IT WAS a high-scoring affair at Box Hill City Oval in Carlton’s final practice game ahead of the 2021 VFL season starting next week.

The Hawks, however, were too good at their home ground finishing with a 43-point win.

There were a number of positives for the Blues, with Mitch McGovern leading well and marking strongly in the forward line to finish with three goals.

Sam Ramsay was another of Carlton’s best, consistently winning the contested ball and kicking two goals in one of his best performances of the pre-season.

Carlton will look to regroup ahead of their Round 1 clash against Southport Sharks at IKON Park next Saturday.

Caleb Marchbank left the field in the first quarter and will undergo an assessment tomorrow. 

Carlton Reserves practice match | Carlton v Box Hill - Sam Ramsay

Quarter one:

The Blues brought the pressure early, with Sam Ramsay getting an early goal against the wind to open the scoring for the day. However, the Hawks were able to wrestle back momentum setting up a wall ion their forward 50 to have repeat entries and heaping the pressure on the Blues' defenders. There was little relief for the Blues with the Hawks making the most of the strong breeze to pile on five first-quarter goals to two. Corey Durdin and Mitch McGovern combined late in the term to give the Blues something to cheer about, however it was short lived with the Hawks continuing to dominate possession through the middle and in their forward half to set up a 29-point lead at the first break.

Quarter two:

With the breeze behind them to start the second term, the Blues went to work cutting back on the Hawks’ lead. Quick hands from Liam Stocker in the middle and a strong mark to Ben Crocker gave Carlton the perfect start. Similar to the Hawks in the first quarter, the Blues were able to keep the ball locked in their forward half heaping the pressure on the opposition defenders. It was relentless by Carlton with the pressure of Matt Owies, Sam Philp and Josh Honey all notable. The Blues stole the lead when Ben Crocker kicked his third for the term on the back of some hard-running through the middle of the ground by Lochie O’Brien. Sam Ramsay upped his work rate during the term, proving to be important in the transition while also kicking his second goal for the game.

Quarter three:

It was a fast start by both teams going goal for goal in the opening stages of the term. Goals to Mitch McGovern, Ben Crocker and Ben Caluzzi set the tone for what would be a high-scoring term for both teams. However, it would be the Hawks who would dominate the play and take a 15-point lead into the final change. Sam Ramsay and Sam Philp made the most of their opportunity of their time on ball, providing the Blues with some much needed run as the term progressed. Liam Stocker was moved to defence, with his attack on the ball important as Hawthorn grew in confidence.

Quarter four:

The Hawks got the early jump in the quarter, kicking two goals to increase their lead to 27-points. A penetrating kick from Lochie O’Brien to Mitch McGovern on the lead saw the Blues’ tall kick his third and wrestle back some of the momentum. Down back, Cooper Stephens and James Parsons stood tall, denying the Hawks a number of opportunities from repeat entries and giving the Blues every opportunity to rebound from defensive 50. The Hawks, however were too good – playing to the conditions perfectly and running out with a 43-point win.

BOX HILL HAWKS  6.6  10.9 16.13 21.18 (144)

CARLTON RESERVES 2.1  11.3  15.4  16.5 (101)

GOALS: Crocker 4, McGovern 3, Ramsay 2, Caluzzi 2, Owies 2, Marshall, Philp, Parsons

BESTS: Parsons, Ramsay, Stephens, Stoddard, McGovern, Crocker