Carlton have survived a huge fright at Princes Park to beat winless Richmond by five points in a rollercoaster AFLW clash.
Having not won a game since entering the competition last year, Richmond came in as rank outsiders but belied their underdog status to get the jump on the Blues, booting the first four goals to open up a 22-point lead in the second quarter.
After a huge spray from coach Daniel Harford, Carlton then asserted themselves on the contest with seven of the next eight majors to take a 14-point advantage into three-quarter time.
But Richmond refused to throw in the towel, cutting the margin to two points early in the final term.
After Nicola Stevens increased Carlton's lead back out to eight points at the eight-minute mark, the Tigers continued to press but were left agonisingly short of the match-winning goal.
The 8.3 (51) to 7.4 (46) result keeps the Blues in touch with the top six nearing the halfway mark of the season.
Richmond are still searching for their first AFLW victory, having lost all 10 of their matches so far.
The result might come at a cost for Carlton, though, with star on-baller Madison Prespakis sure to be scrutinised by the match review officer for her spear tackle on Richmond's Sarah Hosking in the second quarter, which forced the Tiger to undergo concussion testing. She was able to return to the game.
Richmond coach Ryan Ferguson viewed Hosking's departure from the game as "a pivotal moment" as Carlton capitalised to execute a six-goal turnaround and take the upper hand.
"It's important we follow protocols, so the AFL mandated that we get her tested, but we certainly missed her in that 15 minutes," Ferguson said.
"Obviously as our team grows we'll be able to cover that better and maybe Carlton just put the foot down a bit there for a little bit and did well to pounce."
His opposite number Harford did not think Prespakis had to worry about being potentially suspended.
"We saw that in the box and thought it was a tackle with momentum and there was nothing wrong with that ... so we were quite annoyed at the free kick," Harford said.
"Mads is a bull, she cops more than she gives unfortunately, we don't get a lot of support for her from the fraternity. But she's a physical player, she's a real grunt player and that's part of her make-up.
"That's why she's so good - she competes so physically and so hard and then can finish on the outside as well."
Prespakis was one of her team's most effective players, with 19 touches, five tackles and two crucial goals to kickstart the Blues into action after they were swamped at the start.
Carlton forward Darcy Vescio played her best game of the year, kicking all three of her goals in the third term when the game was still in the balance, while Monique Conti was outstanding for Richmond with 26 disposals (18 contested) and eight clearances.