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Around the state leagues: Who staked a finals claim?

Ben Griffiths gave the Richmond selectors something to ponder with a strong game against Collingwod - AFL,Around the State Leagues
Ben Griffiths gave the Richmond selectors something to ponder with a strong game against Collingwod

State league affiliate: Adelaide (SANFL)
This weekend: Did not qualify for SANFL finals 

State league affiliate: Brisbane Lions (NEAFL)
This weekend: Brisbane Lions v Sydney Uni, Semi-final - Saturday, September 2, 12pm, Gabba

Claye Beams racked up 36 disposals and seven marks to help lead the Brisbane Lions to their first NEAFL Grand Final appearance since 2013, defeating Sydney University by 32 points.

Beams was the standout in the midfield, but was ably supported by Josh Clayton (26 disposals and two goals), Ben Keays (26 touches and six tackles) and Rowan Bewick (23 disposals and 11 marks).

Oscar McInerney, named the Lions’ best NEAFL player at the club’s best and fairest awards night on Friday, gathered 22 disposals and kicked two goals. 

Michael Close provided the game’s highlight with a high-flying hanger over two Sydney Uni opponents.

The Lions travel to the SCG for next Saturday night's Grand Final against Sydney.


State league affiliate: Northern Blues (VFL)
This weekend: Did not qualify for VFL finals

State league affiliate: Collingwood (VFL)
This weekend: Richmond v Collingwood, First Elimination Final - Saturday, September 2, 2pm, Fortburn Stadium (Port Melbourne)

Forward Chris Mayne (two goals) was mostly quiet but emerged to kick a clutch goal deep in the fourth quarter that gave the Magpies a one-point lead in time on, although they eventually lost by 12 points to Richmond.

Ruckman Mason Cox produced a monster third quarter with his contested marking to get the Magpies back in the contest, finishing with an equal match-high three goals.

Prized youngster Josh Daicos kicked an important goal in the run home, while James Aish suffered concussion in the first half as the Magpies' season, and Jesse White's career, came to an end.


State league affiliate: Essendon (VFL)
This weekend: Essendon v Footscray, Second Elimination Final - Sunday, September 3, 2.40pm, Fortburn Stadium

Defender Matt Dea was a rock in defence in the Bombers' agonising five-point elimination final loss.

The 25-year-old took intercept marks and won a critical one-on-one contest against his opponent Tom Boyd in the final term to keep his side in the contest.

Big man Shaun McKernan led well in the forward half and found himself in good spots, kicking three goals including two in the second quarter. 

The 27-year-old's highlight came in the closing minutes of the game when he took a strong pack mark and quickly spun around to goal from just beyond the 50m arc.

Kyle Langford's versatility proved valuable early in the contest, while Ben Howlett (22 disposals) booted a team-lifting running goal from 50m in the second term.

Key position player Aaron Francis started in attack and provided support in defence, before sitting out the entire final term.

Second-year backman Alex Morgan kicked the Bombers' opening major at the midway point of the first term and played his best game at VFL level.

The game likely marked the end of veteran midfielder Brent Stanton's career. 

Ruckman Matthew Leuenberger, midfielder Heath Hocking and forward Mitch Brown didn't take part in the match.


State league affiliate: Peel Thunder (WAFL)
This weekend: South Fremantle v Peel Thunder - Saturday, September 2, 2.10pm, Fremantle Community Bank Oval 

Unrestricted free agent Nick Suban took out best-on-ground honours with a game-high 31 disposals, seven tackles and six marks in Peel's 18-point qualifying final win.

Draftee Sean Darcy won the ruck battle with 42 hit-outs and a goal, Josh Deluca found space in the midfield with 24 touches and five tackles, Cam Sutcliffe laid an equal game-high 11 tackles to go with 22 touches and a goal, and forward Matt Taberner kicked two majors.

Defenders Griffin Logue (17 disposals, four marks), Sam Collins (16 disposals, seven marks), Garrick Ibbotson (12 disposals, six marks) and Ryan Nyhuis (seven disposals, five marks) all contributed down back.

Ibbotson will retire at the end of the Thunder's finals campaign.

Peel takes on Subiaco in next Sunday's semi-final at Leederville Oval.

State league affiliate: Geelong (VFL)
This weekend: Did not qualify for VFL finals

State league affiliate: Gold Coast (NEAFL)
This weekend: Sydney v Gold Coast, Semi-final - Saturday, September 2, 11am, Blacktown International Sportspark

Half-forward Ryan Davis (29 possessions and seven marks) was Gold Coast's leading ball-winner, while Darcy Macpherson showed his class with 25 touches and two goals as the Suns missed an opportunity to progress to the NEAFL Grand Final, losing to Sydney by 68 points. 

Midfield pair Michael Rischitelli (20 and five clearances) and Mitch Hallahan (27 and nine inside 50s) also battled hard.

State league affiliate: GWS Giants (NEAFL)
This weekend: Did not qualify for NEAFL finals

State league affiliate: Box Hill Hawks (VFL)
This weekend: Box Hill Hawks v Port Melbourne, Second Qualifying Final - Sunday, September 3, 2pm, Box Hill City Oval

Defender Kurt Heatherley used his running speed and worked his way further up the ground in the Hawks' 13-point qualifying final win.

Ruckman Marc Pittonet gave his midfielders first use of the ball and wasn't afraid to get his hands dirty at ground level.

