View From Shepparton: Lions pull off heist in most astonishing game I have ever seen

Well sorry, Carlton supporters, but it doesn’t get any better than that. The Lions’ comeback in the final quarter at the Gabba has to be one of the best in finals history and it was the old crocks who inspired it. Bradshaw, Brown, Black, how do they do it? How can they rise above searing pain and produce? Rich didn’t have that many touches but those that he did have were of the calibre that could inspire a team. Who could forget his burst from the pack in that frantic last quarter to goal?

I could not believe the game as it unfolded. The mob that were made to look ninth rate at home last week were suddenly 3 goals to zip in the first quarter, At the point where Kreuzer got his goal from a zillion metres out I had already made up my mind to to concede defeat and enjoy the game for what it was, a footy lesson from Carlton. Brisbane had done well to get this far but they had been cruelled by injury. Besides, the Fev hadn’t got going even and with the amount of ball getting down to the forward line it would  only  be a matter of time before he broke the shackles of Merrett. Also the Juddster was on fire.

I have to admit that I  thought at half-time that I had been one of little faith. One problem with never going to games, and with a limited TV coverage, is that blokes that can really play get under the radar. Made a note to get on my hands and knees next year and get my better half to agree to getting pay TV although from what I see there is an inordinate amount of crap on this medium.

I digress. I suddenly became aware of McGrath, who was carving up the Carlton forward line with his brilliant dashes from defence and his 50 metre worm burners. Brennan, of whom I have always been aware, was doing heroic things in the ruck and in his general field play. Well, most of the time — I do remember one out of bounds on the full. I have to mention the Rich-Brown combination at this point. Brilliant pass, great sliding mark to Brown and best of all a goal.

Sherman at some stage or other, can’t think now exactly when, showed tremendous tow when ostensibly against the odds he battled the ball against two opponents, forcing a boundary throw 50 metres further up, near centre wing. Had he not prevailed  a deadly attack with a resultant goal was entirely possible.

All my first quarter doubts and resignation had returned at the end of the third quarter. Carlton had completely overrun the Lions. Judd and Stevens in particular seemed to be unstoppable. Fev had got going as well. Carrazzo had been outstanding

Cloke’s goal in the last quarter seemed to definitely be the sealer but then came the one-eyed Brown, Bradshaw and Rich. That last goal of Bradshaw’s had the crowd going berserk and surely every Lions follower viewing the game on TV nearly hit the ceiling as they leaped from their chairs.

Simply, this was the most astonishing game that I have ever viewed.

Adelaide won easily against Essendon but it is really hard to tell how good they are given the flimsy opposition. (Feel sorry for the Essendon ruckman who wasn’t chosen. Can’t have any future at all at that club). Nevertheless Adelaide have  momentum and right now the best forward line going. In addition, McLeod just eats and dreams September. I said last week that Adelaide could be a dark horse; nothing to change my mind about that given the way that they played. They have some players who previously would hardly have been noted by anyone out of South Australia but they sure are now. The Porpoise, Maric, Tippett, Symes.

Geelong were too good for the Bulldogs but at times they weren’t all that convincing. Having an Ablett in the side though is a huge boost; he is such a  player now. Scarlett was great as well; how often does he turn defence into attack? The thing is though that had they kicked straight the Bulldogs could well have got up.

St Kilda however WERE extremely convincing  against Collingwood and to most footy observers have to be outright favourites now. Collingwood appear to be on the slide and must have been really up against it to recall Rocca. On the other hand, Riewoldt was just magnificent. I first saw him years ago at a game which I DID attend at the then Colonial Stadium when the Saints beat Brisbane by less than a goal in the latter’s glory days. It was in the first quarter when Brisbane was doing the then Brisbane thing of making oppositions look second rate but he halted the charge that day with a magnificent pack mark at centre half-forward. He goaled, and I have to say that he is one player who  is always a pleasure to watch.

Next week, well with their walking wounded, I really can’t see Brisbane beating the Bullies and good as Adelaide have looked in the last two weeks I doubt that they can get up against Collingwood in Melbourne.

After such a great round for some, it is so disappointing that Judd appears to have descended to the lowest of the low in his contact with Rischitelli. The worry is that he has form in this sort of action. It is totally beyond me why such a great player has to resort to this action if in fact the images shown on TV reflect accurately that action.

About Peter Schumacher

Wannabe footy commentator and writer, used to be a wannabe footballer

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