that moment, I was standing on top of a metre tall tree stump out the back of the school, with my classmates behind me, linked-armed, waiting to catch me. All I had to do was fall back and rely on my friends to catch me. I prayed to God that they wouldn’t drop me, as my teacher gently pushed me and I fell back.

I’ll always remember my 16th birthday because of that. Luckily I did survive, and wanted to do it again. What happened to the nervous, shaking-in-my-boots me? Probably still up on the tree stump. That was the highlight of an interesting Birthday, which included my Indian Australian Studies teacher (go figure) sang happy birthday to me in his own language. It was slightly thoughtful and slightly scary as he seemingly serenaded me. I couldn’t wait to get home though, I was buggered after a long week, and was thankful that I had cancelled my party for the night.

As I stretched out on my bed, reading That’s What I’m Talking About, Shane Crawford’s autobiography (which, compared to Black Crow, Andrew McLeod’s book, is a much greater read) I waited for the footy to start. Carlton, coming off a big wins over Richmond and Essendon, would test their ability against Geelong, who hadn’t beaten them since Round 10 in 2008. Could Carlton extend the winning streak over Geelong to three games?

Dan Menzel started things off in the best fashion possible, goaling on the run from 45m out, before Kade Simpson replied in fantastic fashion, gathering the ball in the forward pocket, running back inboard to curl it through. James Podsiadly took a good mark and converted, before Travis Varcoe easily shrugged a tackle to snap a goal. In an article on Varcoe in the Herald Sun, it said that Varcoe ‘was on the cusp of being a champion’. This is not entirely accurate, but he is a handy player now. Podsiadly kicked his second, and he looked dangerously ominous. Jarrad Waite received a free against Harry Taylor and kicked the goal, but Tom Hawkins booted his first major since Round 10, taking the lead out to 18 points. The Blues finished the quarter with a flurry of goals though, Lachie Henderson converting from the forward pocket, Chris Judd kicking a rare goal from a set-shot and Waite following up from a dropped mark to snap his second as Carlton trailed by just a point at quarter time, 5.2 to 5.3, as Gary Ablett wasn’t having his best nights, and you know how grumpy he can get when things don’t go Gazza’s way.

The second quarter saw Menzel again kick the opening goal, this time after taking a good mark floating across a pack of players. Then some Geelong fans’ memories would perhaps flood back to the 2008 Grand Final as Shannon Byrnes received the ball on the boundary line, 15m from goal.

Remember when Cam Mooney got the ball, standing on the boundary line with Hawthorn players around him as Mooney looked inboard for a target, hesitated, before slotting the goal with ease? Well, that is what Byrnes did. He spent a while looking into the centre of play for a leading forward or a loose man, before kicking the ball up in the air towards the goal. The ball went right, then swayed a bit to the left, and it went through. It was definitely goal of the week (before Cyril Rioli rectified that a day later) and Geelong led by 14 points. Henderson kicked his second, but the Cats got on a roll, a bit like last week’s second quarter. Mooney marked 45m from goal, but seemed to have a bit of the yips as he passed the ball rather dangerously across the field to Bartel, who took a strong mark, and converted. Then a turning point in the match. Hawkins marked, 55m from goal, and looked to find an option inside 50. He was about to kick it, but felt a tug at his jumper. It was Mathew Stokes, pulling him back and telling him to have the shot. Good leadership. Hawkins proceeded, and landed the big goal, before Steve Johnson gathered the ball at a breathtaking pace, evaded a Carlton defender and snapped the goal. Podsiadly kicked his third and Geelong led by 33 points. Carlton kicked a couple of late ones through Robbie Warnock and Mitch Robinson, Geelong in control by 22 points at half time, 11.7 to 8.3.

The second half began and it was the much-improved Henderson who bagged his third goal, before Stokes kicked his first. Robinson kept Carlton in it, reducing the margin to just 12 points, before Ablett sparked up to kick his first, but was seemingly carrying a hand injury and wasn’t racking up the high numbers in the midfield. Podsiadly finished the quarter with a ripper of a goal, snapping the ball over his shoulder from 45m out close to the boundary line; his celebration said it all as Geelong went into three quarter time with a 25 point advantage.

Carlton’s hopes of getting back into the game lifted when Waite took a good mark and booted his third, and the margin was just 19 points. Geelong quickly put the game to bed though, with Ablett goaling from a free kick against Andrew Carrazzo, then burning away from his opponent inside 50 to goal on the run from 25m, then Menzel won a free in a contest with fellow youngster Marcus Davies. Menzel booted his third in an impressive display, before Ablett finished things off with a courageous mark on the lead, smacking into Simpson in the process. He composed himself though and kicked his fourth goal as Geelong blew the margin out to 48 points, and the game was finished. Robinson got a late one before the final bell, but it was Geelong with the four points yet again, 18.13.121 to 12.7.79.

It was a brave effort by Carlton, fronting up against a rampant Geelong outfit that had easily dismantled a premiership favourite just a week earlier, but the hardened, experienced bodies of Geelong prevailed. As I got into my warm, cosy bed, I was happy about my week, happy that I could enjoy a 9:30 sleep-in, and I drifted off to sleep as a 16 year old for the first time.

Geelong 5.3—11.7—14.8—18.13.121

Carlton 5.2—8.3—10.7—12.7.79


Geelong-Ablett 4, Podsiadly 4, Menzel 3, Hawkins 2, Stokes, Johnson, Bartel, Varcoe, Byrnes

Carlton-Henderson 3, Waite 3, Robinson 3, Judd, Simpson, Warnock


Geelong-Chapman, Selwood, Ablett, Enright, Kelly, J Hunt, Podsiadly, Bartel

Carlton-Murphy, Jacobs, Robinson, Gibbs, Judd, Grigg


45,172 at Etihad Stadium


3: Paul Chapman (G)

2: Joel Selwood (G)

1: Marc Murphy (C)

About Josh Barnstable

21 year old North Melbourne supporter from country Victoria. Currently living in Melbourne studying a Bachelor of Sports Media. Dreams of becoming a sports journalist and broadcaster.


  1. Nice article, Josh :-) Glad to see you got your priorities sorted, LOL :P

    Interesting, though, that Dasher Milburn didn’t make it into your votes or even onto the list of Geelong’s best.

    I thought he was clearly best on ground – he gave the Carlton mob plenty of opportunity to boo him, and they were even groaning because he seemed to intercept every F50 entry that passed within 10m of him.

    Taylor, too, had a ripper. He absolutely destroyed Waite. 90 per cent of Waite’s disposals came when Scarlo was on him, including two goals. Harry marked, spoiled and beat him at almost every contest.

  2. great read Joshy :)
    Mooney never gets the ‘yipps’ :P thats just him being generous! :) naww hes so cutee!


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