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AFL Review Round 8
Richmond, Melbourne and West Coast narrowly miss out on shock wins
Michael Clough (clough)     Print Article 
Published 2009-05-19 10:03 (KST)   
Round 8 of the Australian Football League featured many close matches with cellar-dwellers Melbourne and Richmond falling just short of surprise wins with Sydney and West Coast, the two sides that have produced some of the more memorable games of the decade playing out another thrilling finish.

Hawthorn Hawks 13.9.87 defeated Fremantle Dockers 9.11.65

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Fremantle's three game winning streak has come to an end with the Dockers on the wrong end of a 22 point defeat at the hands of Hawthorn in the opening game of Round 8 at Subiaco on Friday night.

A second quarter burst was enough to give the Hawks victory, a run of five straight goals for half time giving the visitors a 30 point lead at half time which would prove to be enough despite Fremantle's valiant efforts in the second half.

Both captains were among the best for their respective sides with Fremantle's Matthew Pavlich playing a midfield role and collecting 30 possessions for his troubles while Hawthorn's Sam Mitchell was outstanding with 34 possessions and 10 marks.

Lance Franklin was the game's lead goalscorer with four goals but his battle with Chris Tarrant proved to be one of the games highlights

Staring down the barrel of defeat the Dockers lifted after half time but couldn't make their hard work count on the scoreboard in an entertaining third quarter. Despite sending the ball into the forward 50-metres nearly twice as much as their opponents Fremantle could only outscore the Hawks four goals to three to trail by 22 points at three quarter.

Early final term goals were imperative for the Dockers and they pegged one back after only 90 second thanks to a long bomb from Pavlich. The home side would continue to press their opponents but without success with a number of opportunities going begging. Goals to Jarryd Roughead and Franklin midway through the final quarter put the result beyond doubt, giving the Hawks a hard earned victory.

Geelong Cats 18.11.119 defeated North Melbourne Kangaroos 7.7.49

Geelong's merry march has continued with the Cats keeping their unbeaten record alive with a comfortable 70 point win over North Melbourne at Geelong's Skilled Stadium on Saturday.

The Kangaroos may well be struggling this year but that does little to take away from an extremely impressive Geelong who were back at their best, the Cats having victory all but secured by half time.

Geelong in typical style, shared the ball around collecting a whopping 468 team possessions with James Kelly (37 possessions), Jimmy Bartel (34 possessions), Joel Selwood (31 possessions) and Steve Johnson (31 possessions, four goals) among the Cats chief ball winners.

The only downsides for the Cats are the ankle injury to veteran defender Darren Milburn and Cam Mooney who faces a one week suspension for striking.

Kicking against the wind in the opening term mattered little to the home side who already had North on the ropes by the first change, kicking five goals to one to lead by 25 points. The Cats would bury the Kangaroos early in the second term, pushing the margin out to 58-points after kicking the first five goals of the quarter before North Melbourne finally ended their drought with a goal to Lindsay Thomas after 20-minutes.

Geelong led by 56 points at half time and North Melbourne at least managed to be competitive in the second half. Both sides managed three goals in the third quarter before the Cats again started to run away in the final term with the home side adding three goals to North Melbourne's one.

Western Bulldogs 15.14.104 defeated Melbourne Demons 15.7.97

Melbourne fell agonisingly short of pulling off one of the upsets of the season with the bottom of the ladder Demons going down to the Western Bulldogs by seven points in Saturday's clash at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

A vintage performance from Jason Akermanis proved to be the difference between the two sides, the 299-game veteran collecting 19 possessions and kicking four goals.

Melbourne started the game strongly with four of the first five goals of the game to take an early 15 point lead. With an 11 point lead at quarter time the Demons wasted little time in increasing their advantage with goals to Matthew Bate and Nathan Jones in the opening five minutes of the term stretching the lead out to 22 points. From there the Bulldogs slowly started to claw their way back into the contest with Akermanis leading the Doggies fightback with three goals of his own in the second quarter.

The Bulldogs grabbed the lead late in the second quarter thanks to a Dylan Addison goal in the 28th minute but Melbourne made sure they would go into the main break with their noses in front with Bate kicking his third shortly before the half time siren with the Demons three points ahead.

