|Venue: Waverley Park|
|Date: Saturday August 29, 1987||Result: Won by 4 points|
|Umpires: P.Cameron & D.Howlett||Crowd: 30,444 Receipts: $115,809|
|Goalkickers: S.Kernahan 6, P.Sartori 5, B.Evans 3, C.Bradley 2, W.Johnston 2, D.Glascott 1 & K.Hunter 1|
|Best: S.Kernahan, P.Sartori, C.Bradley, J.Madden, W.Johnston, K.Hunter, B.Evans, S.Silvagni|
|Reports: Law (NM) for striking Johnston||Injuries: S.Robertson (bruised heel)|
Game ReviewNorth Melbourne looked like spoiling Carlton's hopes of finishing on top of the ladder when they hit the front by 2 points with less than a minute to go in this thriller at Waverley Park. It was then, at a boundary throw-in, that Blues' ruckman Justin Madden plucked the ball out of the air, and kicked it forward as hard as he could. Camped under the high ball, Carlton captain Stephen Kernahan was sandwiched between two North defenders in the right forward pocket - but he launched himself skyward to take a fabulous pack mark, 20 metres out on a tight angle - just as the siren sounded.
Under enormous pressure, 'Sticks' settled, and calmly slotted one of the most important kicks in Carlton’s history after the siren – a definitive captain’s goal. Had he missed, Hawthorn would have finished on top of the ladder and gained the vital week's rest in the first round of the finals. Kernahan's pressure goal ensured that the Blues would get that badly-needed break, and ultimately, our fifteenth flag.
''Brothers in Arms - Blues top of great season so far with a week's rest
The Carlton-North Melbourne clash was an epic ecounter that delivered plenty of excitement. The lead changed 12 times from the 20-minute mark of the third term to the end of the game, some three minutes after the final siren. The make-up of the Five depended on the result. If North had won, they could have had the double chance, a loss could have cost Carlton top spot. If Carlton won, there would be no changes to the order of the top four. Wayne Johnston burst of the pack and charged downfield to kick Carlton's 19th goal, all the prophesies looked academic. Less than three minutes later, they looked like fact. Jason Love snapped truly in the goal square to put North two-points up. "When Love kicked that goal I thought they may have had it" said Carlton captain Stephen Kernahan. "I didn't think we had enough time, but football is a funny game". With the crowd, on the edge of their seats, the umpire bounced the ball. North won the hit-out but the ball landed in the hands of big, bad Jon Dorotich and Carlton surged forward again. His kick hit the turf, and Justin Madden picked up the ball. With no time to think, he kicked goalwards. Kernahan appeared from nowhere, his hands out-stretched to take what may be the most important mark of his career. Two points down, the Blues captain had the top spot in his hands when the siren blew. "The pressure was on and I was a bit nervous", Kernahan said. "I was on a bit of an angle, so I just tried to kick cleanly, hoping it would go through the middle. I had all night to kick it, so I took my time, I just wanted to make sure everything was fine". Through it went, without a deviation, for Carlton's 18th win for the season and top spot. Like Steve McPherson who kicked after the siren to level the scores in North-Melbourne-Footscray clash two weeks ago, Kernahan was given an armchair ride off the ground. "This week's break will be good," said Kernahan. "It'll give us a break after a long, hard season. We'll also have the chance to make sure everybody is fine". - Andrew Clarke Footy Week. ''
''In Sticks hands - No worries!
I wasn't worried. Not one bit. When Stephen Kernahan had the ball in his capable hands I knew it was curtains for the Kangas and sure enough, captain courageous kicked accurately and top spot was ours. The week's rest will do us a world of good. Allan Jeans knows that. He moaned in the Sunday papers about his Hawks not having the break. This could be the difference between us winning the big one or falling at the final hurdle as we did last year. Big Justin led the way on Saturday. He gave us first use of the ball from the centre bounces and once Bernie Evans and Craig Bradley whipped it upfield the Kangas were under enormous pressure. I'm blowed if I know why Wallsy left Evans on the interchange bench for most of the first half. Bernie blitzed 'em in that third quarter. He's got to be in the thick of the action from the outset in a fortnight's time when we win the right to contest the "87" Grand Final. And that's the path we'll tread - straight into the big one and another Blues' flag is there for the taking. I've had a special feeling about this Carlton side all year long. We got labelled as being suspect under pressure after last year's debacle, but guys like Rhys will change all that this year. I honestly reckon that we've just about got the flag parcelled up. Go to it Blues. Give 'em hell. - Carl Toner Inside Football. ''
''Stephen passes toughest test
