Comeback Carlton creates history to keep season alive

CARLTON will fondly remember its first VFL Women’s final, after defeating Williamstown by four points in yesterday’s Elimination Final to keep its 2023 season alive.

Williamstown came to rue some wayward early shots on goal as the Blues came from behind to take the win.

The beginning of the match was so congested it took almost three minutes for the ball to even leave the centre circle.

Once it did eventually leave the centre circle, it was the Seagulls who got the first forward 50 time and were quick to get reward with a goal to Sarah Cameron.

Although goals were not easy to come by early, momentum was definitely with the home side as the ball lived in their forward half for much of the opening half of the quarter.

The game was played at a frenetic pace, with plenty of defensive pressure from both sides meaning that clean disposals were hard to come by.

Williamstown continued to pepper the goals, but wayward kicks meant that those shots often resulted in behinds. Carlton did have a few inside 50s late, but a strong Williamstown defence meant that those inside 50s did not result in any score.

In the end the Blues went scoreless in the first term as Williamstown enjoyed an 11-point lead at the first break.

Williamstown continued to enjoy early forward 50 time dominance in the second term, but could not add to its quarter time score. Carlton did manage to add to its quarter time score, but unfortunately for the Blues it was only a behind.

It took a long time for the first goal of the second quarter to come, and crucially for Carlton it was Esther Honybun who soccered one off the deck in the square.

This was an important reward for Carlton, who had really locked the ball in its forward 50 and momentum was very much in its favour.

However that proved to be the only goal for the quarter as the Seagulls went goalless in the second term and their margin had been cut to merely four points at the main break.

Both teams enjoyed some forward half time early in the third term as the ball ping ponged between the 50m arcs.

The first goal of the term eventually came halfway through thanks to a 40m monster kick from Carlton captain Christina Bernardi, and for the first time in the game it was the Blues who were in front.

Georgia Tait kicked Carlton’s second with 90 seconds left in the term, and as the Blues took an eight point lead into the main break after keeping Williamstown scoreless in the third term, momentum truly was with the visitors.

Williamstown kept attacking its forward 50 early in the last term, but thanks to the tackling exploits of the likes of Bernardi and Amelia Klingbeil, Williamstown did not even look like scoring.

As the minutes began to tick down, the Seagulls were running out of time to bridge the deficit.

Ellie Cleland got one back with mere seconds left, but ultimately they left their run too late, falling four points short.

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