Round 6 – Carlton v Brisbane: It’s happened again. Calamity at Docklands


I had an eventful weekend. As I’ve had a virus most of the week which prevented me from undertaking my regular running program, my in-house medical adviser (no relevant qualifications, but well-versed in old wives’ medicine) was adamant that I had failed the fitness test for Friday night’s A-League semi-final. As I had already forked out $50 for a ticket, I resisted this diagnosis, so I fronted. The redoubtable Ms. F was duly vindicated when City succumbed three injured players to nil (as well as one bloke sitting a few rows back from the fence choked up with a virus), and Victory scored three goals to nil.


Since I spent most of the night awake and coughing, disturbing her sleep in the process, I was reminded several times in the next day or so, “you shouldn’t have gone.”


Saturday was consequently a quiet day, football watching, most of North-Richmond and GWS-Hawthorn, with bits of the Bulldogs-Saints and the two one-sided Saturday night matches.


Yes, Peter B. I did fall in to the LB promotion (selectively), so I watched in horror as the Bulldogs demonstrated the heavy burden that is the weight of my money. Happily, Adelaide and Fremantle justified the exercise. Separately North (or was that Richmond) proved a reliable conveyance, but then Adelaide spoilt what might have been a particularly good day. I needed them to achieve a winning margin of 42 points or better, which they carelessly squandered at the end.


The major delight of my sporting weekend was Sunderland’s improbable and extremely fortunate 2-0 win at Everton, which gave them a bolter’s hope of survival in the Premier League. As the Young Master – controller of the Foxtel remote – was watching something on ESPN, this match was experienced vicariously through the comical pages of the Sunderland supporters’ website.


There is a continuing source of dispute between the partners at Chez Fuller over the proprieties of Mothers’ Day. Since both our mothers are dead (though they are often in my thoughts), I feel I have no role on the Day, that this is a matter for her ladyship and the offspring. While this exists as a source of continuing tension between our two nation-States, we have not yet felt the need for a break of diplomatic relations.  In any case, I was disinclined to expose our very young grandchildren to my virus. So I was off to Etihad – the Temple of Doom – for the second time in three days, although these are my first two visits there since August 2014.


For most of the afternoon, it had the characteristics of a typical Carlton game against a fellow struggler, the Blues making heavy weather of things, but looking like they would probably win, unconvincingly. This looked more probable as the third quarter progressed and Carlton tortuously crept to a thirteen point lead. From this point, 17 minutes of elapsed time remained, during which 90% of the play was in the Brisbane forward fifty, and they scored 3-4 without a reply from the Blues. The quarter ran beyond 35 minutes because of a 3-4 minute delay when Robertson (Brisbane) collided with the fence and was knocked out. Happily he recovered quickly and although he was removed from the field on the motorised stretcher, he was sitting up as he rode off. Brisbane clearly used this delay to re-group, while presumably the Carlton players discussed which players were visiting their Mum for the post-match meal and which pub the others were going to after the game, and whether Mitch Robinson should be invited.


Brisbane began the final quarter with similar intent, and scored two early goals to stretch the lead to an insurmountable 21 points. Thereafter the Blues dominated the play, pulled back a couple of goals but the bird had flown. This has to be as bad as it gets, bearing in mind, we were hosting an interstate side, which is the only alternative contender for the current worst team in the competition.


I can’t remember when I have left a Carlton game early. Maybe it’s my Catholic upbringing, the need for penance in the face of whatever I  might be guilty (consciously or unconsciously) that has kept me watching till the bitter end. Even yesterday, it wasn’t the dire state of the game from a Carlton perspective, but the fact that the delay made my train-bus connection problematic. Had I endured till the (very bitter) end, I would have faced an hour wait at the end of my train trip. In the context of my current health and the current health of my team, that identified the limits of my loyalty.



  1. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Big weekend Peter. Not sure how you’ll be treated in early September by Mrs F though.

    Presumably the hour long bus wait would have been worth it if you won in a close one?

    Did you see the end of the Crows game Peter?

    Tex had a shot after the siren from just outside the fifty. Any score would have given you the bikkies, but it fell short.

    I felt a similar pain as a goal would have given me the win and two bonus points in my matchup against Smokie Dawson in the FootyMaths Institute Tipsters League. Instead, Smokie (who tipped a 40 point margin) got up. I’ve never been so flat after a win.

  2. John Butler says

    Pete, the minute the Lions were 21 points up in the last I don’t think there was a Carlton fan in the stadium who gave a us a chance. Only 21 points.

    We have so little faith in them at the moment because the lads show so little faith in themselves when it counts.

  3. Luke Reynolds says

    Peter, we couldn’t be at more opposing sides of footy/soccer supporting. My Collingwood v your Carlton. Newcastle United v Sunderland. Melbourne Victory v Melbourne City. But always enjoy your stories. This was one of your best.

    I almost feel sorry for Carlton. Would love for our battles to regain their former prominence. Carlton is our real rival, not those wannabes from Windy Hill. Looks like both our EPL teams will stay up. Wouldn’t be the same without the Tyne-Wear Derby (do you call it the Wear-Tyne Derby??).

    As for the A-League, go Victory on Sunday!!

  4. Peter Fuller says

    Thanks Swish, John & Luke for the comments.
    Swish, I’m not a huge enthusiast for Fathers’ Day, prefer the episodic acknowledgements throughout the year, so I neither expect nor usually experience a big fuss; and, I’m consistent, so I don’t feel the missus has any obligations on that day. I have noticed other younger fathers reporting on the Almanac who have had the task of assisting with gifts and breakfast in bed, which is clearly a commendable Mothers’ Day action. My kids are certainly at an age where they are capable of stuffing such activities up without my intervention.

    John, your observation threw me into a fit of nostalgia. I recall a Garrie Hutchinson report (early ,80s, remember “from the outer” in the Age) when the Blues were hopelessly adrift at half-time at Princes Park. GH lamented it was too late to prune the fruit trees, so that there was no point in going home, so he stayed and watched the Dominator turn the game on its head. He remarked that most players took a quarter or a half to achieve such a turn around, but Johnno regularly managed it with 15 minutes of magic.

    Luke, Tyne-Wear is my understanding, alpha order, and bigger city size trump parochialism. Neither of our sides is out of the woods yet, although we’re certainly in a better position than Hull. They are away to Spurs and home to Man Utd. but need a minimum of three points, with Newcastle or Sunderland getting nothing from their remaining matches. Sunderland have a much improved Leicester this weekend, but then away in London to Chelsea and Arsenal, so we’re no guarantee to increase our points tally. Newcastle will surely break their losing streak (well non-winning, after last Saturday’s draw) away to already relegated QPR, and then at home to West Ham who have gone off the boil after good form into the early New Year.
    I hope that you’ll understand that I would prefer not to engage in further discussion about the plight of the Blues.
    I was hoping to come down your way (broadly defined) this weekend to run the GOR marathon, but that hope was extinguished by my current health issue, after I’d been having doubts due to earlier interruptions to my preparation.

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