Harry McKay left red-faced after baffling blunder in Carlton victory

Harry McKay dominated with four goals against the Kangaroos, and it should have been five were it not for a brutal error directly in front of goal.

Carlton forward Harry McKay's ill-fated shot on goal is seen left, with McKay reacting in exasperation on the right.
Carlton forward Harry McKay was left red-faced after bungling a wide-open shot on goal against North Melbourne. Pictures: Fox Footy/Getty Images

Carlton forward Harry McKay played a starring role in the Blues' Good Friday victory over North Melbourne, but the 25-year-old would no doubt want a do-over on his last shot on goal. Though the Blues registered a triumphant 16.11 (107) to 11.18 (84) win over the Kangaroos, McKay left his teammates and fans at home in stitches after a seemingly sure-fire goal was blown in spectacular fashion.

McKay kicked four goals in the 23-point victory, but he should have had four after catastrophically missing a point blank shot with just minutes left to play. Streaking into an open goal, McKay was pressured by Kangaroos defender Aiden Bonar into what will undoubtedly go down as one of the most comical misses of the 2023 AFL season.

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Hugging the boundary line, McKay looked for all money as though he would roost the ball high into the stands - however thanks to the pressure from Bonar he rushed the kick, sending it across the face of goal and out of bounds on the full.

It was an amusing moment for the Blues in what was otherwise an impressive win, kicking away from a dogged North Melbourne outfit in the third quarter. Six goals to one after the half-time break put the Blues in a commanding position, with the improving Kangaroos unable to stay in touch.

“Should kick another, doesn’t kick anything,” commentator Anthony Hudson noted. “Harry Hou-didn’t. That’s pretty hard actually. Just hit the middle part of the ball and it went straight.”

Not since their last premiership in 1995 have the Blues gotten off to a better start to a season, with their round one draw against Richmond the only blemish on their record after four games.

North Melbourne were left to rue their wayward kicking, finishing with 29 scoring shots to Carlton's 27, but their ability to hang in the contest showed they aren't sliding back into the AFL pretenders who won just two games last season. Star rookie Harry Sheezel dominated with 37 disposals, continuing his impressive campaign, while Jaidyn Stephenson and Cam Zurhaar booted three goals apiece.

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Blues coach Michael Voss laughed off the suggestion the 2021 best and fairest winner Sam Walsh could have a run in the VFL, joking "I think we'll fit him in". "He'll play next week," Voss said.

"It's a slightly different recovery process to most and that has got some important milestones to reach. He reached his last one Wednesday so that means he's available for selection next week, so he'll be right to go."

Matt Kennedy (calf), Blake Acres and Sam Durdin are also available to return. Carlton's victory was in front of a bumper crowd of 49,062 at Marvel Stadium, beating the previous Good Friday high of 48,278 in 2019.

Voss said Carlton were keen to stay in the fixture, which supports the Royal Children's Hospital Good Friday Appeal, alongside North Melbourne. Carlton's Mitch McGovern (corked thigh, tightness) required early treatment on his right thigh and was substituted out late but Voss wasn't concerned.

The Kangaroos stuck with the Blues until midway through the third quarter, despite missing Griffin Logue (suspension) and Ben McKay (foot), with Curnow and McKay monstering a defence led by Aidan Corr and Aiden Bonar.

Carlton players high-five fans as they walk off the ground.
The Blues gave fans plenty to smile about on Good Friday, keeping their unbeaten AFL record alive against North Melbourne. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images) (Getty Images)

"It was important that we put on a good show and we did for a fair patch of the game," coach Alastair Clarkson said.

"But those two big buggers for the Blues - we said prior to the game and everyone knew it, if we could try and limit the supply that those guys had then we'd be a chance.

"But the dam wall opened in the third quarter and we just couldn't stop the big fellas."

With AAP

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