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Preliminary Final, 1988         Carlton's turbulent, disappointing year ends with a 22-point loss to Melbourne at the MCG.

Preliminary Final, 1988

Carlton 1.3 9 9.6 60 10.8 68 14.14 98
Melbourne 6.3 39 9.4 58 16.5 101 19.6 120
Venue: Waverley Park Date: Saturday 17 September 1988
Result: Lost by 22 points Umpires: R.Castle & R.Sawyers Crowd: 68,516
Goalkickers: P.Sartori 4, S.Kernahan 4, F.Murphy 2, C.Bradley 1, M.Naley 1, A.Gleeson 1, W.Blackwell 1.
Best: C.Bradley, A.Gleeson, M.Naley, D.Rhys-Jones, S.Kernahan, M.Kennedy.
Reports: S.O'Dwyer (Melb) striking S.Da Rui (Carl) during the third quarter.
Injuries: Silvagni (cut forehead)













Game Review

The week before the Blues were top heavy against Hawthorn, and again in wet conditions the Blues went in again top-heavy. There was talk before the game that Walls may swing a surprise by including Jim Buckley, but this didnt occur. As it turned out Jon Dorotich spent half the game on the bench and the Blues were virtually reduced to 19 men and did not have the flexibilty they would have liked. As it turned out, the toss was critical, especially when the rain came at three quarter time, thereby reducing the worth of the strong breeze blowing to the main scoreboard end where the Blues woudl be kicking to in the last quarter.

Carlton had trouble matching up in defence, and two players who caused the most trouble were exactly the same two who did in the last home and away game, Gary Lyon and Ricky Jackson. Lyon was too mobile for Stephen Silvagni and troubled David Rhys-Jones after he was moved onto him, but Rhys-Jones did quieten Lyon's influence. Jackson's pace worried the Blues and his five goals were telling factors. Still, for all that, I've got to say Carlton had the wrong end of the luck on two fronts. There was an element of good fortune about four or five goals were soccered off the ground, and Jackson kick hitting the post but being awarded a goal. More significantly, when the rain came at three quarter time, the breeze died down and Carlton lost this goal-scoring advantage.

The Blues were sorely missing Wayne Johnston, who would have excelled in these conditions. There were too many Carlton players who didn't fire on the day. Jamie Dunlop did a pretty good job, but the flankers were letting them down. Stephen Kernahan seemed to cop a fair bit of criticism, but I thought he was still among Carlton's better players. His second-quarter effort, where he kicked three goals to get them back into the game, was fantastic and he really didn't get much support even though players around him knew the ball was going to be on the ground a lot.

If players like Paul Meldrum andFraser Murphy had crumbed as they had done in earlier games Kernahan's job would have looked a lot better. But I cannot be overly critical of Kernahan. The conditions didn't suit him and I though he never stopped trying. I'm not exactly sure whether David Glascott was 100 percent fit but certainly he was an ineffective player. Only one person would really know whether he was fit enough to play in a preliminary final, and given that he no doubt passed a searching fitness test and declared himself fit he's got to live with that. I thought Craig Bradley was Carlton's best player, especially in the first half. Mark Naley and Adrian Gleeson also did well. - Peter Knights Inside Football.


Carlton's 1988 ended on a sour note with both this loss and not a little controversy. This stuck in the memory of one volunteer writer for the official Carlton website:

"With Stephen Kernahan well held by the might of Melbourne's Jamie Duursma, Carlton needed all its resolve to come back from 6 goals down at three quarter time to get within 14 points at the 20 minute mark. Ricky Jackson, the diminutive Melbourne forward who was more annoying than Farmer and Medhurst put together, is awarded a free kick 30 metres out and straight in front. To the delight of Carlton fans, Jackson's kick hits the post, and Steve Da Rui prepares to kick the ball back in whilst Jackson is still cursing himself. The goal umpire, seemingly pepped up on goofballs, signals a goal, which almost prompts a riot in the stand. Carlton is denied a third consecutive Grand Final against Hawthorn, and the goal umpire in question is employed by the Pakistani Cricket Board to adjudicate on LBW appeals against Javed Miandad."
Source: The Buzz, carltonfc.com.au, 4 May 2006

This game is remembered as one of Carlton's controversial finishes, a theme explored in a Blueseum exclusive article available here.

Team


B: 43 Mick Kennedy 22 Ian Aitken 24 Jamie Dunlop
HB: 31 Tom Alvin 1 Stephen Silvagni 26 David Rhys-Jones
C: 8 Wayne Blackwell 32 David Glascott 13 Mil Hanna
HF: 12 Adrian Gleeson 4 Stephen Kernahan (c) 30 Fraser Murphy
F: 6 Jon Dorotich 18 Peter Sartori 21 Craig Bradley
Ruck: 44 Justin Madden (vc) 23 Paul Meldrum 17 Mark Naley
Interchange: 25 Ian Herman 5 Steve Da Rui
Emgs: 16 Jim Buckley 15 Bernie Evans 38 Shane Robertson
Coach: Robert Walls


Video



Milestones

Aggregate Scores: Carlton would score it's 150,000th point in this fixture, coming in game #1808 in the VFL / AFL competition.


Semi Final | 1989

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