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Around the state leagues: Who's staking a finals claim?

Dinny Navaratnam, Giulio Di Giorgio and Nathan Schmook  September 10, 2017 7:57 PM

VFL 2017 Semi Final - Richmond v Casey

Tyson Stengle and Sam Lloyd celebrate a goal

State league affiliate: Adelaide (SANFL)
This weekend: Did not qualify for SANFL finals. Played scratch match against Greater Western Sydney reserves

Key defender Alex Keath stood up in the scratch match against the Greater Western Sydney reserves last Friday at Football Park.

Exciting youngster Wayne Milera booted a couple of goals in the first quarter to set the game alight.

The senior side is into a preliminary final and needs to replace at least one player, with Brodie Smith out for 12 months after rupturing the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee. 

Rory Sloane will come into the team after having his appendix taken out and missing the qualifying final victory against the Giants last Thursday. 

Retiring midfielder Scott Thompson and ex-Giant Curtly Hampton also played well. 

The Crows ran out winners, 14.9 (93) to 6.8 (44).

Forecast the road to the flag with the AFL Ladder and Finals Predictor

State league affiliate: Brisbane Lions (NEAFL)
This weekend: Sydney v Brisbane Lions, Grand Final - Saturday, September 9, 7.45pm, SCG

Young midfielder Ben Keays took out best-on-ground honours in the Lions' thrilling three-point NEAFL Grand Final win, finishing with a game-high 30 disposals, nine tackles and two goals.

The 20-year-old was awarded the Andrew Ireland Medal for his best-afield display.

Rookie Matthew Eagles, who won the second series of Foxtel's reality program The Recruit, was a rock in defence with 18 touches and used his 200cm frame to latch onto a match-high 11 marks, including an important intercept mark at the top of the square late in the game.

Academy pick Jacob Allison, the No.55 selection in last year's NAB AFL Draft, took the game on with 22 possessions and two goals, while rookie Blake Grewar (18 disposals) led the Lions' goalkicking with three.

Midfielders Jarrad Jansen (25 disposals, nine tackles), Josh Clayton (24 disposals, seven marks) and Claye Beams (21 disposals, one goal) rounded out the Lions' major ball-winners.

Tall forward Matthew Hammelmann was withdrawn from the match after suffering an apparent hamstring injury at training. 

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

State league affiliate: Collingwood (VFL)
This weekend: Lost elimination final to Richmond

State league affiliate: Essendon (VFL)
This weekend: Lost elimination final to Footscray

State league affiliate: Peel Thunder (WAFL)
This weekend: Subiaco v Peel Thunder - Sunday, September 10, 2.40pm, Leederville Oval 

Forward Matt Taberner put in a strong first half on his way to 19 disposals, 16 marks and four goals in the 24-point win, steering Peel to back-to-back WAFL Grand Final appearances.

The 24-year-old took an early contested mark in the goalsquare and quickly spun around to kick the first goal of the afternoon, often creating separation from his opponent.

Retiring veteran Zac Dawson will come under scrutiny for a high bump in the third term that caused his Subiaco opponent, Liam Baker, to be taken off the ground on a stretcher.

Backmen Sam Collins (16 disposals, 10 marks) and Cam Sutcliffe (27 disposals, two goals) remained composed, while Tommy Sheridan (18 disposals, two goals) was lively in attack and unselfishly dished off a handball that resulted in an easy goal.

Defender Luke Ryan took 16 marks from his 25 touches, onballer Danyle Pearce accumulated an equal match-high 30 possessions, and first-year ruckman Sean Darcy kicked two steadying goals in the final term.

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

State league affiliate: Gold Coast (NEAFL)
This weekend: Lost semi-final to Sydney

State league affiliate: GWS Giants (NEAFL)
This weekend: Did not qualify for NEAFL finals. Played scratch match against Adelaide reserves

Dropped veteran Steve Johnson moved into the midfield and showed signs of form after a tough season in Greater Westsern Sydney's scratch match against the Adelaide reserves last Friday at Football Park. 

