The St. Kilda Saints have meager finals hopes but after a 127-78 win over North Melbourne they are still dreaming of finals with one game left to play. It was a big second half for the Saints as they sent Nick Riewoldt off on his home ground. The Saints generated a ton of scoring chances, but kicked just 18.19, and they could have used a bigger win than the one they got. Jack Steven, Seb Ross, and Luke Dunstan led the Saints, Josh Bruce, Jade Gresham, and Tim Membrey combined for nine goals. Ben Cunnington and Shaun Higgins were again best on ground for North, as Cunnington led with disposals, and had two goals. The Saints broke down the North backline though.
St. Kilda and Essendon Keep Finals Hopes Alive With AFL Round 22 Wins
Essendon dumped a struggling Gold Coast 90-57. The Bombers had a huge second half, and 71 inside 50’s. Aaron Hall and Ben Ainsworth were good for the Suns, but nine Bombers kicked goals in a team effort, David Zaharakis leading with 38 disposals as the Bombers moved into the 8th spot on the ladder with one game left to play.
Sydney gives Adelaide the Slip
83-80 Sydney gave the ladder leading Adelaide Crows the slip at the siren, despite the Crows looking set to get yet another big victory this season with just minutes to play. The Swans were outgunned but an 11.14 performance from Adelaide wasn’t enough. Matt Crouch and Rory Laird led the way, Mitch McGovern had four goals. Josh P. Kennedy, Luke Parker, and of course Buddy Franklin led the Swans. Buddy booted three and the Swans kept the pressure up, even when on their back heels. The Swans have recovered from an awful start to the season to now sit inside the top 4.
Port Adelaide Puts Bulldogs Finals Hopes on Life Support
After surrendering the lead in a close game against Port Adelaide, the Western Bulldogs are facing long odds to defend their flag, and are unlikely to make finals. The Power won 96-79. The Dogs just weren’t good enough, despite huge games from Jack Macrae (41 disposals), and Bailey Dale (4 goals). Port has been one of the most consistent teams this year. Charlie Dixon, Robbie Gray, and Travis Boak, their usual suspects, led them to a big victory. They should be a dark horse team in finals.
Geelong Beats Collingwood in dead rubber
Despite a fantastic start the air came out of Collingwood’s balloon as they lost to Geelong 70-59. The banged up Cats were below average, but Collingwood looked dazed and confused late despite great efforts from Mason Cox and Tom Phillips that were unexpected, plus 2 goals from Tim Broomhead. Sam Menegola, Mitch Duncan, and of course, Patrick Dangerfield led the Cats who look set to finish in the top 4 and make a run at the flag.
GWS Giants Keep West Coast Outside of the Top 8
GWS Giants kept up their form. They denied West Coast Eagles a top 8 spot with an 81-60 victory. The Eagles are left needing help to make finals. The Giants pulled away in a low scoring game. The Eagles got left in the dust in the final term. Josh Kelly and Toby Greene led a finally healthy Giants side that is still looking to gel in time for finals. Josh J. Kennedy kicked 4 goals, and Matt Priddis, a retiring former star, led the Eagles in disposals, but their list is looking tired as the end the season draws nigh.
Carlton Eliminates Hawthorn from Finals Contention
Carlton wiped out Hawthorn, ending their slim finals hopes 77-70, as they led throughout and were dominant from the backline. Carlton snapped a 14-match losing streak against the Hawks, Marc Murphy, Sam Docherty, and Levi Casboult were key, even though the Blues were still low scoring overall. Tom Mitchell is winding down an amazing season as a solo player, he had 44 disposals but Hawthorn’s list just wasn’t up to par this season to make finals.
Melbourne Defeats Brisbane Lions to remain 7th in the Ladder
It was closer than they would have liked, but the Melbourne Demons are likely to make finals after defeating Brisbane 104-91 thanks to a confident second half. It was another close but no cigar effort for the Lions. Dayne Beams led with 33 disposals and 3 goals. However, it was the combo of Nathan Jones and Clayton Oliver that again stymied the opposition for the Demons. Jesse Hogan kicked six goals and showed he’ll be dangerous come finals despite his roller coaster season. Cameron Pederson remained a revelation this season for the Dees, he kicked three goals.
Richmond Thumps Fremantle by Over 100
Richmond‘s plans to finish top 4 made big strides with a victory by over 100 points (155-51) against the Fremantle Dockers. Shaun Grigg and Dustin Martin led the Tigers midfield, Jacob Townsend kicked six goals, Dan Butler and Kane Lambert combined for another six, as Nat Fyfe’s efforts on behalf of the Dockers was again wasted.