Carlton overcome wobbly Dockers at the MCG

·3-min read

Carlton have overcome a frenetic Fremantle comeback to post a season-saving 16-point AFL win at the MCG.

The Blues led by 28 points early in the second quarter of Saturday night's match, and still held a 23-point lead midway through the third before Fremantle hit back hard.

The Dockers booted three straight goals and a flurry of behinds to snatch a one-point lead early in the last quarter, but it was all Carlton from there, with goals to Eddie Betts and Sam Walsh securing the 12.8 (80) to 8.16 (64) win.

Fremantle's inaccuracy proved costly in the end.

The Dockers won the clearances 45-26 and inside 50s 52-40, but their horrible performance in front of goal ultimately proved to be their downfall.

Carlton have now posted wins over Adelaide and Fremantle since a wide-ranging review of the club was announced late last month.

The latest triumph improved Carlton's record to 6-9, leaving them within striking distance of the top eight.

Fremantle would have moved into eighth with a win, but they are now 10th with a 7-8 record.

Carlton will be sweating on the fitness of star midfielder Patrick Cripps, who played out the match in pain after injuring his right foot late in the opening quarter.

"I tried to boot it into the third row and kicked someone's leg," Cripps told Fox Sports.

"I think it's just a sprained foot. I didn't really want to kick it tonight, so every time I marked it I tried to get the handball off.

"It was just good to get through. I'll rest it up and I'll be ready to go next week."

Andrew Brayshaw tallied 28 disposals and two goals for the Dockers, while Alex Pearce was influential in defence despite giving up three goals to Harry McKay.

A wounded Cripps finished with 23 disposals - 18 of which were handballs - while Paddy Dow starred with 22 disposals, eight clearances and a goal.

Blues big man Jacob Weitering was a rock in defence with 10 marks - including four contested - and 20 disposals along with nine rebound 50s.

Dow dominated the opening term with 11 possessions and Carlton won the inside 50m count 17-6 to open up a 22-point lead.

The scoreboard read 32-4 early in the second quarter before Fremantle finally found their range, with the Dockers booting four goals for the term to trim the margin to 12 points at the long break.

Scores were level with a quarter to play, but Fremantle's total of 8.15 compared to Carlton's 10.3 told the story of why the Dockers weren't ahead.

The Dockers hit the front with a soccered behind early in the final quarter, but Betts' rundown of Griffin Logue and subsequent goal turned the momentum, before a classy late snap to Walsh sealed the deal.

"The start cost us," Dockers coach Justin Longmuir said.

"We were 22 points down at quarter-time, we lacked composure with the ball, they beat us in the contest early, we looked off and we didn't look like a connected group.

"We butchered some opportunities in front of goal. It's been an issue this year and continues to be an issue."

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting