CARLTON’S youngsters showed promising signs in Thursday’s scratch match against Hawthorn at Ikon Park.
Taking place over four 25-minute quarters, the Hawks held the Blues at an arm’s length on the way to a 12.5 (77) to 8.5 (53) result.
Hawthorn got the jump on the Blues early, kicking five of the first six goals of the evening. While Carlton attempted to hit back to get within striking distance at the main change, it was a similar story in the second half.
Four straight goals to Hawthorn put them in the driver’s seat once more: despite a resolute final quarter comeback, the Blues fell 24 points short.
Young midfielders Sam Walsh and Sam Petrevski-Seton displayed plenty to be excited about in a solid opening hit-out, while recruits Mitch McGovern and Will Setterfield got valuable minutes under their belt.
A strong crowd at Carlton’s spiritual home saw the first glance of a new-look forward line, with the three tall forwards of Charlie Curnow, Harry McKay and McGovern lining up alongside one another at the opening bounce.
McGovern played the game up until half-time as scheduled, while fellow new Blue Setterfield entered the action for the final two quarters.
Walsh’s name was the one on Carlton supporters’ lips, with the No.1 draft pick demonstrating just why he was so highly touted in his draft year. He was well-supported by his fellow midfielder Petrevski-Seton, who demonstrated his class on the inside and outside of the contest.
In a new role up forward, David Cuningham produced some exciting cameos — including kicking two goals in the space of as many minutes in the second term.
Liam Jones showed no signs of the hand injury which momentarily delayed his pre-season, as he produced a strong intercepting performance with a highlights reel to match.
Carlton will return to action next Thursday when it hosts Essendon in the first match of the JLT Community Series. The game commences at 6:40pm.
CARLTON 1.1 4.2 4.2 8.5 (53)
HAWTHORN 5.0 7.3 11.4 12.5 (77)
Carlton: Cuningham 2, McKay 2, Casboult, C.Curnow, E.Curnow, Silvagni