AFL Round 18 – Essendon v Hawthorn: I don’t hate Hawthorn

By Katie Lambeski

I don’t hate Hawthorn.

You, dear reader, might be surprised to read that, particularly coming from an Essendon supporter. Such respect can only be had for tough and skilful team like the Hawks.

It had been another heated week, as you might know. A fair few of us Bomber fans have been infuriatingly delusional as of late. Many have opted to get behind the club without a question to the top brass that oversaw what went down last season. It has followed the Dons around all season, and this columnist is worried about what is to come next.

But, to the football. There was a game of footy on Friday night, just so you know.

Played at a very fast pace to start with, that should have held the Bombers in good stead. Isolating Hodge against Bellchambers worked a treat early on as he outstretched the nuggety Hawk for a solid mark and goal, hope ‘Bell’ stays in Red and Black. Jake Carlisle proves himself a silly boy as he gives Lance Franklin a solid whack, that only bites back twice as hard. It was even as we traded goals with the Hawks to end the first quarter, despite that, Hawthorn have gone in ten points clear.

It seems our not-so-great tradition of playing key forwards into form continued. ‘Buddy’ is on a roll as he is playing deeper forward than he has in a while. Jack Gunston is pushed out to a wing to very handy effect. They’re dominating as they register forward entry after forward entry.

To my surprise, the boys defend well to hold fort, but there is only so long you can do that. Mitchell does what he likes as he racks up the touches as his team continually find space where they shouldn’t have any right to. Buddy pulls off his inner Garry Ablett Jr. to pick the ball, dart off, give some defenders the ‘don’t argue’ and bananas from the 50 arc. We don’t like any match for the Hawks as they go in to half-time up by thirty-two points.

It doesn’t get that much better. The Hawks kick six and we kick four in the third. That energy, run and Jobe are all missing and hurting us badly tonight. In the other corner, the Hawks look invincible.

It looks as if we’ve decided to let off some steam, and Jake Melksham may find himself in a spot of bother for an incident with Jarryd Roughead. We’re going better to start the second half, but the Hawks have so many avenues to goal. Buddy, Roughead, Gunston, Puopolo and Rioli all grab sausage rolls in the third term, while we’ve got more passengers than Metro Trains.

They add another six to our four to finish 56 points winnerss. Buddy looks on track for double figures as he lands nearly every shot on goal. We seem to match them in and under, but they continually find us out on the outside, dominating uncontested ball and disposal counts. Rioli has gone into midfield and adds even more to that team, almost as a mid-season recruit.

Hurley looks out of touch and so does Carlisle, possibly an unintended consequence of switching ends often, jack of all trades, masters of none? Let’s keep circumspect though.

This side finished eleventh last season, it is hard to make the jump to top spot and premiership contender from there. It looms as Sydney, Hawthorn, Geelong and daylight next.

Essendon 4.3, 5.4, 9.6, 13.9 (87)

Hawthorn 6.1, 10.6, 16.10, 22.11 (143)


Essendon: Hurley 3, Bellchambers 2, Dell’Olio, Myers, Colyer, Goddard, Jetta, Kommer, Ryder, Stanton

Hawthorn: Franklin 8, Roughead 4, Gunston, Bruest, Lewis, Puopolo 2, Hale, Rioli,



Heppell, Hibberd, Melksham, Hurley


Franklin, Mitchell, Guerra, Rioli, Hodge, Lewis

Umpires: Mollison, Nicholls, McInerney

Our votes: 3. Franklin (Haw) 2. Mitchell (Haw) 1. Lewis (Haw)


  1. Norman Partington says

    Bellchambers played well, if Hawthorn loses Buddy to the AFL and GWS, Hawthorn should seek Bellchambers to follow in the illustrious footsteps of the Big Fish, Paul Salmon.

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