Round 2- Essendon v Hawthorn: Thriller at the G’

The Bombers have pulled off a remarkable victory against their old rival on a Sunday afternoon  at the G. That’s right the Essendon Football Club have beaten the reigning premiers (Hawthorn) by 2 points, in what can be classified as a MCG classic. Due to the teams being old rivals you knew that this game could potentially live up to the hype and boy did it ever, with the Bombers getting over the line… just!


Going into the game Essendon knew how damaging the Hawks could be due to their demolition of Geelong last week, with that being the case they knew they had to get off to the perfect start, be first to the ball and deny the Hawthorn players to the ball. So with this in mind the first quarter began and boy were the Bombers players hard at it, with Watson, Heppell and Cooney leading the way early. After the Hawks kicked a couple of behinds early it was Paul Chapman kicking the first goal of the game, then Jake Carlisle kicking a goal a couple of minutes later, Essendon had the start they were after and the feeling was watching the game that they were in the game. For the rest of the quarter Essendon dominated, but with all that dominance Essendon at quarter time were only leading by 5 points, 2.2 to 1.3.


With the Second quarter beginning the Bombers knew that they had to start taking their chances due to the Hawks being such a good side, they (the bombers) knew that if the Hawks start to get up and running no margin is too far for them. With the bombers players knowing that they had to get off to a good start, you could sense the urgency in their play and it showed with Joe Daniher kicking two goals in the space of 8 minutes and Tom Bellchambers, Chapman and Zach Merrett all kicking goals at regular intervals of the Second quarter the bombers had got the margin out to 35 points. But you just knew that the Hawks weren’t going to go away and through late goals to Puopolo and Rioli the Hawks, at half time cut the margin to 22 points.


As the Second half got underway you knew the Hawks were going to come hard at the Bombers and to the Bombers credit they were able to get that important opening goal through Colyer, which put the margin back out to 28 point. But from then on it was like a light switch went on  in the Hawks’ players and they started to get control of the game. This was mainly through their control in the middle and Jack Gunston who was very influential in the Third, kicking 3 goals and with the first gamer James Sicily also kicking a goal in that quarter they bought the margin back to 2 points. There was a sense that Hawthorn were starting to get on a role and could potentially get ahead of the Bombers by 3 quarter time, but through Daniher the Bombers were able to steady and at the final change the margin was just 8 points, 9.4 to 7.8.


As the final quarter started in this tight game between fierce rivals, both sides knew the importance of the first goal, and it was the Hawks who were able to get the goal through Bradley Hill to cut the margin back to 2 points and from the on the Hawks had control of the game. They eventually hit the front through Bruest and you could sense that it was going to be like the week before for the Bombers as Hawthorn got complete control (like the Swans did) and Essendon’s players looked tired and their lack of pre-season was starting to kick in. At the 19th minute mark after Bruest kicked his 2nd goal for the day it was 16 points, the game looked over, but through grit and determination the Bombers started getting back into the game and it started with Carlisle who through kicking his 1st got the margin back to 10 points with 5.36 minutes left on the clock. From then on you could sense something special was going to happen, as this team (the Bombers) showed on many occasions over the past 2 years they could fight off adversary and pull off great victories. Back to the game, with not long left and the Bombers knowing they had to go quickly they went right through the guts of the MCG and were able to score through Colyer and got the margin back to 4 points, with 90 seconds on the clock. With time against them and only four points behind a centre clearance was so crucial and through Cooney and Melksham they were able to get that clearance and through the most unlikely of sources Cale Hooker, I repeat Cale Hooker, the defender, the Bombers got the goal to put themselves back in front with 57 seconds left on the clock! The flood was on, as Bombers players started to stream back to the backline, the Hawks got the clearance and got it into scoring distance, but through a great smother by Stanton and a bone crushing tackle by Ambrose the Bombers were able to hold on for a great victory against the old rival.


All in all it was an amazing game, with the Bombers winning by 2 points and just showing that they can mix it with the big boys of the competition. Finally this game just adds another chapter between two great rivals.



Essendon  2.2   7.3   9.4   12.6    78

Hawthorn  1.3   3.5    7.8  11.10  76



Essendon: Daniher 3, Chapman 2, Colyer 2, Bellchambers, Carlisle, Merrett, Hooker

Hawthorn: Gunston 3, Puopolo 2, Bruest 2, Rioli, Sicily, Hill, Roughead



Essendon: Heppell, Watson, Hurley, Daniher, Hooker, Colyer

Hawthorn: Gunston, Puopolo, Lewis, Burgoyne, Rioli


My Votes 3 Watson (Ess), 2 Hurley (Ess), 1 Hooker (Ess)


Umpires: Foot, Margetts, Meredith

Official crowd: 59,866 at the MCG


About Nick Weidmann

Former Honours student in Journalism at the University of Tasmania and passionate Essendon supporter


  1. Todd Allison says

    Watched this game with interest. Hawthorn could not have played worse. I don’t think there was a side in the comp they would’ve beaten on yesterday’s performance. They fumbled like amateurs, they put in half-hearted efforts in defence and bombed the ball out of defence and into attack. If Essendon had have lost this game, it would’ve been one of the worst losses in the Club’s history.

    It did have shades of 1990, however. Hawks smash Cats in Round 1 going for three-peat. Put in shocker against Bombers in Round 2. Maybe the dynasty is starting to collapse.

  2. Pamela Sherpa says

    What a fantastic game of footy to watch .Thrilling to the end . I was so glad the Bombers put in a decent effort in front of the old 84- 85 champions .

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