DESPITE leading from siren to siren, Senior Coach Daniel Harford never felt certain of a Carlton win on Saturday afternoon.
In windy conditions at Whitten Oval, the Blues - after a strong start in enemy territory - got the better of a persistent Bulldogs team in a match littered with momentum shifts.
Speaking to media following the annual Pride Game, Daniel Harford likened the 21-point victory to a game of test cricket.
“We were able to capitalise three goals early and that certainly made it difficult for them chasing,” Harford said.
“It was one of those games like test cricket: what you’re making in the first innings is sort of going to be the number that the team is going to need to make in the second innings.
“Pleasingly we were able to stand up and find another gear in the last quarter and set the game on our terms.”
Some light reading for your Saturday night. ??— Carlton Womens (@carltonfc_w) February 22, 2020
Get the rundown on our win in the west. ??#BoundByBlue
Windy conditions contributed to periods of dominance for both sides, with the Bulldogs able to nullify the 13-point lead the Blues had built up in the first quarter.
Kicking away again in the third, the Bulldogs' last surge of momentum wasn’t enough to quell the determined Blues.
“The wind is not only difficult to play in: it’s a really psychological thing for players and coaches as well as to how you defend the breeze or how you attack the breeze,” he said.
“One of the pleasing parts of our last quarter, a part from the fact that players like 'Mads' and Lucy McEvoy and Katie Loynes really stood up and Chloe Dalton ran the contest, was they were able to score and had the mindset that we needed to score to win.
“Rather than sitting back on your heels and guarding space and allowing them to lead to the footy and get you over the back like what often happens when teams have the wind, we attacked the footy as if we need to score to win and we did.”