Round 9 – Essendon v Geelong: Oh, The Dons

Oh, The Dons.

Rod Oaten


The Dons have been so disappointing this season that it was ”touch and go” as to whether I could stand another humiliating afternoon at The G.


The game starts at the “traditional” time of 4.35 , so I planned that all would not be lost because I could go over to the Brunswick Street Oval and watch unbeaten Fitzroy take on unbeaten Williamstown CYMS. The game starts at 2.00 and a great crowd was in to watch this top VAFA Premier C game of the round.


The Roy Boys jumped out of the blocks and blew Williamstown away. They had seven goals on the board before the opposition knew there was a game on, and the slaughter continued through to half time. I had to leave mid way through the third term but I was confident that Fitzroy would prevail.


And they did, as I found out later.


So on the tram to The G.  Today’s game has a country theme and as I walked through the park I saw tractors , heard whips cracking and sheep bleating, a nice touch, reminded me of  living and teaching in farming areas a few years ago.


I entered the G without optimism, The Dons have been hopeless over the last three weeks, three games I could easily forget and I’m sure I will. As I took my seat, the chap sitting next to me and obviously a Geelong supporter, told me he was very worried about today’s game. I told him not to worry Essendon would have trouble beating any under twelve footy team.


And much to my delight and surprise, they came out firing like the Roy Boys. They swarmed all over Geelong and when they had the ball they kicked or hand passed to team mates, and when they didn’t, they tackled and harassed non stop. The Dons had winners in Shaun McKernan up front and Anthony McDonald -Tipungwuti, Zach Merrett, Dyson Heppell and David Zaharakis, they were in everything. The whole side looked great, no backward or sideways kicking or handballing, I was feeling great, unlike my neighbour who said,”I told you so”.


The mighty Dons continued with this great brand of footy through out the second quarter and by half time they had a seven goal lead. They looked the better side by far, but all sorts of things can happen in the second half and Essendon’s third quarters this year leave a lot to be desired. But my fears were unfounded, as the Don’s added 1 goal five to Geelong’s 1 goal two, I couldn’t find too many Geelong winners at the citrus break, whilst Essendon had solid contributors all over the ground, they ran, tackled, hand passed and kicked positively.


Geelong seemed to emerge from their hibernation in the last quarter, but it was too little far too late.  The Dons were well deserved winners by thirty four points. It begs the question why the sudden change, on today’s form they look like a top footy team. As I pondered that dilemma, my Geelong neighbour shook my hand and wished me good luck for the rest of the season.


A very nice touch.


Essendon 12.12  84 defeated Geelong 7.8.50



Essendon Mckernan 4, Fantasia 2 McKenna, Heppell, Stewart, Stringer,Baguley. Guelfi

Geelong Hawkins 3, Dangerfield 2, J Selwood, Crameri


Best Players


Essendon: Merrett, McKernan, McDonald-Tipungwuti, Zaharakis, Baguley, Heppell, Hooker and the other 17 players.


Geelong: Tuohy (loved his long sleeves after half time) Duncan, Dangerfield, Crameri,  J Selwood.


Umpires, Schmidt, Hay, Whetton.


Crowd  50,228 at the MCG.






  1. Peter Fuller says

    Your pleasant surprise with your Bombers mirrors my experience at the Carlton – Essendon match. As our tram disgorged its passengers at what I still think of as the Hilton stop (the Pullman, these days), the teenager sitting inside me got up. I assured him that there was no hurry as (just about) everyone in the packed tram was getting off. I also mentioned to those within earshot that some of us were on our way to an execution, at which a Bomber couple, of senior status, smiled ruefully, uncertain as to who the executioners/executees would be. I was in no doubt, but was never more pleased to have my poor predictive ability confirmed when the Blues played out of their skins and the Bombers capitulated.
    Well done your teams, last Saturday.
    Incidentally in your round-up of teams you support a couple of weeks ago, you omitted Lorne, who I seem to remember are among your allegiances. They’re going OK, in the four with a 4-2 win- loss record.

  2. E.regnans says

    G’day Rod,
    It was excellent to stand with you on the slightly elevated Brunswick St Oval wing on Saturday.
    As you headed for the #11 tram I think you were suggesting that anything better than a 6 goal loss would be a positive.
    Thinking of the ‘roys and then the ‘dons – I’m reminded of something attributed to Allan Jeans: on footballers being like sausages – “You can grill them, fry ’em, curry ’em, barbecue ’em, bake ’em, but they’re still sausages.”

  3. Rod Oaten says

    Peter, Sorry I left out the Dolphins in my round up, I’m off to see them over the Queen’s Birthday Weekend, and catch up with a few of the locals at the ground and at :The Anglers” over the long weekend.
    E.Regnans, The elevated viewing area at the Brunswick St Oval would have to be one of the best places to watch footy and catch up with friends, especially when the Roys are on fire.

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