Essendon have kept their finals hopes alive with an emphatic 68-point win over the Gold Coast SUNS at GMHBA Stadium.
The SUNS were nowhere near the best and were brought undone by Essendon’s clearance dominance and ensuing swift ball movement, going down in the end 14.14 (98) to 4.6 (30).
Essendon's midfield ran the legs off their younger opponents, winning the clearances 37-31 and using slick hands to pick apart Gold Coast's defence.
Gold Coast started terrific into the wind during the first quarter, scrapping and clawing to keep scores level, but faded as the match wore on.
Touk Miller (30 disposals) again worked his backside off, while young midfielder Noah Anderson and defender Sam Collins battled hard.
Jake Stringer was the spark for Essendon on the day, booting five goals from 19 disposals.
Darcy Parish (35) and Zach Merrett (32) complemented big man Sam Draper and Stringer in the centre square, while the Bombers' forwards created plenty of chances from their 61 inside 50s.
It meant Gold Coast’s defensive unit was under siege for a large portion of the match and unable to withstand the weight of inside 50s.
The SUNS will look ahead to a Round 23 fixture against Sydney for the final match of the season.
GOLD COAST 2.2 3.4 3.6 4.6 (30)
ESSENDON 2.2 8.8 12.12 14.14 (98)
Gold Coast: Corbett, Fiorini, Jeffrey, Townsend
Essendon: Stringer 5, Guelfi 2, Waterman 2, Clarke, Durham, Hind, Perkins, Smith
Gold Coast: Miller, Anderson, Collins, Ballard
Essendon: Stringer, Parish, Draper, Merrett, Hind, Laverde, Ridley
Gold Coast: Lemmens (corked leg)
Gold Coast: Atkins (replaced Lemmens)
Essendon: Gleeson (unused)