AFL Preliminary Finals Recap
Updated: Oct 14, 2021
Demons And Dogs To Face Off In Season Decider
After two one-sided preliminary finals, Melbourne and the Western Bulldogs have earned themselves a place in the 2021 Toyota AFL Grand Final.
MELBOURNE vs GEELONG
Melbourne has advanced to their first Grand Final since 2000, after demolishing Geelong by 83 points.
It was the Demons who were in control of the entire contest. But it was their eight-goal blitz of a third-quarter that turned the game on its head.
After Geelong got the opening goal of the game through Jeremy Cameron, Melbourne would set up a 27-point quarter-time lead after piling the next five goals. Melbourne would get out to a 38 point lead in the second, before missing three straight shots. Geelong would kick two late goals in the second quarter to get the margin back to 29 at halftime and have some hope.
Ben Brown and Bayley Fritch started the second half perfectly for Melbourne, getting the margin out to 40-points. All Geelong’s hopes quickly faded, as Max Gawn bombed a goal through from inside the center square to end any resilience Geelong had.
It was one of four individual third-quarter goals Gawn would kick. As Melbourne piled on eight straight, to set up an easy cruise of the last quarter, Melbourne kicked the opening two goals of the last quarter, making it ten straight goals. It would be Cameron, who kicked the opening goal of the game, to kick Geelong’s first and only goal of the second half. It would also be the last goal of the game, as Melbourne cruised to a grand final by 83 points.
Max Gawn was easily the star of the show, with a wonderful individual effort of five goals.
Melbourne 19.11.125 defeated Geelong 6.6.42.
PORT ADELAIDE vs WESTERN BULLDOGS
The Bulldogs made Port Adelaide look basically non-existent, humiliating Port by 71-points at Adelaide Oval on Saturday night. The Dogs making it back to the Grand Final for the first time since 2016, where they also made it (and won it) from outside the top four.
It was the Dogs right from the offset treating Port-like training cones. Piling on the first seven goals of the game, whilst Port only managed one for the first quarter. With the Dogs leading by 37-points as early as quarter time, it was as good as game over. By half time, with a five-goal to two second quarter, the Dogs set up a 58-point half time lead.
It would be a two-goal each third quarter, with the Dogs leading by the same margin at the three-quarter time break (58-Points). As the Dogs won the last quarter kicking three goals to one, to blow the margin out to 71-points in the end.
It was a game dominated by Bailey Smith, with four goals. Along with a dominant performance from Mitch Hannen with three goals and help from Aaron Naughton down forward with two goals.
Western Bulldogs17.14.116 defeated Port Adelaide 6.9.45
Now that the prelims have wrapped up, we turn our attention to what should be an enthralling grand final on the 25th of September between Melbourne and the Western Bulldogs.
Will Melbourne break the drought of 57-years, or will the experience of the Bulldogs who carry momentum into this game prevail into a third premiership? One thing is for sure, the in-form sides of the competition have made it to the big day.
AFL GRAND FINAL
Melbourne vs Western Bulldogs 25/9/21 7.15 pm (Optus Stadium)