What a fantastic end to the season - it all went right down to the line and l'm sure that in years to come, people will talk about 1987 and the closeness of the last round. Like Steve McPherson, Stephen Kernahan's moment of reckoning came as the siren went in the match against North Melbourne. While the pressure of simply winning any match with one kick is enough to make you go funny at the knees, Stephen was facing a far more important kick. Firstly, he's the Captain and good Captain's kick "Captain's goals" (whatever they are), and "good Captains don't miss the important ones" - all the great work he has done as Captain this year would have been instantaneously forgotten by the media and there would have been full page photos of him sitting in the rooms looking really disappointed. Then there's the fallacy about Carlton being suspect under pressure - if he'd missed, his one kick would have been personified all of Carlton's perceived problems. Last but not least, the kick meant a lot more than winning or losing - a straight kick meant the Minor Premiership (top spot on the ladder at the end of the season), and a week's rest before the finals began, while a less than perfect kick meant second place and a significantly lesser chance of winning the premiership. So he was going to become the bloke who lost top spot if he didn't kick it - all because his kick happened after the siren, instead of being one of the 5000 kicks, which Carlton has had in football this season, all of which were before the final siren. I'm certain that Stephen didn't think any of that stuff. Letting your head get into thoughts like that when you're lining up the goals is like guaranteeing you'll miss. Stephen's kick went as straight as a bullet and is further evidence that Carlton's decision to give him the captainacy at the start of the season was well founded and an inspired choice. Well done Stephen, you've passed one of the toughest tests there is in football. - Warrick Capper Footy Week. ''
The Carlton - Nth Melbourne game last weekend was one of the best games l've seen. It had some sparkling individual performances, notably from Carlton captain, Stephen Kernahan and the Krakouer brothers from North. Not since the days of Royce Hart have I seen a top-line centre half-forward walk straight in to the VFL and star from day one, as has Kernahan. And the Krakouers are just magic. You run out of superlatives trying to describe their displays. What a great game - Peter Keenan Inside Football.
''True Blue Stephen
I hope people understand the skill and pressure involved in Stephen Kernahan's brilliant goal which secured top spot for Carlton because it could be the goal that wins the Grand Final. The after-siren goal guaranteed the Blues a week's rest and this could prove to be the key factor in the premiership race. It was a brilliant goal not only because of the pressure but also the difficulty of the shot. He was on a 55 degree angle and the fact that he was 15 metres out made it even more difficult because from that angle the closer you get the harder it is. Kernahan kicked it beautifully and the ball went straight through without deviating from centre. I don't think anyone who hasn't played VFL football could understand the pressure on the young Carlton captain because a lot was riding on that kick. The general public may dismiss it as an easy shot for goal but l can tell you that was one of the most difficult goals I have ever seen. - Sam Newman Footy Week.''
That great captain's goal by Stephen Kernahan might prove to be the most influential kick of the season. It was the difference between a four point win and a one point loss. More importantly it meant top position on the ladder, a week's rest - and Hawthorn having to do battle with the Sydney Swans at VFL Park. The final round was such a hard slog that the week's breather must be a huge advantage for Carlton. Although the Swans came home with a wet sail to wipe out Fitzroy, they still finished the game tired. Likewise, Hawthorn was a tired side as it plugged home. These two sides meet in a clash where it is clear the loser will be most unlikely to win the flag. - Brian Hansen Footy Week. ''
Stephen Kernahan's 13th mark for the day in the game between North Melbourne and Carlton was far from unlucky. As everyone knows by now, the Carlton captain kicked the winning goal and gave his side the luxury of a week's break before the second-semi final. The game mirrored the excitement taking place in the other fooball venues around Melbourne and Geelong. It was as if various coaches involved had sat down over lunch and scripted the last home and away game of the season. An award-winning playwright could not have done better. In that very last quarter, Carlton had 54 kicks to 55, 18 marks to 16 and 26 handballs to 15. But North were beaten in the ruck duels: thay had 13 hit-outs to Carlton's 33. For the Blues, Craig Bradley had 25 possessions (16 & 9), Wayne Johnston 21 (17 & 4) and Bernie Evans 20 (19 & 1), including eight kicks in the last term. - Footy Week.''
This game is remembered fondly by Carlton fans, and is considered one of our best wins in the Home & Away rounds of the 1980's. For more games like this, please click here.
|B:||43 Mick Kennedy||1 Stephen Silvagni||26 David Rhys-Jones|
|HB:||22 Ian Aitken||45 Warren McKenzie||31 Tom Alvin|
|C:||8 Wayne Blackwell||21 Craig Bradley||32 David Glascott|
|HF:||23 Paul Meldrum||4 Stephen Kernahan (c)||3 Richard Dennis|
|F:||9 Ken Hunter||18 Peter Sartori||38 Shane Robertson|
|Ruck:||44 Justin Madden (vc)||7 Wayne Johnston||12 Adrian Gleeson|
|Interchange:||6 Jon Dorotich||15 Bernie Evans|
Brownlow Votes3: Jimmy Krakouer (NM)
2: Phil Krakouer (NM)
1: Stephen Kernahan (CARL)
Round 21 | Semi Final