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AFL Review Round 14
St. Kilda defeats Geelong, Hawthorn crash to worst loss of the season
Michael Clough (clough)     Print Article 
Published 2009-07-07 14:06 (KST)   
St. Kilda remains as the only unbeaten side after Round 14 of the Australian Football League after they recorded a thrilling win against the previously undefeated Geelong. While it is all smiles for the Saints the same can't be said for reigning premier Hawthorn whose title defense has fallen into further disarray after an embarrassing loss to the Western Bulldogs.

Collingwood Magpies 15.12.102 defeated Essendon Magpies 9.13.67

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Collingwood has won its sixth match in succession after a powerful 35 point win over arch-rival Essendon in the opening game of Round 14 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

In front over 77,000 spectators on Friday night, the Magpies weathered a slow start to dominate the final three quarters to remain in fourth spot on the AFL ladder.

The Magpies had winners all across the ground with Josh Fraser outstanding in the ruck with 35 hit-outs and 23 possessions. Travis Cloke continued his welcome return to form with four goals and Alan Didak was another of Collingwood's best with 36 possessions.

Essendon started the game well and clearly had the better players for the first 20 minutes of the opening quarter but failed to convert their good play on the scoreboard. It took 11 minutes for the Bombers to open their account thanks to Scott Lucas. Dale Thomas quickly replied for the Magpies but Essendon kicked clear again in the 16th minute with Alwyn Davey kicking a contender for goal of the year with a beautiful snap from the pocket.

The Magpies trailed by three points at quarter time but started to flex their muscles in the second term. Collingwood managed to put a halt to the Bombers running game while physically imposing themselves on the young Essendon outfit. The game remained tight for the first 10 minutes of the second quarter until a Dane Swan goal broke the game open. The Magpies slammed home further five unanswered goals before half time to take a 34 point lead to the main change.

That burst would prove the key difference between the two clubs with both sides kicking three goals in both the third and fourth quarters although Collingwood still had the better of general play and the Bombers were unable to make any significant inroads into their deficit.

Melbourne Demons 17.10.112 defeated West Coast Eagles 13.14.92

Melbourne broke through for only their second win of the season after triumphing over West Coast with a 20 point win at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Saturday afternoon.

It had been an emotionally charged week for the Demons with the news that club legend and current president Jim Stynes had been diagnosed with cancer on top of embarrassing performances over the previous three weeks.

Melbourne though turned these negatives into one big positive producing one of their best performances in recent times.

The first quarter was a tight, high scoring and sometimes fiery affair with the Demons gaining the upper hand late in the quarter. West Coast held a five point lead heading into the time-on period of the quarter but the home team grabbed a seven point lead at the first change thanks to goals from Russell Robertson and Matthew Bate.

The Eagles responded with the opening two goals of the second off the boot of Josh Kennedy and veteran David Wirrpanda but the Demons struck back in style with the next five goals of the contest in a 10 minute burst to race to a 24 point lead. A late goal to Chris Masten narrowed the Eagles deficit to 18 points at half time.

Melbourne skipped clear with goals to Stefan Martin and Robertson to start the third quarter but West Coast hit back with goals to Mark LeCras and Kennedy to stay in the hunt. Melbourne though was looking the better of the two sides and at three quarter time still led by 24 points.

The final quarter was a low scoring affair with West Coast unable to cut into Melbourne's lead, the Eagles had only two goals while the Demons' only goal of the term came late from the boot of Robertson.

Port Adelaide Power 19.14.128 defeated Brisbane Lions 11.14.80

Port Adelaide have kept their finals hopes alive with an upset 48 win over Brisbane at AAMI Stadium in Adelaide on Saturday afternoon.

The win was the Power's seventh for the season but they still find themselves outside of the top 8 in ninth position due to their inferior percentage compared to Carlton and Essendon who are also on seven wins.

Port Adelaide held sway for most of the tightly fought opening three quarters of the game and finally kicked away in a final quarter display to record a much deserved victory.

Justin Westoff got the home side off the perfect start with two goals in the opening five minutes of the game to give his side the early advantage but the Lions would score two of their own through Rhan Hooper and Daniel Bradshaw to hold a four point lead at the first change.

