Mon, Aug 20, 9:33am by Staff Writer
Richmond has sewn up the minor Premiership after an eight-point win against Essendon on Friday night.
The Tigers are $2.50 to win their second flag in as many years and extinguished Essendon’s feint finals hopes with Friday’s result.
The Tigers led by 33 points early in the fourth term, before the Dons mounted a furious comeback which ultimately fell short.
Richmond rested a number of key players for the match, including captain Trent Cotchin.
Despite playing some of the best football in the competition during the past two months, Essendon will lament a poor start to the season where they won only two of their first nine games.
Collingwood have moved into second favouritism for the flag after an impressive 51-point win against Port Adelaide on Saturday.
The Pies booted seven goals to one in the final quarter to seal the result, after it was a close contest for much of the day.
Port Adelaide now must hope for a Gold Coast win at Geelong in round 23 to play finals and are $26 to finish in the top eight.
It is certainly a fall from grace for the Power, who were in the box-seat of a top four spot just a month ago, before a combination of injuries and poor form cruelled them down the stretch.
West Coast relinquished a chance to lock up second spot on the table after falling to Melbourne by 17-points in Optus on Sunday.
The Demons showed more hunger and desperation to win the game, despite the Eagles taking their first lead of the match late in the final quarter.
Melbourne booted the final three goals of the game to feature in the finals for the first time in 12 seasons. They are $13 to win the flag. The Eagles are $7 to win the flag at Sportsbet.
Geelong booted the final 23 goals of the game against Fremantle at GMHBA Stadium to register the Docker’s biggest loss in AFL history.
The 133-point drubbing has almost stamped Geelong’s finals ticket, as they need a win against Gold Coast this Saturday to assure their position.
The Cats are $17 to win the flag and the longest price of any side in the top eight at present.
Hawthorn kept their top four hopes alive with a narrow four-point win against St Kilda on Saturday night.
The Hawks led by three goals at the opening change, but the Saints rallied back and kept the match close until the final siren.
Despite not kicking a goal in the final quarter, the Hawks held on for an important win. They now face a showdown with the Swans at the SCG to determine which of those two sides will finish in the top four. The Hawks are $10 to win the flag this season.
Sydney trailed for much of the game against GWS, until a final quarter onslaught and a raft of Giants injuries changed the game.
Sydney kicked six goals to one in the final quarter to run out 20-point winners, after being down by two goals at three quarter time.
The Swans are a dark horse in this year’s Premiership race, after falling outside the eight just three weeks ago. They are now fourth favourites to win the flag at $9 at Sportsbet.
The 15th Q-Clash between Brisbane and the Gold Coast was another hard-fought contest, with the Lions prevailing by four points.
Both matches between the sides this season have been decided by under a goal, with the Lions’ wayward kicking keeping the Suns in the game.
The Western Bulldogs defeated Carlton by 17 points in a dour affair at Etihad Stadium on Sunday.
The Blues led by two point at half-time, before being outscored by three goals in the second half to assure the club of the wooden spoon this season.
Adelaide defeated North Melbourne by nine points on Sunday evening, with Coleman Medal hopeful Ben Brown held goalless by the out-of-contract Crow’s defender Ben Brown.
Both sides are out of finals contention this season.
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