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Blues end Hawks’ faint AFL finals hopes

Carlton have killed off Hawthorn’s faint AFL finals hopes with a rousing seven-point win at Etihad Stadium.

The hard-fought 12.5 (77) to 10.10 (70) win on Saturday night broke the Blues’ 14-game losing streak against Hawthorn.

It is their first win over Hawthorn since round six, 2005 and means Carlton probably will not finish bottom with one round left.

There was plenty of niggle throughout the match, personified by Jed Lamb’s matchup on fiery Hawthorn utility James Sicily.

They clashed repeatedly and Lamb won their duel, kicking two goals, as Sicily gave away a whopping seven free kicks.

Carlton small forward Jarrod Pickett had a breakout game in his first AFL season, also kicking two goals and starring with his creative ball use

A number of results in the last two rounds had to go Hawthorn’s way if they were to make the eight.

The loss means they miss the finals for the first time since 2009.

The Blues took a leaf out of Hawthorn’s book in the last quarter, defending superbly and holding their nerve as the Hawks repeatedly went forward in the last few minutes.

Defender Sam Docherty starred again for the Blues and was best afield.

Liam Jones, a revelation this season since going back, took a crucial mark during the final quarter that denied the Hawks a certain goal.

The Blues led for most of the match and they also broke this season’s eight-game losing streak.

Hawthorn’s high-profile recruit Jaeger O’Meara made a low-key, but successful comeback from his well-publicised knee problems.

He had 17 possessions as fellow recruit Tom Mitchell starred again for the Hawks with a game-high 44 disposals.

Hawthorn lost vice-captain Liam Shiels before the match with a hip injury and Conor Glass took his place.

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