IT DIDN'T take long for Eddie Betts to reacquaint himself with the Navy Blue faithful.

In a 10-minute stretch in the first stanza of Thursday afternoon's marathon scratch match against Collingwood at Ikon Park, Betts kicked a goal, added two more behinds and set up two teammates for further scores that sparked a comfortable Carlton victory.

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Eddie's back: Betts excites fans in scratch match against Pies

Betts plays on and kicks a classy snap during the practice match against Collingwood at Ikon Park

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The lively goalkicker, who completed a fairytale return to the Blues after six seasons away from the club last October, finished with two majors from three terms in an overwhelmingly positive display that gave fans a taste of what's to come from the re-energised veteran.

With both sides fielding considerably weaker teams, Carlton led from the outset at its spiritual home to surge into a 52-point lead after three terms in a lengthy match that stretched across four 25-minute periods and then a further three 10-minute intervals.

The Pies fought back, reducing the final margin to 32 points by the end of the game, with senior players like Brodie Grundy, Scott Pendlebury, Steele Sidebottom, Adam Treloar and Taylor Adams remaining in the match against a much-changed and youthful Blues outfit.

However, when both teams were at their strongest, Carlton did the bulk of the attacking.

Levi Casboult was impressive for the Blues, easing concerns about an attacking unit that is still missing key-position trio Charlie Curnow (knee), Harry McKay (groin) and Mitch McGovern (soreness) by kicking four goals and clunking a number of strong contested grabs.

Levi Casboult celebrates a goal with Sam Philp in the scratch match against the Pies. Picture: Getty Images

Co-captain Sam Docherty got through unscathed in his return from successive seasons on the sidelines due to back-to-back ACL injuries, playing the first four periods and impressing (alongside youngster Tom Williamson) with his composure and ball use off half-back.

First-round draft pick Sam Philp also showed good signs, displaying his speed and aggression with a nice chase-down tackle and goal that capped his performance in the third term.

Jack Newnes, playing his first game for Carlton since joining the club via St Kilda as a delisted free agent, was busy and won plenty of the footy playing predominantly on a wing.

Star veterans Scott Pendlebury and Kade Simpson in action during the practice match. Picture: Getty Images

 

All four of the club's 'triallists' for its final list position – Callum Moore, Lukas Webb, Ryan Sturgess and Jordan Cunico – all took part at various stages throughout the afternoon.

The Blues were without their three tall forwards in attack, while Matthew Kreuzer, Jack Martin, Zac Fisher, Sam Petrevski-Seton and Caleb Marchbank were also absent.

Collingwood, who lost Brayden Sier to concussion in the first quarter, struggled to find a rhythm throughout the game with a number of key players unavailable for the match.

Collingwood star Adam Treloar is surrounded Blues in the scratch match at Ikon Park. Picture: Getty Images

With superstar Jordan De Goey leading the long list of absentees, along with fellow regulars Levi Greenwood, Jaidyn Stephenson, Jeremy Howe, Tom Langdon, Jordan Roughead, Brayden Maynard, Jack Crisp and Tom Phillips, the Pies found positives hard to come.

Young defender Trent Bianco used the ball well off half-back, while former basketballer Tom Wilson and Will Hoskin-Elliott were lively in an otherwise very tall Magpies forward line.

Father-son duo Callum and Tyler Brown, as well as fellow father-son Josh Daicos, were also handy, drifting higher up the field as they vie for a potentially vacant small-forward role. 

CARLTON               4.4    8.5    12.7    14.9    14.9    15.10    16.10 (106)
COLLINGWOOD    1.0    3.1     4.3      9.3      9.5      10.8        11.8 (74) 

GOALS
Carlton: Casboult 4, Betts 2, Gibbons, Plowman, Williamson, O'Brien, E.Curnow, Philp, De Koning, Moore, Owies, Kennedy
Collingwood:
Hoskin-Elliott 2, Cox 2, Wilson 2, Tohill, Cameron, Daicos, Adams, Treloar 

BEST
Carlton: Casboult, Newnes, Docherty, Williamson, J.Silvagni, Betts, Philp
Collingwood: Pendlebury, Adams, C.Brown, Hoskin-Elliott, Bianco, Wills