Despite a second half comeback, the Sydney Swans have fallen short against the in-form Blues at Marvel Stadium on Friday night.
The Swans cut the deficit to 8 points in the final quarter after being down by 38 points at half time but the Blues dug deep in the final stages of the rollercoaster clash to win by 15 points- 15.12 (102) to 13.9 (87).
Blue Charlie Curnow stepped up in a best-on-ground performance to jump to the top of the Coleman Medal board at the start of round 10 as the Blues hung on against the surging Swans in the second half.
Carlton jumped to a six-goal lead in the second quarter but it was whittled back after half-time in a high-scoring contest befitting of two top-four challengers. The Swans got back to within two straight kicks midway through the last quarter before a clever kick by Blues forward Zac Fisher curled through for a goal to seal Carlton's thrilling win.
Tom Papley and Logan McDonald were both lively in the Swans forward half with 3 goals each and Luke Parker was busy as usual with 26 disposals.
The game was won by the Blues in the opening 11 minutes of the second term, Carlton slamming on five straight goals in an onslaught the Swans couldn't cop.
Corey Durdin started in with a dribbler, before Curnow chipped in with another two as he got on top of Tom McCartin. When Jesse Motlop threw the ball onto the outside of his foot from close range, the Blues had jumped to a 29-point lead in an instant.
McDonald got another to pull it back, but then it was a fifth goal to Curnow – this one after the ball bounced perfectly at the back of the pack into his hands – to steady the Blues. Tom De Koning joined the party from the boundary line, Fisher snapped truly and when Durdin's work ethic was rewarded with another shot, the Blues had extended the lead to 38 points at the main break.
The Swans put their foot on the pedal in the third quarter kicking five goals to two to reduce the margin to 17 points at the final change. They had turned the tide in the midfield and started to get on top around the ground, with Franklin's long on-the-run goal from the centre square a vintage major from the champion goalkicker.
Sydney continued to press in the final term with ample inside 50s but were unable to convert, kicking 1.5 and the Blues stood strong to take the points and cement their spot in the top four.
Huge collision costly for Kennedy
Sydney veteran Josh Kennedy looks set to miss a number of weeks after coming off second-best after a bizarre heavy collision with Sam Docherty in the second term. With Docherty about to mark, Kennedy crashed into him while contesting the mark and collected the former Carlton skipper with his elbow. Carlton players quickly ran in to remonstrate with Kennedy and a scuffle ensued, but Kennedy had come off worse as he grabbed for his hamstring. In striving to make the spoil, Kennedy appeared to have ripped his hamstring, hobbling from the field and then immediately substituted out of the game.
Young Swans tall impresses
With Lance Franklin well held by Jacob Weitering, it was left to young Swan Logan McDonald to be the main target inside attack for his side. He lifted to the responsibility, booting two goals in the first quarter and then a third in the second term. McDonald's smarts, marking skills and craft were excellent and he finished with three goals from 10 marks and 14 disposals in another excellent display from the promising Swan.
Round 10 match details
CARLTON 4.0 12.8 14.9 15.12 (102)
SYDNEY 3.5 7.0 12.4 13.9 (87)
GOALS: Carlton: Curnow 6, Durdin 2, Fisher 2, Cripps, De Koning, Kennedy, Motlop, Owies
Sydney: McDonald 3, Papley 3, Franklin 2, Hayward 2, Gulden, McInerney, Parker
BEST: Carlton: Curnow, Walsh, Weitering, Hewett, Saad, Durdin
Sydney: McDonald, Mills, Parker, Papley, Gulden, P.McCartin, Florent
INJURIES Carlton: Nil
Sydney: Kennedy (hamstring)
SUBSTITUTES Carlton: Brodie Kemp Sydney: Braeden Campbell (replaced Josh Kennedy in the second quarter)