AFL Round 21 Hawthorn Hawks v Gold Coast Suns, Greater Western Sydney v Essendon Bombers

AFL Round 21 Hawthorn Hawks v Gold Coast Suns, Greater Western Sydney v Essendon Bombers

Bombers spearhead Peter Wright had an enthralling duel with Giants gun defender Sam Taylor but made the most of his chances with two goals, while Matt Guelfi slotted four goals from just six kicks.

The Giants looked eager to make an early impact after coach Mark McVeigh’s scathing post-match criticisms last week, with spot fires breaking out around the ground as both teams lined up for the opening bounce.

When play finally started, Stephen Coniglio rushed forward and snapped a goal after 47 seconds, and after Jake Stringer knocked Harry Himmelberg over before the ball had gone back to the middle, the Giants had two goals in as many minutes.

The Giants’ victory snapped a four-game losing streak and lifts them to a 6-14 record and within reach of avoiding their first bottom-four finish since 2014.

GWS will be on the road next week to face arch-rivals Western Bulldogs on Saturday, while Essendon are at home to Port Adelaide on Sunday.

Hawks shut the door on Gold Coast’s finals dream

Hawthorn have all but snuffed out Gold Coast’s finals hopes, holding off a final-quarter Suns fightback for a seven-point win in the milestone match of skipper Ben McEvoy.

Veteran Hawk Jack Gunston picked up five goals in Launceston on Saturday in the 10.10 (70) to 8.15 (63) result in McEvoy’s 250th appearance.

Despite leading at each change, the Hawks had some nervous moments late with the Gold Coast virtually setting up camp in their half.

Ben McEvoy.Credit:Getty Images:

Trailing by 17 at three-quarter time, the Suns kicked the opening two goals of the fourth term and got within a goal with about five minutes left on the clock.

Gold Coast were left to rue several muffed opportunities in the final quarter, with big man Mabior Chol and rookie Mac Andrew missing gettable set shots.

McEvoy picked up a crucial mark in defense inside the final two minutes as the Hawks scrambled for their eighth win of the year despite scoring just one point in the last term.

The result leaves the Suns in 11th position on the ladder, two wins outside the top eight with two rounds remaining and a host of teams above them still to play in round 21.

Gunston was on fire early, picking up four of his five goals before halftime.

The Suns were slow out of the blocks and took until the 21st minute to register their opening major but trailed by just eight at the first break.

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Hawthorn pulled ahead in the second term with three straight goals, including Gunston’s third which was shortly followed by a fourth on the run, for a 21-point halftime lead.

Hawthorn’s Jarman Impey was put on report in the third quarter for contact on Darcy Macpherson after he kicked the ball following a mark.

Despite having the breeze at their back in the all-important third term, the Suns could only equal Hawthorn’s two goals.

Suns livewire small forward Izak Rankine picked up 11 disposals.

AAP:

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