Get an hour at the Three Crowns before this assignment to imagine what might be. After two lean seasons since the triumph of 2008, we discuss the ramifications on both our social calender and wallet should the Hawks join the Pies in the final four and with it, a guaranteed second chance. No seat for us at this one but I score one in the forward pocket at the death and look forward to Buddy driving goal after goal into my face. Like a christian facing those mythical lions I welcome the Buddy induced bruises should it mean a decent sniff of the September grass now only 2 rounds away.
Smack bang in the middle of the Carlton Cheer Squad but they are genteel in comparison to the Pies crew and we sense a Hawk ensemble about them ready to silence at the first indiscretion from the Blues. In the first half there are many as the Hawks physical pressure and long kicking to position carve em up. Juddy cant get near it and by the long break we’re up by 47 points – but – in the parlance of the 2009 membership slogan at Princes Park – We Know they’re coming.
It feels like a final, there’s 52,000 in the House and its 19 degrees inside and 14 outside. Seems to be lots of families around us with one mum or dad Carlton and the other Hawthorn and the kids all Carlton. Or vica versa. The tension within these units on such a night must be high. Someone always has to follow their pride for the sake of the family and “showing the kids a good time as well as lesson in being magnanimous in defeat”. Not to mention explaining those rarely heard obscenities. No wonder they call it the Nuclear Family.
And come they do, finding space at last as the Hawks seem to lose a yard and their intensity level at the ball and the press. Carlton get real close but Bryce Gibbs cant kick to save himself and his team.
We hang on and take the double chance. Carlton have one game to go and the bye, so when West Coast win the following day, they are consigned to fifth spot. Opens the door for North Melbourne and the lure of the following nights game against Fremantle ferments a Troo Roo plan on the drive back to Hawk Central (Central Highland division) where I stop before my Peter Hudson shrine to give thanks for September action.
Hawthorn 10 18 78 d Carlton 8 18 68