CARLTON stole the win by two points in the dying seconds of Saturday afternoon's practice match against St Kilda.
After a strong start by the Blues, the Saints came back firing in the third quarter to look the near certain winners before a late Navy Blue comeback.
Here is how it all went down:
It was a strong start from some of our most promising youngsters at Ikon Park. Serena Gibbs made her presence known early, with an impressive chase down tackle setting the Blues up inside 50 for their first goal of the day. It was another second year Blue who opened the account for Carlton, with Courtney Jones showing composure with the first goal of the day and of her Navy Blue career. Gibbs again made herself known with a terrific mark inside 50 at the end of the quarter, but the Blues were left wanting with a post to finish the quarter.
The Saints came back strong in the second quarter to even up the contest for the day. Carlton started the quarter strong with Gibbs taking her second chance at goal to extend the lead. Two Saints goals in quick succession promised a tight remainder of the quarter, but some crafty work from Maddy Prespakis and Georgia Gee through the centre put the Sherrin firmly in the hands of Darcy Vescio. Never in doubt, Vescio slotted to give the Blues the eight-point lead at the main break.
We've got a bit of a game on our hands here. ??— Carlton Women's (@carltonfc_w) January 16, 2021
The Gibbsy and Darcy goals give us an 8-point lead heading into the main break.
CARL 21 STK 13 pic.twitter.com/JBHJuicIII
St Kilda came back with a vengeance in the third term, kicking away to snatch the lead from Carlton as the rain came down. The Blues were kept scoreless as the Saints locked the ball inside their forward 50 for the majority of the quarter. Despite tireless work from Georgia Gee and repeat efforts from Maddy Guerin, the Blues couldn’t spark a spell in attack. Carlton finished the quarter with a 10-point deficit.
The Saints continued their dominance in the opening five minutes of the fourth term, extending their lead and locking the ball inside their forward 50. It wasn’t until the fifth minute that the Blues were able to break their scoring drought, with two quick goals putting them right back in contention with a four-point deficit. But just when the Blues needed her most, Breann Moody stepped up in the dying seconds. Off the back of an impressive Brooke Vernon tackle, Moody got her chance and goaled to put the Blues 2-points up with seconds to go.
Some things never change. ??— Carlton Women's (@carltonfc_w) January 16, 2021
2020 ? 2021, this pre-game tradition has stuck. pic.twitter.com/d4t5bVxcuv
Moments of the Match:
They may not have been official first goals, but we can't wait to see Courtney Jones and Serena Gibbs inside 50 come AFLW 5.0. Jones open Carlton's account with the first major of the day, with Gibbs following suit in the second quarter after a false start. With our second-year Blues coming into their own, you really can't make us choose between these two moments.
Three things from the game:
1. Our second-year hopefuls are making a case for AFLW selection. Still chasing AFLW debuts, Serena Gibbs and Courtney Jones took their opportunity against the Saints on Saturday afternoon, both collecting majors after tireless work inside 50.
2. We might say this every season, but Darcy Vescio sure is looking dangerous. Looking fit and fast, Vescio was tireless in the forward 50 with her repeat efforts not only resulting in her own goals but also setting up scoring opportunities for the rest of the forward line.
3. The velcro connection is as strong as ever. Time after time Maddy Prespakis and Georgia Gee showed themselves as the most dynamic of duos, their midfield connection setting up the forward line for success throughout the afternoon.
ST KILDA: 38
Carlton: Gibbs (2), Vescio, Jones, Gee, Moody
Carlton: Prespakis, Gee, Vescio, Gibbs