The Footy Almanac 2007 Round 6 – St Kilda v Carlton: A typical Carlton night and a decent left boot

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 www.footyalmanac.com.au. Follow the season!

 

 

St Kilda versus Carlton
7.40pm, Friday, May 4
Telstra Dome, Melbourne
by JOHN HARMS

 

IT IS JUST AFTER FIVE ON FRIDAY AFTERNOON. Carlton is alive: happy people buying books and flowers and tubs of antipasto, students filling the Clyde Hotel, thirsty profs settling in to Jimmy Watson’s wine bar.

 

 

I need a haircut. I am relieved to find that Lorenzo, a traditional barber across the road from Percy Jones’s pub, is open late on Fridays. As I walk in, he is putting the finishing touches on a traditional haircut.

 

 

He is a Carlton man. The walls are pretty bare but they include photos of Craig Bradley and Stephen Silvagni and a framed poster, Carlton: 1995 Premiers. He tells me Carlton can’t win tonight. “The coach,” he says, “is past his expiry date.”

 

 

He also tells me Setanta O’hAilpin will play on Fraser Gehrig, Brett Thornton on Nick Riewoldt. But he is worried about Thornton. “He is too short,” he says. “Always the free kick. On the shoulder.”

 

 

He tries valiantly to make me as sharp as Rudolph Valentino but as I head off to get the No 96 tram I still look like Erik Estrada’s pizza-eating cousin. I have tipped Carlton and have been confident enough to take the $2.40. St Kilda are no good.

 

 

Lorenzo is half-right. O’hAilpin picks up Gehrig. But Jarrad Waite plays on Riewoldt. It is the match-up of the night. At the other end James Gwilt gets Brendan Fevola. Carlton fans like it.

 

 

As the game settles, the Saints’ plan is working. They have sucked Carlton into kicking long to the square and Brendon Goddard and Justin Koschitzke keeping spoiling, and then clearing. Fevola gets cranky. He can’t get near it.

 

 

He is about to explode. At the other end Waite shows us how athletic he is. I want to stop the game and measure his vertical leap. He takes one screamer which bemuses Riewoldt, amazes the crowd, and defies the law of gravity. He has the pace, the stamina and the determination to run with Riewoldt. Near the end of the first quarter he runs off, bursts on to the footy, has a bounce, gets to fifty, baulks, steadies, dishes to Fev, who goals. The Blues’ fans (whose team is actually in the white away strip) go wild.

 

 

But the Saints have options and their players have more poise and class than their opponents. Carlton’s Marc Murphy, Andrew Walker and Bryce Gibbs are good but the Saints midfield has a few years and plenty of games on them. Robert Harvey is almost twice their age yet he still gets plenty of the footy, and shimmies and accelerates to get on to that right foot.

 

 

The pick of them though is Nick Dal Santo, who can get it, get out of the traffic, and then use it. In one instant the footy flies unexpectedly from a scrimmage. Dal Santo flings his paw out, the ball sticks, he drags it in. He steps and finds a teammate 40 metres downfield.

 

 

The Saints look far more potent. Once they get a clear passage forward, the goals come easily. It is Carlton’s endeavour that keeps the game tight. But the Blues kick for goal poorly and should be closer.

 

 

They need something from Fev. He gives it. He marks in front of goal only to discover the umpire has pinged him for hands in the back. Fev cracks. His petulance is beautiful. He is exactly what Luke Ball isn’t.

 

 

Denis Pagan takes him off for a chat then sends him back for a stint in the middle, to get him into the game. When he marks just before half-time he lands one from 60 metres. He can kick a football.

 

 

The Saints dominate after half-time and just when the game looks buried Carlton come to life. This is a great part of footy. It’s like a run in blackjack. Goals to Walker and Fevola give the fans a little hope and when Lance Whitnall kicks a goal a couple minutes later it’s on. Suddenly it’s all Carlton. They are first to the ball. Determined. Believing. From the centre bounce they pump it forward and in the frenzy Fev crumbs and goals. Thirty seconds later the footy comes to Eddie Betts, whose huge snap hangs in the air, and goes through. The Blues can win from here. They have all the running.

 

 

But the Blues cannot sustain the intensity. During the final quarter the St Kilda structure proves telling. Gehrig steadies. The midfield remains solid and the Saints run the game out.

 

 

A game that has promised so much at the 25-minute mark of the third quarter dies. The Saints win easily.

 

 

Lorenzo was right. Carlton couldn’t do it. But you couldn’t fault their effort. I walk across the footbridge contemplating pizza.

 

 

ST KILDA              4.3    8.8    13.11    18.17 (125)

CARLTON              2.5   4.11   10.14    11.16 (82)

 

GOALS

St Kilda: Gehrig 6; Milne 3; Gram, Gilbert 2; Riewoldt, Fiora, Koschitzke, Dal Santo, Harvey

Carlton: Fevola 6; Whitnall 3; Walker, Betts

 

BEST

St Kilda: Dal Santo, Gehrig, Ball, Gram, Montagna

Carlton: Waite, Fevola, Scotland, Walker

 

DEBUT

Young (Carlton)

 

UMPIRES

Rosebury, Allen, Jeffery

 

OUR VOTES

Dal Santo (St K) 3, Waite (Carl.) 2, Gehrig (St K) 1.

 

BROWNLOW

Dal Santo (St K) 3, Scotland (Carl.) 2, Ball (St K) 1.

 

CROWD:       45, 513

 

 

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.

 

The Footy Almanac 2007

 

 

Our writers are independent contributors. The opinions expressed in their articles are their own. They are not the views, nor do they reflect the views, of Malarkey Publications.

 

Do you really enjoy the Almanac concept?
And want to ensure it continues in its current form, and better? To help keep things ticking over please consider making your own contribution.

Become an Almanac (annual) member – CLICK HERE
One off financial contribution – CLICK HERE
Regular financial contribution (monthly EFT) – CLICK HERE

 

About John Harms

JTH is a writer, publisher, speaker, historian. He is publisher and contributing editor of The Footy Almanac and footyalmanac.com.au. He has written columns and features for numerous publications. His books include Confessions of a Thirteenth Man, Memoirs of a Mug Punter, Loose Men Everywhere, Play On, The Pearl: Steve Renouf's Story and Life As I Know It (with Michelle Payne). He appears on ABCTV's Offsiders. He can be contacted [email protected] He is married to The Handicapper and has three kids - Theo13, Anna11, Evie9. He might not be the worst putter in the world but he's in the worst three. His ambition is to lunch for Australia.

Comments

  1. Roseville Rocket says

    Always good to see the Sainters beat the Blues!

    I think it may be the case that St Kilda have beaten Carlton more times already this century than they did in the entire 20th Century…?

    From memory they only ever won at Princes Park 6 or 7 times…

Leave a Comment

*