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AFL Review Round 17
Heartbreak for Hawthorn after Geelong's last gasp win
Michael Clough (clough)     Print Article 
Published 2009-08-03 18:07 (KST)   
Round 17 of the Australian Football League carried the theme of "Rivalry Round" with bitter rivals both new and old up against each other. The battle for spots in the top eight continues to heat up but there was no major movement in the battle for seventh and eighth with the teams fighting for those spots, Carlton, Essendon, Hawthorn and Port Adelaide all losing.

Collingwood Magpies 14.10.94 defeated Carlton Blues 4.16.40

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Collingwood entrenched itself in the top four while at the same time ending Carlton's hopes of a top four finish with the Magpies handing the Blues a 54 point pounding in Friday night's game at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

The Magpies put the previous week's loss to Hawthorn behind them with a clinical display that proved to be class above an extremely lacklustre Blues who in many ways were their own worst enemy with an atrocious return of only four goals with 16 behinds.

Collingwood laid the foundation of their win in the first quarter, a quarter during which they did a bulk of their damage kicking five goals. It took nearly nine minutes for the Magpies to kick the opening goal through Jaxson Barham but that opened the floodgates with Dale adding a second moments later. Eddie Betts kicked the Blues first and only of the quarter in the 15th minute but this was only a momentary blip as the Magpies piled on another three goals to hold a 23 point lead at quarter time.

The second and third quarter were scrappy with both sides playing far from their best football with the Blues only managing one goal in each of the two quarters while Collingwood could only add three themselves in that time.

Collingwood led by 25 points at three quarter time but the Magpies had no interest in letting the Blues back into the game. Goals to Alan Didak, Alan Toovey and Leon Davis put the result beyond any doubt.

Geelong Cats 15.9.99 defeated Hawthorn Hawks 14.14.98

Geelong produced one of its most memorable regular season wins in a number of years with the Cats claiming a comeback win against Hawthorn, their conqueror in last year's Grand Final.

It took until the final kick of the game, after the siren for the Cats to claim the win. In the frantic final seconds with the scores level and the ball inside Geelong's forward 50 meters, Joel Corey weaved through heavy traffic with his kick finding Jimmy Bartel who safely took the mark in the pocket seconds before the final siren. With any score enough to win the game, Bartel's shot went wide but safely through for a behind.

It was a remarkable comeback from the Cats who looked out of contention after a Brent Guerra goal gave the Hawks a 28 point lead early in the final quarter. Not only were the Cats nearly five goals down but they were also without two of their key defenders Matthew Scarlett and Harry Taylor who were injured.

Simon Hogan kick-started the Cats revival in the fourth minute and quick goals to Travis Varcoe and Corey saw Geelong back in the game with plenty of time to spare. Hawthorn missed the chance to regain the initiative with three straight behinds and when Mathew Stokes kicked a goal in the 18th minute the difference was only a goal.

Hawthorn's run of behinds continued when Josh Kennedy missed a shot in the 21st minute and minutes later it was only a point the difference after a Max Rooke goal. Bartel then leveled the scores with a behind from a snap shot on goal.

Hawthorn had a late chance to regain the lead when Kennedy found himself in space about 45 meters from goal but instead of having a shot himself elected to hand-pass to Lance Franklin who was met by a wall of hungry Geelong defenders.

Fremantle Dockers 10.11.71 defeated West Coast Eagles 8.18.66

Fremantle climbed off the bottom of the AFL ladder in the second nail-biter on Saturday with Fremantle claiming a dramatic five point win over West Coast in the Western Australian derby at Subiaco.

The game was close for the most part with no more than a few goals separating the two teams throughout the game but the never reached any great heights as a spectacle, the error-riddled display showing why both sides sit at the foot of the ladder.

The defining moment in the final minute of the game with the Eagles in a desperate search for the match winning goals, were clearing the ball from defence. Just as Shannon Hurn was about to send the Eagles forward, young Dockers rookie Greg Broughton made a desperate smother which helped secure victory for Fremantle.

Only one point in the Dockers favour separated the two sides at three quarter time but West Coast had the early running in the final quarter and when Mark LeCras kicked the opening goal of the term West Coast held a seven point lead. Clancee Pearce cut the margin back down to a point in the ninth minute with both sides exchanging behind the game started to become more tense.

Fremantle would break the game open with quick goals to Jay van Berlo and Tim Ruffles from the pocket which put the Dockers 12 points clear. West Coast though would not lie down and with a minute to go Ashley Hansen made the difference less than goal but ultimately it proved not to be enough.

Brisbane Lions 17.14.116 defeated North Melbourne Kangaroos 11.9.75

Brisbane overcame a dogged North Melbourne outfit to record a comfortable 41 point win at the Gabba on Saturday night that keeps the Lions hopes of of a top four finish well and truly alive.

The Lions shook off a persistent Kangaroos after half time, the home side kicking 10 goals to six in the second half to overpower North Melbourne. Captain Jonathon Brown was the star for the Lions kicking eight goals for the night.

North Melbourne looked good early and an upset was on the cards when the Kangaroos had three of the first four goals of the game as the raced to a 12 point lead midway through the opening term. Brisbane though would finish the opening goal in a flurry with a run of four goals including two to Brown the Lions held a 12 point lead themselves a quarter time.

Brisbane lead by as much as 20 points early in the second term but the Kangaroos kept themselves in reach with two quick goals to Corey Jones and Todd Goldstein. But the Lions with a late goal to Jack Redden were 16 points ahead at the main change.

Brisbane kicked away in the third quarter, the home side kicking seven goals to three with Brown the chief destroyer with four goals for the term which all but ended the Kangaroos hopes of victory with the Lions leading by 39 points at three quarter time.

