Carlton's Darcy Lang, centre, celebrates with teammates after kicking the first goal of the match against Essendon at the MCG on Saturday.
Carlton's Darcy Lang, centre, celebrates with teammates after kicking the first goal of the match against Essendon at the MCG on Saturday. JOE CASTRO

Worsfold under pressure after Blues down his Bombers

CARLTON'S Curnow brothers have powered the Blues to their first win of the season, denying Essendon by 13 points in a gritty AFL thriller.

The Blues claimed their first win at the MCG in over a year after emerging victorious on Saturday 14.7 (91) to 10.18 (78).

There were nine lead changes on a wintry Melbourne afternoon, with neither side able to kick clear in an engrossing - if not high quality - affair.

At the last, the young Blues side stood up, led by Charlie and Ed Curnow.

Charlie took four thumping marks inside 50 and kicked two goals in the third term to arrest Essendon's momentum, and Ed powered the Blues at ground level all afternoon with 13 tackles.

Patrick Cripps, Matthew Kreuzer and Liam Jones were also super for Carlton, roared on by their patient fans among the 44,669 in attendance.

The result will heap pressure on besieged Bombers coach John Worsfold.

The West Coast legend signed a contract extension after a round one win over minor premiers Adelaide, but has led Essendon to just a single win since.

Carlton began as if sensing an opportunity for a breakthrough triumph.

The Blues were bright and determined, and led by two goals when Harry McKay's long bomb from 60m eluded a retreating Essendon pair to bounce through.

But Carlton couldn't maintain the rage, yielding the momentum to Essendon in the second term.

Bombers leaders Dyson Heppell and David Zaharakis converted marks inside 50 to push them to a one-point half-time lead.

After three losses in a row, the Bombers showed a lack of confidence that seemed to be holding them back from turning territory into a larger lead.

Then they fell victim to their third-quarter hoodoo once more.

Essendon was yet to win the term all season and Charlie Curnow kept that streak running.

Both sides missed chances in front of goal, but Essendon's wastefulness - kicking 4.12 in the middle two quarters - was especially costly.

Shaun McKernan's goal to open the final term made him the Bombers' first multiple goalkicker and gave Worsfold's side a lifeline.

Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti put them ahead at the five-minute mark but from there Brendon Bolton's side took control.

Sam Petreveski-Seton, Jed Lamb and Sam Kerridge took the contest away from Essendon with consecutive goals, allowing a host of Blues to sing the club song for the first time.

- AAP


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