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Curnow fires in Blues’ AFL win over GWS

Coleman Medal leader Charlie Curnow has kicked four goals to help steer Carlton to a 36-point win over GWS, keeping them firmly in the hunt for an AFL top-four spot.

The Blues led by just three points at halftime but put a break on the visitors during the third term and pulled clear for a 13.12 (90) to 8.6 (54) victory at Marvel Stadium on Sunday.

The result improves Carlton’s record to 12-6 and has all but sealed their first finals appearance since 2013 ahead of consecutive away games against Adelaide and Brisbane.

Sam Walsh (rolled ankle) and Jacob Weitering (corked thigh) shook off nasty-looking injuries to play key roles against GWS and Blues captain Patrick Cripps led from the front with 34 disposals, four clearances and a goal.

Curnow and Harry McKay (two goals) were ever-present threats in attack and Mitch McGovern impressed alongside Weitering in his return from a long absence with hamstring injuries.

Adam Saad gave his trademark run out of defence and produced a highlight when he used James Peatling as a launch pad to take a huge mark.

Toby Greene, who also took a spectacular grab, over Lewis Young, on a day for the high flyers, had a golden chance to put GWS in front midway through the third quarter.

But the Giants co-captain failed to score with an around-the-corner kick after marking 30 metres from goal on a slight angle.

The Blues took advantage, kicking the next three goals in quick succession to give themselves breathing space before putting the result beyond doubt in a strong final quarter of 4.4 to 1.3.

“It was a really solid performance,” Blues coach Michael Voss said.

“The game demanded for us to stick to process and it fluctuated from time to time.

“The opposition certainly gave (pressure) right throughout the whole game and we didn’t deviate off what we needed to do.

“We let them back into the game a couple of times but I’m pleased that it didn’t discourage the group.”

Greene showed flashes of brilliance and kicked two second-quarter goals, finishing with 3.2 from 15 disposals.

He also regularly riled Carlton players, particularly so with a late spoiling attempt on Lochie O’Brien in the dying stages.

“He gave everyone in Melbourne (an example) of what we love about him,” Giants coach Mark McVeigh said.

“He took a huge grab, got in the face of players, pressured and did everything we ask of him in the right way.”

GWS were well served by co-captain Stephen Coniglio (21 disposals, six clearances, two goals), Tim Taranto (30 disposals) and Harry Himmelberg (25).

McVeigh said important quartet Josh Kelly, Lachie Whitfield, Jesse Hogan and Tom Green are all chances to return in Saturday’s derby against Sydney.

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