Blues beat Essendon in thriller - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Blues beat Essendon in thriller

By Chris Lines 01/04/2005 11:18:18 PM Comments (0)

Carlton has inflicted more than its fair share of cruelty on Essendon over the years, but few could compare with the Blues' withering final quarter comeback to pip the Dons by four points.

Carlton trailled by 28 points at the last change but rattled on seven goals to two in the final term to win 16.14 (110) to 17.4 (106) in AFL round two at the MCG.

The Blues had taken delight in upsetting Essendon over recent years, more usually when Carlton was the rank underdog.

They went in as favourites but still found a way to leave the Bombers feeling robbed at the final siren.

Truth be told, Carlton was probably the better side for most of the night, but Essendon stayed in front with some wonderful finishing while the Blues butchered chances at the other end.

Blues ruckman Barnaby French, in his 100th game, overcame some howling errors in the first quarter to play an enormous match, consistently giving the Blues first use of the ball from centre bounces in the final quarter as well as taking saving marks in defence.

At the last break Carlton's task would have been considered unachievable, with the only ray of light being their early-season fitness against a Dons side taking a slow preparation for the season.

The quarter was as breathtaking for Blues fans as excruciating for the Dons, with the Blues rattling on five unanswered goals to turn that 28-point deficit into a three-point lead.

An overhead snap goal by Mark Johnson - one of the Dons' best on the night - put Essendon back in front entering time on.

Then a quick kick forward for the Blues bounced over the head of onrushing Dons defender Kepler Bradley to set up a Carlton goal to put their noses in front.

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