After being dropped for the senior side's qualifying final loss to the Crows last Thursday, Johnson was quiet in the first half before lifting his game.

"That was to get him into the game, he's a competitive beast and likes being around the footy," Giants NEAFL coach Brad Miller said.

"He spent time forward, as well.

"In the third quarter, he really stood up around the contest and got us going, so it was a positive step."

There is a hole to fill in Leon Cameron's side, with Jeremy Cameron having suffered a hamstring injury last Thursday.

The 34-year-old has lined up in 291 career matches.

Experienced midfielder Ryan Griffen took part in his first game since round three, playing about 70 per cent of the game.

He had been sidelined after left ankle surgery.

Senior coach Leon Cameron has indicated it's unlikely the 31-year-old would take part in the Giants' finals campaign.

Adelaide ran out convincing winners, 14.9 (93) to 6.8 (44).

State league affiliate: Box Hill Hawks (VFL)
This weekend: Bye - will play Preliminary Final on Saturday, September 16, 2.40pm, Fortburn Stadium  

State league affiliate: Casey Demons (VFL)
This weekend: Casey Demons v Richmond, Semi-Final - Saturday, September 9, 12.40pm, Fortburn Stadium 

Midfielder Angus Brayshaw suffered a suspected neck injury in Casey's 27-point semi-final loss.

The 21-year-old, who has a long concussion history, was involved in an innocuous incident that forced him out of the game in the first quarter.

AFL.com.au understands Brayshaw went to hospital for further assessment. 

It remains unclear how Brayshaw suffered his latest injury setback, although his last touch came at the 11-minute mark of the first term when he was brought to ground by Tiger Reece Conca and wrapped up at ground level by Anthony Miles.

A minute earlier, the helmeted Brayshaw bent over to win a contested possession and was met by several Tigers, forcing a stoppage in the centre.

Both incidents were quite inconspicuous and Brayshaw picked himself up and played on, but was no longer spotted on the ground after the 13-minute mark of the opening term.

Fellow onballer Corey Maynard showed why he's regarded as a contested beast, finishing with 35 possessions and a left-foot goal from a stoppage early in the first quarter.

Midfielders Jack Trengove (31 disposals), Ben Kennedy (28 disposals, one goal) and Billy Stretch (26 disposals, two goals) lifted as Casey mounted a challenge in the second half, while Tom Bugg took some nice grabs in attack and was rewarded with three goals. 

Trailing by 39 points at half-time, the Demons kicked seven goals to four in the third term to cut the margin to 26 points at the last break. 

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

State league affiliate: Port Adelaide (SANFL)
This weekend: Woodville-West Torrens v Port Adelaide, Second Semi-Final - Sunday, September 10, 3.10pm, Adelaide Oval

Midfielder Brendon Ah Chee controlled the ball and set up his teammates, finishing with 22 disposals and nine marks in the 33-point win that secured the Magpies a direct passage to the SANFL Grand Final.

The 23-year-old's highlight came in the third term when he flew above the pack to take a brilliant mark.

Coming off his 26-disposal display last weekend, Jimmy Toumpas was everywhere in the first quarter with 12 touches as Port kicked five unanswered goals, finishing with 35 disposals and 13 marks in a dynamic performance from half-back.

The Magpies made the best possible start with a quick centre clearance and pinpoint pass to forward Nathan Krakouer, who returned from a one-match SANFL suspension.

Krakouer converted a right-foot snap deep in the pocket inside 40 seconds and kicked his second major later in the term, before sitting out the entire second half with a right hamstring injury.

Speedster Matt White was also struck down by injury, taking no part after quarter-time due to a right ankle problem.

With Port Adelaide being knocked out of the finals by West Coast on Saturday night, Jackson TrengoveMatthew Broadbent and Aaron Young were automatically disqualified from lining up for the Magpies.

Under SANFL eligibility rules, all AFL-listed players can play SANFL finals provided the senior team is still in the finals race.

