Round 15 – Carlton v Adelaide: Crows Back to Top Form? Yeah, Nup


Hmm, I’ve been in the Adelaide doom and gloom camp recently, suggesting somewhat cheekily after the Hawks loss that we wouldn’t win another game until the next Showdown.

Which didn’t stop me from fronting up to the ‘G for our annual fixture against the Old Darks (are they ever going to play us at our dung hill?).

On the home front, the eldest Swishter, freed of netball commitments, decided that she’d come along with her dear old Dad for her first Crows game since the introduction of the iPhone.

Some last-minute wardrobe adjustments (with me deciding that father and daughter couldn’t both wear matching puffy jackets) and frantic scarf selection sorted, we toodled down to the local subterranean PTV departure point, sticking where the sun don’t shine until the 1:10 turned up.

At Richmond, that station’s phalanx of wannabe FM breakfast DJs were there in full voice, their helpful patter guiding us towards the light with helpful suggestions to top up now rather than before the return journey, exhorting us to enjoy our day at the footy and no spitting.

Swishter the Younger met up with us just outside the station and we proceeded to the ground, taking the very long way around to Gate 1, for no other reason than it allows me to observe more of the gathering crowd than the skinnier clockwise route does.

We found three seats at ground level in the why-do-they-even-bothercraft pocket, but I’d misjudged both the height and angle of 1 July sun. It was colder than Peter Dutton’s heart as the temperature hovered around his IQ and a bitter groundswell lurched from right to left and back again like his disappointment of a PM.


The Crows started briskly, looking like the team they were a couple of months back, banging on four goals by the mid-point of the first quarter, punishing each Carlton blue with swift and decisive forays to the Punt Rd end. How far indeed.

The Blues then slowed the tempo and from our spot behind the goals, the game resembled a game of Frogger as the pill was slung laterally until a gap in the traffic was found. Or maybe it was Pong, as the leather puck was pinged back and forth between the arcs, neither side being able to generate enough pace to force it into the scoring zone, until a late snag at our end from their curiously spelt Cuningham.

This game was crying out for Tom Lynch, his raking disposal after invariably making the right choice of destination, was absent, instead we haphazardly attacked and Carlton made us pay. What ever happened to leading into space instead of kick and hope, I mused.

Sloane’s mark and goal was almost identical to the one that he took against the Hawks in Round 2 – it had me wondering how he would go one out near the sticks for a fifteen minute burst.

The half time break had little Sis and I scampering around for a bag of jam donuts, but we had to settle for another bucket of sauce with some chips in it, to wash down the Cadbury Hazelnut that I only just snuck past the waistline police.

Tex’s Eddie Hocking impression late in the third was one of many scoring highlights of that quarter as the game opened up a little. Earlier, Bryce Gibbs came from behind the Crows cheer squad to pull down a “where did he come from” grab and goal. The skipper’s goal was the only major in Adelaide’s half dozen scores to end the quarter.

I’d had a big week, deciding that I needed a rest from the incessant grind of project work and putting in my notice. My career in recent years has been like a self-managed witness protection program, but I’d had about all my mind could take for a while. I was happy just to sit in the outdoors with my girls at my side and switch off for an hour or three.

So I really didn’t find myself caring too much about the result, until the thought of Daisy Flamin’ Thomas putting them into the lead after goals to a very impressive C Curnow and an opportunist’s toe poke from Wright had me finding my inner 10 year old – the one that used to come home and cry after yet another Centrals loss, even though I’d get over it about halfway through Football Inquest.

I roared into life at the next centre bounce, surprising my nearby offspring and almost, but not quite, throwing them off their incessant yapping about Tinsnip, Backchat, Instantscam and all those other communication channels that those born after Platts’ Brownlow win talk about.

A couple of lousy points gave us back the lead, until my new favourite player (and not just because he wears the Wilbur Wilson #20) Hugh Greenwood, bullocked his way into possession and flicked it off to that other famous #44 for a leapfrommyseatworthy left foot snap. Greenwood was similarly involved in getting the ball to Jenkins whose huge roost split the uprights and the final coffin nail was banged in when Riley Knight walked in to bring up our baker’s dozen.

It wasn’t the best game the Crows have played but it would have hurt to lose. Carlton looked like a team on the up; they’d have been annoyed to have lost I suppose, but they gave their followers a glimpse of a promising future.

We’ll find out whether the old Crows are back, this coming Friday when we take our seats in the not-the-Bradman-Stand-any-more for our annual back home footy trip.

And we eventually found some donuts.

