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Round 18 round up (Part 2)

As I mentioned in my Round 18 preview, the main interest in the first Sunday game was the performance of the four Top 100 AFL goal kickers playing.

Unfortunately, Jack Gunston did not play, following the recent death of his father. Unfortunately also he was not mentioned in the injury list on the AFL website prepared by Josh Gablich so this fact was lost to me.

However, it still left three of the AFL Top 100 goal scorers to strut their stuff on the MCG on a wet and windy day: The most senior in age as well as goals scored was Josh Kennedy, who has already indicated a preference to retire at the end of the season.

Kennedy who last week scored his 700th goal for the Eagles (his 711th overall courtesy his 11 for Carlton before his well publicised trade for Chris Judd in 2007) was already the greatest goal scorer of all time for the West Coast Eagles and the 23rd greatest of all time in the VFL/AFL.

Hot on his heels was Geelong’s Tom Hawkins, who was only three goals behind at the start of the round. Hawkins had played on Saturday night but scored only 2 goals so finished the round on 710, still adrift of Kennedy. Kennedy for his part scored 2 goals to retain his 3 goal buffer ahead of Hawkins.

Jack Darling, also on the losing side with two goals. passed Essendon’s Terry Daniher and drew level with another former Bomber, Scott Lucas.

However, an outstanding game from Hawthorn’s Luke Breust saw him kick 6 goals in the equal best effort of Round 18.

Starting the round level with Jack Darling, Breust not only passed Darling, but also Daniher and Lucas to draw level with the three former champions that finished their careers on 475: fellow Hawk John Peck (1954-1966), Kangaroo Jock Spencer and Keith Forbes who spent the bulk of his career (1928-1937) at Essendon before two years at North Melbourne and a final year at Fitzroy.

In this game also, Jai Culley became the third debutante of the round when he took the field for the Eagles and acquitted himself well.

Far away from the wet and windy MCG, Melbourne played Port Adelaide at Treagar Park in Alice Springs in a game vital to the final eight, and – for the first time in his coaching career – Melbourne coach Simon Goodwin had to prepare his match plan without the silky skills of Clayton Oliver.

Although a whopping 52 consecutive games behind Collingwood marvel, Jack Crisp, Oliver has amassed an impressive 127 games in a row.

His run is now broken, and Todd Goldstein on 104 games becomes number two on the list in the same round that Oliver’s team mate Christian Petracca plays his 100th consecutive game.

While Port Adelaide was competitive, the brilliance of Kysaiah Pickett with 6 goals was too much and Melbourne ran out winners by 14 points to remain top two on the ladder.

In the last game of the round, Essendon ran out easy winners against Gold Coast with Jake Stringer kicking 4 goals, and “two metre” Peter Wright kicking two against his old club.

Also, in this game, David Swallow, who has been at the club since Round 1, 2011 equalled the game record of Jarrod Harbrow of 192 games.

If he plays next week he will join an impressive list of six other current games record holders: Scott Pendlebuury (Collingwood), David Mundy (Fremantle). Joel Selwood (Geelong), Callan Ward (Greater Western Sydney), Travis Boak (Port Adelaide) and Shannon Hurn (West Coast).

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