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AFLW game analysis: Round 5

Justin Cooper, Carlton Media  March 6, 2017 4:45 PM

Carlton goals | AFLW Round 5 Watch all of Carlton's goals from the Round 5 clash against the Western Bulldogs.

Carlton kept its winning record intact in Round 5 of the NAB AFL Women’s League on Saturday, defeating a determined Western Bulldogs by six points at Ikon Park.

A crowd of 6,833 packed the stands of Ikon Park to witness the Blues become the first team to register over 50 points in a game, prevailing 8.6.54 to 7.6.48 in a tense finale.

Darcy Vescio (five disposals, three goals) was back to her brilliant best, beating her opponent one-on-one on numerous occasions along with setting up other avenues to goal.

Isabella Ayre (eight disposals, two marks, two goals) also shone inside 50 for the second week running, having four shots on goal for a two-goal return to prove last week’s haul against Melbourne was no fluke.

It was a very even game across the stats sheet, despite the Dogs’ strong first quarter led by Emma Kearney (18 disposals, six marks), Jaimee Lambert (16 disposals, five tackles, one goal) and Ellie Blackburn (16 disposals, two marks, three goals).

In what was a highly attacking game and arguably the most entertaining of the season, the Bulldogs dominated the clearances (33-17) but the Blues were more damaging going forward, winning the inside-50 count 30-25.

Star defender Bri Davey (16 disposals, three marks, four tackles) returned from injury in a late call-up to join Tilly Lucas-Rodd (17 disposals, six marks, four tackles) and half-back Sarah Hosking (13 disposals, four marks) among the best in a crucial victory.

A telling stat was the Blues' disposal efficiency, which jumped to 60 per cent after falling below 50 in the fortnight prior.

Carlton has now risen to third on the AFLW ladder with two rounds to go, with an away clash against eighth-placed Fremantle in Perth on Friday night in another double-header with the JLT Community Series.