CARLTON           1.0       5.1       8.2       12.5 (77)
ADELAIDE          4.0       6.1       9.7       13.11 (89)

Carlton: Gibbs 2,Casboult 2, Cuningham, Cripps, Silvagni, Kerridge, Sumner, Curnow, Wright, Thomas
Adelaide: Jenkins 3, Betts 2, Knight 2, Smith, McGovern, Sloane, Walker, Jacobs, M.Crouch

Carlton: Gibbs, Cripps, Jones, Kreuzer, Kerridge, Curnow
Adelaide: M.Crouch, Smith, B.Crouch, Jenkins, Douglas, Lever

Carlton: Marchbank (right shoulder), Plowman (dislocated finger), Weitering (ankle)
Adelaide: Hartigan (hamstring)

Reports: Nil

Umpires: Dalgleish, Harris, Pannell

Official crowd: 33,433 at the MCG



I visited the opposition’s heartland the next day, taking in a screening of the Radio Birdman documentary in Lygon Street. My offsider, Richmond’s own @aspeedingcar pointed out Birdman head honcho Deniz Tek just behind us as we lined up. I spotted Gideon Haigh seated in the row in front of us. Says it all about both of us, really.

The doco was a brutal tale of team dynamics, the loudest, most ferocious three-on-three in the world. I think the Tek-Younger-Hoyle combine eventually thrashed Keeley-Gilbert-Masuak into submission.

About Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt

Saw my first SANFL game in 1967 - Dogs v Peckers. Have only ever seen the Dogs win 1 final in the flesh (1972 1st Semi) Mediocre forward pocket for the AUFC Blacks (1982-89) Life member - Ormond Netball Club -That's me on the right


  1. Ronnie Keeley was a legend and has more hair than rob younger

  2. John Butler says

    Thoroughly enjoyed that Swish. And am envious of you seeing the Birdman doco. I dipped out on tickets to their shows over the weekend. Have fired up the old LP’s as compensation.

    Having read both yours and Rulebook’s observations, I’m trying to pinpoint exactly why I left the ground so utterly, utterly unimpressed by the Crows, despite their win. I may elaborate further.

    BTW, I always had Tek picked as the alpha male in that lot, so you’d always back his team in the 3 on 3.


  3. Rulebook says

    Enjoyable as always,Swish loved the Wilbur Wilson line ( I no this will amaze you I sold him a raffle ticket a couple of weeks ago ) likewise re all these different forms of communication,Lynch a huge out and correctly he is out for quite a while it seems.JB far from convincing the Crows but far better than a loss
    The Crows far from a certainty re top 4 have fun fri night,Swish !

  4. Dave Brown says

    I thought you promised not to enjoy yourself, Swish. Must’ve been the good company. Greenwood is pretty amazing. To see him early last year, struggling in the SANFL but improving week on week to now finding his feet at the AFL. It will be interesting to see where his upper limit is. He could be a superstar next year if he still has substantially more improving to do. Another reason why I’m less pessimistic about the Crows’ midfield than most. Enjoy the home of football this weekend – expect to see a photo with the Centrals chimney.

  5. “Leading into space”? I thought it was “kicking to leg”

  6. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Nank – Ron sports a pretty good beard these days

    JB – It was the glimpses shown in the first 15 minutes that had me enthused, but I can see your point thereafter. Look out for some more Birdman screenings in a few weeks apparently.

    ‘Book – Thanks. Hope you got Wilbur’s autograph

    Dave – Yep, I guess it’s a good thing that your kids still want your company.

    Smithy – Weathers gets a mention in the recent Phil Carman biog re his time at Sturt.

  7. Mark Duffett says

    Beautifully put and insightful as ever, Swish. Disappointing to learn Pie Girl was unable to give you the inside running on donuts, has her membership of the MCG Baked Goods Sellers Guild lapsed?

    All the best in your quest for another (longer term?) safe house.

  8. Put a smile on my dial Swish. I watched Swan Districts in the pouring rain on Saturday rather than my Eagles. The rain enabled me to spit all I liked without censure. Another local footy selling point.
    Cuningham – neither one thing or the other?
    Radio Birdman – KG and Brett Burton on 5AA?

  9. Luke Reynolds says

    Better to have a wardrobe adjustment before the game than have a wardrobe malfunction during the game.

    I also like taking the longer route around the MCG.

    Great piece Swish.

  10. Colin Ritchie says

    Love it! “It was colder than Peter Dutton’s heart as the temperature hovered around his IQ …………..”
    A classic, put a copyright on it Swish!

  11. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Mark D – She actually did make a covert attempt at obtaining some via her “connections”, but they were sold out. And thanks

    PB – I was trying to work Burton in there somewhere, but you’ve done it for me, well played.

    Luke – My blue puffy jacket showed up well on the tele. Thanks.

    Col – It’s hardly a challenge coming up with insults for that list-clogger, but thanks.

  12. Excellent work Swish. Gee, we missed Tom Lynch. I agree with ‘Book in that he is among our most important players.

    Looking forward to a day out at the MCG with our boys when the Cats v the Hawks!

    I think you’ve let Dutton off lightly.

  13. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    It’s always good to catch up with some of the lower rung clubs Mickey, look out for the Pie Girl, you might get an extra squirt of (free) sauce.

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