AFL Round 13: Essendon v Carlton: Bombers score best win in Knights era

By Damian Watson
Another very eventful Friday indeed! It is the end of the school term, two very notable American entertainers have passed away (Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett), and we are witnessing another huge build-up to a season-defining clash between Essendon and Carlton at a packed MCG.
Unfortunately I wasn’t one of the 83,407 fans who ventured to the floodlit MCG as I was suffering from the flu. As I sat down in front of plasma watching the  Channel 7 delayed telecast, I knew that a win would give us Blueboys a great chance to reach the top four, a loss could see us spiral out of the eight. The Bombers have a great recent history in the rivalry and were looking to win their fifth straight against the Blues.
The Carlton side looked good in the first few minutes with Judd bursting through packs and delivering beautifully into the forward line. The defence worked hard as the Bombers tried to thrust foward and Fev was winning the early one-on-one contests with young Tayte Pears and converting. Setanta O’hAlipan took plenty of contested marks despite copping knocks from behind by Fev, and Kreuzer was having a great ruck duel with Patty Ryder. However, the Bombers pegged back and took the advantage in an even first term. Jobe Watson was looking lively and was the main possesion getter for the term, creating space in the centre of the ground. Hayden Skipworth and Scott Lucas were working hard in the forward line and converting. The Bombers continued to apply immense pressure on the young Carlton side but couldn’t convert their easy chances, which left Essendon one point up at the first change.
The Essendon side were looking worse for wear halfway through the second quarter and were in danger of falling well behind. Jobe Watson had already earnt 16 possesions. However, he succumbed to an ankle injury and with a man down and no McVeigh or McPhee in the side the Bombers struggled. Carlton were seemingly on top with Murphy and Simpson pivotal in the centre and Eddie Betts looking dangerous in the forward line. At one stage  the Blues were leading by 14 points. However the Bombers surged back with Prismall and Hooker looking handy across the half-back line and Andrew Welsh starting to beat Judd to the contested footy. Monfries and Lloyd were vital targets up forward and with the help of a couple of 50m penalties Essendon hit the front by the main break.
I was anticipating another cliff hanger at the introduction of the second half; how wrong I was!  Essendon ran riot, kicking more goals than Michael Jackson had No.1 hits! Andrew Lovett found some confidence as he finally ran free of young star Aaron Joseph and kicked a few goals. Alwyn Davey ran quicker than Sydney’s Robbie Ahmat did in THAT goal of the year in 2000 as he laid brilliant tackles on the relatively quick Carlton midfielders. Essendon continued to lay an unbelievable amount of pressure on the Carlton side and the Blues were disgraceful. Players like Nick Stevens and Shaun Hampson continually fumbled the ball at ground level. Andrew Welsh continued to exert some influence as he picked up plenty of disposals while keeping Chris Judd at bay. Tayte Pears embarrassed Fevola as he ran freely out of defence carrying the ball to half-foward and delivering to his tall fowards. The image of Brent Stanton jubilantly celebrating after converting one of his team’s six goals for the quarter was symbolic of how the night turned out.
At three-quarter time the margin was an almost insurmountable six goals to Essendon. As the time ticked by the Bomber Avalanche continued, with Monfries adding to his goal tally, ending up with five for the match. Andrew Welsh and Scott Lucas, who have so far had forgettable seasons, suddenly came to life in this match and were successful in each of their roles. Matthew Lloyd contributed four goals for the match as the Bombers amassed seven goals for the quarter and 21 for the game. Andrew Lovett ended his irresistible second half by taking mark of the night in unorthodox fashion. Essendon ended the night 69-point winners, giving them a shot at a top four spot.
It was described as the best win for the Bombers in the Knights era. On the other side of the coin it was the most embarrassing performance of Brett Ratten’s reign. Need anymore be said?
Essendon 21.10 (136) d Carlton 9.13 (67).
Goals — Essendon: Monfries 5, Lloyd 4, Lovett 3, Lucas 3, Skipworth 2, Davey, Stanton, Reimers, Ryder. Carlton: Betts 3, Fevola 2, Gibbs, Judd, Simpson, O’hAilpin.
My votes: Welsh (E) 3, Monfries (E) 2, Prismall (E) 1.

About Damian Watson

Hey,my name is Damian Watson and I am 14 years old. My ambition is to become an AFL broadcaster/journalist in the future. I am a keen blues supporter and I live in the Eastern suburbs of Melbourne. I play and write for the Knox Falcons U/16's.


  1. I was at the ‘G, hopes still holding at half-time, but by three-quarter time had decided “They Know We’re Coming” needed a rewrite: “They nowhere-coming.” Still, stuck around out to the end.

  2. Damian Watson says

    You’re a very faithful supporter, not even Dave Hughes stayed until the end.

  3. Wanted my money’s worst, Damian.

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