CARLTON has fallen by 39 points to an undefeated Adelaide outfit at IKON Park.
Buoyed by the return of Mimi Hill, the Blues remained within touching distance on the scoreboard before a late flurry from the Crows confined the Blues to a fourth defeat of the season.
It was very nearly the fairytale start for the Game Changers, as Mimi Hill - in her first game in nearly a year - produced a flying shot on goal which went narrowly wide inside the opening minutes. However, the young midfielder continued to be the highlight of the first term from a Navy Blue perspective, racking up possession after possession on the wing. After conceding the opening goal, the Game Changers dominated the territory and inside 50s in the latter part of the quarter, but in a frustrating trend, were unable to put the pressure on the scoreboard when it counted.
Adelaide dialled up the pressure in the second term, registering repeat inside 50s and keeping the Blues’ backline - led by the returning Gab Pound - under constant and consistent pressure. Despite putting just the one major on the board, it was their forward pressure which had the Blues struggling to make meaningful ground, recording 9-1 forward-50 tackles at the main break. First-year Blue Brooke Vickers didn’t return for the rest of the afternoon after sustaining an ankle injury in the closing stages of the second term.
Speaking at half time, forwards coach Kade Simpson spoke of the need for the Blues to get reward for effort on the scoreboard: Georgia Gee obliged with a goal from close range to give the home side some momentum. It was nearly two in a matter of minutes when Brooke Walker stepped through traffic inside 50, but the finish was lacking. The Blues brought the pressure on the back of the main break, but an Adelaide goal from a set shot took some of the wind out of the Game Changers’ sails: Hill continued to motor along with 20 disposals at the final change.
The Blues were knocking on the door as they looked to cut back the three-goal deficit at the final change, but could only manage a couple of behinds before the Crows completely iced the game. Kicking the final four goals of the game uninterrupted, the margin ballooned out to 39 points come the final siren. Hearts were in mouths when Hill was helped from the ground and limped off, but it was just a case of cramping after an impressive solo performance following a year out of the game.
Moment of the match
We’re counting each of Mimi Hill’s 25 disposals as the moment of the match for Round 5. In her first game since featuring Geelong at IKON Park last year, Hill returned to the field and made up for lost time against one of the competition’s frontrunners. Her final stat line read 13 kicks, 12 handballs, 340 metres gained, eight intercepts, four tackles and three clearances.
CARLTON 0.2 0.3 1.3 1.6 (12)
ADELAIDE 1.2 2.7 3.9 7.9 (51)
Carlton: Hill, Pound, Trudgeon, Prespakis