From The Sunday Age
Reported by John Pierick
Full article - click here

Carlton midfielder Nick Graham enhanced his hopes of a senior recall with an impressive performance in Saturday's VFL season opener against Port Melbourne.

While the Northern Blues were beaten by 29 points at North Port Oval, Graham finished with 37 disposals. His work at the stoppages was strong and he provided plenty of drive on a wet afternoon when the Borough faithful rallied around their club on a "Call to Arms" day.


The Borough players had forfeited their match payments for this match in a bid to help the club's flagging finances.

It was also a day when they celebrated Chris Cain's 175th match, earning him VFL life membership. He would cap off the celebrations with a goal after the final siren.

Port had control for most of the game, leading by 22 points at half-time. Former "Frosty" Miller medallist Jordan Lisle booted seven goals - six coming after the main break - to guide the Borough to victory in heavy rain. The Blues would enjoy some consolation with three late goals.

Blaine Boekhorst, battling to remain on the Blues' senior list, had 24 disposals, while Billie Smedts, dropped to the VFL after a poor start to the AFL season, had 21. Former Fremantle Docker Alex Silvagni was named among the best but Graham, handed a one-year contract extension in November, was the stand-out for the Blues.

The remaining matches in the opening round will be completed next weekend.

* Meanwhile, history was made in the VAFA on Saturday.

For the first time in the amateur competition, matches were called off due to lightning.

The Beaumaris v Old Melburnians match in Premier grade, the Old Brighton v Peninsula game in Premier B, and the Point Cook v University High division 3 matches were all awarded to the teams leading at the time the matches were stopped by the umpires.