Round 18 – Essendon v Brisbane: Light at the end of the tunnel

Round 18 – Essendon v Brisbane 
Etihad Stadium Sunday July 24


Brisbane have had such a terrible season, everyone knows that but I have one good omen, grand-daughter Katelyn fresh off the aircraft from New Zealand. This is a good omen because every time a member of her family, all rabid Essendon supporters come anywhere near our house the Lions win. How fantastic will that be today? Meanwhile I have tried to convince her about the worth of viewing the equivalent match in 2004 when Akermanis for example and Bradshaw were in their pomp. Bradshaw got 5 goals on Fletcher in the second quarter of that game but amazingly there were only a few points in it at half time, Brisbane having kicked thirteen goals. It was useful to view this game actually because my family and the Suttons (New Zealand family) attended the game and the standard was phenomenal. Lloyd was fantastic as well that day.


Now to the present.


What’s this? Tom Cutler has marked and goaled 90 seconds from the start, having received a good pass from Hipwood. Who? Can they maintain the lead? Essendon have a player, Fantasia. Just thought that I would mention it! (Actually he did end up kicking 3 goals). Meanwhile, Sam Mayes has kicked a running goal from the right forward flank. Two goals to zip, now three goals, Rhys Mathieson has goaled, seven clearances to nothing according to the commentator. Tipungwuti who is a real live wire, and exciting player to watch, gets a snap goal for the Dons. Coach killer! Mitch Brown has missed from seemingly three metres out for Essendon. Walker has marked at full forward for Brisbane between two Don’s players. 4 goals to one. Essendon gets a point, Brisbane a goal pretty much straight down the other end, that’s what pisses “losing” barrackers right off. Bewick has now kicked number 5 for Bris 31 Essendon 8. Brown gets a good goal on the run Essendon now 14. Will they now storm back and over run Brisbane which has been the usual scenario? Somehow Merrett has stopped Daniher from breaking away and goaling. The ball has gone down to the other end and Rockcliff has swooped onto a chaos ball and goaled. Essendon’s Hams has now nearly been strangled by the Brisbane defence at the other end, and goals. 39 to 22, I’m still happy, (I think) The commentators say that Rockcliff has ten possessions already. Brisbane are peppering the goals but the ball has flashed down to the other end and Tipungwuti has missed one that he perhaps should have got. 39 to 22 at quarter time. I’m pretty happy, only had to resort to unprintable language a couple of times. The TV is intact. Assistant coach Simon Black is happy as well.


The second quarter thus far has been pretty indeterminate; Cooney has completely missed one that he should have got. Now he is having another shot from the other flank. Still no good. Joe Daniher has out-marked Merrett in a one on one. Essendon are all over the Lions at the moment, the lead down to 10 points. And now he has done it again! And he has missed, an experienced player now, bloody hell what on earth must coach Worstfold be thinking? Brisbane’s Walker has been given a free kick for holding in a marking contest in the goal square. Goal! On the other hand, Zaharakis for the Dons has hit the post, Brisbane are really getting some let offs. This Hipwood bloke looks like he can play a bit but he also hits the post. But now he has goaled off one step, he could be a legend! Brisbane’s lead now out to 22 points. Tipungwuti has missed another that he should have got. The ball has arcing up and down the ground. Bastinac for Brisbane has scored a dribbler goal from a fair way out. Merrett has been outmanoeuvred by Daniher again, resultant free kick, goal. Essendon have charged down the ground but missed. Langford has marked on the half time siren and goaled, and now Essendon only 13 points behind 58 to 45. One thing that I have noted is that Rich has been playing really well this afternoon.


