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The 2018 AFL Finals will get underway on Thursday September 6, with the top eight teams set to fight it out for the right to be deemed premiers.
The grand final will be played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Saturday, September 29.
First qualifying final: Richmond Tigers 13.17.95 def Hawthorn Hawks 9.10.64
The Richmond Tigers have begun their campaign for a second consecutive premiership with a comprehensive victory over the Hawthorn Hawks at the MCG in the first qualifying final.
The highlight of the evening was an incredible goal kicked by Dustin Martin in the second term which might well have won goal of the year had it occurred in the home-and-away season.
The Tigers were dominant, despite the Hawks bringing some real enthusiasm to the contest in the first two quarters and managing to stay within arms reach of the champions.
The second half became something of a familiar story for the Hawks and the rest of the competition, as Hawthorn fell victim to the sustained pressure that has broken the back of many a team after team over the last 18 months.
First elimination final: Melbourne Demons 10.15.75 def Geelong Cats 6.10.46
7:50pm AEST Friday September 7, MCG
In the club’s first final since 2006, the Demons outplayed the Cats in every area of the game, with only poor conversion limiting the scoreboard damage.
Sam Weideman, James Harmes and Angus Brayshaw were the best three players on the ground, as Melbourne’s younger players tore apart the veterans of Geelong in their first ever final.
Weideman in particular was extremely impressive in just his 18th game, finishing with 24 disposals, seven marks and three goals. The 21-year-old has been good since replacing injured Jesse Hogan in the senior team.
The contest was done in the first quarter, where Melbourne kicked five goals to nil and left the Cats shellshocked and licking their wounds.
Second elimination final: Sydney Swans 4.6.30 def. by GWS Giants 10.18.78
4:20pm AEST Saturday September 8, SCG
The GWS Giants took ultimate bragging rights in the Sydney Derby, demolishing the Sydney Swans by 49 points in an elimination final at the SCG.
The heat was on early, the players were on edge and the physicality of the match started as soon as the final note of the national anthem was sung. As expected, the first quarter of this clash was a tight contest.
In the second term it became apparent the Swans were simply weathering the Giant storm, Tom Papley scored the first goal, but Sydney failed to score after that.
In the end the Giants rolled the Swans, kicking six goals in a row in the second half and twelve behinds in between.
Second qualifying final: West Coast Eagles 12.14.86 vs Collingwood Magpies 10.10.70
8:10pm AEST Saturday September 8, Optus Stadium
The West Coast Eagles ran over the Collingwood Magpies to take a 16-point victory and book in a home preliminary final at Optus Stadium.
After a hot first few minutes, the Eagles held onto the ball and kept it in their forward half; a goal to Nathan Vardy out of the ruck and two in a row to Liam Ryan had West Coast off to the start they desired.
In the second quarter Collingwood worked overtime to bring the ball to ground and create a manic game of football, allowing them to get back into the game and at halftime find themselves in front by three points.
The Eagles kicked the final three goals of the game to complete a 26-point turnaround: Lewis Jetta intercepted on the Eagles’ forward 50 arc and goalled, Jack Darling marked inside 50 and kicked truly, before Jack Redden extended the margin after the siren.
First semi-final: Hawthorn Hawks 10.11.71 def. by Melbourne Demons 16.8.104
7:50pm AEST Friday September 14, MCG
In a wonderful night for the Melbourne Football Club, the Demons have beaten the Hawks at the Melbourne Cricket Ground and now advance to the preliminary final.
Melbourne were relentless and never wavered from the plan that was laid out by Simon Goodwin. The Hawks did waver. They challenged ferociously, made poor skill errors and at times dropped off in intensity.
That, in the end, was the difference between the two teams and the reason the Demons have been able to build the wonderful season that now threatens to become stunning.
Second semi-final: Collingwood Magpies 9.15.69 def GWS Giants 9.5.59
7:25pm AEST Saturday September 15, MCG
The Collingwood Magpies were able to move through the preliminary finals with was at times a heart-stopping win over the GWS Giants.
They raced out to an early lead courtesy of kicking three goals to none in the firs term, but by the final change, the Giants had reeled the margin back in.
Despite continued struggles with inaccuracy, Collingwood were eventually victorious – kicking no more goals than their opponents, but ten more behinds.
First preliminary final: Richmond Tigers 8.10.58 def. by Collingwood Magpies 15.7.97
7:50pm AEST Friday Septemebr 21, MCG
Second preliminary final: West Coast Eagles 18.13.121 Melbourne Demons 7.13.55
3:20pm AEST Saturday September 22, Optus Stadium
Grand Final: West Coast Eagles vs Collingwood Magpies
2:30pm AEST Saturday September 29, MCG