Ball-winner Jono O'Rourke won the clearances and set up his teammates, while second-year forward Kade Stewart was also dangerous.

Young onballer Teia Miles kicked two goals, with singles each to Oliver Hanrahan, Dallas Willsmore and Brendan Whitecross.

The win takes Box Hill through to a preliminary final in a fortnight.


State league affiliate: Casey Demons (VFL)
This weekend: Williamstown v Casey Demons, First Qualifying Final - Saturday, September 2, 2pm, Burbank Oval 

Midfielder Angus Brayshaw was named among Casey's best players in its 45-point qualifying final loss to Williamstown.

Brayshaw played the final three senior games for Melbourne, after being sidelined for almost three months earlier in the season following his fourth concussion in the space of 12 months. 

Rookies Declan Keilty and Corey Maynard also stood out in the Demons’ loss, while draft prospect Bailey Fritsch booted four goals to be his side's best player.  

The Demons now face Richmond in a semi-final on Saturday, September 9.

State league affiliate: Werribee (VFL)
This weekend: Did not qualify for VFL finals


State league affiliate: Port Adelaide (SANFL)
This weekend: Port Adelaide v Sturt, Qualifying Final  - Saturday, September 2, 3.10pm, Adelaide Oval

Midfielder Aaron Young was the pick of the Power players with 29 disposals, six tackles, 10 inside 50s and one goal in the 15-point qualifying final win.

Rookie elevation Brett Eddy, who has not played at AFL level since round three, was the Magpies' leading goalkicker with four goals.

Experienced tall Jackson Trengove had 14 disposals, nine hit-outs and a goal before copping a head knock in the final 10 minutes of the game. He was assessed for concussion and will be monitored this week.  

Angus Monfries (one goal), Matthew Lobbe (45 hit-outs and two goals), Will Snelling (25 disposals, 16 tackles) and Jimmy Toumpas (26 touches) were others to stand out, while defender Matthew Broadbent had 11 touches in his second consecutive game following an ankle injury, but appeared to labour at times.

Forward Jarman Impey played at both ends of the ground and put in a big final quarter to finish with 16 disposals and four tackles, including several spoils.


State league affiliate: Richmond (VFL)
This weekend: Richmond v Collingwood, First Elimination Final - Saturday, September 2, 2pm, Fortburn Stadium (Port Melbourne)

Reliable midfielder Anthony Miles was best afield with 37 possessions (19 contested), nine clearances, six inside 50s and a goal, standing up during a thrilling 12-point win against Collingwood. 

Forward Sam Lloyd was also instrumental in the elimination final with 36 possessions and a late goal to give the Tigers the lead, making up for his earlier misses at goal. 

Onballer Corey Ellis (26 possessions, one goal) was a standout in the first half with his kicking inside 50, while ruckman Ben Griffiths (one goal) gave the match committee something to ponder with his contested marking in attack.

Jayden Short's dash through the middle was a factor and the half-back finished with 23 possessions. 

Richmond takes on Casey in a do-or-die semi-final on Saturday, September 9.



State league affiliate: Sandringham (VFL)
This weekend: Did not qualify for VFL finals 

State league affiliate: Sydney (NEAFL)
This weekend: Sydney v Gold Coast, Semi-final - Saturday, September 2, 11am, Blacktown International Sportspark

Ruckman Sam Naismith, who missed the past four games with a hip problem, returned from injury, collecting 16 disposals and four marks in the 68-point semi-final win.

The 25-year-old is waiting in the wings if Kurt Tippett or Callum Sinclair fail to recover from the rolled left ankles they picked up against Carlton in round 23.

Midfielder Dan Robinson collected 28 possessions and had seven marks and a goal as the Swans won through to the NEAFL Grand Final. 

The 23-year-old has averaged 31.5 disposals in his last four NEAFL matches.

Other AFL-listed players to impress were Harry Cunningham (24 possessions and two goals), who lined up in the Swans' round 23 win against Carlton, and James Rose (23 and four).

The Swans host the Brisbane Lions in next Saturday night's decider at the SCG.


State league affiliate: East Perth (WAFL)
This weekend: Did not qualify for WAFL finals

State league affiliate: Footscray (VFL)
This weekend: Essendon v Footscray, Second Elimination Final - Sunday, September 3, 2.40pm, Fortburn Stadium 

Forward Tom Boyd was the focal point in attack with four goals, including the opening two goals of the match, in Footscray's gutsy five-point elimination final win. 

The 22-year-old, who was playing his third successive game since taking a break to focus on his mental health, registered his first goal with a long-range set shot from about 65m that was aided by the strong breeze.

Boyd (13 disposals, four marks) kicked his second a few minutes later with an instinctive left-foot snap, before adding a goal in each of the third and fourth terms.

Tough nut Clay Smith (19 disposals) lifted his intensity as the game went on. He kicked two third-quarter goals and then played a midfield role in the final term to great effect. 

Retiring defender Matthew Boyd drifted forward late in the first term to kick a left-foot goal and ended with a team-high 24 touches and three marks, while Lukas Webb (18 disposals) wasn't far behind. 

Second-year defender Kieran Collins limped into the rooms in the first quarter with a right ankle complaint.

The 19-year-old returned after treatment but sat out most of the second half with his ankle wrapped in ice. 

The Bulldogs do battle with Port Melbourne in a semi-final next Sunday, September 10.