AND now the Australian Football League competition is down to four – Geelong, Collingwood, St Kilda and the Western Bulldogs.
The two AFL semifinals at the Melbourne Cricket Ground over the weekend could not have been more different, with one lopsided and the other a nailbiter.
On Friday night, Geelong 20.15 (135) outclassed the Fremantle Dockers 10.6 (66).
The Cats put this one to bed early, taking advantage of an inexperienced Dockers team, who were clearly overwhelmed by the occasion in the early stages. With the Cats' engine room winning the clearances and forward options aplenty, Geelong slammed on eight goals to one during the first term.
The Dockers settled somewhat in the second term, kicking accurately to curb the scoreboard damage and managed to match Geelong for a period in the third term.
However, the result was never in doubt, with the Cats controlling the game and maintaining a match-winning lead before kicking away in the final term for a 69 point smacking of their opponents.
Geelong goal kickers: Podsiadly 3, Stokes 3, Johnson 3, Wojcinski 2, Ottens, Ling, Mooney, Bartel, Selwood, Chapman, Byrnes, Hawkins, Varcoe.Best: Bartel, Wojinski, Ablett, Selwood, Scarlett, Chapman, Johnson.
Fremantle goal kickers: Pavlich 4, Walters 3, Mayne, Fyfe, Duffield. Best: Pavlich, Fyfe, Walters, Mundy, Duffield.
On Saturday night, the Western Bulldogs 11.11 (77) beat the Sydney Swans 10.12 (72) in a match that went right down to the wire.
The Bulldogs came out on top in a desperate scrap.
After a tightly contested first term, the Swans took control in the second courtesy of their classy rebounding defenders setting up play from the backline.
In a low-scoring affair, Sydney's lead reached five goals late in the second term and it looked all over for the undermanned Bulldogs.
However, two late Bulldog goals, including one to first gamer Andrew Hooper on the siren, got the margin back to 16 points at half time.
The even contest continued after half time, with the Dogs making more of their opportunities to establish a narrow lead early into the final term. It would prove to be enough, as they held off a gallant Swans outfit to score a thrilling five-point victory and secure a preliminary final next week.
Western Bulldogs goal kickers: Hall 4, Giansiracusa 3, Hooper, Addison, Grant, Murphy. Best: Hall, Harbrow, Murphy, Boyd, Cross.
Sydney goal kickers: Bradshaw 3, Goodes 2, Shaw 2, McGlynn, Bolton, Jetta. Best: Kennelly, Goodes, Kennedy, Jack, Bradshaw.