Carlton claim sole lead in race for title

PUBLISHED : Monday, 17 June, 1996, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 17 June, 1996, 12:00am

Carlton stormed to the top of the Australian Football League premiership ladder with a gritty 24-point win over Brisbane in tropical rain storms at the Gabba.

A sell-out crowd of 20,225 watched the Blues graft to a four-goal lead in the third term to set up a 9.8 (62) to 5.8 (38) win.

In a spectacle marred by poor disposals in slippery conditions, Carlton had a meaner defensive game personified by half-back Brett Ratten, who was best on field.

At one stage in the first half the Carlton backline held the Bears scoreless for 40 minutes.

Brisbane now sit in third position with 30 premiership points, level with Sydney and Geelong.

Adelaide maintained their abysmal record in Melbourne by crumbling under Hawthorn's physical force by nine points after leading early in the second term by 39.

The Crows who have won only 10 games in Melbourne from 49 trips east, succumbed to the Hawks' persistence at Waverley Park, going down 16.12 (108) to 14.15 (99).

Unstoppable Sydney spearhead Tony Lockett banged through 10 goals in his side's upset 79-point win over desposed league leaders North Melbourne at Optus Oval.

The Swans emerged as a credible premiership chance by thrashing Norths 24.8 (152) to 10.13 (73).

After a sluggish start the Swans took complete control, restricting the dispirited Kangaroos to only six goals in the final three quarters while adding 22.7 in the same period.

Superstar Geelong forward Gary Ablett will have to wait until next week to record a 1,000-goal career milestone after managing just five in the Cats home ground win over Footscray.

Ablett seemed to have erased the magic figure from his mind, as he unselfishly passed off several balls to teammates rather than go for goal in the lacklustre 20.9 (129) to 12.13 (85) game.

Richmond kept their final hopes alive with a polished 34-point win over St Kilda at the MCG.

The ninth-placed Tigers won 21.13 (139) to 15.15 (105) and could move back into the eight if they beat Adelaide at the MCG next Friday night.

Essendon scrambled in by just one point over a surprisingly plucky Fremantle at the MCG yesterday.

After trailing by six points at three-quarter time, the Bombers fell across the line to win 13.12 (90) to 12.17 (89).

West Coast ran out comfortable 53-point winners over Collingwood at Subiaco yesterday, but only after the Magpies had given them an early run for their money.

After letting the Eagles race to a 19-point lead early, the Magpies hit back to lead by five points at quarter time and 10 points at half-time.

But they hit back with seven goals to two in the third term, to ease away to a 16.19 (115) to 9.8 (62) win.

Melbourne moved up one spot to 14th position with a 63-point win over cellar-dwellers Fitzroy at the Whitten Oval yesterday.

The Demons won 18.11 (119) to 8.8 (56).