GOLD COAST has effectively extinguished Carlton’s finals hopes and placed further pressure on embattled coach David Teague with a stunning 19-point victory at Marvel Stadium on Saturday.
It was a topsy-turvy contest for much of the day, but Gold Coast finished off strongly to record a hard fought 11.10 (76) to 8.9 (57) victory.
Touk Miller continued his outstanding season with 35 disposals, seven clearances and two goals, while Wil Powell was impressive with 29 touches and a goal.
Gold Coast made a bright start to the match, dominating the territory battle early against a Carlton outfit struggling to get its hands on the footy.
But Charlie Curnow finally got the Blues on the scoreboard in the fifteenth minute with a beautiful curling goal off a couple of steps that underlined his class.
From there, the Blues started to work themselves into the contest, with Josh Honey kicking the next two goals to give them the edge at quarter time.
BLUES v SUNS Full match coverage and stats
The Suns looked to get on top in the second term, with two early stoppage goals from Miller and Jacob Townsend giving Gold Coast the lead.
Carlton then ramped up the pressure, putting the Suns under the pump with quick, electric ball movement that helped the Blues kick the final two goals of the term.
The third quarter belonged to the Suns, which suddenly looked the more aggressive team and overwhelmed Carlton’s team defence with four goals to lead by seven points at the final break.
Carlton was on the brink of a season-ending defeat, but Gold Coast made an error-filled start to the final term, allowing Ed Curnow to kick an important goal to even things up.
The Suns refused to go into their shells though, continually surging the ball forward and being rewarded with the next two goals through Townsend and Josh Corbett.
Fittingly, it was Miller who then sealed victory with his second goal, before Powell put the icing on the cake with a classy running goal from the pocket.
Happy reunion for ex-Tigers
Jacob Townsend made his debut for the Suns on Saturday and didn’t take long to make an impact at his fourth club. Early in the first quarter, he hit up his former Tigers teammate Brandon Ellis inside 50, who proceeded to kick the Suns’ first goal for the game. It was a happy reunion for Townsend and Ellis, who were playing their first game as teammates since lining up for Richmond together 1,100 days ago in round 20, 2018. Unfortunately the reunion was short-lived, with Ellis injuring his hamstring in the second term and getting subbed off.
Silvagni sparks Carlton with brilliant recovery effort
Jack Silvagni has swiftly developed into a key player for Carlton, and highlighted his rapid improvement with a clever goal against the Suns in the second quarter. Silvagni fell over just as the ball was being kicked his way inside 50, but quickly bounced back to his feet to grab possession of the footy. But just as impressively, he managed to then kick the ball through the goals while he was off balance and being hotly pursued by two Suns’ players.
Coleman Medal leader suffers injury scare
It was a dirty day for Carlton on Saturday and the season-ending loss was further soured by an injury scare to Harry McKay. The Coleman Medal leader looked to be in trouble after landing heavily on his right shoulder in a marking contest in the fourth quarter. McKay went down into the rooms briefly but came back onto the ground to play out the rest of the game. While he ended up kicking a late goal, McKay appeared to still be in pain. Coach David Teague said post-game he was hopeful the star forward would be okay.
CARLTON 3.2 5.5 6.8 8.9 (57)
GOLD COAST 1.4 3.8 7.9 11.10 (76)
Carlton: Honey 2, C. Curnow, Betts, Silvagni, Martin, E. Curnow, McKay
Gold Coast: Miller 2, Townsend 2, Ellis, Jeffrey, Sexton, Fiorini, Smith, Corbett, Powell
Carlton: Newman, Walsh, E. Curnow, Kennedy, Honey
Gold Coast: Miller, Powell, Anderson, Sexton, Fiorini
Gold Coast: Ellis (hamstring)
Carlton: Marc Murphy (unused)
Gold Coast: Jack Bowes (replaced Ellis)