While Russell Robertson kicked the opening goals of the second half for the Demons, the third quarter would belong to the Bulldogs who kicked the next three goals before three quarter time to hold a 12 point lead with a quarter to play.

Despite leading by 21 points early in the final term, the Bulldogs just couldn't shake off the dogged Demons who kept their hopes alive with goals to Addam Maric and Aaron Davey. The Bulldogs looked home heading into time-on following back-to-back goals from Matthew Boyd and Scott Welsh but Melbourne again breathed some life into the contest with late goals to Shane Valenti and Bate but it would prove to be too little, too late for the Demons.

Brisbane Lions 18.11.119 defeated Adelaide Crows 12.11.83

Brisbane are knocking on the door of a top four spot on the AFL ladder after running over the top of Adelaide to record a 36 point win in Saturday night's match at the Gabba in Brisbane.

Five goals in the second half to veteran Lions full forward Daniel Bradshaw proved the difference between the two sides, Bradshaw in the process surpassing Alistair Lynch as Brisbane's all-time leading goalscorer.

It was Adelaide who had the better of play in the first half and raced to a 19 point lead late in the opening term before Albert Proud pegged one back for the Lions to reduce the margin to 13 points at quarter time.

Adelaide burst out of the blocks early in the second quarter with quick goals to David MacKay Jason Porplyzia to move 25 points clear but these would be the last goals the Crows would kick before half time as the Lions slowly edged their way back into the contest, the home side kicking the last three goals of the second quarter to trail by 10 points at half time.

Brisbane grabbed the lead early in the third quarter on the back of goals to Bradshaw and Justin Sherman but the Crows restored parity with two of their own to Brent Reilly and Patrick Dangerfield.

Bradshaw though would make the game Brisbane's with a three goal burst in the middle of third term as the Lions seized back the lead. Further goals to Proud and Mitch Clark had the home in control at the final change with the Lions 22 points ahead.

Adelaide were never in the hunt in the final quarter, the Lions asserting their dominance in the second half with five goals to three in the final quarter with two of the Crows goals coming late in the piece.

Sydney Swans 16.10.106 defeated West Coast Eagles 15.11.101

The most intriguing rivalry of the decade has produce another thrilling encounter with Sydney holding on for a five point win over West Coast in a nail-biter at Sydney's ANZ Stadium on Saturday night.

The Swans led for most of the night, despite narrowly throughout but looked like they might be overrun when the Eagles claimed the lead for the first time late in the fourth quarter before Kieran Jack kicked the match-winner for the Swans.

Barry Hall made a welcome return to form for the Swans with five goals while Adam Goodes was at his dependable best with 26 possessions and three goals. For the Eagles young forward Josh Kennedy was a constant threat with 16 possessions, 11 marks and three goals and Andrew Embley also solid with 22 possessions.

Sydney burst out of the blocks in the opening quarter with the first three goals of the game. The Swans led by as much as 18 points late in the first term before West Coast went to quarter time with momentum on their side thanks to goals to Adam Cockie and Kennedy to trail by only six points.

Again Sydney started the second quarter the better of the two sides with two quick goals but once again the kept themselves within striking distance with the remaining two goals before half time with the difference only four points at the main change.

Sydney started to kick clear in the third quarter, the home side moving out to a 19 point lead after 15-minutes of play on the back of a four goal to one run at the start of the quarter. Still West Coast doggedly hung on and narrowed the gap back down to seven points late in the quarter before goals to Hall and Michael O'Loughlin restored the Swans 19 point buffer at three quarter time.

Goals to Dean Cox and Brett Jones had the Eagles back to within a goal early in the final quarter before Hall steadied the Swans with his fifth goal but the Eagles surged once more, grabbing the lead with goals to Ben McKinley and Scott Selwood before Jack put the home side back in front win the deciding goal of the game.

Port Adelaide Power 14.18.102 defeated Richmond Tigers 15.9.99

Port Adelaide survived a massive scare and now sit third on the AFL ladder after a last gasp win over Richmond at AAMI Stadium on Sunday.

The Power looked to be heading for a shock defeat, trailing by as much as 16 points in the fourth quarter before rallying late with two late goals with Warren Tredrea kicking the winning goals with less than a minute left on the clock.

