|Venue: Docklands (Etihad Stadium)|
|Date: Friday, 12 June (night)||Result: Loss by 9 points|
|Umpires : M.Vozzo, S.McBurney, T.Pannell||Crowd : 50,820|
|Goalkickers : B.Fevola 2, E.Betts 2, J.Bannister 2, M.Murphy 2, A.Carrazzo, J.Garlett, S.Grigg, S.Hampson, S.O'hAilpin, K.Simpson 1.|
|Reports: Nil||Injuries : Judd (broken nose)||Ladder Position: 7th|
On this first Friday night of the split round, the Navy Blues fell to St Kilda by 9 points in another enthralling contest in front of nearly 51,000 fans at Docklands Stadium. Blown out of the water by the Saints in the first quarter, Carlton trailed by as much as 32 points midway through the second term, before clawing back to within a kick of the undefeated ladder leaders in a spine-tingling finish.
The defining moment of the game came at the 15-minute mark of the third quarter. Carlton still trailed by 20 points, but were mounting a real charge at a wobbly St Kilda, when Blues’ skipper Chris Judd had his nose smashed in an accidental head-clash. Judd’s departure from the ground at that pivotal moment blunted the Blues’ momentum, although the team as a whole kept coming against quality opposition, and cut the deficit to three points with only minutes left. It was then that a defensive lapse allowed St Kilda’s Zac Dawson to drift forward, mark unopposed, and break every Bluebagger’s heart when he kicked the sealer.
For a big part of the second half, victory was within the Blues’ grasp, but giving away a five goal lead to one of the two best sides in the competition was always going to be asking too much. Still and all, in years to come, this game may well be looked upon as a defining moment in the rebirth of the Blues. For the first time in nearly a decade, the Blueboys matched it with a full strength, genuine flag contender, and with a little more luck, just might have pulled off a win.
There were positives galore on this memorable night. Paul Bower was chopped up early by Nick Riewoldt, but fought back superbly to quell the Saints’ star in the second half. Mark Austin and Michael Jamison kept Justin Koschitzke to just one goal, and Shaun Grigg collected 28 possessions in a welcome return to form. Kade Simpson and Marc Murphy (who laid ten tackles) never stopped running, and Setanta O’hAilpin played with poise, purpose and real skill in his best game yet for the Blues. The big Irishman’s gather, turn and right foot daisy-cutter pass on to the chest of Brendan Fevola in the white heat of the last quarter was sheer bliss. Fevola – hard done by again by the umpires – just kept presenting. His brilliant, instinctive tap into the path of Grigg for an easy goal in the second quarter was another highlight, as was the fact that he kicked only two of Carlton’s 14 goals.
This fourth narrow loss in a 6 win, 6 loss score card checked Carlton’s drive to the finals, but at least it did no harm to our percentage. In a season as hard-fought and even as this one, goals for and against already loomed as certain to decide who was going to play on into September. Next up for the Blues was Essendon, in an another eagerly-anticipated Friday night blockbuster clash at the MCG.
The average age of this Carlton team was 23 years, 196 days, with an average League experience of 74.1 games per player. Nick Stevens was the oldest, at 29 years, 160 days, and the most experienced with 224 games. Jeffery Garlett was the youngest, at 19 years and 313 days, playing in only his sixth senior game.
This was Carlton’s 100th ‘home’ game against St Kilda. Despite our current run of losses to the Saints, we still have a mammoth 85% winning ratio, with 84 wins and 2 draws from these 100 ‘home’ matches.
|B:||21 Mark Austin||40 Michael Jamison||45 Aaron Joseph|
|HB:||27 Dennis Armfield||18 Paul Bower||29 Heath Scotland|
|C:||3 Marc Murphy||5 Chris Judd (c)||24 Nick Stevens (vc)|
|HF:||44 Andrew Carrazzo||17 Setanta Ó hAilpín||6 Kade Simpson|
|F:||33 Ryan Houlihan||25 Brendan Fevola||4 Bryce Gibbs|
|Ruck:||22 Shaun Hampson||31 Jordan Bannister||16 Shaun Grigg|
|Interchange:||8 Matthew Kreuzer||15 Steven Browne||19 Eddie Betts|
|38 Jeffery Garlett|
|Emg:||12 Mitch Robinson, 14 Brad Fisher, 32 Bret Thornton|
- Mark Austin replaced Bret Thornton (bruised hip) in the selected side.
Losing streaks: Despite the effort, Carlton's record losing streak to St Kilda continued out to 12
2. Kade Simpson, Carlton
1. Leigh Montagna, St. Kilda
Kade Simpson, 36 Bryce Gibbs, 36 Michael Jamison, 33 Shaun Grigg, 32 Eddie Betts, 31 Paul Bower, 29 Aaron Joseph, 13 Steven Browne, 9 Setanta Ó hAilpín, 6 Chris Judd, 5 Andrew Carrazzo
Round 11 | Round 13