AFL finals live updates: Melbourne Demons vs Carlton Blues semifinal at the MCG

Carlton’s Blake Acres kicks a goal in the final 60 seconds to give the Blues a 2-point semifinal win over the Demons.

In a fiercely-fought final of shifting fortunes, the Blues came from behind at a number of stages before delighting a huge crowd of 96,412 at headquarters to win 11.7 (73) to 9.17 (71).

The loss means the Demons bow out of the finals in straight sets for the second successive year.

Carlton came into the game off the back of a narrow win over Sydney in last week’s elimination final, but the Blues were under big pressure early as Melbourne kicked the opening three goals of the game.

Carlton steadied, however, to kick six of the next seven goals as they took a two-point lead into half-time and led for most of the third term before late goals to Bayley Fritsch and Kysaiah Pickett put the Demons up at three quarter time.

But in a dramatic final term, Blake Acres put them ahead for good with 60 seconds left, as they kept their season alive.

More to come.

Follow the action in our live blog.

Live updates


AFL semifinal: Melbourne vs Carlton


Melbourne: 9.17 (71)

Carlton: 11.7 (73)

By Dean Bilton


(Getty Images)

Speechless. An incredible final, an unbelievable story. A night to go down in Carlton folklore.

The Blues looked done. Out of legs and out of ideas. The Demons had chance after chance to ice the game, but the post kept getting in the way.

Turns out all Carlton needed was a flicker of hope. Hope, and Blake Acres who has become the man for the Carlton moment over the last two weeks. He is the hero at the end of a staggering game of football.

So much to talk about. Melbourne are out in straight sets. Carlton will play Brisbane in a preliminary final next week. Insane.

By Dean Bilton


A behind is soccered through for Carlton with three seconds left! The Blues will play a prelim!

By Dean Bilton


Carlton lead by a point! Weitering at half-back found Hollands, who set Docherty up for a clutch mark at half-forward.

He plays on, bombs it to a two-on-one in the square where Acres did the rest.

Remarkable. 56 seconds left to play. Carlton by a point.

By Dean Bilton

2′: Lever with another clutch mark in defence

It’s desperate stuff for Carlton. They’re just begging for something to  fall their way.

By Dean Bilton

3′: Pickett hits the post!

His bouncing snap couldn’t have been any closer!

Blues trail by five points and have 2:10 to manufacture something.

By Dean Bilton

3′: Has Oliver kicked it?

No! Max Gawn hit it into the post! It was going to carry through if not for the Melbourne skipper’s hand!

That would have been the dagger.

By Dean Bilton

4′: Oliver will burn some clock

He pinned Walsh holding the ball 50 metres out, right on the boundary. Don’t think he’ll be able to kick this, but he can pretend like he thinks he can.

By Dean Bilton

5′: What was Brodie Kemp thinking?

The defender found himself 50m out on the boundary line, and took a shot at goal.

Out on the full. No time for plays like that.

By Dean Bilton

6′: The crowd figure is in and it’s huge

Just the 96,412 in the house tonight. Massive.

By Dean Bilton

7′: Jesse Motlop brings the house down! Goal Carlton!

The Blues find their answering goal and it’s back to just three points!

Bowey was wrapped up in a Curnow tackle and spilled the ball out, where Motlop picked up the scraps and snapped truly.

What a game.

By Dean Bilton

7′: May is dominating at the back

Curnow looks completely out on his feet.

If Melbourne get the next one, this might be done and dusted.

By Dean Bilton

9′: Fritsch in the pocket now! Takes the mark

The Blues look like they’re out of gas. Langdon intercepts on centre wing and two kicks later, Fritsch is in and marking.

But he’s missed too. The snap hooks too much. The door remains ajar.

By Dean Bilton

10′: Gawn hits the post! So close!

The Blues are hagning in there, but it’s threatening to get away from Carlton here.

By Dean Bilton

11′: Gawn on the goal line! What a mark!

Too big, too strong!

And now Max Gawn needs to manufacture something from the tightest of angles. Could the skipper find something in the biggest moment of this game so far?

By Dean Bilton

13′: Crunch moments for Carlton

Melbourne seem to be covering the ground better at the moment. They look a little fresher, a little healthier.

They’re a goal or two away from really making this really, really tough. Viney has a chance to do just that, but misses from the pocket. Seven-point lead.

By Dean Bilton

15′: Has Curnow made the distance?

Lachie Hunter was on the line, and there can’t be much in it.

But he has clearly got the touch to it right on the goal line. Would have been a massive Charlie Curnow goal, but instead it’s a big moment for Melbourne’s defence.

By Dean Bilton

By Dean Bilton

16′: Fritsch goals! Dees up by seven!

Whoever wins the clearances is going to win this game. Scores are coming so quickly out of the middle now.

Petracca got it inside 50 quickly, and once again Pickett was deadly at ground level. Good crumb, excellent handball to Fritsch who snapped truly.

By Dean Bilton

17′: Ball deep in Melbourne’s attack

But Jacob Weitering is on the moon right now. Don’t know what happened to him, but he’s staggering all over the place and does not look healthy.

Not sure if any club docs have spotted it yet.

A rushed behind gives Melbourne the lead.

By Dean Bilton

17′: Pickett converts! Scores level again!

Breathless game. Wonderful footy. Pickett looming large.

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