The Power started to kick clear with the first four goals of the second quarter but again Brisbane responded to kick three goals in as many minutes including two by Jonathon Brown to cut the margin down to a point. Port Adelaide would again seize the momentum of the game before the main break, finishing the first half strongly with four of the last five goals to lead by 20 points at half time.

The margin was still 20 points late in the third quarter but the Lions set themselves up nicely for a final quarter assault with late goals to Daniel Rich and Albert Proud to make the difference seven points with a quarter to play.

This would be as close as the Lions would get with the last quarter dominated by Port Adelaide, the home side slamming home six goals for the term while Brisbane could only manage three behinds.

Adelaide Crows 15.12.102 defeated Richmond Tigers 13.7.85

Adelaide have won their sixth game on the trot with a hard fought 17 point win over Richmond on Saturday night.

The match played at Carrara on Queensland's Gold Coast will be the last played at the venue before a scheduled redevelopment in preparation for the AFL's new Gold Coast franchise in 2011.

Kurt Tippett, a Gold Coast native and a rumored target for the new franchise made a successful trip back to his home town and was one of the Crows best with five goals for the game.

The Crows made their decisive move early as they made a brilliant start to the game with the first five goals of the game. Already on the backfoot Richmond managed to steady the situation late in the quarter with two goals of their own from Tom Hislop and Robin Nahas but the Tigers still trailed by 20 points at quarter time.

After such a poor start, the Tigers lifted their work-rate in the second quarter but they were still a class below the Crows. Adelaide extended their lead to 27 points at half time, a lead that would be pushed out to 39 points early in the third quarter after goals to Jason Porplyzia and Scott Stevens.

Adelaide held a convincing 40 point lead at three quarter time but Richmond rallied in the final quarter, outscoring the Crows five goals to one for the quarter to add some respectability to scoreboard.

Western Bulldogs 19.19.133 defeated Hawthorn Hawks 6.9.45

Hawthorn's premiership defense is close to being all but over after the reigning premier was pounded into submission by a new contender with the Western Bulldogs stunning the football world with a 88 point annihilation at Etihad Stadium on Saturday night.

The performance, especially in the first half was one of the most dominant and ruthless in the Bulldogs history and it was a stark illustration of how far the Hawks have slipped since the highs of last year.

Hawthorn was never in the hunt as the Bulldogs, keen to show that they are legitimate challengers to Geelong and St. Kilda for the premiership went on a devastating first quarter blitz. The Bulldogs slammed home nine goals to quarter time with keeping the Hawks to only two behinds to effectively have the game won by the first change.

Things would improve little for the Hawks in the second quarter as everything they touched seemed to turn to mud. Hawthorn was held goalless in the first half while the Bulldogs made managed 13 in the same period to lead to lead by a remarkable 84 points at half time.

Hawthorn finally ended their drought in the sixth minute of the third quarter with Jarryd Roughead kicking the Hawks first goal. The third term was a much better effort from the Hawks who at least managed to limit some of the damage by outscoring the Bulldogs four goals to two for the quarter. But the Bulldogs refused to let up in the final quarter, adding a further five goals to their tally while Hawthorn could only add another two.

Sydney Swans 15.10.100 defeated North Melbourne Kangaroos 13.7.85

Sydney kept the finals hopes alive after proving too good in the final quarter to record a 15 point win over North Melbourne at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Sunday.

Little separated the two sides for much of the afternoon with the Swans not securing the win until late into the final term.

After trailing by only a point at quarter time, North Melbourne made a strong start to the second with early goals to Corey Jones and Leigh Harding only for Ed Barlow to reply with two of his own for the Swans. The Kangaroos looked set to go into half time with a handy lead after a run of three straight goals, two coming from Jones but a mixture of concentration lapses from North Melbourne and so good determined football from the Swans saw the home side kick two goals in the final minutes before half time to see the Kangaroos lead by only five points at the main change.

Lewis Roberts-Thompson gave Sydney the lead in the opening minute of the third quarter but the Kangaroos regained the ascendancy with goals to Lachie Hansen and Andrew Swallow. Sydney was starting to build momentum and with the final three goals of the quarter with the lead by seven points at the final change.

