Round 12 – Melbourne v Carlton: A good feeling pre match but ….



Meditation at 17:00, Friday June 2


On the basis of current form, this can hardly be coming from my logical brain. And yet if I closed my eyes, blocked all noise, it would still be shining from somewhere. A good feeling. A stubborn inclination to believe that tonight the Blues shall win. Of course, I can’t be sure this hasn’t been implanted by some malicious Demon.


I noticed it first this morning, as I was waiting in the reception of a school, checking my phone. It endured throughout the various distractions of the day – although when I overheard two teachers discussing Carlton’s prospects, over the bloated sports section of a staffroom Herald Sun, I didn’t butt in with my prophecy, lest I’d have weakened it. The feeling was improved, even, by the typical shot of optimism a relief schoolteacher gets circa three o’clock on a Friday afternoon, farewelling students whose laboured paragraphs were in preparation for an exam that’ll be someone else’s labour to correct. And it was boosted more by whatever quantity of sugar was in the two muffins I bizarrely interrupted my trip home for, having strayed near a bakery in an area where I used to live. This second afternoon of winter was humbly cool, the streets still framed by happy, autumn refuse. The Eastern Freeway coursed towards an encouraging yellow glow, as my car’s speaker played the uplifting climax of a prodigal song from around 2015.


And now, as I sit to testify, an excursion to the MCG just a few hours ahead, it’s still there. The Blues will win. Like all Muggle soothsayers I’ve been wrong before (recently, I had an urgent sense we’d imminently pump Collingwood as I descended Marvel Stadium from the Bulldogs loss), and yet I’d like to think this is different. Should I rationalise it, after all? Well, we’re more than due. And our standard bearer, our prime Angus, a top performer when he plays on emotion, is sure to be smarting from an undeserved blow struck by that most indiscriminate archer of late-night TV, Caroline Wilson. Furthermore, Harry, in the favourable climate of his own video podcast, didn’t appear as beleaguered by his goalkicking troubles as I’d feared. Furthermore, injuries have necessitated five players’ promotion from an all-conquering VFL side that last week dispatched the Swans on their home green. Rumour even points to Paddy Dow gracing the dugout as tactical sub – and based on his reserves form, he’ll be good for 15 touches even if he only plays a quarter. Furthermore, Clayton Oliver is not on the opposition. Furthermore, Melbourne aren’t exactly bulletproof at present. Furthermore, they ought to be sheepish from guilt at what was done to us with 11 seconds or milliseconds or grains of sand remaining in the penultimate H+A match of last season.


All of these stand as compelling justifications for a ‘feeling’ I suspect doesn’t really need them. No doubt it’ll continue to pulse throughout dinner, the train ride, the walk to the below-capacity arena. If, heaven forbid, the Blues are to lose, I know if I later confront and chastise the ‘feeling’ it will claim to have only referred to the excitement of going to the match itself – nothing about the result. Never mind. The Blues shall win. You’d like a margin, for posterity, but this vibe I’ve been receiving doesn’t extend quite so far. Unsure of what’s been leading me – malicious Cartesian Demon or otherwise – I hereby commit this prediction to the kiln. And yes, I’m keenly aware the piece becomes more interesting if I’m wrong.



MELBOURNE     3.3     5.6     7.11     8.13     (61)
              1.2     2.5     5.6     6.8     (44)


 Fritsch 2, Petracca, Neal-Bullen, Pickett, Spargo, van Rooyen, Gawn
Carlton: McKay 3, Acres, Curnow, Fisher


Melbourne: Petracca, Viney, Langdon, Lever, van Rooyen, Rivers
 Cripps, Cerra, Docherty, McKay, Weitering, Kemp


Melbourne: Bowey (concussion)
Carlton: Silvagni (hip)


Melbourne: James Harmes (replaced Bowey in the third quarter)
Carlton: Paddy Dow (replaced Jack Silvagni at half-time)


Crowd: 49,872 at the MCG


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About Joe Sexton

A middling utility lost to the game too soon. Now a teacher and occasional fiction writer.


  1. george smith says

    Oh look, I shouldn’t give any solace to the Evil Empire but surely it is time to put the cue in the rack and concentrate on next year. Instead of fixating on fantasy wins this year, concentrate on fantasy draft choices for next November.

    What exactly does Carlton need? You’ve already got 2 Coleman medalists and a Brownlow medalist, It’s a good start. No don’t fantasize about buying in more players. That’s where your problems start. No, don’t fantasize about sacking the coach, that didn’t work for Richmond over 37 years.

    You can fantasize about getting rid of dead wood, after all Collingwood fans have been doing that with Jack Madgen for years. And the best thing is turning duds into more draft choices. Have fun selecting those for the chop.

    Look your problems aren’t terminal. It is up to you and all the other supporters to put a positive spin on current day Carlton.

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