St. Kilda Saints 16.10.106 defeated Western Bulldogs 9.7.61

St. Kilda has disposed of another highly ranked opponent with the third placed Western Bulldogs handed a 45 point thrashing in Saturday night's clash at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne.

The Bulldogs never looked in the hunt, particularly after quarter time with the Saints pressure again at the fore with the Bulldogs never able to get the running game, which is their strength, close to its best.

Stephen Milne and Nick Riewoldt were St. Kilda's chief goalscorers with five goals each, while Mitch Hahn and Callan Ward were the Bulldogs only multiple goalscorers with two each.

The Bulldogs made a reasonable start to the contest with two of the first three goals of the game to hold an early lead but from there the remainder of the first half belonged to the Saints.

St. Kilda held a 13 point lead at quarter time, a margin that was extended to 25 points in the early minutes of the second quarter thanks to two goals from Milne. Robert Murphy pegged on back for the Bulldogs but this failed to slow the Saints down who at half time were 31 points ahead.

The Bulldogs, after a fierce spray from coach Rodney Eade came out a far more focused and committed side in the third quarter. The Bulldogs' pressure at their opponent was forcing mistakes by the Saints, a rare sight this year and with three goals to one for the term the Bulldogs were back in the hunt and only 18 points down with a quarter to play.

The Bulldogs dealt their chances a major blow at the start of the final term. after being caught with 19 players on the field (for reader unfamiliar with Aussie Rules, only 18 player per side and be on the field). Riewoldt made no mistake with the resulting free kick, St. Kilda making the most of this gift by burying the Bulldogs in the final term, the Saints kicking six goals to two.

Sydney Swans 10.8.68 defeated Melbourne Demons 6.14.50

Melbourne slipped back to last place on the AFL ladder after suffering an 18 point defeat at the hands of Sydney in Sunday's match at Manuka Oval in Canberra.

In cold conditions the match never reach any great heights with the Swans grabbing the lead early and then managing to keep the Demons at arms length for the remainder of the afternoon.

Darren Jolly was the best on ground against his former club with the Swans ruckman collecting 26 hit-outs and kicking three goals.

The match threatened to become a blowout early as the Swans dominated the early passages of play and had three goals of the board to race to the early lead. Melbourne rarely looked like they would trouble the scorers and it took the Demons 24 minutes to record their first and only goal of the opening term to Brent Moloney.

Melbourne could only manage the one goal again in the second quarter with Sydney still in control of the game. The Swans led by 24 points at half time but the Demons had the better of play in the third term to keep themselves in the contest. Melbourne had plenty of scoring chances but couldn't make them count with the Demons scoring 2.5 for the quarter while Sydney could only mange the one scoring shot, a goal to Jesse White.

Holding a 13 point lead at the final change, the Swans kicked clear again early in the last quarter with two early goals to Jolly and Jarrad McVeigh ending the Demons' hopes.

Richmond Tigers 15.11.101 defeated Essendon Bombers 14.12.96

Essendon have blown a major opportunity to cement their spot inside the top eight after suffering a shocking 5 point defeat at the hands of Richmond at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday.

Despite the loss the Bombers hold onto eighth spots after Hawthorn and Port Adelaide, who are equal with the Bombers with eight wins also suffered losses on the weekend.

Essendon made the perfect start to the game with Scott Lucas taking only 30 seconds to register the first goal of the game but from there the Tigers had the better of the opening term and kicked three of the next four goals to hold a slender three point lead at quarter time.

Essendon regained the lead early in the second quarter thanks to a Jason Winderlich goal but the next 20 minutes was dominated by Richmond. The Tigers slammed home the next five goals of the game to move 29 points clear but late goals shortly before the half time siren to Paddy Ryder and Adam McPhee had narrowed the gap to 16 points at the main change.

Essendon stormed back into contention with the opening two goals of the third term to cut the Bombers deficit down to three points. Richmond replied through Daniel Jackson but the momentum was with Essendon who went on a three goal run and grabbed the lead. Just as Essendon looked like the might run away with the game Richmond hit back with three of their own and at three quarter time the Tiger lead by 12 points.

Richmond looked home midway through the final term when they led by 22 points but the Bombers were coming home with a wet sail and posted the last three goals of the game but despite their efforts failed to find that elusive fourth to win the game.

Adelaide Crows 19.18.132 defeated Port Adelaide Power 9.8.62

Adelaide is back in the winners circle after, the Crows having few troubles in thrashing their local rival Port Adelaide by 70 points at AAMI.

Not only do the Crows get bragging rights in the "City of Churches" they also keep their campaign for a top four finish very much alive with Adelaide equal with Collingwood, Brisbane and the Western Bulldogs with 11 wins.

Another positive for the Crows was the welcome return to form of Brett Burton with the high flying forward in his second game back from a knee reconstruction showing he had lost none of his spark kicking four goals.

The Power had the better of the early exchanges and got the jump on the Crows with the first two goals of the game through Robbie Grey and Danyle Pearce. Grey was proving to be a livewire for Port Adelaide with three first quarter goals and his efforts helped the Power hold a seven point lead at the first change.

The second quarter though belonged to the Crows, who ripped the game open with a stunning display. The Crows slammed home seven goals for the quarter while keeping the Power down to four behinds and by half time Adelaide had a stranglehold on the match with a 33 point lead.

Port Adelaide managed to limit the damage in the third term with the Power holding firm, helped in part to some inaccurate kicking at goal by the Crows but Adelaide resumed their total domination in the final quarter. The Crows rubbed salt into the Powers wounds in the final term, kicking a further seven goals while Port Adelaide could only add another one.

©2009 OhmyNews
Other articles by reporter Michael Clough

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