North Melbourne grabbed back the lead with the first two goals of the final term to Michael Firrito and Ben Ross only to hand the advantage back to Sydney who replied with two of their own. Hansen with his second, cut the Kangaroos deficit to a point but Sydney would run out the games as the stronger of the two sides, finally shaking off the dogged Roos with late goals to Craig Bird and the sealer from veteran Michael O'Loughlin.

St. Kilda Saints 14.7.91 defeated Geelong Cats 13.7.85

The match had been promoted as the heavyweight title of the home-and-away season and match between the competition's two undefeated sides lived up hype with St. Kilda now sitting a game clear on top of the AFL as the only remaining side with a perfect record after their thrilling six point win over Geelong at Etihad Stadium on Sunday.

The capacity crowd of 54,000 witness one of the games of the season with St. Kilda ruckman Michael Gardiner proving the hero for the Saints with the match-winning goal in the final minute of play.

St. Kilda were determined to make a statement of intent early and a big statement it was as the Saints stunned Geelong with blistering opening 20-minutes which saw them compile five straight goals. The Saints were running the Cats off their feet and were applying tremendous pressure but seemingly against the run of play, Geelong managed to peg back two late goals to trail by only 17 points at quarter time.

St. Kilda again kicked clear with the first two goals of the second quarter to Nick Riewoldt and Andrew McQualter but the Cats were starting to lift and kept coming at the Saints, Geelong kicked three of the last four goals of the quarter and at half time the difference was 17 points as it had been at the first change.

Geelong stormed into contention with a strong start to the third quarter and with three of the first four goals of the quarter had cut St. Kilda's lead down to three points. A late goal to Riewoldt gave the Saints a 10 point lead at three quarter time.

St. Kilda increased their lead further with the first two goals of the fourth quarter but the Cats refused to back down and again cut the margin back to under a goal with majors to MaxRooke, Paul Chapman and Cameron Mooney. Stephen Milne gave the Saints back a nine point lead in the 20th minute but Geelong managed to level the scores with goals to Darren Milburn and Mathew Stokes.

With the game heading for a draw, Gardiner turned match winner, taking a huge pack mark deep inside the Saints forward 50 meters and kicked truly to give his side a thrilling win

Carlton Blues 16.19.115 defeated Fremantle Dockers 15.10.100

Carlton recovered from a dire start to run over the top of Fremantle to record a 15 point win at Subiaco in the final game of the weekend.

Having trailed for most of the game, the Blues finally grabbed the lead early in the last quarter, proving too good over a tiring Fremantle to record a win that looked unlikely at quarter time.

Carlton had been truly abysmal in the first quarter and quickly found themselves 28 points down at the first change. The Dockers were playing some of their best football of the year and totally dominated possession, so much so that Carlton could only manage two possessions themselves in the first six minutes of the game. Fremantle were also dominating in the air with Luke McPharlin looking particularly dangerous, the home side kicked six goals to one for the quarter and looked to have got under their opponents skin with the Blues giving away a number of free kicks and 50 meter penalties.

Des Headland kicked the Docker seventh just after quarter time but Carlton started to find their feet in the second quarter and stormed back into contention with six of the next seven goals to cut the margin back down to two points late in the quarter. Fremantle managed a late steadying goal shortly before half time to Hayden Ballantyne to give the home side an 11 point buffer at the main change.

While Fremantle outscored Carlton four goals to two in the third quarter, Carlton had the better in general play but were unable to convert dominance in the middle onto the scoreboard. By three quarter time with a 18 point deficit Carlton looked like they had run out of chances.

Carlton though wasted little time ion the final quarter hauling in the Dockers. Goals to Brendan Fevola, Andrew Carrazzo and Bryce Gibbs in the opening five minutes gave the Blues the lead with the visitors consolidating their advantage with a second to Carrazzo. A goal to David Mundy in the 22nd minute kept the Dockers in the hunt but Carlton would soon dash the home teams hopes with a further three goals to Matthew Kreuzer, Setanta O'hAilpin and Chris Johnson.

©2009 OhmyNews
Other articles by reporter Michael Clough

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