Carlton complete comeback win to reignite finals hopes

Carlton are still in the hunt for a place in the AFL finals after they came from 39 points down against Sydney to record a five-point win.

In just his fifth game at the top level and with less than two minutes on the clock Matthew Cottrell kicked the match-winner to give Carlton a famous 8.9 (57) to 8.4 (52) victory.

The Swans were dominant throughout the opening portion of the first quarter and again in the opening stages of the second term as they kicked the first seven goals of the match.

But it was then that Carlton put on the clamps, allowing the Swans just one more goal for the match on the Gold Coast, and kicked their way back into it by halftime with the final four goals of the opening half.

Sam Walsh had a game-high 25 disposals for the Blues in the rain-affected fixture.

Carlton captain Patrick Cripps was also pivotal in his side’s comeback with 17 disposals and a goal in the second quarter.

Harry McKay’s second goal tied the match up at 51-all early in the final quarter.

The game then turned into a scrap with both teams failing to capitalise on scoring opportunities in a desperate finish.

Down by six with less than one minute to play, Sydney’s Lewis Taylor had a set shot to tie the match but missed to the right.

The Blues now sit 11th on the ladder, just four points outside the top-eight, albeit with a significantly worse percentage than the three teams ahead of them.

Two of those sides— Melbourne and GWS — are to play each other on Saturday night in what looms as a must-win fixture.

Carlton will play bottom placed Adelaide, who are on a two-game winning streak, on Sunday at the Gold Coast.

After failing to win an AFL game for more than a year, the Crows have gone back-to-back

Taylor Walker and other Adelaide Crows salute Adelaide Oval fans after an AFL game.

Taylor Walker and other Adelaide Crows salute Adelaide Oval fans after an AFL game.

The Crows are getting used to this winning thing.(AAP: David Mariuz)

After last week winning their first game for more than a year, Adelaide has suddenly strung together two straight victories, upsetting GWS by 12 points.

Whether it was the confidence from last Tuesday’s drought-breaking victory over Hawthorn or the benefits of a seven-day break, the last-placed Crows were good enough to beat the eighth-ranked Giants 8.11 (59) to 7.5 (47) at Adelaide Oval.

The last time the Crows won two straight games was in June last year, with GWS one of the victims in that “streak” as well.

This year’s Giants are now in danger of falling out of the finals spots, squandering a chance to jump to seventh and put more space between themselves and the chasing pack after 10th-placed Melbourne’s capitulation against Fremantle on Monday night.

Last year’s grand finalists are now hanging on to eighth by 0.9 percentage alone, with the Western Bulldogs alongside them on 32 competition points and the Demons one game back on 28.

GWS has tough games against Melbourne and St Kilda to come, while the Bulldogs will enter their last two matches, against Hawthorn and Fremantle, as favourites.

The Crows dominated the opening quarter in their second win of the season, kicking 3.3 to 1.1 and recording a dozen inside 50s to just three from the sluggish Giants.

The visitors were unable to keep tabs on the Crows’ Crouch brothers — Matt had 10 disposals and Brad nine in the first term.

The Giants made inroads in the second stanza, with Finlayson kicking the only two goals for the term to leave his side just four points adrift at half-time.

Adelaide then seized momentum in the third term with a rapid-fire scoring burst, booting four goals in 13 minutes to create a 22-point break.

But the Giants replied with two quick majors interspersed by a soaring mark from Bobby Hill, who climbed onto the back of Adelaide’s O’Brien to complete a spectacular grab.

GWS trailed by 16 points at three-quarter-time but a remarkable left-foot snap from ex-Crow Jacobs got his new team within 10 points eight minutes into the final quarter — but it was the last goal in a tense finale.

ABC/AAP