Port Adelaide v Carlton: Blues Claim Huge Scalp as I Claim a Frustrating Cold

By Damian Watson

Throughout my short life there is one question that has left me pondering about Port Adelaide. How can a suburb with a less than adequate reputation produce one of the most successful clubs in Australian Sport?

This is by no means a scathing attack on this Adelaide suburb after all the club has a broad support base in any case, however 34 SANFL Premierships and 1 AFL flag is a mighty impressive record for a club that is situated in a township which has been portrayed in the media to consist of many ‘bogans’, ‘ferals’ and ‘wharfies’. Even at the present time the Magpies’ AFL affiliate, the Power, are currently slipping under the radar in this 2010 season with a 5-2 win/loss ratio in the build up to what has been described as a crucial match.

For the past fortnight I have touted this clash as one in which my Blues would be facing a side which are in a similar position in the competition in both the quality and statistical department. In the circumstance when either of these sides have their game plan in motion, they can break through an oppositions’ structure extremely quickly but inconsistency can be the enemy for both of these line-ups.

Unfortunately a dose of the flu has struck once again, so I pass the time tuning to the various Sunday football shows and catching up on Exam Study. Eventually the live coverage commences, however it disturbs me how the Power’s guernsey appears to be more navy blue than Carlton’s newfound white jumper but I should accept the concept of the clash jumper, even if the old Dark Navy Blues can’t live up to their title.

Throughout the early minutes the usually speedy Carlton side are struggling to clear the defensive zone but the Power are failing to capitalize on their dominance. Fortunately the big Irishman, Setanta O’hAilpin out muscles his opponent to mark and score from close range. In recent weeks I have been struggling to find a fitting description for Setanta, however Channel 7 caller Dennis Cometti provides the simple answer, “he’s a footballer who does the unusual usually”. As soon as I can blink, maturing key forward Justin Westhoff produces the quick reply for the Power from close range as a result of a stiff free kick. The game follows this pattern for the remainder of the term as the lead frequently fluctuates. Too many skill errors are committed and the play is congested however the match continues to be entertaining. Carlton midfielders Chris Judd and Kade Simpson are having their usual influence around the contest while Power tough nuts Domenic Cassisi and Kane Cornes are thriving in the tight scrimmages. A proving kick from Simpson just manages to clear the line and the Blues take a slender 4 point lead into the first break.

The Power gain the ascendancy early in the second stanza extending their lead out to three goals halfway through the term. Daniel Motlop proves that his bag of tricks is deeper than the Atlantic Ocean using his power and miraculous goalkicking ability, while the knee of elite Power midfielder David Rodan is as agile as ever as he darts around the pack to dispose of the footy. While I find some tissues to aid my sneezing fit the Blues find some resilience and peg the deficit back to a point by the major break. Juddy is lifting his work ethic while underrated contributors Denis Armfield and Chris Johnson provide pace through the corridor and a willingness to reach the contested footy first. These efforts set the stage for a ripping second half.

The second of the three amigos in Chris Yarran breaks the shackles to boot his first and the Blues are temporarily in the drivers seat. Suddenly the Power are suffocating their opponents running game forcing a man on man contest. The Power relish the opportunity as they boot four consecutive goals and I begin to lose faith in our chances. Youngsters such as  Jason Davenport and Cameron Hitchcock are continuing their impressive form, each booting inspirational goals and as Steve Salopek manufactured a momentum booster for the Port side late in the third I severely doubted our chances of taking the four points back home. The Power seem galvanized while the Blues are rattled and lack composure and discipline. This is evidenced by Jarrad Waite’s ferocious elbow that cannoned into Davenport’s eye which created a scar almost as large as the one located on Mark Bickley’s head many years ago. Strangely the Power lost focus and as a result Ryan Houlihan drifted forward and converted a crucial goal that split the middle. All of a sudden the match is set to become a grandstand finish with the Power leading by a bare two goals at the last change.

To mention that the Blues started the better in the final term is an understatement, booting two majors in as many minutes to hit the front. I pose the question as to whether the Blues can continue to surge and maintain their fitness levels. The short 6 day break does nothing to effect our efforts as the Blues romp down the home stretch to register a 4 goal to 1 for the rest of the final term. Matthew Kreuzer conveys his mobility and goalkicking skills kicking two majors for the term, almost reminiscent of his match winning performance against the same opponent almost two years earlier. As Chris Yarran covers himself with glory halfway through the quarter with a brilliant goal from an acute angle, I know the Blues are home.

As the AAMI Stadium siren sounds, the scoreboard indicates a satisfying 26 point victory and suddenly I realise the Blues have the capability to compete for a Top 4 spot if we can maintain this form. It is also pleasing to note the character of the Carlton side as a whole, who faced adversity at one stage in the third term but had the ability to weather the storm and post their second victory in Adelaide for the season.

On the other hand Port Adelaide supporters and many of those wharfies in pubs, will solemnly be drinking their West End Beer tonight, realizing they have missed yet another golden opportunity.

Carlton  4.1  8.4  11.10  17. 16 (118)
Port Adelaide  3.3  8.5  13.7  14.8 (92)
O’hAilpin 3, Kreuzer 3, Houlihan 2, Waite 2, Yarran 2, Carrazzo, Garlett, Simpson, Judd, Scotland
Port Adelaide: Salopek 3, Motlop 2, Hitchcock 2, Westhoff, Schulz, Ebert, Gray, C Cornes, Davenport, Surjan

My Votes: 3. C.Judd (carl)     2. M.Kreuzer (carl)     1. K.Simpson (carl)

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. Great report Damo.

    Colds/flu’s are very annoying, but watching footy seems like a great tonic.

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