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AFL Review Round 12 - Part II
Essendon, Collingwood and Geelong all claim wins.
Michael Clough (clough)     Print Article 
Published 2009-06-23 08:16 (KST)   
This article is lightly edited.  <Editor's Note>
Round 12 of the Australian Football League was completed over the weekend with the final three games of the mid-season split round.

However, the big AFL news of the past week was off-field with the sudden and unexpected resignation of Dean Laidley as coach of North Melbourne after six and a half seasons. Former North Melbourne premiership player Darren Crocker has taken over the reigns at the Kangaroos as an interim coach for the remainder of the season.

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Essendon Bombers 19.17.131 defeated Melbourne Demons 13.5 83

Essendon moved to eighth position on the AFL ladder after easily accounting for bottom placed Melbourne, the Bomber defeating the disappointing Demons by 48 points at Etihad Stadium on Friday night.

After being competitive for most of the season, this was the second consecutive game that the Demons have been on the wrong end of a hiding, which has left many AFL fans asking how much improvement Melbourne has made from their disastrous 2008 season.

Essendon got the jump on their opponents in the first quarter, quickly racing to the with the first three goals of the game and five of the first six to lead by 25 points after 20 minutes of play. Melbourne took their time but finally settle and with back-to-back goals cut the deficit to 12 points. A late goal to Matthew Lloyd, his third for the quarter from a defensive lapse from Aaron Davey, gave the Bombers a 19 point lead at quarter time.

Melbourne lifted in the second quarter to make a fist of the game. After both sides exchanged goals for the first 10 minutes of the term. Melbourne stormed back into contention with the next three goals including maiden AFL goals to rookies Liam Jurruh and last year's #1 draft pick Jack Watts which saw the Demons cut the gap to three points but Essendon steadied with the last two goals of the quarter to hold a 16 point lead at half time.

The third quarter belonged to Essendon, the Bombers putting the result beyond doubt with a punishing seven goal to one quarter. The goals were shared around with Scott Lucas, Alwyn Davey and Hayden Skipworth each kicking two goals for the term.

The game was all over as a contest at the final change with the Bombers 58 points ahead. Melbourne added some respectability to the scoreboard with the first four goals of the final quarter before Essendon kicked the last two goals of the game to Jobe Watson and Jason Winderlich.

Collingwood Magpies 13.11.89 defeated Sydney Swans 9.12.66

Collingwood moved into the top four and celebrated Mick Malthouse's 600th as an AFL coach in style with a fighting 23 point over Sydney in Saturday night's clash at Sydney's ANZ Stadium.

The win is the Magpies' seventh straight against the Swans who now have a 5-7 win/loss ratio and with their final hope already on the brink of collapse.

Alan Didak was sensational for the Magpies with 29 kicks, 5 handpasses and two goals and Dane Swan was one of Collingwood's best with 29 possessions. For Sydney, Ryan O'Keefe was outstanding in a losing cause wil 41 possessions and two goals and Brett Kirk led from the front with 41 possessions as well.

Collingwood got the early jump on the Swans with the first three goals of the game and the writing was already on the wall for Sydney but the Swans hit back with two of their own, both to Kieran Jack.

The Magpies led by 12 points at quarter time and again got the jump early in the second quarter with goals to Harry O'Brien and veteran Shane O'Bree. Despite Collingwood having the better of general play the Swans continued to stay within striking distance with the difference only 16 points in the Magpies favour at half time.

Barry Hall cut the deficit to ten points with the opening goal of the third term but that was quickly answered with Didak first goal of the night. Sydney was gaining the ascendancy in the third quarter and grabbed the lead late in the quarter after a run of three goals.

The game change momentum came shortly before three quarter time with Sydney's Ted Richards giving away a silly 50-metre penalty which resulted in a Collingwood goal to Swan which gave the Magpies a three point lead at the final change.

After Sydney missed some early chances the Magpies dominated the final quarter to finish off their opponents. Leon Davis kicked the opening goal of the term after nine minutes and after a tense 10 minutes kicked his second to give the visitors a 12 point buffer with Collingwood running away with the game from their with further goals to Didak and a third to Davis.

Geelong Cats 13.16.94 defeated Fremantle Dockers 11.9.75

Geelong remain undefeated but they were pushed all the way by a dogged Fremantle with the Cats scrapping home by 19 points at Subiaco.

Shannon Byrnes was the surprise hero for the Cats and ultimately the difference between the two sides with five goals for the game and Paul Chapman was Geelong leading possession winner with 31 possessions. Fremantle captain Matthew Pavlich was one of his side's best and was their only multiple goalscorer with two and 31 possessions while Aaron Sandilands was important in the ruck with 37 hit-outs.

The Dockers surprised Geelong in a low scoring opening quarter with the opening two goals of the contest to Sandilands and Pavlich. The Cats took 26 minutes to record their first and only goal of the quarter with the home side holding a seven point lead at the first change.

Geelong started to break free of their shackles in the second quarter as the took the lead with goals to Corey Enright and Tom Hawkins but the Dockers regained the led shortly after thanks to a goal from the rookie Michael Walters. Geelong though were starting to wear down their opponents and with three of the last four goals of the held a 13 point advantage at half time.

Geelong led by as much as 25 points in the third quarter and were threatening to take control of the game until the home side lifted a gear to level the scores at three quarter time with four unanswered goals to round out the quarter.

With the game still very much on the line it was the Cats that made the vital early breakthroughs through Steve Johnson. Garrick Ibbotson pulled one back for the Dockers only for that goal to be quickly answered by Brynes with his fourth goal. When Pavlich kicked his second after 19-minutes the home side trailed by seven points but the extra class of Geelong would shine through in the closing stages of the game with late goals to Byrnes and Chapman.
©2009 OhmyNews
Other articles by reporter Michael Clough

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