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Carlton shock Port in MCG thriller

Caretaker Carlton coach John Barker won his first match with the Blues as they edged Port Adelaide 17.8 (110) to 16.10 (106) at the MCG.

Defender Sam Docherty took a match-saving mark in the last minute as the Power, in poor form, launched a desperate late raid.

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But it was unsuccessful, with Ken Hinkley’s side left to rue a controversial umpiring decision in the dying stages.

Sam Colquhoun was denied a late set shot at goal after a mark he was paid was revoked. One umpire believed the ball had been touched and called a ball-up instead, with the Blues able to clear the danger from there.

Carlton – whose only other win this season came in New Zealand – were well-worth their victory, though, with youngster Patrick Cripps outstanding with 31 possessions and 11 tackles.

Travis Boak nearly carried his side to a come-from-behind win with a huge final term and finished with 27 touches, while Chad Wingard kicked five goals for the losers.

Lachie Henderson celebrates a crucial last-quarter goal for Carlton. Photo: Getty

Lachie Henderson celebrates a crucial last-quarter goal for Carlton. Photo: Getty

Port made a fast start with the first two goals of the game but Marc Murphy was impressive early, with 10 first-quarter disposals, as Carlton narrowed the margin to a point at the first break.

The Blues’ willingness to play on and take risks under Barker was evident in the second term as his side slammed through five unanswered goals to storm to a 23-point lead.

Cripps was instrumental in the surge, with Andrew Carrazzo also influential as Carlton’s midfield were able to get on top.

Play was stopped at one point when umpire Brendan Hosking wrote himself into football folklore by marking Hamish Hartlett’s free-kick.

The Power needed a lift from their on-ball brigade and they received it, with Ollie Wines, Robbie Gray and Hartlett important as Port closed the gap to four points at half-time.

The game ended early for Gray, however, after he was concussed in a Bryce Gibbs tackle shortly before the break and taken from the field on a stretcher.

Gray’s absence was felt by the visitors, who conceded the first three goals of the third quarter.

Again, Port responded with goals to Colquhoun and Wingard, but the Blues snatched back the momentum to hold a 23-point lead at the last break.

Troy Menzel pushed the lead out to 29 points with the first goal of the final term.

Another Port assault followed and they got within a goal of victory, but time ultimately ran out to the delight of the MCG crowd.

– AAP

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