|Venue:||Mars Stadium, Ballarat|
|Date:||Saturday January 20, 2018|
|Result:||Won by 16 points|
|Goalkickers:||Darcy Vescio 3, Tayla Harris, Kate Shierlaw, Brianna Davey, Sophie Li, Katie Loynes 1.|
Game ReviewGame Changers start 2018 with a win
CARLTON has secured victory in the lead-up to the second AFL Women’s season, defeating the Western Bulldogs by 16 points in front of a packed crowd at Mars Stadium in Ballarat, 8.8.56 to 6.4.40. In what was a tough and aggressive opening quarter by both sides, the Blues got off to the perfect start thanks to a booming fifty metre goal from recruit Tayla Harris until the Bulldogs drew level just before quarter time. The game opened up in the second term, with the Blues piling on three consecutive goals in six minutes, before an Ellie Blackburn goal inspired the Dogs to shift the momentum their way. When the siren sounded for half-time, the Blues held just a two-point lead to set up an intriguing second half battle. Another tight quarter followed in the third, with skipper Brianna Davey and Katie Loynes joining the Carlton goal scorers to ensure a four point lead at the last change. The Dogs, though, weren’t going to allow the Blues an easy victory and matched their two goals with two of their own by the three quarter time break. The last term was one to be savoured for the visiting Blues, who added another two majors while the Dogs could only manage two behinds to finish the game. Other notables to impress included vice-captain Sarah Hosking and Madeline Keryk through the midfield, while draftees Sophie Li and Bridie Kennedy look likely prospects who’ll feature in the upcoming campaign. Post match, new captain Brianna Davey spoke glowingly of her team’s performance, pleased with a victory over a tough Western Bulldogs outfit. Coach Damien Keeping would’ve been pleased with what he saw in the first competitive hit out for 2018, with the dangerous attack of Tayla Harris, Kate Shierlaw and Darcy Vescio having an impact. “It was a good start and to get a really strong competitive hit out before round one was really important,” Davey told carltonfc.com.au. “We’re really excited about the talent across the list and tonight we saw the versatility of a lot of the girls, which is going to make selection each week a challenge. “We’re really excited for round one but our focus is really to train hard and be ready for Collingwood on Feb 2 now.”
BEST: Darcy Vescio, Brianna Davey, Sarah Hosking, Katie Loynes.