Essendon breaking new ground

“ Hi Tania. We expected that. Thanks for calling. Guys, it’s off,” said my dad. After the rain on Friday, I would have been very surprised if our tennis game was on. It was the first washout of the season, but it meant a quiet day before gearing up for an almost certain win for the Mighty Bombers. When my brother and I tried to play tennis in the afternoon, we got drenched.

I haven’t been able to relax over Essendon’s games the past couple of years. We have been on the fringe of the eight or well below. Now we sit second on the ladder, I can afford to relax and expect a win. GWS is no easy road though, with a bunch of talented young guns and hardened veterans. At least they did not have a home ground advantage. This was the first match ever played at Skoda Stadium. It has the biggest scoreboard in the Southern Hemisphere. With only 25,000 seats, it also has a very country atmosphere.

The first couple of minutes reminded me of the Essendon vs Gold Coast game last year. Fifteen goals in the opening quarter was the score that game. It looked like repeating itself with two open goals to Essendon in five minutes, then the scrap settled in with neither team making any inroads on the scoreboard. Essendon defenders racked up the disposals as GWS got inside fifties, but could not get a goal. Bellchambers got one midway through the quarter and GWS kept getting behinds. 3.1 to 0.5 at quarter time.

The difference between Essendon and GWS is not only experience, it’s second efforts that the Essendon players put in. A great example of this happened midway through the term. Michael Hurley got a shocking pass from the midfield and Callan Ward picked it up. Hurley after trying to mark it tackled Ward, got holding the ball and goaled. That is what a good player does. GWS finally kicked a goal in an open goal from Dylan Shiel. Adam Treloar ran into open space and kicking an open goal via a dodgy play from Essendon defenders. Essendon defenders were getting a lot of possessions, but they were making mistakes. At half time GWS had more scoring shots than Essendon but were down by 28 points. Scully was doing a great job of tagging Stanton and Watson was quiet too.

During the half time break, we flicked to SBS for the Eurovision Song Contest. The song that was on screen was from the Netherlands. No offence, but it is not my type of music when the Dutch dress up like Native Americans. The next two songs were really good from Malta and Belarus. By the time the SBS crew had done the ads, interviewed the next performers and done some really weird clips, it was the third quarter of the match.

The third quarter was when GWS started to get some goals, but Essendon kicked away. Bellchambers kicked the opening goal.  Jeremy Cameron kicked two, but was matched by Monfries at the other end. During the ad breaks, we watched the Sweden, Georgia and Turkey acts. Watson had shrugged off his tag and was starting to make an impact in the middle. With one minute to go in the third quarter, Ricky Dyson did his groin. He got subbed off for Henry Slattery. Kennedy got subbed out for the home side.

The last quarter Crameri got injured but was forced to play on, Cameron, Davey and Bellchambers kicked their third goals. GWS kicked three goals to Essendon’s five. Watson kicked a goal and set up one. The siren sounded and Essendon got to top spot of the ladder. GWS had put up a fight to the Mighty Bombers, but the Bombers were way too good.

Next week I am a bit nervous, we usually lose to Melbourne midway through the season. This season is different though. Essendon are stronger, tougher and can win even when they are playing badly. Dees, you’re going down!


  1. Lord Bogan says

    ” No offence, but it is not my type of music when the Dutch dress up like Native Americans.” Max you’ve captured the craziness of Eurovision in one sentence. However, you could say the same about GWS dressing up as a football team. Great stuff Max. Bombers are flying!

  2. Andrew Else says

    I know what you mean about being apprehensive Max. The Bombers haven’t played well interstate for about 10 years. Even the games against the new teams bring a certain amount of angst. Remember the Gold Coast game in round 3?

    I’m sure neither the Dutch nor the North Americans would be offended by your observation Max. I reckon they’re as perplexed as you are.

  3. pamela sherpa says

    I was at the game Max. The Bombers seem to play poorly against teams lower on the ladder and better when the pressure is on. The Giants made them work for their win. I recall last years awful performance against Melbourne. The Bombers look stronger and more confident this year. Hirdy has them heading in the right direction.

  4. Richard Naco says

    It won’t be too many years in the future when GWS – these extraordinary young men, this amazing young team, this visionary young club – will have nobod,y not even the most ignorant nor blinkered of fans, even remotely considering that they “dress up like a football team”.

    Because in afew short years’ time, they will simply be towering completely over the AFL.

    Like Giants!

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