Dumped Carlton veteran Dale Thomas bounced back impressively on Sunday, notching 32 disposals in a dominant display for the Northern Blues.
Thomas was among the best afield, but his performance wasn't enough for the Blues, who lost by 41 points to Essendon in the VFL clash at Windy Hill, played before Carlton and Essendon's AFL clash at the MCG.
Thomas, 31, had been ruled out of AFL selection this week after drinking at a charity function less than 48 hours before Carlton's meeting with St Kilda in round 10.
The out-of-contract Collingwood premiership player's performance suggested he is prepared to fight for his AFL recall.
Brayden Ham kicked three goals for Essendon, while David Myers had 26 disposals. The match was also punctuated by a screamer from Bombers youngster Jordan Houlahan.
Carlton co-captain Sam Docherty explained why the club's leaders had suspended Thomas.
"Once we had all the information, we sat down as a leadership gRead More – Source