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AFLW: Blues stay in the hunt with close win over Dogs

AFLW Highlights: Carlton v W.Bulldogs The Blues and Bulldogs clash in the Round 5 of AFLW action
Darcy Vescio (left) and Kate Shierlaw celebrate a goal in the Blues' narrow win - ${keywords}
Darcy Vescio (left) and Kate Shierlaw celebrate a goal in the Blues' narrow win

IN THE highest scoring game of the NAB AFL Women's compeition so far, Carlton has edged out a fast finishing Western Bulldogs outfit to win by a goal at Ikon Park.

As they became the first side to break the 50-point barrier this year, the Blues proved too strong for the Dogs who were without captain Katie Brennan.

Click here for full match stats

Carlton controlled the majority of the game, but 11 disposals between Emma Kearney and Ellie Blackburn pulled the Bulldogs back into the game late in the final quarter.

Darcy Vescio proved crucial once again, kicking three goals, but it was Bella Ayre with two goals that gave Carlton another option up forward and made the significant difference.

Marquee player Brianna Davey was a late inclusion for Carlton and, after a slow start, finished with 13 second-half disposals and was crucial off half-back.

The win keeps the season alive for the Blues who will need to win their remaining two games and hope the Brisbane Lions go down to Adelaide on Saturday night.

The game-changer
Who else? Darcy Vescio kicked three goals from 50-50 situations that could easily have gone the other way. The biggest of them was a contested mark in the goal square that gave the Blues the ascendency early. Her ability to set up teammates also contributed enormously to the win.

The ladder now
Carlton had to win to keep their grand final hopes alive and they did just that. The win puts them in equal third place and they’ll have to get wins over Fremantle over in Perth and the Lions at Ikon Park in the final round to have any chance of going all the way.

Did you see that?
Ex-basketballer Kate Shierlaw showed her multi-sport skills stunning the crowd with a jumping soccer goal for the Blues in the second quarter. It came at a critical time for the Blues who were still coming from behind after the Bulldogs’ strong first quarter.

 

Marquee magic
Bulldogs captain Ellie Blackburn was everywhere for the Dogs. Not only did she kick three first-half goals, was she the leading disposal getter for the Bulldogs in the last quarter, getting them back into the game. Without fellow marquee Katie Brennan, she has certainly stood up and carried the load.

Say what?
“Bri Davey was incredible. Her ability to stand up under pressure and deliver for us today was incredible. We’ve been really conservative with our assessment of her, but she’s managed herself really professionally to get to the point where she was able to have a real impact today.” - Carlton coach Damien Keeping

“We’re playing the game alright, but it’s all about those lapses. I think we broke even with the Blues. We’ve got to address those lapses and stop coughing up a few goals.” - Bulldogs coach Paul Groves

What’s next?
The Blues travel to Perth to take on the Dockers on Friday night at Domain Stadium, while the Dogs head to Queensland to take on the Lions on Saturday afternoon.

CARLTON:                  2.2     5.3     7.6     8.6 (54)
W BULLDOGS:           3.1     4.3     4.5       7.6 (48)

GOALS
Carlton:
Vescio 3, Ayre 2, Moody, Shierlaw, Audley
W Bulldogs:
Blackburn 3, Lambert, Bailey, McDonald, Lochland

BEST 
Carlton:
Vescio, Ayre, Lucas-Rodd, Davey, Hosking
Western Bulldogs:
 Blackburn, Kearney, Lambert, Callinan, Lochland

INJURIES 
Carlton:
 Nat Exon (leg)
Western Bulldogs:
nil

Reports: nil

Umpires: Andrew Heffernan, Nick Jankovskis, Ryan Guy

Official crowd: 6833 at Ikon Park