Tredrea was outstanding for Port Adelaide with the veteran forward booting home seven goals for the game in a best on ground display with Robin Nahas the Tigers chief scorer with five goals.

After a tight opening quarter which saw the home side lead by nine points at the first change, Port Adelaide started to edge in front in the second quarter on the scoreboard despite Richmond having the better of general play. The Tigers were winning more of the clearances and got the ball inside the forward zone often enough but for all their hard work could only add the solitary goal for the quarter while conceding two to the Power who had extended their lead to 18 points at half time.

Richmond looked to be in all sorts of trouble after Port Adelaide kicked the first two goals of the third quarter to captain Dominic Cassisi and Tredrea. Richmond then launched a stunning fightback to kick seven of the next eight goals with Nathan Brown putting the visitors in front with his second goal shortly before three quarter time.

Both sides missed chances early in the final term before Mitch Morton finally broke the ice for Richmond in the 11th minute with Trent Cotchin adding another one for the Tigers shortly after. With Richmond threatening to run away with the game Port Adelaide responded with two of their own to Travis Boak and Chad Cornes and again make the margin less than a kick.

Nahas then gave the Tigers some extra breathing room with his fifth goal after 25-minutes but with the home crowd behind them the Power lifted again, the home side kicking a quick clearance with Daniel Motlop bring the margin back to three points before Tredrea kicked the match-winner for the Power.

Carlton Blues 16.8.104 defeated Collingwood Magpies 7.11.53

Carlton have snapped a two game losing streak with a convincing 51 point win over arch rivals Collingwood in front of over 82,000 spectators at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday.

A severely undermanned Collingwood was never in the hunt with a slick Carlton jumping to an early lead to have the game safely in their keeping by half time.

For Carlton, captain Chris Judd was outstanding with 32 possessions, Bryce Gibbs was important with 25 possession as was Jarrad Waite who was a key player early and finished with three goals. For Collingwood, Scott Pendlebury was one of the few Magpies to have any significant impact with the young midfielder.

Waite was on fire early for the Blues, kicking the first two goals of the game to give Carlton the jump on their opponents. The Blues dominated the first quarter, a quarter in which they laid the foundations of their victory, kicking five goals to nil to lead by 27 points at quarter time.

Like it had the previous round against St. Kilda the Magpies forward line looked anemic with poor delivery into the forward line and no forward stepping up to make an impact on the contest. It took Collingwood until the 15-minute mark of the second to record their first and only goal of the first half through Ben Reid.

Despite an improved performance in the second quarter the Magpies still trailed by 32 points at half time and the situation did not improve after the break with Carlton opening the third quarter with goals to Shaun Hampson and Judd to extinguish what faint hopes the Magpies had.

Carlton led by as much as 63 points midway through the final quarter with Eddie Betts providing a late highlight reel with three goals in the final quarter.

St. Kilda 13.12.90 defeated Essendon Bombers 10.11.71

St. Kilda remain undefeated and on top of the AFL ladder following their hard fought 19 point win over Essendon in the final match of the round at Etihad Stadium.

After jumping a sluggish Bombers in the first quarter the Saints were never headed but constantly had Essendon nipping at their heels for what has been one of St. Kilda's toughest challenges thus far.

After Essendon kicked the opening goal of the game off the boot of Jay Neagle, the Saints skipped with a game defining six goal burst. The Saints were on fire across the ground and there was a feeling that another big win was on the cards as they led by 28 points as quarter time but the Bombers lifted to give the Saints a dogged fight.

Essendon managed to put the clamps on St. Kilda's scoring in the second term as the ladder leaders could only post two goals for the quarter, the second of those a timely late in the term from Jarryn Geary after Essendon had narrowed the gap to 19 points.

The third quarter was an arm wrestle with St. Kilda unable to break clear of the opposition while the Bombers could not make any inroads into the deficit with both sides kicking three goals for the term with St. Kilda leading by 23 points with a quarter to play.

Nick Riewoldt with two goals in the final quarter finally laid Essendon's challenge to rest with the Bombers only managing two goals of their own to Matthew Lloyd and Henry Slattery.

©2009 OhmyNews
Other articles by reporter Michael Clough

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