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Dockers Dominate Dismal Demons

Darcy Marks (Dave Woodley/AFANA)

The Fremantle Dockers dominated the Melbourne Demons in a match where the final scoreboard suggested a flattering representation of the Demons' underwhelming performance. The Demons had recently been competitive against the Brisbane Lions in a narrow loss and had beaten the Essendon Bombers last week. Now they have been bumped out of the top eight and face a perilous path as they hope to make the finals. The battle for the finals has all the characteristics of a game of snakes and ladders. One loss can send a team spiraling downwards and conversely a win can see them zoom up the ladder. The Dockers have moved back into the top four after last week's speed-bump loss to the Hawthorn Hawks in Tasmania. It was not the size of the victory over Melbourne that was impressive for the Dockers; but rather the way they dominated Melbourne for long periods of the game.

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Blues Hold Off Fast Finishing Demons

Petracca Goals (file photo/AFANA)

A cool drizzly night made it easy for fans to watch from home but the match saw a good crowd of 58,472 turn up to the MCG. The drizzle was falling early but not enough to make it too slippery at the start. After an early arm wrestle the Blues struck first after six minutes of play, where each team worked cautiously to feel each other out. Walsh broke the shackles, snapping around the body from 35 meters out, straight in front, for the Blues. 

While the Blues midfielders were looking for Harry and Charlie, it was the big man from the middle in Pittonet who marked and goaled at the top of the 50. Martin made it three goals in 5 minutes for the Blues when he marked at the top of the goal square. The rain grew heavier halfway through the quarter. Neither team could score again for another seven or eight minutes, but Harry McKay was able to get a better read on a bad kick to evade the defending Lever and mark and goal from 20 meters out.  

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Blues Snatch Semi Win in Final Minute

Blake Acres (file photo)

The first Semi-Final at the MCG started tonight with the stadium fuller than it has than it has been in many years, outside of a Grand Final. Max Gawn won the first tap, Carlton the first clearance and inside 50, Melbourne the first 50 clearance. All standard stuff. It was going to be tough night for players and spectators alike, but not all would be predictable.

Charlie Curnow looked to be on song early marking outside 50 for the Blues and his long kick at goal before the defenders could get back was only a degree off being six points. At the other end Charlie Spargo, coming into the side tonight, kicked the first score for the Dees. Advantage was paid to Langdon who kicked the first goal of the match after Kosi Pickett was taken out of the contest, unusually by the furthest umpire from the contest.

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Swans Down Dees Despite Buddy's Zero Goal Return

Swans fans show colors (File photo)

It was the first time crowds were able to be at an MCG final in three years and over 77,000 rolled into this Friday night's 2nd Qualifying Final. At the end of the home and away season both teams finished on 16 wins, with just 2.7% between them on the Premiership ladder. But if there was anything to indicate how this might go, the Swans came into this match having won their last six home and away matches, while Melbourne lost to both Collingwood and the Bulldogs in that time.  

Last season's Premiers, Melbourne, won the toss and kicked to the city end. On their home turf they would be eager to try to put the Swans out of contention early. So it looked in the first quarter. The Demons looked the best coming out of the blocks but breaking the early run of play, the first goal went to Hayward when ball, long to the square, spilled free and Hayward snapped the goal. Bailey Fritsch showed he was ready to fire when he cut off a pass to Gawn, and his set shot from 40 meters out from goal leveled the scores.

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AFANA AFL Power Poll - Round Seven

Liam Shiels tackles Mark Baguley as the Bombers pressure

Boris Kilpatrick, special to AFANA from Australia

Almost a third of the way into the 2018 season and round seven gave us some answers while it also gave us plenty of questions. The West Coast Eagles are for real, Richmond are showing no signs of the dreaded “premiership hangover” and the Sydney Swans have seemingly lost their home ground dominance. Hawthorn is once again a contender after moving out the old and adding some ready- made talent.

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