CARLTON has secured its third win of the year with a thrilling eight-point victory over Darebin at La Trobe University.
Abbie McKay was the hero, with two goals in the last term after being swung forward seeing the Blues get over the line against the persistent Falcons.
In a see-sawing contest, Carlton reigned supreme thanks to relentless pressure and great communication on-field, creating the perfect response to a disappointing loss against Richmond.
Carlton began the game with great intent, with hard tackling and running seeing them dominate the early going. Lauren Brazzale played with good energy, highlighted by a great smother on the boundary line. Bry Gurr was aggressive early with great tackling and gave the Blues the early advantage with a brilliant soccer goal. In defence, Megan Neill showcased her speed, chasing down a loose player streaming inside 50 to put the pressure on and save a goal. Undoubtedly the highlight of the quarter was Charlotte Wilson taking a specky near the boundary line, giving the home crowd something to cheer about.
Carlton continued to apply great pressure in the second term, with Katie Loynes leading the way in the midfield. Gemma Wright was strong in defence, taking some strong marks and positioning herself well against Darebin’s forwards. Courteney Bromage applied her trademark aggression, as she was relentless in her chasing and tackling. Abbie McKay was one who stepped up in the second quarter with great marking and kicking in an unfamiliar position for her – in the back line.
Goals were hard to come by in the third term with congestion a feature of the quarter. For the Blues, Loynes was able to break through the lines with some clearing kicks as well as run and carry down the line. Gurr continued to present well up forward, providing a great assist to Simone Craige to give the Blues their second major of the day and the lead heading into the final change. Jess Hosking was aggressive as always down back.
The Blues continued to work hard in the fourth quarter as both sides battled desperately for the four points. Britney Gutknecht showed cleanliness with ball in hand, while fellow Northern Knights graduate Marnie Jarvis tackled and ran well. It was McKay who proved to be the hero, kicking the final two goals of the game as the Blues prevailed by eight points.
Shan’s Player of the Day: Britney Gutknecht
"With Brit being one of our youngest players, she really stood up in that last quarter," McFerran said.
"Her repeat efforts and her ability to keep her feet in the dying minutes was fantastic. Her intent at the ball and her intensity all day was great and she helped us get across the line in the end."
CARLTON VFLW 1.2 1.2 2.3 4.5 (29)
DAREBIN FALCONS 0.4 1.6 1.8 2.9 (21)
Carlton: McKay 2, Craige, Gurr
Carlton: Gutknecht, Cubasch, S Wright, McKay, Loynes, Prins