ON Tuesday night, Carlton overcame a 39-point deficit to snatch a win from Sydney and keep their 2020 season alive.
Sydney booted the first seven goals in the game to set Carlton a big comeback mission, but it was a challenge the Blues were up to.
This isn’t the first time Carlton has had to claw its way back to victory from behind: we look back at some of the Blues’ best comebacks of the last 20 years.
Round 9, 2001
Picking up 19 years ago in similar fashion, the Blues were six goals behind midway through the second quarter against the Kangaroos.
If ever there was a turning point, it was the act of the smallest man on the ground - Darren Hulme - winning a crucial one-on-two contest on the wing and sending the Blues on their way.
From there, the Blues held North to one goal in the second half while kicking nine themselves to turn it into a 13-point win.
Hulme was the best player on the ground and received three Brownlow votes, while Craig Bradley had 26 disposals in game no,.341.
Round 3, 2007
Is there anything sweeter than a 48-point comeback over the old enemy?
Maybe Brendan Fevola kicking a bag of eight to make it happen.
Essendon scored seven goals in the first quarter, leaving Carlton in very early trouble as they trailed by 38 points at the first break and as much as eight goals in the second term.
Enter ‘Fev’ — and what Robert Walls described on commentary as one of “the best halves of football played by a forward”.
Fevola effectively kicked eight goals in two quarters, Heath Scotland ran all day and the Blues held on by three points to record a famous win against the arch rival.
Round 21, 2008
This was a game that started off perfectly for the Blues, with the side leading the Lions by 22 points after a seven-goal haul in the first quarter.
However, in a true game of momentum swings, Lions kicked away in the third quarter, kicking an astonishing nine goals in 31 minutes with Daniel Bradshaw bagging four of those.
At three quarter time, the Blues trailed the Lions by 32 points, with the game seemingly over: what followed was goalless final quarter for Brisbane while Carlton slotted six majors.
With a previously red-hot Fevola kept quiet, Jarrad Waite and Cameron Cloke kicked two goals each in the final term while Marc Murphy also got in on the act with a dominant last quarter.
Chris Judd took home the three Brownlow votes, but Joe Anderson was the hero on the night, taking a courageous mark with seconds to play as the Lions threatened to retake the lead.
Round 23, 2013
It was one of Carlton’s most famous away days.
Carlton trailed for the majority of this game against Port in Adelaide, struggling to get within four goals of the Power despite needing a win to secure an unexpected finals berth.
In the last game at AAMI Stadium, it looked for all intents and purposes that the Blues would come up short.
That is, until an eight-goal final quarter.
In his first year as skipper, Murphy produced a true captain’s performance to will his team to victory, while Eddie Betts, Jeff Garlett and Tom Bell all kicked vital goals as the Blues took the lead for the first time in the final term.
Murphy was clearly best on ground in a three-vote performance, but the Blues didn’t have to wait long for an even sweeter comeback…
2013 elimination final
There’s something about the 8th of September for comebacks. Regardless of Matthew Cottrell’s heroics on Tuesday, this will always be known as Nick Duigan Day.
Seven years ago to the day of the comeback against Sydney, Carlton staged their historic 32-point comeback against Richmond in an elimination final.
Playing in a final they thought was never going to happen, Carlton went into the game as strong underdogs against an emerging Richmond side. Playing their first final in 12 years, the team in the yellow and black burst out of the blocks.
Then, Nick Duigan happened. He may have been eating a salad roll minutes before the bounce, but it was the late inclusion’s four snags which had the footy world talking and Bluebaggers in raptures.
It’d be remiss not to mention the exploits of Chris Judd on his 30th birthday. That would be fitting.
Round 6, 2014
After leading the Eagles by five points at half time, the Blues scored just one goal to four in the third term.
A win looked even more unlikely when Carlton trailed by 24 points with eight minutes to go.
But the Blues pegged the Eagles back with a first, second, third and then a fourth goal - off the boot of Dylan Buckley - to level the scores.
Troy Menzel kicked the goal to put West Coast away as the Blues held on against the Eagles, prevailing by three points.
Brock McLean and Marc Murphy both picked up 32 disposals, with the three Brownlow votes once again going to the then-captain.
Round 12, 2019
One of the biggest comebacks in modern Blues history came against the Lions at Marvel Stadium in a game which ensured David Teague wouldn’t forget his first game in charge.
Brisbane piled on the first six goals of the game, taking a 40-3 lead and seemingly confining the Blues to another defeat.
Not if Patrick Cripps had anything to say about it.
The skipper played arguably the best game of his career against Brisbane, racking up 38 disposals and kicking a career-best four goals — all of which came in the critical second half.
With the likes of Sam Walsh and Ed Curnow gathering over 30 disposals and Charlie Curnow kicking three goals, the Blues ended up leading for most of the second half to finish with an emotional 15-point win.
Round 15, 2019
Just three rounds later, Carlton staged another comeback against Fremantle up in Perth, with Murphy kicking ‘that’ match-winning banana.
Without skipper Patrick Cripps and losing Charlie Curnow early in the first, the young Blues roared and rose to the occasion to steal a memorable win.
The Blues didn’t score a goal until the second quarter from the boot of Michael Gibbons, which started a run of four unanswered goals.
With Carlton going goal for goal with Fremantle for most of the second half, they found themselves down by two points late in the final term.
In the final minute of the game, Marc Murphy pulled off the impossible snap to put the Blues four points ahead and on the plane home with the four points in the bag.