Brendon Goddard was dominant as Essendon moved a step closer to locking in a top-eight finish with a 19-point AFL win over Gold Coast on Saturday.
The Bombers advanced to a 12-9 record with one round remaining after beating the Suns 16.12 (108) to 13.11 (89) at Etihad Stadium.
Ruckman Patrick Ryder and swingman Michael Hurley were also in good touch for the Bombers alongside Goddard who kicked three goals and had 28 disposals.
Tom Lynch kicked four goals for Gold Coast who have lost nine of their past 12 games and have a 10-11 record.
David Swallow, Dion Prestia and Harley Bennell were prominent for the Suns who were overpowered in the final term as Essendon, leading by seven points, finished with a five-goal last quarter to the Suns’ three.
Essendon led by five points at quarter-time and added four goals to Gold Coast’s two in the second to open up an 18-point advantage at halftime, 7.6 (48) to 4.6 (30).
The Bombers activated their sub in the third quarter after Cale Hooker left the field with concussion.
Gold Coast scored four consecutive goals to edge within a point of the Bombers during the third term but Essendon steadied to lead 11.9 (75) to 10.8 (68) at the final change.
Two goals early in the final term put the Suns in front before the Bombers put through four in succession to move 12 points clear.
Swallow’s bomb from outside 50 metres at the 18-minute mark kept Gold Coast in touch but six minutes later Goddard booted his third goal of the match to give the Bombers some breathing space.
Ruck/forward Ryder’s second goal of the term sealed the win in the 30th minute.
Essendon face Carlton next Saturday night in the last round of the season while the Suns host West Coast the following day.