NORTH Melbourne have secured the win in a crucial match for both sides as they make their finals push.

The Blues were stunned early at IKON Park, with the Kangaroos doing the damage in the first quarter with four unanswered goals.

Despite the disappointing team performance, midfielder Lily Goss was one of the best on the ground today, finishing with 20 touches and seven clearances in a valiant display.

The Blues road to the finals now becomes a lot more difficult, with the side now two wins back with only four games remaining.

Quarter One

The first five minutes showed encouraging signs for Carlton as they locked the ball in their forward 50, but North Melbourne were able to escape on a counterattack and score the all-important first goal of the game. The away side took the incentive from there, winning the ball out of the contest, firing repeat entries into their forward line and scoring a further two goals to give the Carlton coaching staff an early nightmare. After the Kangaroos put on their fourth in five minutes, the Blues steadied nicely, but they lacking composure going forwards.

Quarter two

The second term starting positively for the home side, but in a painfully similar way to the first quarter, they were lacked fluency in the forward half. North Melbourne wrestled back momentum, but the Carlton defence withstood the pressure with far greater success than in the opening term. The majority of the quarter saw very little in the way of opportunities created, until Steph Lawrence found herself with an open paddock in the forward 50. The forward duly scored Carlton’s first of the match with just under a minute remaining before the main break.

Quarter three

North Melbourne were on the front foot to begin the third term, with Carlton struggling to get the ball out of their defensive half. It was merely a matter of time before the Kangaroos inevitably scored their fifth of the match. The Blues began to play with more confidence, but repeatedly burned chances with some untidy kicking in attack. As the quarter wound down, North Melbourne nailed the game shut, taking a 34-point lead going into the last.

Quarter four

The Blues came out of the huddle playing with plenty of energy and freedom, and after initially missing out on their chances, it was debutant Rylie Wilcox who put one through. A 50-metre penalty from Carlton gave North Melbourne a chance to immediately respond and take the wind out of the home side’s sails and no mistake was made. With the air well and truly out of the Carlton tyre, the Kangaroos scored a second in quick succession as the match threatened to become a blowout. The Blues were able to reconcentrate though, and Maddi Wilson was able to convert after her snap bounced kindly through the goals. Madeleine Di Cosmo’s banana on the siren meant that the home side won the final quarter, in what was a disappointing day.

Match Summary:

Carlton                0.1.1   1.1.7   1.1.7    4.2.26

North Melbourne  4.0.24 4.2.26 6.5.41 8.5.53

Goals: Lawrence, Wilcox, Wilson, Di Cosmo.

Best: Goss, Bild, Di Cosmo, Wilcox, Cowan.

Stafford says:

“North got off to a really good start today and jumped us. I thought after quarter time the team regrouped and we got a lot of positives out of it and we’re on a continual journey and there is growth forward with our group.”

Benjamin Hann is a student at La Trobe University, undergoing his Bachelor of Media and Communications (Sports Journalism). He is currently undertaking an internship at the Carlton Football Club as part of its partnership with La Trobe University.