After the Game v Carlton Rd 4, 2024 – By Snaps Truly

Adelaide. Ever been there?

Lovely. They have Foodland, just like we used to. They seem to really like choc milk too.

Don Bradman lived there in later life, playing the piano and counting Freemasons among his only real friends.

Ian Chappell was born there but left – probably because he couldn’t stand Don Bradman – and he now calls himself a New South Welshman.

Paul Kelly lived there and wrote a song. It’s called Adelaide.

And the streets are so wide everybody’s inside
Sitting in the same chairs they were sitting in last year
(This is my town!)
All the king’s horses all the king’s men
Wouldn’t drag me back again
To Adelaide, Adelaide, Adelaide, Adelaide.

Paul Kelly clearly, left too.

Rarely has this pretty country town captured the collective imagination of Australians.

It hosted a brilliant Formula One Grand Prix from 1985-95 before Jeff Kennett and the bloody Vics stole it. “Like they stole all our good footballers!” says anyone whose path you cross in the Rundle Mall.

And back in 1972, its Premier Don Dunstan proudly stood on the steps of the parliament wearing tight pink shorts. Another proud political son (but tosspot) Alexander Downer, once wore fishnets.

Their business.

It was also the home of Patsy Biscoe and Humphrey B Bear. He for many years was the most exciting anthropomorphic animal on Australian television.

Before Fat Cat arrived.

Fat Cat as you probably know, remains a “person in a cat suit of interest,” following the sudden disappearance of Percy Penguin in Perth. That remains a terrible unsolved mystery.

Just like the Beaumont children, about which I intended to say nothing, and will now say no more.

That’s about it really. That’s Adelaide. Oh, and the streets are nicely laid out so it’s very easy to leave.

So why is the place packed this weekend? Well, last year Gather Round was born and the AFL decided that every team in the land had to go and play football in Adelaide.

CLUBS: “Do we have to?”
AFL: “Yes, you do. But you can have a choc milk.”
CLUBS: Hooray!

The idea caught on.

And while the Harley Reids were sent into the Hills to fight valiantly against the Swans but lose for the forty billion and eighth time … the unbeaten Freo Dockers were invited onto Adelaide Oval to take on Carlton in a Saturday afternoon blockbuster.

I still suffer some PTSD from previous encounters. I still scratch at the memory of August 2020 when Jack Newnes kicked that impossible and illegal goal from the boundary at Optus to give the Blues a five-point victory. I hack at it. I tear at it. I submitted my protest to the International Criminal Court in the Hague, but still await its consideration.

And like all umpires, they’ll probably refer it upstairs.

But that was then. And the – this is now – looks bloody exciting, doesn’t it?

The challenge today? Stop Curnow and McKay and make crying baby noises to distract Patrick Cripps who surely must be sleep deprived since the arrival of his first-born Koda.

Koda? Apparently, a gender neutral Native American name and short form of Dakota.

At the opening bounce, Hayden Young asked to see a photo, before running away with the ball laughing. (This didn’t actually happen.)

It was a good and even start. Cerra opened for Carlton before Tom Emmett produced a nice snap and Remember the Name Banfield popped up to kick Freo into the lead. No first quarter drowsiness today, just excellent pressure all over the ground.

Cripps did mark and goal late in the quarter, offered a sweet “rock a bye” for his daughter, and we all oohed and aahed just once, before deciding that was quite enough and we secretly hoped she would grow up and marry a member of an outlaw motorcycle club.

Freo opened the second quarter brightly.

Serong cleverly found the hard running Freddy who gave it to Amiss, who kicked our third.

Taberner, who I simply won’t write a bad word about these days (not legally binding) was contesting well. He won a free, produced a snap and Freo were playing the game on their own terms.

The margin closed with a Cotterell goal and Carlton did look to be creating a few more opportunities later on, but a resolute and thoroughly committed Freo took a three point lead into the long break.

Freo produced a great third quarter and that was despite two Curnow goals that might have changed everything.

We benefited from the activation of our sleeper cells. Adam Cerra had two shots on goal and missed both and Blake Acres was twice caught holding the ball deep in our forward line.

Emmett laid the first crunching tackle and goaled. Treacy the second.

Thanks sleeper cells. We’ll tell you when we need you again.

Our lead was nine points at the final change. Might we be overrun? Possibly. Might our intense pressure about the footy be too much for the Blues?

Well, you already know the answer.

I have just sent another protest to the International Criminal Court in the Hague.

Sing it Paul.

All the king’s horses all the king’s men
Wouldn’t drag me back again
To Adelaide, Adelaide, Adelaide, Adelaide.

By our multi-talented and amazingly insightful footy scribe, SNAPS TRULY. Snaps has seen and done it all. He may or may not have been a fringe player at Fremantle. Don’t miss Snaps’ report after each Freo Dockers match here on the Shipping News throughout the 2024 season.


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