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Port Adelaide vs Carlton at Adelaide Oval

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by Abhi Jeyakkumar (subscribe)
I am an 18 year old athlete hoping to make the AFL draft or play for cricket Australia. Studying Bachelor of Media at Adelaide university, I wish to be a slightly controversial yet humorous media personality after an illustrious sporting career.
It was a hectic Friday night for me as I went to pick up some friends to watch an exciting game of football. Admittedly, as I went to pick up one friend, I completely forgot to pick up another friend. The sudden realisation that I forgot this friend came to me when I was almost at the oval, and I just left him at City Cross alone while I had his ticket. Eventually, the hectic pre-game arrangement was over and we sat down with the rest of the group, a mix of hard-core footy fans and people who have never seen a game before. Watching the expression of a new person getting into the rough atmosphere of an AFL game is priceless, as they get shocked by everything that happens, whether it is the DJ playing over the loudspeakers or even the crowd getting rough at the players warming up. It seems a different atmosphere for them, and taking them to a football game is like showing them a new way of life. It brings warmth to my heart to convert innocent people into football fanatics.

Suddenly, there was silence. My friend was confused; she heard everyone shouting not too long ago yet there was this sudden silence. I pointed to the advertising boards. It was pitch black, but then a teal spark erupted from the boards. She jumped out of her seat. I watched, almost in hysterical laughter as she was amazed by the pregame events. As the Port players jogged out onto the Adelaide Oval, the crowd erupted, and everyone stood up to cheer on Port Adelaide. When 'Never Tear us Apart' by INXS played, it was spine tingling. We raised our scarves and joined the 50 thousand plus crowd sing along. The players loved it, soaking the entire atmosphere in and my friend loved it too, singing although she didn't know the words. However, the football side of the event was on, as it was time for the bounce.

Carlton had the early lead, wasting a few opportunities with a few misses. But it was all Port Adelaide from there. They had recaptured their early season form at the perfect time, completely demoralizing the slightly inexperienced Carlton line-up. Carlton were without Jeff Garlett, as their live-wire small forward was involved in a brawl days before the match, and the Carlton officials thought it was best for him not to travel to Adelaide. Other exclusions from the Carlton line-up included high profile players such as Dale Thomas, Dennis Armfield, Andrew Walker, Mitch Robinson and Matthew Kreuzer.
The power did not disappoint the 52,000 plus crowd. Before the final siren sounded, they defeated Carlton by 103 points, kicking 20 goals 20 behinds (140 points) to 5 goals 7 behinds (37 points).

Robbie Gray was outstanding, most likely polling 3 Brownlow votes and eventually securing the coaches award with his 33 disposal 4 goal game. Justin Westhoff was also clinical with 3 goals and 21 disposals as well as the captain Travis Boak, who amassed 27 touches in a head to head with Carlton's Chris Judd.
Credit to Port Adelaide FC

My friend learned may new names as she watched the footy, which included an unhealthy love for Chad Wingard. Wingard, who was in contention for All Australian halfway through the year before his lean patch, silenced critics with class and poise throughout all four quarters. Whenever he had the ball, the squealing next to me was deafening. It eclipsed the noise of the crowd.

Friday night football… the perfect way to introduce the greatest game on earth to a newcomer…and what a better way than to start with a 103 point win.
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When: Friday Night
Where: Adelaide Oval
Cost: Free for Port Adelaide members
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