North on the right bus again

Going to the footy is special to me. I’m not like some of those city kids that go every weekend (you know who you are) but this year I’ve been fairly fortunate to go to four matches, and it’s only Round 13! This game would be my fifth match, with more to come hopefully. An extra incentive to going to the footy is meeting up with the aforementioned city kids, and I planned to sit the game with Michael Allan, self proclaimed Rob Thomas and George Michael lover, and Steve Healy.

After almost missing the train completely at Seymour Station, I relaxed on the seats until I got a text message from Steve, ‘I can’t go, sorry’. Well, it was just me and Michael now. Due to rail work between Broadmeadows and Southern Cross, Dad and I were forced off the train at Broady and onto a bus, where we drove to Etihad, wasting a bit of time in the process. At 12:50, we hopped off and started the walk to Etihad. Through the rain and wind, we bought a footy record and made our way to aisle 15, where I kept an eye out for red hair. I spotted Michael, not before he spotted me, and Dad and I sat down in the great seats, five rows from the front and in great view of the ground and of the North players walking along the boundary line whilst resting on the bench. The umpire held the ball aloft, the crowd of 15,000 cheered and the game was on.

Jay Schulz made a great start, taking a mark and kicking the goal before the much improved Lachie Hansen outpointed Alipate Carlile in a marking contest and kicked his first. Cameron Hitchcock marked and goaled, but Brent Harvey notched up goal assist number two with a pass to Matt Campbell, who goaled. Schulz went low to take a mark before kicking his second, and the Power were in front. The Roos provide some great desperation though, with Ben Cunnington smashing into a pack to win the ball out to Andrew Swallow, who finished things off with a goal on the run. Cunnington earned much applause as he ran from the field with a broken nose, and the Roos took the lead after Lindsay Thomas got free and took a mark before putting through his first. Leading by five points at quarter time, the Power were dominating the inside 50’s and had more of the ball but most of their possessions were from cheap backwards kicks around the backline, with Chad Cornes leading the backwards charge.

The second quarter started with a string of behinds before Hitchcock combines with Mitch Banner to kick his second, but Hansen takes a strong grab before booting his second, and then a wobbler from Hamish McIntosh floated through, giving North a 13 point advantage at the major break, 6.7 to 4.6.

After some food at half time and watching the little kids bend through goals like Stevie J, the real action was underway again. Michael was barracking for the Roos, as was Dad and I, obviously, and we were all happy with the start to the second half. Campbell went for a run along the wing, taking a bounce before handballing to Thomas, getting it back and slotting the goal on the run from just inside 50, lifting the crowd to its feet as he celebrated in style. Harvey danced around a Port defender to kick another, and North were clear by 25 points, and I relaxed. Bad thing to do, as Schulz quickly got one back for the Power, but Cruize Garlett, having another ripper game, roved a pack in the goalsquare and snapped his first, but Danny Meyer, one of three Richmond rejects on the field for Port Adelaide, gathered the ball and quickly kicked the ball along the ground through the goals and the margin was back to 19 points. Schulz got his fourth after Travis Boak fed him the ball in the goalsquare, but the Roos quickly got some breathing space back in emphatic style. Ryan Bastinac snapped his first after Harvey improvised under serious pressure in the forward line, Hansen marking uncontested to kick his third and Todd Goldstein marking on the lead like a Full Forward before slotting the goal, taking the lead out to 31 points. David Rodan (or midget and rodent, according to North fans) got a goal from the goalsquare, before the two major goalkickers of the day, Hansen and Schulz, traded majors to see North into a 25 point lead at the last break, 13.12 to 9.7.

I was feeling confident, but nervous. A strange feeling. The feeling you only get when you’re at the match, live. But I love it. Especially when your fears are eased, like McIntosh did to me with a strong mark deep in the forward line and a goal to start the last quarter. Schulz presented again though, marking and kicking a big goal, his sixth, to reduce the deficit back to 29 points, before Hitchcock marked uncontested in the goalsquare to put through his third of the afternoon, and my fears were rising again. But Hansen cooled things, being too tall for Surjan and was easily able to mark, right on the goal line but with an acute angle. He steadily put through a checkside goal, giving North a 28 point lead. Safe? No. Daniel Motlop, booed for the duration of the game, silenced some of his critics with a goal from one step, 60m out, before showing some freakish talent by kicking the ball out of midair in heavy traffic, straight through the big sticks. The margin was back to 15 points. Who would stand up? You know who. Gathering the ball on the wing, he took two bounces, running inside 50 and snapping the sealer. The margin wasn’t huge, but the magnitude of the goal shut Port Adelaide down. Boomer Harvey, he did it the previous week against Carlton, and he once again kicked a captain’s goal. Harvey was in the thick of it again, handballing off to Sam Wright who slotted another one, before Schulz kicked his career-high seventh goal. North badly needed percentage, and that’s what they got in the last few minutes, with Ben Warren kicking two goals to kill the contest, North winning by 36 points, 19.15.129 to 14.9.93.

For a game of footy involving North Melbourne and Port Adelaide, this match wasn’t too bad. It had its humour, like when Chad Cornes ran into Daniel Wells in a contest right in front of us and let out a loud grunt, earning himself a Logie for the acting performance. McIntosh also found a funny side to his game when he received a free kick after the siren on three quarter time, 60m from goal, again directly in front of us. Seeing Big H’s grin as he went to grab the ball was priceless, and he gave it an almighty thump with the torpedo but it just went the wrong side of the sticks, and he was still smiling as he went into the huddle. Michael and I found a vacant spot in the front row, so we went down there to see if we could scrounge a gift off a North Melbourne player, but only Scott Thompson and Warren walked past, offering nothing. Oh well, the four points was a good enough present for me.

As Dad and I made our way back to Broadmeadows via bus, we waited for the train to pick us up and take us back to Seymour. On the radio I heard Rob Thomas’ song ‘Mockingbird’. A fitting way to end a special day with a Rob Thomas fanatic.

North Melbourne 4.2—6.7—13.12—19.15.129

Port Adelaide 3.3—4.6—9.7—14.9.93


North Melbourne-Hansen 5, Harvey 2, Campbell 2, Warren 2, McIntosh 2, Thomas, Goldstein, Wright, Bastinac, Swallow, Garlett

Port Adelaide-Schulz 7, Hitchcock 3, Motlop 2, Rodan, Meyer


North Melbourne-Harvey, Pratt, Hansen, Garlett, Firrito, McIntosh, Greenwood, Cunnington

Port Adelaide-Cassisi, Pearce, Schulz, Boak, K. Cornes


15,109 at Etihad Stadium


3: Brent Harvey (NM)

2: Daniel Pratt (NM)

1: Lachie Hansen (NM)

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. John Butler says


    Does that make you 5-0 for live games this year?

  2. Yeah JB, and I’m 90% certain i’m going to Richmond v North Melbourne in Round 16. I’ve easily beaten my personal best of three games in a year.

  3. Steve Healy says

    Good report Josh, hang on, your only 4-0, don’t get ahead of yourself lol

  4. Damian Watson says

    Well done josh,

    Due to your 5-0 record,I would be reluctant to attend a North-Carlton match with you again becasue we all know what the result will be.

  5. 3: Round 16 is already a given. Chalk up another four points for North Melbourne haha.

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