AFL Finals McKay hurt as Blues advance past Swans in thriller

AFL Finals McKay hurt as Blues advance past Swans in thriller

AAPSep 8, 2023, 08:48 AM ET2 Minute Learn

Carlton have celebrated their first AFL finals look in a decade with a tense six-point win over Sydney that retains their premiership dream alive.

The Blues led by 28 factors throughout time-on of the third quarter however needed to endure some nervous moments earlier than hanging on for an 11.8 (74) to 9.14 (68) victory in Friday night time’s elimination ultimate.

Carlton will subsequent meet Melbourne in a knockout semi-final as they proceed their bid to finish a 28-year flag drought.

However they’ll seemingly accomplish that with out Harry McKay after the important thing ahead was subbed out with an harm following a third-quarter marking contest.

The Blues’ different concern surrounds Jack Martin, who faces scrutiny from the league’s match evaluate officer after he caught Nick Blakey excessive with a swinging arm over a contested ball.

Blakey performed out the match after passing a concussion check.

Picture by Quinn Rooney/Getty Pictures

Sam Walsh (29 disposals), Blake Acres (26), former Swan George Hewett (25) and dependable defender Jacob Weitering had been among the many Blues’ finest in moist and windy circumstances on the MCG.

Martin and Matthew Cottrell kicked two targets every, whereas Coleman medallist Charlie Curnow managed only one.

Doubtful with a shoulder harm throughout the week, wingman Blake Acres twice made essential performs in the second half when he touched pictures on the objective line, denying the Swans majors after video opinions.

Acres then gave the Blues important respiration area when he strolled into an open objective with 5 minutes left to play.

Carlton captain Patrick Cripps (21 disposals, three clearances) kicked an vital third-quarter objective however was comparatively effectively held by Callum Mills in his first finals look after 181 video games.

McKay had a grimy night time, lacking two pictures from the highest of the objective sq. earlier than he was subbed out.

Errol Gulden kicked two targets from 23 disposals as one in all Sydney’s finest, whereas Jake Lloyd (27 touches), Blakey (23) and retiring ruckman Tom Hickey additionally fought arduous.

Carlton had their long-suffering supporters on their toes early with targets to fan-favourites Sam Docherty and Curnow in the opening three minutes.

The Blues dominated contested ball (43-26) in the second quarter and kicked out to a 30-point lead earlier than halftime.

Hickey gave the Swans a third-quarter spark and the guests obtained inside eight factors early in the ultimate time period when a mix-up between Brodie Kemp and Tom De Koning gifted Luke Parker a objective.

An arm wrestle ensued and a raft of ability errors had been made by each side beneath strain earlier than Acres’ late objective appeared to have sealed the end result.

Hayden McLean dragged the Swans again inside a kick with 25 seconds remaining however the Blues emerged victorious from the determined ultimate phases.

It was one other MCG failure for Sydney, who misplaced all 4 video games on the venue this season following final yr’s grand ultimate thumping from Geelong.

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