THE Carlton Reserves went down by 37 points in windy conditions against the Coburg Lions.
After managing to gain a two-point lead at three quarter time, the Lions finished the game full of run in their first home game in two years.
Strong performances from Jack Carroll (23 disposals), Brodie Kemp (21 disposals) and VFL-listed debutant Lachie Bond (three goals) weren’t enough to overcome Coburg.
From the get go it was evident that it was going to be a stoppage heavy game, with both sides blocking space in the middle leading to long kicks down the line to a contest. Kicking with the breeze in the first quarter, the Blues were able to lock the ball inside the forward 50 leading to multiple entries. The lead of Ben Crocker was honoured for Carlton’s first of the day, while Lachie Bond was able to open his account with his first goal for the Club. New signing Luke Goetz started off well and was able to take some strong intercept marks on the wing, but Coburg was able to string a few goals together to break open the game. Josh Honey was able to read the forward 50 stoppage perfectly, leading to him running into an open goal to ensure the Blues didn’t lose touch going into quarter time.
In similar fashion to first quarter, the second was a congested game with every possession met with a tackle. In his fourth game since coming back from injury, Brodie Kemp was intent on making sure his white guernsey changed colour by game’s end, given he was constantly at the bottom of the pack in a bid to win possession. After the Lions scored the first two goals of the quarter, the Blues were desperate for an answer and a long bomb into the 50 saw Bond draw a free kick from directly in front where he would go back and slot his second for the day. With the Blues’ defence continually being tested by the high ball, Toby Wooller was sent down back where he took a solid contested mark to halt the Lions attack, before Cody Hirst put his body on the line as his diving smoother saved a certain goal. However, the Blues would enter half time down by 25 points with plenty to work on during the break.
Carlton wasted no time in adding to its score in the second half as Ben Crocker was able to bring the ball to ground from the one-on-one contest and then clean up the crumbs to snap truly from 40 metres out. Another deep entry into the 50 saw Honey read the play to perfection as he cleaned up from the pack and in one motion was able to throw the ball onto his boot despite being tackled to kick the goal of the day. Wooller continued his fine form from last week and was able to take a contested mark on the goal line where he would go around the corner to kick another goal for the Blues, before Corey Durdin made it four in a row. A bevy of missed chances saw Carlton in the lead at the final change after a quarter where it kept Coburg to just one behind kicking into the breeze.
The three-quarter-time break gave Coburg an opportunity to regroup, and kicking with the wind at its back in front of a home crowd, the Lions kicked three goals in a row within the opening five minutes of the final term. A soccer off the ground by Bond sailed through the middle to cap of a successful VFL debut with his third of the day. However, it meant little in the grand scheme of things, with a final margin of 37 seeing the Lions take home the points.
Three things we learned:
- Brodie Kemp seems to be getting better every week as he continues to return from a lengthy injury layoff. Playing down back, Kemp was able to halt Coburg’s attacks on multiple occasions while also generating some attack with his rebound. Kemp finished the game with 21 disposals to go along with four rebound 50s, and will no doubt be looking to continue this form to close out the season.
- After being a late inclusion into the side, Lachie Bond was given his debut in the VFL and he didn’t disappoint. Playing predominantly in the forward line, Bond was a constant goal threat and kept his direct opponent on their toes all game. The youngster was able to score in a variety of ways as he was able to take marks inside 50 and make the most of his opportunities, with his highlight of the day his soccer goal late in the final quarter.
- After announced as a signing mid-week, second-gamer Luke Goetz made an immediate impact. In the absence of Tom De Koning (AFL selection), Alex Mirkov and Marc Pittonet (both injured), Goetz was able to take control of the stoppages in the ruck and give the Blues midfield first use of the ball. Goetz would finish the game with 47 hit outs, while his ability to assist his back line never wavered.
COBURG 5.1 8.4 8.5 15.9 (99)
CARLTON 3.2 4.3 8.7 9.8 (62)
Carlton: Bond 3, Crocker 2, Honey 2, Durdin, Wooller
Carlton: Goetz, Kemp, Stoddart, Crocker, Carroll, Parks