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Hawthorn continues strong play in Australian Rules

June 23, 2013

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — The Hawthorn Hawks won their 11th consecutive match in the Australian Football League and have a chance to equal a 52-year-old club record with a victory next weekend.

The first-place Hawks beat the West Coast Eagles 19.9 (123) to 16.7 (103) and could match the record 12-game streak that led Hawthorn to its first AFL premiership in 1961 with a win over the Brisbane Lions next weekend.

The Hawks have 44 points and a four-point edge on second-place Geelong. The Cats missed out on a big chance to stay close with Hawthorn when they blew a 38-point lead after three quarters to lose 15.13 (103) to 14.14 (98) to the Lions.

Ash McGrath kicked the match-winning goal for Brisbane after the siren in his 200th match as the Lions kicked eight goals to one in the final period.

Hawthorn coach Alistair Clarkson said his team’s record winning streak has been a positive byproduct of the way his team is playing.

“It’s just all about silverware and preparing yourself for the best opportunity at the end of the year,” Clarkson said.

Also, Port Adelaide moved into the top eight with a 10.12 (72) to 8.6 (54) upset victory over the Sydney Swans. Port kicked five goals to two in the fourth quarter, with Chad Wingard kicking two of his three goals late to lead the winners.

St. Kilda kicked three goals in the first four minutes and went on to beat Melbourne 16.8 (104) to 10.9 (69) and Richmond won for the third consecutive time, beating the Western Bulldogs 17.19 (121) to 8.13 (61).

Six teams had weekend byes — Adelaide, Carlton, Collingwood, Essendon, Gold Coast and Greater Western Sydney.

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