AFL Round 4 – St Kilda v Essendon: A Spiritual High

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds”. (James 1:2)

Written a couple of thousand years ago, James’ words are no less apt when outlining Essendon’s season to date, with scribes from media outlets of all kinds outlining allegation after allegation against the proud club.

Amidst it all, there has been immense joy at each of the four victories this season. To many supporters, the streak represents something more than premiership points. It represents Essendon’s defiance at the slurs of the scandal; the determination of the players to band together under pressure. And with each final siren fans have rejoiced.

Coming off the spiritual high of last week’s astonishing comeback win over Fremantle, the Bombers cheer squad had adopted a biblical take on the clash with St Kilda: ‘A reading from the Book of Jobe: In Bombers we trust, Saints will bust’.

In recognition, I present the following sermon.

First Quarter (Essendon 37:13)

Goddard 3:05 – Thou shalt cross paths with one’s former brothers, and with past believers throwing verbal stones, will drift across a pack, mark, and kick truly. A celebratory congregation shall ensue.

Davey 5:35 – Lack of height shall not deter he from out-marking opponents and converting accurately.

Dempsey 17:05 – He shall swoop on the loose ball and with fleet feet; break Saints hearts with a 55 metre arrow.

Jobe 22:30 – Surrounded by those who seek to stop him, he will cast off the shackles of his oppressors; delivering reward to his supporters.

Bellchambers 28:15 – Trapped fourth man back in a crowded pack, he shall pluck a mark from the heavens and provide to his disciples a four-goal lead.

Second Quarter (Essendon 67:36)

Jobe 2:29– The calm, collected man is a boon to his allies. He shall centre a snap on the left to free up Hille, who in turn shall pass such goodwill to Stanton and Hurley. And thus the lead will be extended.

Davey 12:18– With ever-present faith, he shall thrust a foot at the treasured air-borne Sherrin, and his faith will be rewarded. Divine intervention shall follow; the ball shall curl in the air, and be guided through the goals.

Stanton 14:13 – Faced with strong opposition, his pace shall win out, he will maintain his footing and with conviction, snap truly.

Hurley 18:34 – He will show his strength to the masses, and they will cower in fear. Marks shall follow, and his performance will be dominant.

Third Quarter (Essendon 98:63)

Jobe 4:29 – Seeking rest and solace up forward, he shall lead from the square and gently nestle the ball amidst his midriff. He will further silence non-believers with another goal.

Gumbleton 12:34 –Enduring pressure and mistakes early, in the third he will spring to life and bring joy to all.

Carlisle 14:20 – A giant amongst men, he shall repel attack after attack with maturity and wisdom seemingly beyond his years.

Heppell 18:41 – When pursued by those who seek to halt him, he will side-step with ease to find light amidst the darkness; shining a beacon for his supporters to follow.

Fourth Quarter (Essendon 128:91)

Howlett 9:17 – Those who place their faith in their brothers are rewarded greatly; he who receives goodwill from his strong-marking team-mate will burst into the forward arc and

Jobe 17:53 – Blessed are those who master the handball and contested hardball get; for they shall inherit Brownlow votes.

Zaharakis 20:14 – Despite the match being won, he shall liberate the ball from the backline with abandon; supplying uncontested possession for all.

Winderlich 26:18 – He who overcomes adversity shall reap the benefits of their continued belief and loyalty; and he shall return to the fray to the cheers of the congregation.


Essendon: 6.2.38; 10.7.67; 15.8.98; 19.14.128

St Kilda: 3.2.20; 5.6.36; 9.9.63; 13.13.91


Essendon: Gumbleton 4, Hurley 3, Davey 2, Stanton 2, Watson 2, Bellchambers 2, Goddard, Howlett, Dempsey, Merrett

St Kilda: Riewoldt 3, Saad 2, Maister 2, Dennis-Lane 2, Armitage, Steven, Gilbert, Milne


Essendon: Watson, Hurley, Heppell, Stanton, Hibberd, Carlisle, Gumbleton

St Kilda: Riewoldt, Fisher, Hayes, Montagna

Votes: Watson (3), Hurley (2), Gumbleton (1)

About Sam Laffy

Thirty-something year-old Essendon supporter. Winning the flag in 2000 when I was 12 was supposed to kick off a dynasty I could boast about for years. Still waiting for that 17th flag.....


  1. Pamela Sherpa says

    Loved reading this Sam . Clever and amusing. Another great win for the Bombers. I didn’t see any of the game so thoroughly enjoyed your report.

  2. Steve Baker says

    Proverbs 2: And lo, Cale Hooker did execute an effective disposal that day, and there was much joy.

  3. andythebeast says

    Steven Baker… Himself????!!!!
    Anyway,the writing was very good, just not perfect because you didn’t mention the St.Kilda goals.

  4. I was more stoked that Gumbleton followed up his atrocious first half with a strong second half. We do need Hooker to step up on Thursday though – hopefully he and Carlisle can stop Travis from rampaging again.

    Andy, I have to admit I enjoyed watching us win faaaar too much to comment on St Kilda!

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