AFL Round 8 – Essendon v Brisbane Lions: What a day

By Donal Wilson

Well, looking at this match on the fixture, after losing to North Melbourne by 10 goals and Essendon being undefeated at the time having smashed Collingwood on ANZAC day, I was not looking forward to this match. But, in the last three weeks Brisbane had shown a bit of fight. As for Essendon, they didn’t look great against GWS and got beaten by Geelong, though they played better in that game so I wasn’t too confident. But something about Saturday morning made me think to myself “we could win this”, so I went down to the game with my dad and my best friend, Ezra.

One of the main reasons I thought we could win this was that Brisbane was wearing the three-peat jumpers (the good times) but I still wasn’t really confident. So we got to the ground just in time for the first bounce and thank god we’ve got Simon Black back, a brilliant player. Another brilliant player, Dayne Zorko, kicked the first two goals of the game and it was 14 to nothing. Then rookie, Justin Clarke, crashed into the back of an Essendon player and Jobe Watson calmly steps in and kicks the first goal for the Bombers. But Brisbane stayed in there and had a slender lead at quarter time, something we have not been very good at this season.

In the second quarter it was almost goal for goal, Essendon held a seven point lead, but I thought if we got the first goal of the third quarter we would be in with a chance, which we did and the Essendon fans where getting angry. Maybe there was an upset brewing at Etihad Stadium. Simon Black was subbed off after he was one of the best players on the ground to half-time. It was late in the third term and it had been goal for goal all day. Brisbane were up by three points and I thought if we could get a quick goal before the buzzer we’d have a good chance at one of the upsets of the season and Mitch Golby kicked it long looking for Brown, who took the mark just before the three quarter time siren. Essendon fans thought it was after but Brown was paid the mark and he went back a long way, came in and kicked a point! Still we were doing far better than I thought we were going to do.

What a last quarter coming up. As was the pattern for most of the day Essendon kicked the first goal by a bad turn-over by McGrath but Brisbane took it out of the centre through Adcock who kicked long and Brown marked – or did he? Was he behind the line when he took the mark or not? The goal umpire said a point and the boundary umpire said a mark so it went up for review and it looked to me like it was over the line but I was still pleading for it to be given a mark and a mark it was to Brown, who went back and snapped the goal as good leaders do. The Essendon fans were furious! Brisbane was back in front! What a game – I was not expecting this.

Essendon dominated the last few minutes even though Watson missed, then Howlett goaled and Essendon were back in front by a whisker. Stanton then missed what could’ve been the sealer for Essendon and the Lions got the ball up the other end – a nail biter! A miscommunication between two bombers, with Michael Hibberd kicking straight to McGrath who kicked short and found Zorko who, for only a second year player, went back and slotted it from fifty!

Brisbane back in front in the frantic last few minutes and the ball was inside our fifty. Staker and Heppell were racing for the ball but Heppell tripped Staker and both went to ground, with the free kick paid to Brisbane. There couldn’t be long left – what a fairy tale it would be for Staker to kick the match winning goal after all his trouble with ACLs and just getting back to playing, but to kick the winning goal would be something else.

He just went back and put it straight though the middle. And to cap off a brilliant win, my friend Ezra, and I went to the post-match and got Simon Black’s autograph. What a legend he is. Go Lions! Wish I’d picked ‘em.

About Donal Wilson

I'm a mad Brisbane supporter who also plays footy and cricket for my local team in Melbourne.


  1. Peter Schumacher says

    So do I (wished that I had picked them that is) This was truly a great game for the Lions believers!

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