Then youngster Corey Durdin doubled the advantage with the first goal of his AFL career as the Blues, all aggression and enthusiasm, set the tone. The Giants woke from their slumber late, but they didn’t get their first goal until the last minute of the term when Daniel Lloyd shot truly.
GIANTS HANG TOUGH
Carlton, who were running hard, contesting every ball, pressing high up the field and choosing adventurous passing options as they drove forward, continued to make the running. But despite Casboult goaling, and then setting Betts up for a major midway through the quarter with a palmed forward pass which Betts finished in trademark style, Carlton could never quite shake off the visitors.
Jacob Hopper provided a moment of inspiration for the Giants when he channelled the spirit of Betts and jinked one way, then the other, and then back again before firing home from an angle. The Giants clawed their way back into the contest and Toby Greene, who had been quiet hitherto, took a contested mark late to goal: when the siren sounded there was only one point the difference with Carlton leading 6.6 to 6.5
CLASS COMES TO THE FORE
The Giants, fuelled by Hopper and Josh Kelly in midfield, had started to assert themselves and began to get on top after Patrick Cripps had been in the ascendancy. When Zach Sproule goaled at the fifth minute of the third term it was the first time all night that the Giants had been in front.
Not long after, Greene’s floated delivery was helped on by Matt De Boer for Xavier O’Halloran to finish from close range and the lead had stretched to 11 points, which quickly became 17 when Jesse Hogan snared his second. Carlton’s job became even harder with confirmation midway through the quarter that Cripps had been forced out of the remainder of the match through injury.
HOPE SPRINGS ETERNAL
When Ed Curnow goaled with seconds remaining in the third quarter Blues fans breathed a sigh of relief and dared to dream with the deficit down to 15 points, and when he struck again early in the final term the Blues dared to believe. But those dreams were dashed as the Giants held firm. Betts scored a goal with his last kick of the game – a fitting finale for a champion of the game.
Giants Ward, Kelly, Greene, Hopper, Hogan, Kelly, Briggs.
Carlton E Curnow, Walsh, Newman, Casboult, Kennedy, Betts.
E. Curnow (Carlton) 8
Ward (Giants) 8
Kelly, Greene (Giants) 7
Hopper, Hogan (Giants) 6
Walsh, Newman (Carlton) 6