Home / World News / Patrick Cripps kicks four goals as Carlton edge Melbourne in AFL pre-season

Patrick Cripps kicks four goals as Carlton edge Melbourne in AFL pre-season

Michael Voss has completed an undefeated first AFL pre-season as Carlton coach with the Blues holding off fast-finishing reigning premiers Melbourne by five points.

Captain Patrick Cripps was in ominous touch after a difficult last two seasons, kicking four goals and gathering 31 possessions in the community series hit-out at Marvel Stadium on Thursday night.

Cripps looks like he could recapture his All-Australian best from 2018 and 2019, as he led a dominant Blues midfield to run out winners, 15.8 (98) to 14.9 (93).

Recruits Adam Cerra (Fremantle) and George Hewett (Sydney) have fitted in seamlessly after their off-season moves to Ikon Park, while Matt Kennedy could finally be ready to nail down a best-22 spot after starring with 37 possessions.

Even without reigning best-and-fairest winner Sam Walsh, the Blues upstaged Melbourne’s premiership on-ball brigade of Clayton Oliver and Christan Petracca.

Carlton could be boosted even further ahead of the regular season with former co-captain Sam Docherty on track to make an inspirational comeback from testicular cancer after starring with 38 disposals in the Blues’ VFL match.

The Blues led by as much as 44 points early in the third quarter before Melbourne stepped up and cut the deficit with eight goals in the second-half.

Harry McKay was quiet with just one goal, but the Coleman medallist got through the match unscathed to ease concerns over a foot issue.

Despite it only being the pre-season, Blues fans will be struggling to contain their excitement as they seek to play finals for the first time since 2013.

The Demons struggled to adapt to an AFL crackdown on umpire abuse, conceding a staggering eight 50-metre penalties.

It was the biggest score Melbourne have had kicked against them since 2020, but the Demons were without premiership defenders Steven May, Michael Hibberd, Christian Salem and Trent Rivers.

Melbourne will unfurl their first flag in 57 years when they open the 2022 season with a grand final rematch against the Western Bulldogs on March 16, while Carlton will tackle nemesis Richmond at the MCG the following night.

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