AFL Semi-Finals: Justice is done as Dogs bundle out Lions

By Damian Watson

Finally! Yet another school week completed and another weekend of highly anticipated finals action to look forward to.

We have now reached the Semi Finals which indicates that the remaining teams have entered a sudden death situation with a loss signifying the end of your campaign and it’s time to pack for the End of Season trip. The two teams fighting for survival on the big stage at the MCG are the slick and elegant Western Bulldogs clashing with the courageous and gutsy Brisbane side.

The Doggies are still seething after last week’s loss to the all-conquering Cats after missing relatively straightforward opportunities in front of goal. As a Carlton supporter the pain inflicted from our heartbreaking loss in Week One still remains so a Brisbane loss will provide some consolation. Despite some key members of the Lions team under injury clouds once again, they do have an incentive to prevail tonight with club stalwart Tim Notting on an impending retirement at seasons end.

It is approaching 8:30, the destructive winds are raging outside as I tune in to Channel 7 expecting the telecast to commence as the TV Guide states, only to witness the players in action on the screen.

“Oh crap I forgot it starts at eight, BLOODY TV GUIDE!!!!”

Despite being absent for the first 10 minutes of the quarter it does not take long to realize that the match will be fought out in sluggish terms with the style of the game far from free flowing. The Doggies have the upper hand and are seventeen points up before the young Lions begin to impose themselves in the contest with players such as Jack Redden and Sam Sheldon conveying glimpses of the future as they advance through the centre. However the Lions are woeful in front of the big sticks booting six behinds for the term and Nathan Eagleton makes the Lions pay for their inaccuracy with a brilliant running goal. As the Quarter Time siren blares and the Bulldogs hold a comfortable 20 point buffer.

The Lions continue to persist in the second stanza albeit unattractively with stoppages heavily involved in the play. Big Jonathon Brown slots the Lions first for the match from a set shot followed by a goal resulting from a thumping 60 metre kick by Ashley McGrath. Just as the Lions were poised to roll over the top of the Dogs, Mitch Hahn hacks through an important steadying goal against the flow at the very blustery City End of the ground. Jonathon Brown replies with his second and the Lions will not lie down. Ryan Griffen, who starred in the corresponding game against the Swans last year, capitalizes on some poor decision making from the inexperienced Brisbane defence and the Dogs grasp onto a 3 goal lead. In the shadows of Half Time Jed Adcock re-unites with Aker with a heavy hit in the back pocket and Brad Johnson is also ironed out by Daniel Merrett causing some friction between the sides. Hopefully these collisions can spur the Dogs on as they lead by 17 points at the main break.

The Bulldogs opened the floodgates in the third term with their young midfield brigade on fire through the middle. Daniel Giansiracusa and Matthew Boyd are lifting and youngsters Callan Ward and Jarrod Harbrow are showing determination and hardness at the footy while also using their extreme pace to advantage proving that their names should not be forgotten in the coming years. Lindsay Gilbee and Mitch Hahn continue to place scoreboard pressure on the Lions as they convert one goal each to give the Dogs a five goal break. Despite a Jonathon Brown reply the Dogs effectively snuff out the Lions chances as they boot four more goals for the term Nathan Eagleton contributing two of those from close range exposing the Brisbane defence. By the last change the Dogs have doubled their opponents score leading by 37 points and despite the Lions extrordinary comeback last week I am confident that the result is beyond doubt.

The Bulldogs extend their unassailable lead in the final term with big Will Minson defying the odds by kicking a pearler from 60 metres at the swirly City End. The tables have turned with the Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard enjoying the spoils on this occasion as goalsneek Shaun Higgins displays great strength to bang through his first. Following a fairly uneventful final 20 minutes the siren sounds with the Dogs victorious by a convincing 51 points in front of a disappointing finals crowd of 47 000 fans.

I emerge from my living room content that justice has been done with the Lions comprehensively defeated after pipping the Blues at the post last week. With the four ‘filler’ teams eliminated we can now look forward to what may occur in the following two weeks to discover who will achieve glory in Season 2009.

Western Bulldogs     4.2   6.6   11.8   16.11 (107)
Brisbane Lions     0.6   3.7   5.7   8.8 (56)

Western Bulldogs: Hahn 4, Eagleton 3, Minson 2, Higgins 2, Ward 2, Cooney, Griffen, Gilbee
Brisbane Lions: Brown 3, Bradshaw 3, McGrath, Redden

Crowd: 47,030 at the MCG

My Votes: 3. N.Eagleton    2. M.Boyd         1. D.Giansiracusa.

About Damian Watson

Hey,my name is Damian Watson and I am 14 years old. My ambition is to become an AFL broadcaster/journalist in the future. I am a keen blues supporter and I live in the Eastern suburbs of Melbourne. I play and write for the Knox Falcons U/16's.


  1. Great report on an ordinary game Damo. I didn’t see the TV guide, but I guess I’m probably just too up to date with when footy games start on TV. In The Age, Eagleton didn’t even get a mention in the best players. He was definitely in the top 1-3 players.

  2. Damian Watson says

    Thanks Steve,
    Thats interesting I would have thought Eagleton would have been in the top three as well. I wanted to fit Mitch Hahn in as well but in the end I went with Giansiracusa after his effort in the midfield.

  3. 1: That’s the Age for ya.

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