Crowd erupts at cult hero’s ‘magic’ moment

We’ve missed you, Eddie.

Playing his first AFL game of the season, Carlton veteran Eddie Betts wound back the clock with a vintage goal against the Fremantle Dockers on Sunday afternoon.

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Late in the second quarter at Marvel Stadium, Carlton forward Levi Casboult spilt a contested mark in front of the posts, with the footy falling between a few Fremantle defenders.

But Betts quickly retrieved the Sherrin, elegantly evaded his opponents with a spin and nailed the dribble goal on his non-preferred foot from a narrow angle.

The 34-year-old received a standing ovation from the crowd with chants of “Eddie, Eddie, Eddie” ringing around the venue as he celebrated with his ecstatic teammates.

Onya Eddie. @CarltonFC

It’s like your favourite artist playing their greatest hit long after their heyday

“Give the fans what they want,” North Melbourne legend David King said on Fox Footy.

“What an entertainer this guy is. He was never in doubt — he was always going to kick that.

“It’s like something out of Harry Potter when he gets the footy. We know there’s going to be magic, you’re not sure when it’s going to come from.”

Western Bulldogs great Brad Johnson responded: “Stand up and enjoy that one, because from where he comes from behind the contest, once he saw it bobble away, he pounced.

“It’s five (Fremantle defenders) vs Eddie … and Eddie wins.”

Sunday’s clash marked Betts’ 200th game for the Blues, coming 16 years after his AFL debut. He battled a calf injury during the off-season, and subsequently missed the opening two rounds of the 2021 premiership.

Earlier in the round three contest, Betts had another opportunity in front of goal seconds after the first bounce, but his attempt flew wide for a behind.

After a tightly-contested opening term, Carlton obliterated Fremantle in the second quarter, kicking four unanswered goals to race ahead on the scoreboard.

Carlton recorded the first 13 inside 50s of the second quarter, holding a 35-point lead at halftime.

Harry McKay of the Blues.Source:Getty Images

Harry McKay booted four of Carlton’s first seven majors — of the side’s first 20 inside 50 entries, he was the target on nine occasions.

“He is the dominant presence inside forward 50 … No one comes at the ball like Harry McKay,” King told Fox Footy.

“He’s thinking a big bag today … he’s eyeing 10.”

McKay finished the game with seven goals, five behinds and 17 disposals — no other player from either side managed more than two majors.

Carlton was also dealt an unfortunate injury blow, with recruit Zac Williams limping off the field in the first quarter with a leg injury.

The Blues ultimately secured a 16.13 (109) to 9.10 (64) victory, their first win of the season — it goes down as Fremantle’s heaviest defeat under Justin Longmuir.

Dockers veteran David Mundy was one of the few positives for Fremantle, the 35-year-old contributing a game-high and career-best 11 tackles.

Carlton will next face the Gold Coast Suns at Metricon Stadium and Fremantle will host the Hawthorn Hawks next Sunday.

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