Round 5 – St. Kilda v Essendon: Bombers win over gallant Saints

Bombers win over gallant Saints

St Kilda versus Essendon

3.20pm, Sunday 3 May
Etihad Stadium, Melbourne

Nick Weidmann

In a tight-fought contest almost all game, it was the Bombers who were able to come away with the points in an unconvincing fashion against a gallant Saints in a tight contest at Etihad Stadium on a Sunday afternoon. Going into the game I was nervous as I knew that these were the sort of games that the Bombers should win but too often lose (games against Melbourne comes to mind).

As the game began I turned on the radio hoping the Bombers could put my nerves to bed by blowing the Saints away early. They were able to get the perfect start through Buckets (Carlisle) but this was quickly nullified by a goal to the Saints which marked the start of a period of dominance. Lucky for the Bombers, the Saints only managed the five behinds in that period. The Bombers then punished the Saints for their inability to convert by kicking two quick goals, extending their lead to nine points with goals to Buckets and Zakka. As I was looking at the scores on the AFL app, I could only assume that the Bombers were playing ok. Saints were able to get a late goal, which cut the margin back to two points going into the first break with the score at 3.2 (20) to 2.6 (18).

I jumped back into my car as the second quarter had just got underway. From what I could gather the Bombers were flat and the Saints were well on top. I was frustrated and thinking: they’re going to do it again, they’re going to drop a game they shouldn’t! The Saints took advantage in this period and were able to get a handy lead of 21 points; it was as if the Bombers thought they were just going to turn up, win the game easily and start worrying about next week. The Bombers finally got a much needed goal through Gleeson and this brought the margin back to fourteen. After what was described on the radio as about ten minutes of circle work, the Bombers got a couple of quick goals through Ambrose and Goddard reducing the margin to a single point leading into the half time break. The score was 6.7 (43) to 6.6 (42) in favour of the Saints.

As the third quarter was about to get underway, I got home and turned the TV on, hoping that the Bombers could play better in the second half. After a tightly fought opening to the quarter, it was the Saints who kicked the crucial first goal through Josh Bruce; making the lead eight points. The Bombers, however, were able to quickly respond through Buckets and the margin was cut back to two. It was a tight contest, as neither side could get on top with the lead changing twice throughout the quarter; it was goal for goal under the roof. The Bombers regained the lead going into the final break but the Saints were able to goal on the siren and get the lead back. It was five points at the final break, 10.10 (70) to 9.11 (65).

The last quarter began and the Bombers were down by five points and having to do what they hadn’t done so far this season; win a last quarter. First priority was to kick the opening goal but this didn’t happen right away as it was a tight opening to the quarter, both in general play and on the scoreboard. A goal to the Bombers eventually levelled the scores but the Saints quickly scoring to regain the lead. Bombers then had a chance to retake control but couldn’t due to missing a couple of easy shots on goal. It was a tight contest, neither team giving an inch and with each passing minute I was getting more and more nervous. With five minutes to go and most players exhausted, the speedster Colyer went for a blistering run down the wing resulting in a great goal. Bombers were in front by a point. With two minutes to go and the Bombers up by two, the Saints started pressing; they had a great opportunity to take the lead but somehow Adam Schneider missed and the Bombers were still in front. This was followed by two minutes of tight football without any clear possession. As the siren finally went, the Bombers had won by two points, final score 11.16 (82) to 11.14 (80). At this point I was feeling more relief than joy because the Bombers had been lucky to get away with this victory.

After a tight contest all day, it was the Bombers who had got the win over a valiant Saints. Still a lot of improvement needed for the Bombers if they wanted to be a top eight side, but a win’s a win. Yesterday’s result had the Bombers sitting just outside the eight on percentage.

St Kilda           2.6       6.7       10.10   11.14   (80)

Essendon         3.2       6.6       9.11     11.16   (82)

GOALS  Essendon: Carlisle 4; Ambrose 2; Zaharakis, Gleeson, Goddard, Zaharakis, Colyer.
St Kilda: Bruce 5; Billings, Lonie 2; Dunstan, Steven.

BEST    Essendon: Watson, Goddard, Carlisle, Stanton, Ambrose, Hurley.
St Kilda: Armitage, Steven, Bruce, Lonie, Dempster, Hickey.

UMPIRES          Donlon, Bannister, Chamberlain.        CROWD 29,869

OUR VOTES      Armitage (St K) 3, Watson (Ess) 2, Bruce (St K) 1.


About Nick Weidmann

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

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