When the Carlton Blues AFLW team travelled to Drummoyne Oval in Sydney to face the GWS Giants they were without two of their key leaders and their coach.
Blues coach Damien Keeping is currently in hospital while Lauren Arnell and Madeline Keryk were both unavailable for the match.
Oh – and Carlton’s captain Brianna Davey went down in the final quarter with a knee injury also. The Blues must have walked under a few ladders this week.
To make matters worse for both teams, the massive downpour of rain and some rumbling of thunder – most of it in the distance, some of it very much not in the distance – put a damper on the first quarter and delayed the start of the second.
It was GWS who struck first – Phoebe McWilliams calmly converted a set shot shortly after the match started, and the Giants looked to be on top.
That came to end pretty quickly though, especially as the weather picked up. The rain seemed to favour the Blues and they dominated possession for the rest of the quarter.
The bad news for Carlton was that all they could manage was a string of behinds, and that was the case even into the second term, when at one point they actually took the lead by virtue of scoring seven behinds to one goal.
A pair of ripping goals first from Nic Stevens in the second quarter and then Katie Loynes in the third gave the Blues a decisive advantage however, while the Giants struggled to get near their sticks let alone put the ball through them.
Things went from bad to worse for the home side when they conceded a free kick to Darcy Vescio directly in front of goal shortly before the end of the third term, and she made no mistake.
The final term was a quiet one with neither side able to put a major score through, though Carlton pelted on a few more behinds to make the final margin 21 points.
No one would call it a skillful display of footy in the end with the conditions seriously affecting both sides’ abilities to execute, but you couldn’t fault the commitment and effort of both teams, while the goals from Stevens and Loynes provided a bit of thrill factor.
A well-deserved win for the Blues, who adapted better to the conditions and were victorious for it.
GWS Giants 1.3 (9)
Carlton Blues 3.12 (30)