Carlton have kept their Grand Final hopes alive in a thrilling display at Ikon Park on Saturday morning. After a tight contest in the first half, Carlton dominated in third, keeping the Bulldogs goal-less and extending their lead by 19-points at three quarter time.
The final term that saw a late charge from the Bulldogs and an exciting battle to the end with both sides desperate to maintain possession. But it was Carlton who were able to hang on in an exhilarating count down to the final siren and win by 6-points.
Carlton's Darcy Vescio (right) celebrates a goal with teammate Gab Pound. PHOTO: AFL Photos
In those last few frantic minutes, Carlton marquee player Darcy Vescio said the focus was on trying to maintain composure to ensure they kept the Bulldogs off the ball.
‘We were just trying to get the girls to be a bit more composed when we had the footy, I think we were rushing a little bit and there was a lot of pressure after the Bulldogs got a couple of goals on the board and there was only one goal in it.
It’s always pretty stressful but I think the girls did really well, especially in our back half, how they were just able to get the ball out, create a few stoppages and run the clock down.’
Vescio’s three goal effort on the day contributed not only to her side’s win but also to the now highest recorded score for the inaugural AFLW competition, 54-points. Now past the halfway mark of the seven-round season, Vescio is confident that her Blues can go all the now they are settled into the pace of the competition.
‘I guess at the start with all that hype going into the first game and then we got a couple wins and then a couple of losses so we’ve been up and down - now it’s just about staying in each game.’
Carlton will head to Perth next week to take on Fremantle and Vescio is looking to recover well and keep Carlton’s eyes on the Premiership prize.
‘Recovery is really important this week especially with the travel. We head over on Thursday and stay the night and then we play Friday night.
We’re just trying to make sure we stay in the game for all four quarters and not just in patches, but it’s getting very exciting and it’s starting to heat up for us especially with GWS coming over the top of Melbourne last night.
Each game is pretty much a Grand Final for us now because we’re playing to keep our season alive.’