AFL Round 12: Essendon v Melbourne: Bombers fail to convince

By Josh Barnstable

It’s the last day of the term and next week we start semester two. How does that work out? Why is it like that? It’s because of the Government, with the idea that we cannot finish school for the entire semester and go on holidays today, the 19th of June. So next week we start semester two and after that week we finally get our two weeks break. Completely useless the week is going to be.

It’s Friday afternoon. As soon as I get home from school, I quickly read a bit of the Herald Sun and get ready for my interview on ABC Radio with Crackers. He’s on, talking about the three games being played in the AFL this weekend. Where am I? Waiting to be called … still waiting … finally I hear the ring of the phone. It’s the ABC. They forgot to ring me. Honest mistake. Anyway I go on to give my tips in record time: 20 seconds at the most. I tipped Essendon, but have a weird Red and Blue feeling in my stomach.

The Demons run out in their alternative-alternative clash guernsey; a White number with a red and blue demon on the front. Of course their alternative is a red guernsey with a white and blue demon but even that would clash with Essendon. The Demons are unveiling their exciting player from Yuendumu in Central Australia: Liam Jurrah. Sporting a hair-cut reminiscent of MC Hammer, Jurrah has come a long way from playing football with bare feet in the desert last year. Jack Watts is playing the second game of his career and will be hoping to show the strong crowd why he was the first pick in the AFL Draft. On return from Essendon is Andrew Welsh. After being ruled out for the season with a broken leg and dislocated ankle after being tackled by Michael Quinn in a practice match in the pre-season, the self-proclaimed metrosexual has made a remarkable comeback from injury and I’m sure he’d be happy out their with all his mates.

The game starts unusually. After a few minutes of non-scoring, Cale Hooker marks and is given a 50m penalty after Paul Johnson bumps him after Hooker marked it. The young defender/ruckman kicked just the second goal of his career and got Essendon on its way, with goals to Matthew Lloyd and Sam Lonergan taking the margin out to 17 points. Interestingly the first 3 goals coming from free kicks. Cameron Bruce then gets the Demons on the board with a running goal from 40m out before Lloyd snapped a goal over his shoulder followed by a snap from Mark McVeigh to take the margin out to 23 points. Matthew Bate takes a strong mark and kicks a lovely goal. Is it just the White Guernsey or does his hair look more red? Jack Grimes then kicks his first goal in AFL to cut the margin to 12 points. Then Lloyd kicks a goal after a poor clanger from Aaron Davey on his defensive goal-line. At quarter time, the Bombers lead by 19 points, 6.3 to 3.2. Jobe Watson has 10 touches for the Bombers while Brad Green is on 10 possessions for Melbourne.

The second quarter begins and Brad Miller marks and goals before McVeigh kicks one of the goals of the night; a snap from 45m out that curls through brilliantly. Miller then receives a free kick and goals before Angus Monfries receives and goals to take the margin out to 20 points. Finally it happens though. Watts takes a good mark and lines up for goal, 25m out. He goals and the Demons’ crowd go wild. This is followed by a goal to Russell Robertson. Margin 9 points. Then Jurrah flies high in the goalsquare but drops a mark. On his way to ground though, he gathers the ball and kicks it out of mid-air on his back for his first in AFL and celebrates, bringing back memories of Round 4 last year when the Demons came back from 9 goals to defeat Fremantle at the MCG after Austin Wonaeamirri kicked 4 goals in the last quarter. Lonergan marks and goals and then Scott Lucas gathers the ball running towards the goalsquare and kicks his 1st of the night to take the margin out to 16 points at the main change, 10.7 to 8.3. Watson has 16 touches for the Bombers while Prismall continued with his great form for the night, having 15 touches. For the Demons, Bruce picked up 18 possessions while Green and Brent Moloney have 17 each.

The second half begins and a huge mark to Adam McPhee results in a goal to Lucas. This was followed by goals to Hayden Skipworth and a snap from Alwyn Davey, the margin blown out to 35 points. Robertson marked on the lead and goaled but Lucas kicked his 3rd and then Skipworth and Davey goaled, giving the Bombers 6 goals so far for the quarter from just 3 players. Monfries ruined the run though, kicking his 2nd after a mark and a 50m penalty, the margin out to a huge 58 points at three quarter time, 17.13 to 9.3. Welsh is on 21 touches for Essendon while Green has 23 for Melbourne.

The last quarter begun and the Bombers would have been looking for a big percentage booster but, to Melbourne’s credit, fought back with goals to Bate from a tough angle, Neville Jetta after a mark 45m out, Stefan Martin after gathering, turning around, accelerating and kicking a good goal on the run. Then a goal to Watts after a mark saw the margin cut to 34 points. Watson capped off a brilliant night though, taking a mark and kicking a goal from 40m out and then a nice running goal from Jason Winderlich saw the margin out to 46 points. The final margin was 8 goals, 19.17.131 to 13.5.83. Watson finished on 28 touches for Essendon while Prismall and Brent Stanton collected 26. For the Demons, Davey played well, picking up 30 possessions while Green and Bruce had 27 each.

I can’t help feeling that the Bombers were slightly unconvincing. Of course, they played well, but it took until the third quarter to really gain the ascendancy and were in slight danger of the Demons’ getting within 5 goals in the final quarter. Next round’s clash against Carlton should be a ripper, and could be arguably the biggest, most important game in 5 years for the Bombers, likewise for the Blues. Melbourne have a very bright future ahead. Jurrah looks like a champion already and has established himself as a crowd favourite, which should keep Demon fans coming to games. Watts showed his good marking ability and a David Neitz-like goalkicking accuracy.

As I fight with a flu that Mum has not ruled out to be the Swine Flu, I think of the other deadly flus: Horse flu, Pig flu, Bird flu. Maybe living on a farm has its disadvantages. Maybe a move to the city is the best option for us?  Or maybe this is just Farmageddon

Essendon 6.3—10.7—17.13—19.17.131
Melbourne 3.2—8.3—9.3—13.5.83


Essendon-Lloyd 3, Lucas 3, Skipworth 2, Davey 2, McVeigh 2, Lonergan 2, Monfries 2, Watson, Winderlich, Hooker

Melbourne-Bate 2, Miller 2, Watts 2, Robertson 2, Bruce, Jurrah, Grimes, Jetta, Martin


Essendon-Watson, Prismall, Lucas, Lloyd, Welsh, Monfries, McVeigh, Lonergan

Melbourne-Davey, Bruce, Miller, Green, Moloney


45, 740


3 Votes: Jobe Watson (E)
2 Votes: Brent Prismall (E)
1 Vote: Scott Lucas (E)


  1. danielle says

    Good work Josh.
    Nice, you read the Herald Sun too! My teachers have been stressing that we should be reading the Age but I won’t give in. However I managed not to mention to them that the only section I read in the Herald Sun is the sports section!! shhhhhhhhhh!!
    I answered you question about Didak in the comments for ‘a life of a pie’

  2. Damian Watson says

    How did you get a job at ABC Radio?

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