HFNL AFL Wrap: Finals, Week 1

HFNL AFL Wrap: Finals, Week 1

15th September 2023

Week 1 of the AFL finals delivered ecstasy for some of our local exports and heartbreak for others.

The first of our exports to feature over the weekend was Sam Walsh, with his Carlton side recording a spirited win over Sydney at the MCG on Friday evening.

The Blues hit the front early and held off a surging Swans to win their first final in 10 years, with Walsh playing a key role for the victors.

The midfielder had a game-high 28 possessions, laid six tackles, had six clearances and sent the ball inside 50 nine times in a best on ground performance.

Walsh and Carlton will now meet the Demons in the semi-final at the MCG on Friday night, with the winner to play Brisbane for a spot in the decider.

The following day saw Rowan Marshall’s strong season come to an end when St Kilda was defeated by GWS Giants at the MCG.

The Giants kicked out to an early lead and rarely looked troubled as they strolled to a 24 point victory, with Marshall one of the Saints best.

He was dominant across the ground as he collected 31 touches, 18 hit-outs and nine clearances to go alongside a goal.

Giant Toby McMullin missed out on selection in the victory.

The final game saw Brisbane Lions and Hugh McCluggage square off against Port Adelaide Power featuring Willem Drew and Ken Hinkley at the GABBA.

McCluggage and the Lions got the last laugh as they stormed to a 48 point victory, booking a home preliminary final in the process.

The South export was prolific for Brisbane, finishing the contest with 26 touches, nine clearances and a goal, while Drew played a key role for the Power in nullifying Lachie Neale’s influence, restricting him to 19 touches while collecting 20 disposals himself.

The Power will now meet the Giants at the Adelaide Oval on Saturday night, with the victor to face Collingwood at the MCG in the preliminary final.

Meanwhile, Josh Corbett and Peel Thunder will have to qualify for the WAFL Grand Final via the preliminary final after losing the second semi-final to East Fremantle. The Thunder went down by five points in a thrilling game, with Corbett kicking a goal from five possessions.

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