Blues bounce back at Bombers’ expense

Carlton got their faltering season back on track on Sunday with a 16-point victory over arch enemies Essendon in an entertaining contest at the MCG.

In a match that featured eight lead changes, the Bombers started the stronger and shot out to a 21-point lead early in the second quarter. But for the remainder of the game, Carlton became more organised and methodical and eventually busted the contest open in the final quarter to open up a game-high 28-point lead.

Carlton had 11 of the first 16 inside 50s, but failed to make hay while the sun shone and the Bombers proceeded to dominate the ball to finish with 16 of the last 19 forward entries of the opening term.

After trailing by four points at the 20-minute mark, they booted five of the next seven goals to take a 20-point lead early in the second quarter.

Essendon more than tripled the Blues for uncontested marks in the first stanza (31-10) and picked holes in Carlton’s defence routinely. Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti was the biggest beneficiary with three of his team’s first six majors.

But Carlton successfully managed to slow down the frenetic pace of the match and shut down the Bombers’ space, helping themselves to five consecutive goals to take a 10-point lead early in the third term on the back of more considered ball use.

The Bombers had the first 12 clearances of the third quarter, and capitalised by kicking the next three majors. However, Carlton’s increased pressure levels helped them wrest control back and turn a three-point deficit into a 28-point lead early in the final quarter, on the back of four consecutive goals, to shut the door on Essendon for good.

Tensions boiled over when the two traditional rivals met on Sunday. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)Source:Getty Images


Walsh was Carlton’s best player with 33 disposals (13 contested), eight clearances, eight score involvements, 510 metres gained, a goal and two goal assists.

His third quarter in particular was massive as he gathered nine disposals to help turn the tide Carlton’s way.

Ed Curnow was also instrumental in the third term, collecting 11 of his 26 touches while keeping Zach Merrett to just two after the star Bomber had 16 of his 25 disposals in the first half.


Carlton speedster Adam Saad copped boos all day long from the crowd in his first game against his old side, and Essendon fans had plenty to boo about, especially late in the first term when he ran to 52m out and sent a beautiful long bomb over the goal umpire’s hat. The star defender was involved in numerous meaningful plays, finishing with an equal team-high eight score involvements, to go with 21 disposals, a game-high 679 metres gained and six intercepts.


With Carlton up by 11 points in the first minute of the final term, Nik Cox had the chance to put the Bombers within five points, but second-gamer Matthew Owies laid a crucial tackle from behind in the goal square, forcing the ball to hit the No. 8 pick’s knee and dribble over for a rushed behind. Owies played a key role with three majors.


It wasn’t all doom and gloom for the Bombers with young key forward Harrison Jones having a breakout game. He had shown glimpses of his enormous potential throughout the early parts of the season and on Sunday it all came together for him as he pulled in a game-high five contested marks as well as 10 touches, three goals.

BOMBERS 6.4 8.7 12.8 16.11 (107)

BLUES 4.2 8.5 14.7 19.9 (123)

LERNER’S BEST Bombers: Hooker, Stringer, McDonald-Tipungwuti, Jones, Laverde, Heppell. Blues: Walsh, Saad, E.Curnow, Weitering, McKay, Cuningham, Cripps.

GOALS Bombers: Hooker 5, McDonald-Tipungwuti 4, Jones 3, Stringer 3, Smith. Blues: McKay 4, Owies 3, Betts 3, Fogarty 2, Cuningham 2, McGovern, Walsh, Saad, E.Curnow, Cripps.

INJURIES Bombers: Nil. Blues: Dow (right eye/concussion).

REPORTS Bombers: Blues:

UMPIRES Howorth, Findlay, Fleer




3 S.Walsh (Carl)

2 A.Saad (Carl)

1 E.Curnow (Carl)

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