Round 13 – Essendon v GWS: Close, But No Cigar

And so it was that the assembled masses raged with apoplectic fury against the AFL driven-machinations that demand, nay, necessitate a GWS premiership. Cometh the hour – the third and fourth quarters, cometh the ‘men’ – those 14 463 in attendance at ‘The Dome’ on Sunday afternoon. ‘Honourable losses’ in a hopeless season build unkempt, ugly, but hidden frustration. Quarters and halves are subjected to rapturous applause and celebrated the way a comprehensive win would be.

Resentment builds up. Conspiracies are created. Eventually, the dam walls break. As it was, the men in green acted as the outlet. Those frees delivered to GWS- and in particular – the first goal on debut handed to Matthew Kennedy – were a dagger to the dreams of those who made the trek to witness a chilly twilight encounter.

An almost miraculous first-half full of fight, counter-attacking, and desire from Essendon had built a base of dreams. That today, the beleaguered would rise up, that the second-string could, would, usurp the youthful ‘upper caste’ of the Giants. Momentarily the game encapsulated revolutionary fervour, with the cast aside, the lame, and the almost-rans sticking a determined middle finger to the assembled aristocracy of top-10 draftees and white-collar, blue-chip traded-ins.

But, it was not to be.

Messrs. Pannell, Findlay, Nicholls and Fleer played the role of villains, and their overzealous officialdom and conspiring saw them as executioners who decapitated the spirit of the Bombers. So it was, that ‘Greater’ Western Sydney kicked away with ten goals to three in the second half and emerged victorious by 27 points.

In reality, the spread and run from defense provided by Zac Williams and Nathan Wilson, the link up play of Stephen Coniglio and Tom Scully, and the finishing of Matthew Kennedy and Toby Greene, were responsible for the demise of the Bombers’ hopes – but don’t let the facts get in the way of a good story.

We was robbed!

Nonetheless, the intent to transition the ball from the flanks to the corridor and to capitalise on the run of players like McDonald-Tipungwuti and Zach Merrett delivered hope for the faithful in the remaining games in 2016. Much-needed hope too, considering some of the recent ‘efforts’ put forward by the Bombers squad.

As a deserter to the cause for much of 2016 – Sunday marking the first venture to the football since the dismal ANZAC Day clash – it was heartening to see the potential in our squad. Fantasia – who should’ve kicked six or seven were it not for a ‘Buddy-esque’ performance in front of goal – is a lively type up forward, Zerrett continues to star (despite having only played 50 games), McDonald-Tipungwuti continued his emergence, and Patrick Ambrose provided possibly his best effort yet – keeping Jeremy Cameron to just two goals.

Pleasingly, the Bombers showed their potential to frustrate those looking for percentage boosts in the lead-up to finals – perhaps all that we can hope to influence as we scrap with Brisbane to avoid the ignominy of a last-place finish.

GWS: 2.7, 7.8, 11.13, 17.15 (117)
ESSENDON: 4.5, 9.8, 10.11, 12.18 (90)


GWS: Greene 4, Kennedy 3, Cameron 2, Williams 2, Hopper, Kelly, Patton, Griffen, Coniglio, Reid
Essendon: Fantasia 4, Daniher 2, Brown 2, Jamar 2, Leuenberger 2


GWS: Williams, Wilson, Greene, Scully, Coniglio
Essendon: Z.Merrett, Ambrose, Fantasia, McDonald-Tipungwuti

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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.....

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