Malthouse machine marches on
They did not have it all their own way as they were forced to rally against the Cats’ third quarter lead...
The Round 19 AFL wrap, care of Andy Morris.
Collingwood took a massive step towards securing a Premiership after defeating fellow top contenders Geelong in the top of the table clash.
The Magpies outlasted the reigning premiers to move six points clear of them, battling their way to take out a 14.23 (107) to 12.13 (85) win. They did not have it all their own way as they were forced to rally against the Cats' third quarter lead, but blasted six of the final seven goals to take victory.
St Kilda returned from last week's disappointment to outclass Port Adelaide by 94-points.
The Saints took advantage of a poor Port Adelaide performance as they eased to a 23.13 (151) to 8.9 (57) victory, which sees the Saints reaffirm their place in third position.
The Western Bulldogs strengthened their hold on fourth spot, staving off a brave Adelaide to record a narrow eight-point victory.
The Crows mounted a desperate challenge for much of the encounter, but it was the fourth-placed Bulldogs who held on after the Crows were unable to capitalize on their chances. After taking a solitary point lead into the final break, a goal early in the final term was enough to seal the Bulldogs' fifth straight victory, 8.13 (61) to 7.11 (53).
North Melbourne boosted its finals hopes following a 54-point victory over a faltering Fremantle.
The Kangaroos set a blistering pace with a six-goal lead at the end of the first-quarter. Fremantle mounted a challenge in the second term, but the Kangaroos cantered to a 19.9 (123) to 10.9 (69) success.
The pressure is now squarely on Hawthorn after it stumbled to a 44-point defeat at the hands of a resurgent Sydney Swans.
As the Swans took another step towards securing a finals berth with the 19.15 (129) to 13.7 (85) triumph, the Hawks slipped to eighth spot, just two points ahead of North Melbourne, prompting President Jeff Kennett to once again lambast his side for such a poor effort.
Carlton's 76-point victory over Essendon should see the Blues guaranteed a place in the top eight.
The Blues ended a dismal run of six straight defeats to the Bombers, showing solid endeavor in out-gunning the Bombers 23.11 (149) to 9.19 (73).
Melbourne kept its finals hopes intact for another week, following a hard fought 29-point victory over Richmond.
The Demons remained in the hunt after successfully overturning an early deficit before stealing the game with four crucial goals in the final term to win, 16.13 (109) to 11.14 (80) and prompting more talk of them being a sneaky finals' contender.
A last gasp strike handed the Brisbane Lions their first win since May and West Coast now look destined to be cellar dwellers for the first time since joining the competition.
Jonathan Brown's strike with seconds of the game remaining proved the difference as the Eagles were stung 10.10 (70) to 9.11 (65).