However, there are sudden changes the moment the AFL side is no longer a premiership contender.

Players who have not played the majority of their season in the SANFL – i.e. played more than eight AFL games – are no longer eligible for state finals.

Power players Riley BonnerJake NeadeTodd Marshall and Dougal Howard are all eligible for the SANFL Grand Final despite playing in the loss to West Coast.

After the siren: The final this season deserved

State league affiliate: Richmond (VFL)
This weekend: Casey Demons v Richmond, Semi-Final - Saturday, September 9, 12.40pm, Fortburn Stadium

Tough ball-winner Anthony Miles picked up 32 disposals in Richmond's 27-point semi-final win against the Casey Demons at Fortburn Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

"Constantly putting his body on the line in a really contested game, so we were really happy with his game again," coach Craig McRae told AFL.com.au.

There were a couple of minor injury concerns, with defender Jake Batchelor having a hand stomped on, while Ben Lennon copped a shoulder stinger. Both played out the game.

Small forward Tyson Stengle booted four goals and collected 17 disposals.

"Every time the ball went forward and hit the ground, he was the one that was impacting the game, particularly early. Such a clever player one-on-one, he's really hard to stop," McRae said.

Running backman Jayden Short had 24 disposals and lifted in the big moments while wingmen Corey Ellis (22) and Connor Menadue (16) also impressed.

The Tigers fought off a surging Casey, 19.14 (128) to 15.11 (101). 

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

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State league affiliate: Sydney (NEAFL)
This weekend: Sydney v Brisbane Lions, Grand Final - Saturday, September 9, 7.45pm, SCG

Midfielder Jordan Foote impressed with 27 disposals, nine marks and five tackles in the Swans' agonising three-point NEAFL Grand Final loss.

However, the 21-year-old had the chance to put his side in front at the 24-minute mark of the final term after taking an uncontested mark, but he failed to convert the set shot from 45m.

Youngster Jordan Dawson collected a team-high 28 touches and led the goalkicking with four goals, while onballer Dan Robinson gathered 27 disposals of his own.

Omitted draftee Will Hayward, who made way for small forward Tom Papley in Saturday's elimination final win over Essendon, had 14 disposals and laid seven tackles.

Ruckman Kurt Tippett didn't dominate the game with his 41 hit-outs, 15 disposals, three marks and two tackles.

Tippett is unlikely to earn a senior recall following strong performances from big men Callum Sinclair, Sam Naismith and Dean Towers against the Bombers.

The Swans were wasteful in front of goal, registering 10.22 for the match.

The result handed the Swans back-to-back Grand Final defeats following last year's four-point loss to Greater Western Sydney. 

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

State league affiliate: Footscray (VFL)
This weekend: Port Melbourne v Footscray, Semi-Final - Sunday, September 10, 2.40pm, Fortburn Stadium 

Bailey Williams (22 possessions and one goal) and Clay Smith (19 and seven tackles) did their best, but it was not enough for Footscray to progress into a preliminary final.

The Bulldogs' season ended with a 12.15 (87) to 16.11 (107) loss to Port Melbourne at North Port Oval on Sunday afternoon, with the team fading badly in the fourth quarter.

Smith had a big impact around stoppages and was dangerous when pushing forward, while Williams was tireless for four quarters, shrugging off a tackler to kick an impressive early goal.    

Premiership defender Matthew Boyd won 20 possessions in the final game of his career, while young defender Lewis Young (15 and three marks) was solid in defence before pushing forward late to kick a goal. 

It was a bad day for the forwards, despite a 68-54 advantage in inside 50s, with premiership hero Tom Boyd taking some good early marks but failing to capitalise, finishing with just seven possessions, five marks and 0.1. 

Young Bulldogs Patrick Lipinski (22 and seven marks) and Declan Hamilton (14 and a goal) enjoyed some highlights but faded, as did Lukas Webb (21), who was crucial early but racked up just six touches in the second half.