Round 16 – Fremantle v Carlton: Live (well, sort of)

Last Saturday circumstances prevented me from seeing even a minute of football, and I had no knowledge of results or even scores during the day or evening. A little after midnight, Sunday morning, I watched the replay of the final quarter from Kardinia Park as the Cats held on against the Bulldogs. After careful contrivances to avoid any information about the match from Subiaco, I finally saw Fremantle take on Carlton at 6.30 p.m. on Sunday (23 hours after the teams had faced off), following my enjoyment of the riveting spectacle from Adelaide Oval.

Carlton seem to have found their level and are performing with reasonable consistency and predictability under John Barker’s management. The team can overcome a weakened Gold Coast Suns team, especially in Melbourne; they perform competitively against middle-rankers such as the Bulldogs and Adelaide, but typically fall short. The Blues remain well below the top flight teams, so I anticipate Friday night’s clash with Hawthorn with considerable trepidation.

Fremantle at their best would be far too good for Carlton, particularly in Perth. However, their recent form means that at present they are playing at a level equivalent to the middle-rankers, so that allowed the possibility that the Blues would be able to scrap competitively for some of the match at least, with an expectation that Freo would ultimately prevail.

In the event, that is how the match played out, although the final margin flattered Carlton thanks to the home side’s profligate kicking in the final term. However, again the Blues offered modest encouragement by staying in touch with a better-credentialled opponent until three-quarter time.

Carlton began brightly with the opening goals of the game to Menzel and Tuohy. Pavlich quickly responded with two of his own for the Dockers. Mayne’s first gave the home side a lead which they didn’t subsequently surrender, although Everitt’s major brought the Blues back on terms, half-way through the opening quarter. Fremantle dominated the remainder of the term with goals to Ballantyne, Mundy and Griffin to establish a margin which they more or less maintained until three-quarter time.

A free-scoring opening term, six goals to three, gave way to a more typical Fremantle match, a dour struggle. The Blues were unable to get closer than fourteen points, but the Dockers were rarely able to extend their lead beyond three goals until the shadows of three-quarter time.

Sam Docherty’s goal just before half-time, adding to earlier scores from unlikely sources, Tutt and White, enabled Carlton to enjoy a rare winning quarter. The Dockers were demonstrating a more predictable and orderly approach to scoring reflected in their contributors – Mayne with his second and Pearce.

Hill and Mayne (his third) opened the scoring for Fremantle in the third term to extend the lead. Mayne’s fourth for the match sandwiched a two goal cameo from Tom Bell. I found myself hoping  that TB would morph into our Greek adonis of a decade and a half ago to whom I think he bears some resemblance; I just wish Tom could play like Kouta in his pomp.

The 21 point margin at the last change would obviously prove too much for the Blues, especially in view of the rain during that break. So it proved, as the Dockers dominated the final quarter and they were only limited by their inaccuracy, two goals nine, while holding the visitors scoreless.

Freo were best served by their smaller mids, Mayne, Mundy, Hill and Neale. Walters lit up the night with moments of brilliance, especially his superb mark in the final quarter, when few players could handle a slippery ball, and Barlow displayed his usual consistency.  For the Blues White did a commendable job in curbing the influence of the Dockers’ genius, Fyfe. Buckley and Docherty were solid contributors,and Curnow and Simpson were their customary reliable selves.

FREMANTLE       6.2  8.6  11.8  13.17 (95)
CARLTON              3.2  6.3    8.5     8.5 (53)

 

GOALS
Fremantle: Mayne 4, Pavlich 2, Ballantyne, Griffin, Mundy, D Pearce, Hill, Sandilands, Walters.
Carlton: Bell 2, Menzel, Everitt, Tuohy, Tutt, Docherty, White

BEST
Fremantle: Mundy, Mayne, Hill, Neale, Ibbotson, Spurr.
Carlton: Docherty, White, Murphy, Buckley, Curnow, Bell.

INJURIES
Fremantle: Ballantyne (shoulder)
Carlton: Menzel (corked quad)

SUBSTITUTES
Fremantle:  Crozier replaced Ballantyne at half-time.
Carlton: Walsh replaced Menzel in the third quarter

Reports:  Nil

Umpires: Kamolins, Farmer, Dalgleish

Official crowd: 33, 581 at Domain Stadium

Votes: 3.  Mayne (F)   2.  Mundy (F)    1.  White (C)

Comments

  1. Neil Anderson says:

    The Blues have come a long way since the start of the season after their previous coach made the rash statement that he couldn’t see them being beaten all year.
    To lose by only 42 points to the top team was a pretty good effort Brother Peter. Was there some outside influence that caused Mayne to pull the finger out and kick four goals? In previous weeks he was running around like a headless chook and very ineffective.
    Giving the younger players a go has made a big difference under John Barker.

  2. Luke Reynolds says:

    Ah yes, the media blackout if you haven’t seen the game live. I’ve had to do it a few times. Never easy, most people need to be avoided as they’re keen to spoil it for you. Well played.

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