Round 5 – Western Bulldogs v Essendon: Bulldogs’ growl bombs out!


What a cracking win for the Bombers!


After a week of solid soul-searching, some incredibly negative and critical attack from the media and  supporters following the crushing defeat at the hands of the Power, the Bombers responded in best possible manner – a convincing, extremely strong, and fighting performance against the Bulldogs, a team with the wood on the Bombers over many years.


Pre-match I was confident the Bombers would respond positively – they had to, they had to show some pride in themselves and their guernsey. The Bombers could not afford to present more of the ‘same’ and continue to let their heartfelt supporters down with insipid performances once again.


And besides, I’m a believer in the law of averages. With only one win from their past ten matches against the Bulldogs suggested to me a win against them was around the corner, and also, most teams put in at least one ‘shocker’ during the season and ours came early. I expected Essendon to rebound and what better way to do so than against a team who has the wood on you.


Rozee and co smashed us in the middle last week and it was obvious from our start the Bombers were not going to let that happen again. Goldstein, at 36yo, has been a revelation in the ruck for us so far. His bullocking style took space away from the Bulldogs’ rucks and helped give our mids first use of the ball many times. Durham was a constant recipient of Goldstein’s rucking dominance using his strength and dash to drive the ball forward. Durham’s continued improvement is a real plus for the club. Caldwell continues to impress also and had another very good game. But of course it was our magnificent and inspirational captain who was the driving force for the team. Zach knew he had to lead his team from the front and did that admirably in flying colours.  In my humble opinion he was best on the ground and sure to be in the umpire’s Brownlow votes for the match.


Brad Scott’s perseverance with several players is beginning to pay dividends. Nic Cox, often the whipping boy in the media and amongst supporters when the team performs poorly, played his best game for some time. His improving confidence and belief in himself as displayed by his more decisive decision making with the ball was an added bonus for the team. Harry Jones, another whipping boy, also had a very good game. He held his marks, kicked goals and offered a mobile target up forward. Davey, I thought was a very good inclusion. His speed, tackling pressure added an extra bite up forward. He appeared to have a free rein to run where he liked, and often was found by himself in an attacking position.


Jake Stringer had another good match. If he remains injury free and fit he will be a vital cog in the machinery as the season progresses. He manages to kick that much needed goal, often a miracle one as only Jakey can. His bone-crunching tackle on Libratore knocked the stuffing out of Libba and could be heard through the TV screen! Team lifting stuff.


Xavier Duursma showed why the Bombers went after him. His skill and talent were on display throughout the game and he is now slotting in superbly in the line-up as he finds his feet at a new club.


The Bombers are 3/2 after five games. They were competitive for much of the match in their loss against the Swans, had a thrilling and fighting come from behind win against the Saints, their only real blemish being the shellacking against the Power. You have to say it is a fairly good start to the season and gives the Bombers something to build upon.


My votes for the match from the comfort of my chair at home in Colac are:


3: Zach Merrett

2: Xavier Duursma

1: Todd Goldstein


Special mention to Sam Durham and Jye Caldwell who both played well.


Go Bombers!



WESTERN BULLDOGS       4.2     6.6     7.9      9.13     (67)
ESSENDON                        5.0     8.2     10.5    15.6     (96)


Western Bulldogs:
 Ugle-Hagan 3, West 2, Naughton 2, Vandermeer, Darcy
Essendon: Langford 3, Jones 2, Stringer 2, Duursma 2, Goldstein, Caldwell, Martin, A. Davey, Gresham, Durham 


Western Bulldogs:
 Treloar, Macrae, Ugle-Hagan, Richards, Liberatore
Essendon: Durham, Merrett, Duursma, Langford, Goldstein, Caldwell


Western Bulldogs:
Essendon: Nil


Western Bulldogs:
 Bailey Dale (replaced Ryley Sanders in the third term)
Essendon: Nick Hind (replaced Jye Menzie at three-quarter time)


Crowd: 50,144 at Marvel Stadium



More from Col Ritchie can be read Here




To return to the  home page click HERE


Our writers are independent contributors. The opinions expressed in their articles are their own. They are not the views, nor do they reflect the views, of Malarkey Publications.


Do you enjoy the Almanac concept?
And want to ensure it continues in its current form, and better? To help keep things ticking over please consider making your own contribution.


Become an Almanac (annual) member – CLICK HERE





About Colin Ritchie

Retired teacher who enjoys following the Bombers, listening to music especially Bob Dylan, reading, and swimming.


  1. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    How did that law of averages serve you in the previous five losses to the Dogs Col?

  2. Colin Ritchie says

    Not very well Swish, but as I believe, there comes a time! Thankfully that time was Friday night.

  3. It was a great Friday Night for us Col. I think we are a better team this season.

    The week before Horne Francis and Rozee put on an amazing display. Not sure who could have stopped them that time.

  4. roger lowrey says

    As Swish wryly observes Col, the law of averages can sometimes be a mongrel. My punting record attests to this in trumps.

    You’re quite right. Goldy gave Durham and others an armchair ride. I was intrigued to see that Scott wasn’t afraid to play Goldy and Draper in the same team. So much commentary these days poo poos the two ruckmen strategy but it didn’t seem to hurt you on Friday night.

    As an old Winchelsea boy though, my only minor quibble with your review is no mention of Darcy Parish – the best footballer to come out of Winch since…(this is where locals insert their favourite alternative although not many of them are really all that credible largely because most of our talent has been traditionally hoovered up by the Cats). That lad is an absolute star! The Parishes are an old much loved Winch family.

    BTW, loved your headline too mate. A ripper!


Leave a Comment