Carlton beat Brisbane, Fevola gets eight - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Carlton beat Brisbane, Fevola gets eight

By Laine Clark 06/06/2009 11:16:59 PM Comments (0)

In the end, eight was enough from Brendan Fevola.

Any doubts that the Blues talisman was not back to his best were quickly erased when he booted eight majors to guide Carlton in a nail-biting 16.16 (112) to 16.10 (106) AFL win over the Brisbane Lions at the Gabba on Saturday night.

Despite kicking six goals in last round's convincing win over West Coast, all the talk around Carlton way centred around their key midfielders, suddenly tagged the new "Fab Four".

Blues coach Brett Ratten went to great lengths before the Gabba clash to hose down talk that Chris Judd, Marc Murphy, Bryce Gibbs and Nick Stevens had earned that moniker.

Indeed it was going to take something special to take the limelight away from the fashionable four at the Gabba on Saturday night.

Enter Fevola.

While threatening throughout, Fevola appeared to break the game open with a four-goal third term, helping the Blues take a 30-point lead into the final quarter.

But the Lions wouldn't go quietly.

In front of a 33,790-strong crowd, the Lions cut the margin to just seven points when Daniel Bradshaw bagged his second major late in the fourth term.

However, Fevola's eighth goal and a crucial major by Blues captain Chris Judd appeared to give the visitors enough breathing space.

An erratic Jonathan Brown (4.5) bagged his fourth goal at the death to cut the damage to eight points.

A furious final minutes followed as the Lions desperately tried to find another goal to at least tie up the scores as the heavens opened.

Yet the Blues (6-5) were not to be denied, adding further insult by leapfrogging the Lions (6-5) into the top four on the AFL ladder on percentage.

After bouncing back to the "Fevola of old" according to Ratten last round, the Carlton poster boy initially rued his missed chances in front on Saturday night despite kicking three first half majors.

Fevola kicked 3.3 for the first half.

While the Blues still enjoyed a 7.10 (52) to 5.5 (35) buffer at the main break, Carlton could have held a commanding lead if the likes of Fevola had kicked truly.

Carlton grabbed a 3.6 (24) to 2.2 (14) opening quarter lead.

In a see-sawing second term, Lions matchwinner Jared Brennan threatened to take the game away from Carlton.

He bagged four goals by halftime but it seemed he was a one-man show with key forward Bradshaw (2.1) used in defence in the first stanza marking Fevola and Brown unable to buy a goal.

Ratten was savouring Carlton's second straight win - but only after some nervous moments.

"We have had some close games this year in which we have gone down by close margins so it would have been heartbreaking for our group to have worked so hard, dominated the game and fallen over at the end," he said.

"Brisbane got control of the stoppages and really hurt us (in the final term) - if they control the centre bounce they usually score, and they did that really well tonight.

"(But) for us to hang on interstate where our record hasn't been great is fantastic." Despite Fevola copping flak for his recent conversion rate, Ratten argued that his star forward had been in good form.

"He was outstanding tonight," Ratten said.

"But he was getting enough shots on goal (in previous games), it was the conversion - but he had been in fairly good touch." Meanwhile, Lions coach Michael Voss rued the one that got away.

"Their willingness to fight games out is quite extraordinary to be honest, their ability to go right to the final siren I think is a very admirable attribute to have," he said.

"(But) we made it exceptionally difficult for ourselves.

"We weren't pro-active enough at the start of the game - we played a very safe brand of football."

The loss was further soured by a calf injury to defender Josh Drummond.

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