It was a tough day for the Blues, as they battled against a dominant Hawks outfit, who kicked 11 goals in a row, seeing them take home an 84-point win.
Despite Carlton leading by two points in the first quarter, Box Hill were able to get the game on their terms and didn’t look back as the Blues struggled to find an answer for their dominance in the centre of the ground.
In perfect conditions, the game got underway but unfortunately for the Blues, experienced Hawks ruckman Jonthan Ceglar set the tone early and was dominating the hitouts from the get go, leading to multiple inside 50s for Box Hill. Luke Parks was solid in defence, providing aerial intercepts and marks that halted the Hawks attack to a degree. After countless re-entries into the defensive 50, Carlton were finally able to counter with an attack of their own as a rebound off half back led to Lachie O’Brien taking a mark within range. Unselfishly, O’Brien was able to find a wide-open Josh Honey, who slotted the set shot from directly in front. Another rebound from the defensive 50 allowed the Blues midfielders to link up and set James Parson running into an open goal. Soon after, Ben Crocker was able to find Honey in the pocket where he slotted a difficult set shot for his second of the match, putting Carlton up by two points. The rest of the quarter went the way of the Hawks as they continued their dominance in the middle, entering the first break with a 22-point lead.
The start of the second quarter was an end-to-end affair with both teams having multiple entries into their forward 50. Unfortunately, Carlton delivered some inaccurate kicking, with countless kicks to the half forward line being intercepted by the Hawks defenders. While Josh Honey continued to look threatening in the forward half, the Blues couldn’t make the most of their opportunities. At the other end, it felt like Box Hill could do no wrong as they continued to win the ball out of the centre, closing out the half with 11 goals in a row to open up a 62-point lead at the half time break. Brodie Kemp proved valuable in defence, taking contested marks across half back, as well as providing accurate kicks up the ground.
With four games under his belt as senior coach, Daniel O'Keefe reflects on his time so far with the Carlton Reserves and what players have caught his eye.— Carlton Reserves (@CarltonReserves) May 20, 2021
After a poor first half, Carlton looked to get the game on their terms and while they prevented the Hawks from scoring, they failed to capitalise on the score board. Box Hill continued their streak, kicking the first three goals of the second half, however without the heroics of Luke Parks on the half back line, it could have been much worse. Sam Ramsay went hard with his running, moving the ball from defence to the forward line with pace and accuracy. Carlton struggled to take a mark in the forward 50, with Ben Crocker heavily defended. With only a few minutes left in the quarter, the Blues finally broke the goalless drought as an end to end play from a kick in resulted in a snap from Tom North. A minute later, an off the ball free kick in the goal square gave Crocker a goal to close out the quarter on a positive note.
The Blues weren't going to make up a 73-point deficit in one quarter, but they didn't go down without a fight. After a deep attack, Ben Crocker slotted his second goal, continuing his streak of kicking two or more goals in every game so far this season. Jack Newnes and Matt Kennedy's leadership shone through in the second half, willing their team to continue fighting in difficult circumstances. O'Brien and Ramsay continued their strong work rate through the middle, with both using their speed and accurate kicking to open up the ground, however delivery into the forward 50 continued to cost Carlton. The goals began to dry up for both sides until the Hawks were able to kick the final two goals of the game, taking home an 84-point victory.
Three things from the game:
1. Although the scoreboard won’t reflect it, Luke Parks was courageous off the half back line, where time and time again, he was able to intercept the Hawks attack. It felt like Parks was everywhere as he continuously showed no regard for his body while throwing himself into contests and going back with the flight to spoil. In what was an ugly score line, Parks’ courage will be one of the better highlights from the game.
2. After missing out through an ACL injury in 2020, Brodie Kemp made his much awaited debut in a Blues guernsey. Despite being on managed minutes, he proved why the Blues took him with the 17th pick in the draft. At the half, Kemp led all Blues in disposals with 12, as well as gathering eight marks, while showing clean ball use through the middle of the ground. The 193cm utility will be one to look out for as he continues to come back from injury.
3. Lochie O’Brien again showed his class in the middle, racking up 21 touches to go with six marks. Despite the score line, he never gave up and continued to give it his all until the final siren. So far this season, O’Brien has been a standout with his ball use and pressure acts around the ground and today was no exception, proving he can be consistent on a weekly basis.
CARL 3.2 3.4 5.6. 6.10 46
HAWKS 6.6 13.6 16.13 19.16 130
Goals: Crocker 2, Honey 2, North, Parsons
Best: Kennedy, Parks, Kemp, Honey, Newnes, O'Brien