The roof was open for today’s Saturday afternoon match at Marvel Stadium. The conditions overcast but comfortable and a good crowd rolled in through the first quarter. For those that didn’t make it until quarter time they missed eleven goals and eight lead changes. Quarters two and three were uneventful as the Swans slowly edged away before a final quarter that saw the Blues open up a window of opportunity but were unable to climb through it.
The first five minutes of this Marvel Stadium clash were an arm wrestle. Carlton could have jumped out of the blocks but kicked two behinds. The second one to McKay hitting the post at close range particularly disappointing for Blues fans. A free to Franklin being held on the lead saw the first major of the match go to the Swans. From the next center bounce it was Cripps who evened the goal ledger kicking the set shot from 45 meters out.
Both teams just trying to pick their way up the field. Papley found Heeney deep in the pocket and he skillfully banana’d the ball for the Swan’s second goal. Shortly after Luke Parker made it three for the Swans from straight in front after his team moved the ball nicely to a better position inside their attacking 50.
Carlton pulled one back through Murphy who timed his run nicely at the stoppage to take the tap from Sinclair and snapped around the corner from 20 meters out. Murphy was again involved for the next one when he dished the ball out to Curnow and his spiraling snap dropped through the big posts.
Nick Blakey put the Swans back in front with a great lead, jump, mark and goal at the Lockett end, a great orthodox old school goal. But at the other end Ed Curnow kicked his second with an end over end dribbling snap from the pocket on his right foot to take the lead back.
Sam Walsh got over the back marking the ball coming from over his shoulder as the Blues moved the ball in quickly and his kick from the pocket was straight and true.
No panic from the Swans though as Kennedy roved the ball from the throw in and calmly snapped the goal. Will Hayward kicked his first for the match to again take the lead for the final time in the quarter.
But after 11 goals for the quarter and just three points separating the two sides not a lot was learnt about where this match might go. Sydney more dominant in the air and with a measured build up versus a more chaotic hit the hot spot and see what happens from the Blues.
Franklin kicked off the Swans second quarter with a mark and goal, though he got the benefit of the doubt in his pushing Jones out of the contest before the ball arrived. The Swans continued to push with the ball in their forward 50 for most of the time in this quarter so far. The game had moved from free flowing to lockdown.
A long set shot fell to back of the goal square to Sinclair who marked on the line, passed inside to Papley haphazardly and he drilled the goal home to take the lead out to three goals. McGovern snapped over his head for his first goal of the match from 15 meters out to keep the Blues in reach.
Under heavy it was down to good defense by Carlton backs in Jones, Plowman, Marchbank that kept them in the game.
A free kick to Swan’s big man Sinclair in the pocket for high contact in the ruck duel wrestle saw him kicks the first goal of the second half from the pocket.
Carlton battled manfully for the best part of 15 minutes before Sydney finally broke the Carlton defense again and Heeney roved a defended contest and snapped the goal from straight in front. Tasting a little blood, the Sydney sharks started to circle. Ronke marked and kicked from 25 meters out but sprayed the shot across the face. Buddy Franklin tried to dribble a sneaky goal but hit the post. The Swans failed to take their chances and the mistakes continued to come as Sydney tried to get the scoring going. When Carlton did rebound, Sydney had plenty of spare men inside the back half able to continually repel.
Finally, Carlton were able to hit a forward and Curnow, who marked at the top of the 50, and with a 50 meter penalty kicked from point blank range to goal and bring the margin to 25 points. Big Harry McKay marked in the forward pocket with seconds left on the clock and reduced the margin to 19 points at ¾ time. An achievable feat in the final quarter even for Carlton if they could get a run on.
Carlton needed an early goal and it looked like Setterfield would bring it, but his driving kick at goal broke in the wrong direction for a behind. The ball went to the other end and in the pocket, Heeney bumped out Plowman to mark, and kicked the goal around the body on the difficult angle from 30 meters out. His third for the match.
Zac Fisher kept the Blues in touch as they forced the ball forward and Fisher was able to rove the front of the pack and snap the ball through.
But again, the Swans pulled away with a combo goal when Buddy Franklin kicked a dinky little kick to keep the ball alive from near the point line to the goal square and Papley following through and kicking the ball out of the air for a goal. The 24-point margin looked a mountain too high for the Blues to climb.
Carlton had more chances they did not take. A long kick from Thomas on the wing found Cripps one out where he marked strongly but drifted the ball across the face. Setterfield’s kick from play drifted right for another behind. Ed Curnow had a snap for goal (his fourth), and a review to see if it was touched off the boot proved inconclusive and the goal stood for the Blues.
Brilliant clearance from Cripps and good run and carry ended in the hands of Casboult, his set shot looked promising but was only a minor score as it hit the post.
It was fitting that a free to Isaac Heeney in marking contest saw him kick the final goal of the match to put an exclamation mark on his best on ground performance. His four-goal haul is something Cripps for Carlton needs to emulate to take him from being just an elite midfielder to becoming a match winner, nevertheless Cripps probably will take the 2 Brownlow votes from this match.
For the Swans it was job done, taking the four points on the road. Their class and poise enough to keep out the Blues and win by 19 points. For Carlton another honorable loss and more evidence that they are improving, and Brendon Bolton is moving them towards being a team that can be competitive for four quarters week in, week out.
CARLTON 5.4 6.5 8.9 10.14 (74) SYDNEY 6.1 9.5 11.9 14.9 (93)
Carlton: E.Curnow 4, Cripps, Murphy, Walsh, McGovern, McKay, Fisher
Sydney: Heeney 4, Franklin 2, Hayward 2, Papley 2, Parker, Blakey, Kennedy, Sinclair
Carlton: Cripps, E.Curnow, Walsh, Murphy, Newman, Fisher, Jones
Sydney: Heeney, Kennedy, Jones, Sinclair, Lloyd, Papley, Mills
Carlton: Phillips (corked quad) replaced in selected side by Lobbe, McGovern (hamstring)
Sydney: Hayward (broken jaw), McVeigh (quad)
Umpires: Donlon, Mollison, Power
Official crowd: 39,290 at Marvel Stadium
Article last changed on Sunday, April 07, 2019 - 4:52 PM EDT