IT WAS a familiar story for Carlton, after a disappointing first quarter meant the away side had to do it all if they wanted to get a positive result.

The five-goal loss has all but taken the Blues out of finals contention with just two rounds left to play.

The Southern Saints have levelled the season record with Carlton, with the finals contenders getting their revenge on the away side.

It was another positive day for Brooke Plummer who managed 15 disposals in an impressive display off half back, while Serena Gibbs slotted a goal in her return game to football. 

Quarter one

The Saints were commanding from the outset, getting repeat entries to start the match. Some impressive intercept work from Jen Lew meant the home side could only muster a behind. It was almost a special moment for Serena Gibbs as she failed to convert from 30 metres out, following a fast break from the Blues. The Saints continued to dominate proceedings and penetrated the Carlton defence for two quick-fire goals. The Blues were able to steady and began to get their hands on the ball, but a late Saints goal meant they went into the first change with a commanding three-goal lead.

Quarter two

Carlton were fastest off the block to start the second term, but the Saints defence was resistant to the pressure. With both sides settling in, the match was being played in the centre of the ground, as neither team could gain ascendency. It was the home side who finally found the breakthrough, giving Carlton a mountain to climb. The Blues once again were able to find some momentum, with the last five minutes of the quarter being played in the away side’s forward half.

Serena Gibbs slots a goal.

Quarter three

Carlton thought they had their second goal within a minute of the third term when Millie Klingbeil snapped one goalward, only for the ball to get touched before it went through. Both sides traded blows as the match increased in physicality, with players throwing themselves at the contests. The Saints kicked the first of the second half, however Carlton managed to find answer when Jessica Stramandinoli was rewarded for a strong tackle 30 metres from goal. The match begin to slip out of Carlton’s reach when the home side managed two more majors to give themselves a 30-point lead heading into the final change.

Quarter four

The last term got off to a slow start for both teams as tired legs became a factor in the match. The Blues managed to keep the ball in their forward half for a considerable portion of the last quarter, however they lacked penetration in their attacks, making it easy for the Saints’ defence. It wasn’t until the fourteenth minute of the quarter when the first goal was kicked, after the Saints were able to convert an opportunity that came from forward pressure.

Match Summary:

Carlton   0.0.1    1.2.8    2.4.16    3.5.23

Saints    3.2.20   4.2.26   7.4.46   8.6.54

Goals: Gibbs, Stramandinoli, Cowan.

Best: Klingbeil, Di Cosmo, Plummer, Goss, Lew.

Stafford says:

“We got jumped today by a very good side today in the Saints. To our girls credit I thought after quarter time we rallied, we were really competitive, and we got to play the way that we wanted to play. Disappointed with the result, but definitely some positives to come out of today’s game.”