Carlton Blues have registered just their second win of the season after a four-point thriller over Port Adelaide Power, with the game ending Blues 17.8.110 to Power 16.10.106.
Emerging Carlton star Patrick Cripps led the way with 31 disposals and a staggering 11 tackles, while for Port Adelaide captain Travis Boak had 27 disposals and kicked two majors.
Port Adelaide made a strong start kicking the first two goals of the match. This strong grab and goal from Chad Wingard had the visitors in the ascendancy.
However, the beleagured Blues showed plenty of grit and manfully worked their way back into the contest, stringing three goals in a row. Nick Graham read the play well and slotted a fine snapped goal (see below) to put his team ahead.
Power needed to respond and they did through classy forward Robbie Gray, who marked and kicked this trademark snap.
The away team looked primed to take a lead into the first break, but a shocking error from Matthew Broadbent gifted Andrejs Everitt a clean path to goal (see below) and the margin was just a behind at quarter time.
Both teams traded blows early in the second quarter with two quick goals apiece, but it was Carlton who gained the ascendancy through this Daniel Menzel set shot, which sparked a rampaging four-goal run.
Tom Bell rounded off a brilliant sweeping move (see below) from the Blues to steer his side into a commanding lead.
The visitors desperately needed a spark and three of their best players came to the fore, with Ollie Wines, Robbie Gray (see below) and Wingard piling on three quick goals to cut the deficit to just four points at half-time.
Power were dealt a cruel blow when Gray, arguably his side’s best performer in the first half, had to be stretched off after this strong tackle from Bryce Gibbs moments before half-time.
After the break it was Carlton who took the game by the scruff of the neck with the first three goals of the all important third term. Lachie Henderson slotted this brilliant running goal to kick-start the momentum.
The Blues continued to control the match and when Dennis Armfield put through this amazing effort, the margin was 22 points.
But a couple of quick-fire goals from Power had them back within two majors. Wingard got his fourth goal of the game with this trademark finish and it was game on.
However, Carlton didn’t buckle under the pressure and restored their 23-point through Mark Murphy and this Levi Casboult goal.
Port Adelaide had it all to do in the final term trailing by 23 points and an early running goal from Menzel (see below) made their task all the more difficult.
When Power looked dead and buried, they rallied with four goals and this Nathan Krakouer soccer off the ground put them to within four points.
Carlton stood firm in the final five minutes of immense pressure to claim a four-point victory, with this incredible run and chase from Sam Docherty epitomising their desperation all day.
Next week a victorious Carlton Blues host Gold Coast Suns on a Sunday afternoon, while a deflated Port Adelaide will do plenty of soul searching during their scheduled bye.