Pleasant stroll after a couple of pots at the 3 Crowns in Victoria Street West Melbourne to the Roos one shot for the season at Friday Night Prime Time Football. Works too with 41,000 showing up – a fair jolt on the usual sub 20K crowd North experience at home games.
Back in 1985 North cooked up the Friday Night concept and sold it to the AFL and Channel 7. Bit part Rooboys like Gilbert McAdam became household names after exciting Friday night cameos. The mid to late 90’s Friday night feasts with the Roos atop of the woodpile thanks to blokes like Carey, Archer, King, McKernan conjured another North golden age.
Last year and also against Carlton, the Roos celebrated the 25th anniversary of this event with fireworks that hit the Etihad roof, John Paul Young and Kanga, the mascot dancing on Level 2. Even Dennis Pagan turned up for a jig. Roos flogged em, tears flowed and we danced in the members in the aisle.
Tonight its the Blues again. Juddy fresh from the birth earlier in the week of new son Oscar was quiet early along with Betts and Garlet who struggle to get a sniff. Scott Thompson and Brady Rawlings hold up the back line while Andrew Swallow has leather under his nails tonight as he dominates the clearances around the ground. The Blues kick point after points while the Roos dissolve opportunities to secure a lead with some crucial misses on goal.
Drew Petrie took regulation mark of the year. The Roos look straighter and taller when he plays. His presence doesn’t rub off on Aaron Edwards and Matty Campbell with the continual breakdown of any forward pressure. The Roos were tighter in defence and in the middle and at three quarter time its all locked up at 58 a piece.
Last quarter sees a couple of real quick Blue goals before Juddy – not a renowned long kick, marks outside 50 goes back and drills a high spinning ball that drops over the line. Almost the definitive interpretation of the “Captain’s goal”. Probably hasnt had a lot of sleep since Monday but certainly woke up in the last, was everywhere providing options, clearances, marks, encouragement. Simply Marvellous.
Shuffle back to Errol to reflect at the Town Hall. Music and crowd at the 3 Crowns too upbeat for a reflection on that missed opportunity for a Roo’s final berth. Carlton however almost in the top 4 vault.
Carlton 11 14 80 d North Melbourne 9 8 62