The Footy Almanac 2007 Round 3 – Carlton v Essendon

The first printed edition of The Footy Almanac came out in 2007, before we had a website. In the absence of a real 2020 season, we will be publishing the 2007 pieces for the first time ever on Follow the season!





Carlton v Essendon

2:10pm, Saturday April 14



by John Origlasso



THE LAST TIME THESE TWO CLUBS MET was Round 16, 2006, in a battle for the wooden spoon. That match was more Army Reserve Cup, circa 1984, than an AFL blockbuster. But it’s improbable that this contest will be mentioned alongside Essendon’s the remarkable win inspired by Neale Daniher in 1981 or Carlton’s theft of the preliminary final in 1999.


How will Carlton, thrashed by Geelong in Round 2, compete with a Bomber outfit boasting a goal-to-goal line of Mal Michael, Dustin Fletcher, James Hird, Scott Lucas and Matthew Lloyd; their newfound speed through Leroy Jetta and Alwyn Davey; and two wins against last season’s beaten preliminary finalists?


This poser is answered decisively in the first quarter. They can’t.


Essendon’s midfield is dominant. Hird, Winderlich, Peverill and Watson run relentlessly. They use the ball with precision (except when shooting at goal), providing quick entry to the forward fifty and creating a smorgasbord?of opportunities for Lucas and Lloyd. Lucas feasts. He sees off Lance Whitnall without any trouble. Uncharacteristically, his five scoring shots yield only ?two goals.


In one passage of play Essendon’s goal-to-goal line handles the ball sequentially. The quarter ends with Carlton’s leaders Whitnall and Nick Stevens on the bench. Their team is down by 38 points. It should be 60.


The Bombers continue to enjoy the weight of possession in the second quarter. Jarrad Waite is moved onto Lucas, with no effect. It seems Pagan has gone into teaching mode: Bryce Gibbs is standing Hird. The margin climbs to eight goals.


Is there a point at which a team is crushed?


The Blues teeter on the brink, but then respond with increased intensity. Brendan Fevola runs down Fletcher. Matty Lappin and Heath Scotland provide drive from half-back. In the shadows of half-time, Lance is given a run in the ruck. Blues fans cheer a rare possession for their skipper. Kevin Sheedy, on record as anti-flooding, channels Terry Venables and the Socceroos, whose inability to sit on a lead cost them a spot in the 1998 World Cup. The Bombers concede three late goals. Fevola shakes the yips that have plagued his earlier shots at goal. He kicks two.


At half-time, two Carlton fans in clothes straight out of John Howard’s countrywear catalogue (camel leisure slacks and blue shirts) park themselves in front of me. They can’t be expecting too much.


The second half begins where the first ended, with a goal to Carlton. Scotland sets it up for the elusive Brad Fisher. With the exception of Hird, the Bomber midfielders look spent. The shift in momentum that was apparent late in the first half gathers steam. Adam Bentick, Marc Murphy and Ryan Houlihan pour forward from the stoppages, spotting Fevola.


Fev’s four goals for the quarter are the result of intelligent leading and sublime kicking. He performs a jig after his second. He’s in the zone. Then he salutes his next two as soon as the ball leaves his boot. The camel-dacks are ecstatic. They declare a Fevolution!


Incredibly, having trailed by eight goals late in the second quarter, Carlton are in front late in the third quarter. A modern classic is unfolding. Lucas can’t get to enough contests to challenge his latest opponent, Bret Thornton, while Setanta O’hAilpin is forcing Lloyd upfield to find the footy.?The last stanza is frenetic. Hird displays his brilliance at centre clearances. Fevola adds two more, his eighth goal coming from a superb mark over Fletcher. Mark McVeigh, who’s been moved forward for the Bombers, takes a contender for mark of the year and kicks the goal. Winderlich hobbles off. He’s earned huge admiration after running himself to the point of exhaustion.


Fevola marks 20 metres out and handballs to Stevens, whose left-foot?snap hits the post. After so many highlights, will the most memorable moment of this epic contest be a blunder? Andrew Lovett has the chance to steal the match. He misses. The seconds tick down. Hird presents in the forward pocket. Lloyd spears a pass towards him. Blues converge like flying acrobats to thwart the champion Bomber. The siren sounds.


The camel-dacks embrace fiercely. One says: “Remember these two seats!”


The trumpets herald the Carlton theme song. It’s a great victory, born of navy blue resolve and, of course, Fevolution.




CARLTON          2.1     8.7    15.11    18.17 (125)

ESSENDON       7.9    12.13    13.16   17.20 (122)



Carlton: Fevola 8, Lappin 3, Fisher 2, Walker, Carrazzo, Betts, Houlihan, Stevens

Essendon: Lloyd 5, Lucas, Lovett, McVeigh 3, Monfries, Watson, Davey



Carlton: Scotland, Fevola, Bentick, Carrazzo, Walker, Lappin

Essendon: Hird, Winderlich, McVeigh, Watson, Lucas, Lloyd


Crowd: 64,710




For more Round by Round reports of the 2007 season click HERE


If you want a printed copy of the 2007 edition of the Footy Almanac, they can be purchased HERE.




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  1. John Butler says

    Results like this are GFF! (Good For Football – apologies to The Wrap).

    When Fev was good he was very very good. But then there were the times he wasn’t….

  2. Malby Dangles says

    Thanks for posting this review. Wow what a match this one was :D

    I was still very much a new daddy when this match happened so I was at home watching the game (on delay). The first quarter and a bit was as bad as I had seen the Blues play (well actually I HAD seen them play worse in those 2002-2006 years) but still I thought it was going to be another 100+ shellacking to moan about. I was undertaking my usual footy watching routine when were losing – jumping around the house screaming at the TV and punching the cushions of the couch. After watching Matthew Lloyd mocking poor Setanta O’hAlipan after an easy goal I left the house in a huff (on the insistance of my long-suffering non-footy loving wife) and took my infant son for a walk, bagging the Blues under my breath all the way.
    Getting back home and cooling off I turned on the radio to hear how much we lost the match by. The commentators were talking about what a great match it was and how Essendon’s goal put them back in front with only minutes remaining. Slackjawed I turned off the radio and watched the reply just in time for the second half. Was that fun!!! I’m pretty sure a large number of the goals that Carlton scored in the 3rd were assisted by terrible umpiring decisions that went our way, but I play my centimetre sized violin for the Bombers. The final mintues watching the our Blueboys sneak home and the amazing Setanta spoil on Lloyd in the last seconds was priceless. I whooped and hollered around the house, woke up my son and got told to shut up by my wife but, hell, it was worth it!
    Alas I can’t remember too many more highlights from 2007 aside from the signing of Brett Ratten as coach, but even he wasn’t allowed to win any games that year (see the Kruezer Cup match vs Melbourne).

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