Call of the Card goes to the Bombers

Essendon VS Hawthorn

Melbourne Cricket Ground

7:40 1st May

Steven Ingham

At the start of any season, the games I instantly look for are Essendon VS Carlton, Collingwood and Hawthorn. More so than normal there was anticipation for this edition of the ‘Line in the Sand Cup’ for one simple reason: Lloyd’s hit on Sewell. What I haven’t understood since 2 minutes into the 2nd half of Round 22 last year, was if the Hawks were so hell bent on revenge, why didn’t they get it then? Why did Campbell Brown wait until after sharing a field with Lloydy for 60 minutes before jumping on radio and giving him a spray calling him a “sniper”? If he was so fired up, why not get even then, but all that is in the past. This game took on added importance when both sides only won 1 game each out of the first 5 rounds. This is almost an elimination match in Round 6. Winner – Still in trouble, Loser – In a whole world of pain.

With “Line in the Sand” and “Elimination” match, along with the way Channel 10 has promoted this game, I cant help but report on it like a WWE Wrestling Card.

Handicap Match – Luke “Mr. Everything” Hodge VS Essendon Football Club.

The Dons got the jump on the Hawks and despite a close and even 2nd & 3rd quarters, ended up leading all the way and held the Horrible’s scoreless in the last term to run out 43 point winners. What would be really scary was what these Hawks would be without Luke Hodge. I am a huge Hodgey fan, but you can see the fatigue on him already as he has been carrying his team every week, as their best performed midfielder who is needed desperately in an undermanned backline and who has to do half the ruckwork. Quite simply he is doing the work of 3 men, and doing it very well.

WINNER – Essendon, but not through lack of effort.

Tag Team Match – “Rough Buddies” Franklin & Roughead VS “The Future” Hurley & Gumbleton

Buddy kicked his usual bag, but for the second time in the last two meetings between these clubs, the Bombers had a key forward of their own that was warming the hearts of fans. If I am a Hodge fan, I must be stalking Michael Hurley. The kid shows so much potential and another 4 goals tonight showed us all why we are gonna love watching “HURLS!” over the next 10 years. His partner in crime up forward, The Big Gumby, was again encouraging in his output, and will continue to improve with every game. The reason Buddy’s partner up forward in Roughead hasn’t been mentioned is he may as well have been disqualified before the event, his output was non-existent and his form is a major concern for Hawkers.

Midfield Madness – 6 Player Cage Match – Watson, Stanton, Ryder VS Lewis, Sewell & Renouf

The Dons also won this hands down, and the lack of ruckmen is going to kill off the Hawks season. Renouf is a honest battler, but he is consistently double and triple teamed, not giving his team first use of the ball. Compound that with the absence of Mitchell & Burgoyne, and Sewell is still underdone after coming back from injury last week, the Hawks have their excuses in the middle. But don’t take anything away from the Bombers, as their main 2 midfielders were magnificent all night, whilst Ryder, Winderlich, Prismall & Hille were all able to find some form.

Main Event – The Blowtorch Battle – Al “Clarko” Clarkson VS Matty “Knighter” Knights

Knights walked into the colosseum with the entire football world questioning his game plan, his ability as a coach, his philosophies’, his contract, the colour of his undies. He was under more pressure than the Melbourne Storm’s budget. However, for the third time in a row since the Hawks won the 08 flag, Knights got the chocolates against the Hawks, and clearly passed the blowtorch onto Clarkson for him to take back to Waverly for the week. Who will get dropped? Who will come back? What’s wrong with Roughy? Next time we are in Tassie can we dip the entire team into the Tassie waters to make them better like in the Boags Draught Ad? These are only some of the questions, but in 6 days the Footy starts again, and like Matty Knights will admit, a ceasefire is only a win away.

Essendon        5.4       7.6       11.9     15.16.106

Hawthorn        1.5       5.8       9.9       9.9.63



Hurley 4, Davey 2, Gumbleton, Watson, Stanton, Monfries, Prismall, Zaharakis, Lonergan, Hille, Ryder 1.


Franklin 5, Young 2, Osborne 1, Bateman 1



Watson, Fletcher, Lovett-Murray, Hurley, Winderlich, Stanton, Welsh, Ryder, Prismall.


Franklin, Hodge, Osborne, Bateman, Young




3 – Jobe Watson – Ess

2 – Dustin Fletcher – Ess

1 – Lance Franklin – Haw


  1. Pamela Sherpa says

    Great stuff Steve. i was at that rd 22 game- fantastic win that day-was so excited by Hurley’s talent. I was sitting 4 rows in front of Mal Brown but I didn’t look round till after we had sung the Bomber’s song 4 times. By then Mal had left.

    I happened to be in Vic at the weekend so was lucky to see this game on TV. Great to see Bombers playing with a bit of spirit. Gumby is becoming a crowd favourite. We’ve got some good young talent on the backline. Just need the midfielders to kick the ball to the forwards more often- instead of messing around in the middle.
    Go Bombers!

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