Round 20 – Hawthorn v Essendon: Rod was optimistic!

Essendon v Hawthorn. 4/8/18


There has been a fair bit of hype about Essendon over the last few weeks, and being a Don tragic I have succumbed, so much so, that I am fairly optimistic about our chances today.


The tram from Flinders Street is “chockers,” with a pretty even spread of Hawk and Don supporters, all full of anticipation and enthusiasm for the big clash. Walking down through Yarra Park I noticed a Hawk father trying to get his kids footy out of a tree by heaving a backpack into the tree without success. The kids all draped in brown and gold weren’t too impressed with their father’s unsuccessful efforts. I left them to it with past memories of similar problems.


Into the “G” and the members was extremely well patronized, so much so I had to sit behind one of the camera men. I had a good view though, which is excellent as the Dons started firing on all cylinders. They had three goals before the Hawks realised the game had started. All created with excellent hand and foot skills. Unfortunately for Don fans Hawthorn saw what was happening and copied and scored three goals in quick succession. At quarter time there were only two points in the game and it’s a cracker of a contest.


The Dons hit the scoreboard three more times early in the second quarter, Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti was on fire, his skills are mesmerizing. He contributed to two of the goals. Just as I thought Essendon  may take control the Hawks lifted and scored three. It was fast open skilled football, great to watch.  Hawthorn seemed to take control during the quarter, Mitchell for Hawthorn and Zac Merrett for the Dons were absolute “ball magnets”, it’s a wonder they don’t suffer from leather poisoning during the game.  At half time Hawthorn led by eleven points, but I still reckoned the Dons were in with a show.


The third quarter was fast and furious, the ball moved end to end in quick succession. Players on both sides showed outstanding foot and hand skills. Essendon added 5 goals 1 to Hawthorn 4 goals 2. Cale Hooker’s 60 metre goal was an absolute highlight of the quarter for me.


One goal separated the sides for the start of the last quarter. The game had slowed a bit but it was still a great contest. Hawthorn’s Gunston kicked two and I thought the Hawks had taken control. But no, the Dons came back with three fighting goals. Just a few points separated the sides with just a few minutes left. It was nerve wracking stuff, not good for an aged Don Tragic. Just when I thought Essendon had a chance, Hawthorn scored. With less than a minute to go, Essendon scored again, just four points in it. Can we rush the ball forward from the centre bounce and score again?


Unfortunately the answer was NO. Time ran out. Hawthorn were victorious by four points.


I reckon it was the best game of footy I have seen all year, just a pity the Dons lost and probably have also lost their chance of appearing in this years finals.


HAWTHORN       3.1       9.3       13.5     16.11 (107)
ESSENDON         3.3       7.4       12.5     16.7 (103)


Hawthorn: Gunston 5, Breust 3, Smith 2, Henderson 2, Roughead, Whitecross, Ceglar, Worpel
Essendon: Baguley 3, Stringer 3, McKenna 2, Hooker 2, Bellchambers, Fantasia, Brown, McDonald-Tipungwuti, McGrath, Colyer


Hawthorn: Gunston, Mitchell, Stratton, O’Meara, Henderson, Burton
Essendon: Z.Merrett, Hooker, Smith, McDonald-Tipungwuti, Stringer, Fantasia


Hawthorn: Nil
Essendon: Dea (concussion) replaced in selected side by McNiece, Guelfi (illness) replaced in selected side by Colyer


Reports: Nil


Umpires: Margetts, Hosking, Findlay


Official crowd: 68,857 at the MCG


And the footy was still in the tree as I walked through Yarra Park on my way to the tram!!!!


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  1. E.regnans says

    Love it, Rod.

    Love the tram as “chockers.”

    “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.”
    – Oscar Wilde, Lady Windermere’s Fan

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