Dempsey shows shades of Norm McDonald in Bombers win

Dreamtime at the “G” has always been one of my favourite games of the year, so I was in a state of turmoil to realise that a few weeks ago the good wife and I had promised to have an overnighter with the grand kids on that particular night.  Pretending it didn’t matter that much I was very cheery and happy when they arrived.  Being Collingwood  supporters ( what in God’s name made that happen?) they were in good spirits after their win over Geelong the previous night. The kids were happy to have an early dinner so that Da (that’s me)  could watch the game on the telly , and the eldest was enthusiastic about joining me on the couch.
As Sir James Hird remarked, Essendon has been at the forefront of when it comes to Indigenous issues , how important it is to Australian Society that we understand their culture and their history.

As a very young kid I watched the great Norm McDonald playing for the Dons in the 40s and 50s.  I reckon Courtenay Dempsey plays a similar game today, with his pace and class.  Who could forget  Michael Long and what he brought to the Essendon Football Club and how he influenced changes in attitudes and prejudices in the public arena.
And so on the couch with “Cobber” as the ball is bounced, but before I could blink Richmond score a major. This was just the entree to the” Paddy Ryder Show,” he scores a major twenty seconds later, then Alwyn Davey pops up with one followed by two more from Paddy. It was an Indigenous Skill Show for this enormous crowd and I was loving it.

Essendon was all class, pin point foot and hand passing, accuracy up front and an impassable back line. Richmond are still hard at the ball and score three more goals but Essendon score another couple and lead by twelve points . I reckon the Dons are far more superior in all facets of the game ,so only leading by a couple of goals puzzles me.

Second quarter, and the Dons display class all over the ground, they pile on the goals, Leroy Jetta  twice, Jobe Watson, Brett Stanton twice and Angus Monfries bring a big smile to my face. The Tigers blow a few chances with points from gettable shots. Their tally for the quarter is two goals six to Essendon tally of six goals five, the Dons up by thirty five at the big break.

Grandson thinks the game is all over at half time  and I agreed with him when Paddy Ryder stretches the lead to forty two within a few minutes. But then an unexpected  change came over the game. The pin point accuracy of Essendon has disappeared and Richmond are back  in the game with a gutsy display. It’s only their poor goal kicking that keeps the Dons well in front . The game seems to be played in the Richmond forward line for most of the quarter. Essendon on the other hand make the most of their limited opportunities and score three goals two for the quarter, Richmond on the other hand kick five goals eight and I seem to remember a few out of bounds on the full.  The Dons are still about three goals up at three quarter time . Grandson goes to bed, I’m left to watch the final term nervously on my own.
And well I should be worried, Richmond are well on top but continue to throw their chances away.  The Dons are really battling and Richmond get a couple of goals to reduce Essendon’s lead to less than a goal and then kick another to lead with only five or six minutes to go.  Richmond in front, I can’t believe it.  But then there is another twist to the game,  Nathan Lovett-Murray coming on as a sub for Dustin Fletcher bangs through a great goal from the boundary  followed in quick succession by majors to Monfries and Davey.  Essendon up by nineteen as the siren sounds. I have no soft spot for Richmond, but I reckon they kicked themselves out of the game I almost felt sorry for them.Best on the ground was Brett Deledio who must have a sore leg for all the kicks he had.
Best players:

Essendon: Paddy Ryder, Jobe Watson, David Zaharakis, Alwyn Davey, Brett Stanton, Courtney Dempsey, Leroy Jetta and Nathan Lovett-Murray for that late goal.
Richmond: Brett Deledio, Shane Edwards, Shaun Grigg, Ivan Maric and Shane Tuck.

Essendon: Ryder 4, Monfries 3, Stanton 3, Davey 2, Watson 2, Jetta2, Howlett, Crameri, Lovett-Murray.

Richmond: Edwards 3, Cotchin 3, Martin 2, Grigg2, Deedio, Miller, Jackson, Riewoldt, Nahas.


  1. pamela sherpa says

    I like Dempsey too Rod. Will be interesting to see how the backline operates this week with Fletch out.

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