CARLTON has surged to the top of AFLW’s Conference B after a critical 16-point win over the Brisbane Lions at Melbourne’s Ikon Park.
The two sides entered the match level on two wins, but Carlton’s superior percentage sees them leapfrog conference leaders Geelong and puts them in the box seat for semi-finals football.
The Blues blew the game open in a three-goal third term to win 6.7 (43) to 4.3 (27) in front of 2900 fans.
An ill-timed spell of heavy rain just prior to the game meant slippery conditions at the beginning of the first quarter, but the game soon opened up.
First-year midfielder Maddie Prespakis pressed her case for Rising Star with 27 disposals, while Rugby Sevens star Brooke Walker kicked two goals in a minute in combination with 2016 Olympic gold-medal winning teammate Chloe Dalton.
Kate Lutkins (20 disposals) tried hard for Brisbane all day, but the Lions’ cause wasn’t helped by losing forward Kate McCarthy in the third term after a crunching head collision with Jess Hosking.
She later returned to the field after passing a concussion test.
McCarthy opened the Lions’ account in the first with typical speed and spark before Tilly Lucas-Rodd levelled for the Blues, followed by Brisbane’s Jade Ellenger scoring the first of her two goals in an impressive debut.
The contest tightened up in a more congested second term, with the Blues scoring the only major through crowd favourite Darcy Vescio, before Carlton duly romped home in the third and fourth quarters.
Carlton will now face the Bulldogs in the final round of the regular season, while the Lions will need a win against Collingwood to be any hope of making finals.
© AAP 2019
CARLTON 1.2 2.5 5.6 6.7 (43)
BRISBANE LIONS 2.0 2.2 3.2 4.3 (27)
Goals: Carlton: B Walker 2 T Harris 2 D Vescio T Lucas-Rodd. Brisbane Lions: J Ellenger 2 J Wuetschner K McCarthy.
Best: Carlton: M Prespakis B Walker T Harris B Davey C Dalton. Brisbane Lions: K Lutkins N Exon A Anderson J Wuetschner E Bates.
Umpires: Andrew Heffernan, Tom Bryce, Peter Bailes.
Official Crowd: 2,900 at Ikon Park.