CARLTON has put itself on top of Conference B with a round to play after beating Brisbane by 16 points at Ikon Park on Sunday afternoon.
An impressive 27-disposal performance from Carlton young gun Maddy Prespakis helped the Blues to a 6.7 (43) to 4.3 (27) victory.
Blues forward Brooke Walker booted two quick goals in the third term before handing off another to Tayla Harris early in the final quarter.
Lions forward Kate McCarthy was forced from the field in the third term after being on the end of a heavy hit from Carlton hard nut Jess Hosking while attempting to tackle the Blue.
McCarthy returned to the field in the fourth quarter.
The ladder now
With one round left in the home and away season, Carlton looks set to make finals. The Blues could theoretically miss if Brisbane wins big next week, but would be comfortable with their position considering they sit a win and almost 30 per cent ahead of the third-placed Lions. Geelong is second, alongside Carlton on three wins.
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Did you see that?
Gun Brisbane defender Kate Lutkins was camped under the high ball as it came into Carlton's forward line early in the third quarter, ready to take an intercept mark. That was until Tayla Harris came flying in and clunked the football. She didn't disappoint with the shot either, converting truly against her former side.
Debutant shows poise
Game No.1 is usually a nerve-wracking experience but if that was the case for Brisbane's Jade Ellenger, she didn't let it show. Streaming into the forward line with just over a minute left in the first quarter, she received a handball from Breanna Koenen and coolly slotted it through.
From rugby sevens to footy
Carlton signed Brooke Walker and Chloe Dalton as rookies last August after both had represented Australia in rugby sevens. On Sunday, they linked up once again, with one play in the third term sticking out. Dalton fumbled the footy deep in the forward line but crunched Sam Virgo before handballing to Walker, who put it through.
"We put in a really good performance against a really good footy team. We've had some troubles through the journey with the Lions, so to put in that level of performance for four quarters was super pleasing. We had a plan in place, and there's ebbs and flow in games, but the majority of the time we had, I think, control of the contest." - Carlton coach Daniel Harford
"We debuted our ninth player for the club this year and she had a fair impact, which is the pleasing bit. Lauren Arnell (31 years old) is one of those nine, so really eight new players. We're a completely different team to where we've been the last couple of years, but the fact that we've been able to play these people, we're trying to set ourselves up for the future. We're still a mathematical chance (for finals), so the slight sliver of hope still exists." - Brisbane coach Craig Starcevich
The final make-up of Conference B will be determined next Sunday. First up will be Brisbane taking on the winless Collingwood at Victoria Park at 2.05pm AEDT, before Carlton face the Western Bulldogs at Whitten Oval from 4.05pm AEDT.
CARLTON 1.2 2.5 5.6 6.7 (43)
BRISBANE 2.0 2.2 3.2 4.3 (27)
Carlton: Walker 2, Harris 2, Vescio, Lucas-Rodd
Brisbane: Ellenger 2, McCarthy, Wuetschner
Carlton: Prespakis, Harris, Dalton, Walker, Davey, Stevens
Brisbane: Lutkins, Bates, Anderson, Wuetschner, Exon, Ellenger
Brisbane: McCarthy (nose)
Umpires: Bryce, Heffernan, Bailes
Official crowd: 2900 at Ikon Park