GEELONG 2.2 5.7 10.10 14.13 (97)
CARLTON 4.4 6.6 9.10 11.19 (85)
Geelong has outlasted and ultimately outplayed a struggling Carlton outfit to win by 12 points at Etihad Stadium.
In a match where Carlton looked set to challenge Geelong for control of the contest on several occasions, the poise, experience and skill of the Cats’ stars dragged the reigning premiers across the line.
Joel Selwood, Jimmy Bartel, Paul Chapman and James Kelly played strong games and lifted when the Cats were being threatened by the Blues. Although they were plagued with fumbling, indecisive football; another four points leaves the Cats a game behind second spot on the ladder, and one gets the sense that they are building towards another big September.
Carlton coach Brett Ratten will be happier with the effort shown by the Blues, but he will still be concerned that they have still yet to arrest the slide that has taken over the team. with the loss, the Blues are suddenly out of the top eight with a tough schedule in the next few weeks.
It was a victory in essence that Cats’ fans would be used to over the years: Geelong looking in trouble before a quarter of dominance confirming their status as the superior side. Carlton lead for most of the first half and held a five point advantage at the major break, and looked like they were primed for the upset.
Geelong, sensing the pressure, responded with a five goal quarter to take the lead, and despite being challenged in the fourth, they seemed comfortable with everything Carlton could throw at them.
Steven Motlop continued his impressive year, kicking four goals. Eddie Betts scored four of his own, but for the Blues, there simply was not enough support to get them over the line.
3) Joel Selwood
2) Matthew Scarlett
1) Jimmy Bartel
Geelong: Motlop 4, Selwood 2, Duncan 2, Chapman, Bartel, T. Hunt, Hawkins, West, Stokes
Carlton: Betts 4, Tuohy, Collins, Armfield, Gibbs, Kreuzer, Simpson, Judd
Geelong: Selwood, Bartel, Scarlett, Duncan, Motlop, Corey, Chapman, Kelly
Carlton: Simpson, Betts, Judd, Warnock, Walker
Geelong: James Podsiadly (hip) replaced in selected side by Jesse Stringer
Carlton: Robert Warnock (hip)
Geelong: Orren Stephenson replaced by Jesse Stringer in the third quarter
Carlton: Robert Warnock replaced by Chris Yarran in the third quarter
Umpires: McBurney, Rosebury, Wenn
Official crowd: 47,632 at Etihad Stadium