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The 2021 AFL season was one of the best to watch and there were many ups and downs to follow, culminating in a fantastic grand final win.
 

The Top 8 Throughout the Season

Port Adelaide, who dominated the 2020 season up until the preliminary finals, had a pretty good year finishing first on the ladder for the first two rounds and staying in the top eight the entire season, ultimately finishing second on the ladder. 

Unfortunately, they were knocked out in the preliminary finals by the Western Bulldogs.
 
The Geelong Cats, who were runners up in 2020 also had a strong year, finishing third on the ladder only to be soundly defeated by the Melbourne Demons in the preliminary finals by 83 points.
 
The Brisbane Lions season started slow but gained traction in the 6th round where they entered the top eight and stayed in there for the rest of the season, finishing fourth on the ladder. 

It wasn’t until the semi-finals when they were narrowly beaten by the Western Bulldogs by an excruciating one point.
 
The Sydney Swans had a strong year, staying in the top eight the entire season, ultimately finishing sixth on the ladder where they had been since round eight, except for round 19 where they were fifth. 

They made it into the finals but were beaten by one point by Greater Western Sydney during the elimination finals.
 
Greater Western Sydney was only in the top eight a total of six times across the season but managed to finish seventh and secure a chance in the finals. They made it to the semi-finals but were soundly beaten by Geelong by 35 points.
 
Finishing last in the top eight was the Essendon Bombers who had a slow start to the season, but picked up their game in round eleven. 

They managed to hit the top eight in round eighteen but were knocked out again in the following three rounds only to return to the top eight for the last two rounds, narrowly making it into the finals. 

However, they were quickly disposed of by the Western Bulldogs by 49 points in the elimination final.
 
The 2021 AFL season was mostly dominated by two teams who ended up in the Grand Final. The betting odds on the AFL in 2021 were rife with conjecture. 

The Melbourne Demons and the Western Bulldogs who both finished in the top 8 in all 23 rounds and besides Port Adelaide in the first two rounds, were the only two teams on the entire roster to finish first on the ladder for the rest of the rounds.
 

2021 AFL Grand Final

All this culminated with the Grand Final between the Melbourne Demons and the Western Bulldogs, where Melbourne ended a record 57-year premiership drought by winning the flag by 74 points. 

The Bulldogs were up by 19 points in the 3rd quarter, but the Demons went on to provide what is possibly the greatest 17 minutes in Melbourne’s history by going from 19 points behind to leading by 24 points. 

The Demons kicked goal after goal and ended up with a 74-point win. 

The Bulldogs started strongly and were dominant for most of the game but the Demons proved to be too tenacious and ultimately brought home the victory with some stunning play by Bayley Fritsch who ended up with six goals.

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