A ‘deja-vu’-like resurgant 3rd quarter by the Brisbane Lions turned a somewhat one-sided Saturday night game into a nail biting blockbuster. Despite impressive second half efforts by Daniel Bradshaw, Justin Sherman and Daniel Rich for the away side, Carlton were able to put away the match that they seemingly had won by the second quarter.
The first term gave the 43,000 strong crowd everything they were hoping for, with a ferocious arm-wrestle capped by early goals to Brendan Fevola, Eddie Betts, Jonathan Brown and Rhan Hooper. Chris Judd and Luke Power looked to have an exciting duel on their hands as they racked up early disposals, while the midfield battle looked well and truly even.
But from here, Carlton never looked back.
Like a bullet out of a gun the Blues shot out of the quarter time huddle to a 7-goal lead. The Lions had no answer as young guns Brice Gibbs and Marc Murphy started dominating the clearances, and the forward 50. By the time the half time siren sounded, the game looked all but over.
But as seems to now be a recurring theme with Michael Voss’s team, the opposition wouldn’t say die. Bradshaw was unstoppable for undersized defender Paul Bower to handle as he stormed on his way to 6 goals, while Sherman, despite consistent disposal inefficiency, created the spark that the Lions had lost.
The last quarter was set-up for a ripper. And a ripper it proved to be. The Lions had all the early clearances, but failed to capitalise as Carlton’s first half rebounding came back into play. Impressive majors to Fevola and Cameron Cloke sealed the fate of the ambitious Lions, but impressively showed that they are never out of a contest.
Carlton regained their top spot on the ladder through sensational performances by Bryce Gibbs, Chris Judd and Brendan Fevola, while the Lions look forward to next week with fighting efforts from Josh Drummond, Daniel Bradshaw and Luke Power.
Carlton play Essendon in what will be a packed MCG next week, as Brisbane will enjoy a home-ground advantage as they take on bogey side Sydney.
CARLTON 3.2 11.5 13.8 18.11 (119)
BRISBANE LIONS 3.3 4.6 10.8 15.10 (100)
Carlton: Fevola 5, Betts 3, Murphy 3, Cloke 2, Gibbs 2, Hadley, Houlihan, Judd.
Brisbane Lions: Bradshaw 6, Brown 3, Hooper 2, Sherman 2, Johnstone, McGrath.
Carlton: Gibbs, Judd, Murphy, Fevola, Hadley, Kreuzer, Waite, Houlihan.
Brisbane Lions: Power, Bradshaw, Black, Drummond, Brown, Rich, Adcock.
Carlton: Jamison (shoulder)
Brisbane Lions: McGrath (corked thigh), Clark (thigh), Hooper (ankle), Selwood (head knock)
Reports: Jonathan Brown (Brisbane Lions) reported by emergency umpire Troy Pannell in the fourth quarter for rough conduct on Marc Murphy.
Umpires: Rosebury, Chamberlain, Keating
Official crowd: 42,496 at Docklands