AFLW Round 6 – Carlton v Melbourne: Cultural learnings of Ikon Park for make benefit glorious nation of AFLW

AFLW 2018 Round 6: Carlton v Melbourne

Arriving via tram from the CBD at about quarter past 4, the stop was announced as ‘Walker Street’, no mention of the park. About a third of the tram exited. This was my first visit since the Princes Park of the 1980s. Entering Ikon Park at the entrance closest to Royal Parade, I moved to the right and ended up in Row 6, near the south end goals, by the last speaker. Now all the ground was stands, and the food outlets and toilets were all built in, no caravans or portables. I noticed two Hawthorn jumpers in the crowd on my way through. My Hawks socks were a bit more unobtrusive. I saw no record sellers, so this type up of my notes will be augmented by the players’ names when I have looked them up online. For my notes all I recorded were the numbers.

The mascots run onto the ground, Captain Carlton and Navy Nina. Only 1 screen, on my right behind the far point post. I’m just under cover if it rains, but probably not okay if there is wind as well. Umpires 13, 7, 4. Carlton are doing a game changers promotion involving orange caps and their website. The Melbourne cheer squad is behind the southern goals, and the Carlton one is at the north end, but to the right of the goals. There is no banner for Melbourne to run through, and the front of the Carlton one faced away from me, all I get is that it is 5 lines of text, possibly about reducing family violence. Both teams are out by 4:27, according to the small scoreboard up in the stand to my right. It looks like the bigger ‘Sam Smorgan Scoreboard’ is not operating. Melbourne are wearing red-backed jumpers with white shorts; Carlton navy jumpers and black shorts. There are plenty of empty seats left in the stands.

Melbourne wins the toss and kicks to the southern end. It looks like I am in the Legends Stand. Carlton have the standout fluoro boots, with Harris totally orange and Attard with orange backs only. There’s a free in front of goal, but just 1 point. Good pick up from dropped kick-in mark, goal to Melbourne. Melbourne look faster, and want the ball more. Still congested, more ball ups. A free awarded to Carlton after a tackle, looked similar to one not paid to Melbourne just before. Carlton hit the scoreboard, but just 1 point. Melbourne coast to coast with a bit of a wobble in the middle, but 3 strong marks and it’s a goal. The nets stay up behind the southern goals. A 50 metre penalty, fumbles in the Melbourne forward line. I think Carlton are gone if they do not get a goal this quarter. Melbourne get a free for Carlton last touch before out of bounds (dropped mark). Good kick to a lead, mark, goal. Stand out players for Melbourne so far O’Dea and Cunningham. The crowd is still growing. A Melbourne dropped mark lets Carlton go forward but the defence holds firm. The sun is trying to break through the overcast. 1 point, touched. Play on not allowed, ball called back for Melbourne free. Play on okay the next time, but just 1 point. Gillespie of Carlton was caught after a don’t argue, and the siren goes [19:30]. Melbourne get a goal after the siren and it’s quarter time 4:55.

During the break there is a competition with the crowd bouncing 2 white balls around. A designated Uber zone for after the match is advertised on the screen. The game is on by 5:01, Carlton clear and get a goal. Maybe the southern end is the scoring end. Carlton on a roll, Vescio faster to react in forward line. Free in front of goal, but Melbourne kick just a point. Carlton clearing kicks cannot hit their target. A bad turnover, Melbourne kick straight to a Carlton player. Carlton then fumbled and it is a ball up. Free in the goal square, Melbourne goal. Good pressure from Melbourne, but only across goal. Siren [16:54] and it is half time.

There are 3 teams doing the Auskick, none in team colours. There are 3 winners from the game changer competition who are now in a ‘catch the footy’ competition. All catch it, 2 on the first attempt. 5:33 and the game restarts. The scoreboard is being reset or updated. O’Dea for Melbourne is now in the midfield, not forward. Good pass from Cranston and a mark to Scott, but the kick hits the post. A Melbourne player is escorted off by the trainers, Hickey(?). Siren [16:27], no goals kicked this quarter.

Some people with white boards are certainly taking their time getting out to the team huddle. Some of the crowd have left. Game on at 5:57, Carlton clear but he Melbourne defence takes the mark. A flurry of mistakes by both sides, Melbourne score a point. Carlton wins the clearance, but a Melbourne tackle wins the free. It is very scrappy, bouncing on the run usually ends with a fumble. A great smother by Carlton. All players seem to be in the same quarter of the ground now. Mark to the player in front. Carlton seem to have given away a lot of frees in marking contests. Carlton get a goal, the first for the half. A Melbourne player is down, Guest goes off. Another Melbourne goal. Carlton seem to have had the better of the ruck duels. Final siren [16:49] and it is all over.

On the way home a half-empty tram insists on taking the green light, and more-than-a-tram-full of us spectators have to wait for the next scheduled one, as it doesn’t appear that any extra services were added. I wave to some friends at the front of the tram when a view down the aisle clears at one point.


Carlton              0.1       2.1       2.2       3.4       (22)

Melbourne       6.3       7.5       7.8       8.9       (57)



Carlton: Vescio, Gee, Harris

Melbourne: O’Dea 3; Cunningham 3; Hore 2


Carlton: Gee, S Hosking, Vescio
Melbourne: O’Dea, Cunningham, Scott, D Pearce, Cranston

UMPIRES      Simmonds, Guy, Johansen

CROWD         6300


About Alan Stewart

My first VFL memory is perched on my grandfather's shoulders watching a game at Glenferrie Oval during the school holidays, probably about 1968. Other football immersion is from many hours assisting my father doing maintenance or selling savs at the Tarrawingee football ground during the 1970s.


  1. Yvette Wroby says

    Thanks for the report Alan. Public transport is always a mess at Princes Park after a game at Ikon, and the AFLW has promised more trams for the GF. I’d like to see that!

    It was a scrappy game and Carlton never looked in it.

  2. John Butler says

    Alan, next time you visit you should sample the bench seats in the Pratt stand (it was once known as the Hawthorn stand, unofficially). You might recognise some of the timbers from the 1980’s. Some of the splinters, too.

    We are a heritage club at Carlton.


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