I am nervous as the third quarter starts. It is well documented that Essendon have had 14 losses in a row, the Lions merely 12! The losers go to the bottom. Leuenberger, ex Brisbane, has missed an easy set shot, and another gettable running shot has been missed by Essendon, they really are still letting Brisbane off. Cutler will make them pay after a pass from Rockcliff. He does, goals. Relieves the pressure on Brisbane a little, but then he misses a running shot. Dempsey has given away a fifty metre penalty, no point in arguing the toss with the umpire! Mathieson has goaled, more pressure released. Stefan Martin has taken a good mark just forward of the pack at centre half forward. He goals. The commentator announces that Brisbane are 5 goals up. Looks good to me. Looks even better when Rich kicks a bomb from 65 metres out. Fantasia tries a soccer goal for the Dons but hits the post. When you are down you are down. At last Daniher gets a running goal so that Bombers fans have some hope. Green has undone that break though with a dribbler goal Brisbane back to a 34 point lead. Dawson has marked on the siren, goals, 96 to 56 at three-quarter time. Life is pretty damned good I reckon.


We can’t lose from here surely. Pearce Hanley goals within 13 seconds of the bounce. Essendon is cooked! They are probably less than happy too that he actually ran about 20 metres before taking his kick. Bewick rubs it in by getting another in about a minute. The game is over. Try unsuccessfully to feel sorry for my grand-daughter but fail miserably in this endeavour. Daniher has kicked his fourth so at least that is one highlight for “them.” Tipungwuti goes on a great dash but falls over, Dempsey picks up the resulting loose ball and gets a good goal. Liam Dawson gets his second. 47 points is the difference now. Brisbane are getting all of the centre clearances, and score another goal. Schache takes a great mark but just misses.


The game is over, really. Essendon score a few, well not perhaps charity goals, as there is no such thing is this competition, after Josh Walker gets his fourth.


Like many Lions supporters I have been fed up and frustrated all year with my crowd, I have tried to remember that they are human, even after missed pass after missed pass. Leppitsch was on borrowed time. There might be light at the end of the tunnel after all.


Essendon 3.4   6.9   7.14   12.19 (91)
6.3   9.4   15.6   20.8 (128)


Goals Brisbane: Walker 4, Green 2, Dawson 2, Mathieson 2, Cutler 2, Rich, Hipwood, Hanley, Bastinac, Bewick, Martin, Mayes, Rockcliff.

Goals Essendon: Daniher 4, Fantasia 3, Tipungwuti, Dempsey, Langford, Brown, Hams.


Best Brisbane: Rockcliff, Rich, Martin, Hanley, Zorko

Best Essendon: Merrett, Goddard, Parish, Daniher, Tipungwuti.


Umpires: Donlon, Fisher, O’Gorman

Our Votes: Rockcliff 3, Rich 2, Merrett 1.

Brownlow Votes:

Crowd 34,869 at Etihad Stadium


FAlmanac banner sq


  1. Brin Paulsen says

    Thanks Peter. Glad you enjoyed the win (perhaps made even better in the company of familial Essendon supporters?)

    Call me a pessimist but I’m not sure I see the light at the end of the tunnel, although there were plenty of glimmers of hope to be found so it’s got to be down there somewhere! While beating Essendon probably doesn’t rate as much of an achievement us long-suffering fans need to savour the good times when they come and I’ll admit to thoroughly enjoying the win. Hanley’s goal right at the start of the 4th even allowed for some reflection on that feeling while the match was still on.

    Daniel Rich, who I’m no great fan of, was superb and if you’re not excited about what Hipwood could become you’re not watching enough footy. I rate Schache highly but jeez, Hipwood just has something about him.

    The Bombers will rue those missed shots, they were deplorable in front of goal. The cut-away camera shots to Worsfold in the coaches box looking bemused as the points sprayed through made me smile. Imagine having to solve the puzzle of Joe Daniher’s set shot? Where do you start, with the mental or the physical? Bombers fans will already be thinking they’ve got a team to build with heading into next year though.

    As for the Lions, well, let’s just enjoy the win for now and hope that Leppa keeps Cutler up front for another game or two.

  2. jan courtin says

    I would suggest Peter that you get your Essendon loving family to visit far more often and especially in the footy season!
    Good win by your boys.

  3. Hi folks, Brin, one lives in an eternal state of optimism so I am sure that we will get up again this week.

    Jan, could be a plan, but how much does one have to pay for success? Actually they are all (daughter, son-in-law 17 year old triplet grand daughters and their big sister) coming over for the GF. I don’t quite think that the Lions will feature in this but for me, as a Crow-eater, if Adelaide made it it would be some consolation prize at least

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