The Footy Almanac 2007 Round 6 – Essendon v Hawthorn: The Buddy show slams the hapless Bombers

The first printed edition of The Footy Almanac came out in 2007, before we had a website. In the absence of a real 2020 season, we will be publishing the 2007 pieces for the first time ever on Follow the season!




Essendon versus Hawthorn
2.10pm, Saturday, May 5
MCG, Melbourne


AFTER THE GAME AN ELDERLY BUSKER, a woman sitting on a stool at Flinders Street station, was plaintively singing a song made famous by the Seekers, The Carnival is Over. As indeed it was. The Buddy Franklin Goal Kicking Carnival was over. For this week, at least.


It had started six minutes into the second quarter and finished at the 28-minute mark of the final quarter. In between, Lance Franklin kicked five goals in 15 minutes in that second quarter, then two in the third and another two in the last. Nine goals.


It was fitting that his final goal was the game’s final goal, as Hawthorn cleaned up Essendon by 35 points.


The omens were not good for Essendon. Matthew Lloyd was a late withdrawal and The Record and the ground announcer were spruiking yet another Bombers celebration, this time a return to Windy Hill, a Feast on the Field at a mere $220 a head. There was even talk of “a first-hand account of John Coleman’s knee injury”, an ambitious idea if ever there was one considering that Coleman died in 1973. Essendon have a lot of these self-congratulatory functions but it doesn’t make them play any better.


Scott Lucas won the toss, the only thing he won all day. He chose to kick to the Birrarung Marr (or city) end, which became the Buddy Franklin end, given that Franklin kicked seven goals down there, in front of the Hawks cheer squad – and, fortuitously, in front of where I was sitting.


Essendon started the game brightly. Andrew Lovett kicked a goal from the forward pocket within 30 seconds, followed by Andrew Welsh a few minutes later. Lovett was everywhere in the first 10 minutes but then, just like Geelong’s Tom Hawkins earlier this season, he was benched.


Hawthorn’s delivery into its forward line was erratic but late goals to Jordan Lewis and Ben Dixon left them only five points adrift.


When Jason Johnson, in his first game of the year, kicked a goal in the first minute of the second quarter it looked like Essendon had regained its composure. But Shane Crawford, Lewis, and Brad Sewell (who was eclipsing James Hird) had plenty of run and, more importantly, plenty of the ball.


Then The Buddy Franklin Show began. He kicked goals from here, there and everywhere. From marks, from snaps, from pockets, from smothers. He ran rings around Adam McPhee and then Dustin Fletcher. McPhee’s day was summed up when, after being taken off Franklin, he smothered a set shot by Rick Ladson. The ball was sharked by Franklin who snapped his fifth of the quarter.


The only Essendon goal in the midst of the Buddy Franklin Festival was by Alwyn Davey, after a scintillating run.


Still, Essendon kicked goals twice from Hawthorn mistakes late in the term and were only eight points down at half-time. Somehow they were within striking distance, despite a comedy of erroneous handballs on the back line, a Mark Johnson set shot that went into the man on the mark (you could see from the other end of the ground that he was too close) and a belief that the best way forward was sideways and backwards.


Franklin’s second quarter was extraordinary but, as a humble Fred Cook, the legendary Port Melbourne full forward, told Phil Cleary in a VFL half-time interview on ABC Television a few weeks back, it helps if you’ve got the ball coming down to you.


Ladson, Brent Guerra and Campbell Brown (scorching Lucas) roamed freely from the back line, meaning Luke Hodge, Crawford, Lewis, Sewell and Clinton Young could deliver into the tall four-man forward line. Sure, they often took the long way home – that’s the way of the modern game – but the ball was flashing about like the shot of lead in a pinball machine.


Another great run by Davey half-way through the third term looked like it might lift the Bombers but he was let down by Lucas failing to grab the pass.


Davey kick-started the Bombers yet again early in the fourth term but Tim Boyle and Jarryd Roughead were putting on a sideshow of their own, the beneficiaries of the Bombers’ preoccupation with Franklin.


Ten minutes into the quarter and the contest was over. Hird was hesitant, Fletcher was clumsy, and Mal Michael was at centre-half-forward. Kevin Sheedy may have coached several hundred more games than Alastair Clarkson’s 50, but his bag of tricks was decidedly empty.


Franklin’s final goal was a snap from 20 metres after a clutch of Essendon defenders tried to be play tunnel ball with the Sherrin.


On the way to Flinders Street station via Birrarung Marr some Hawks fans queued for a ride on the huge ferris wheel. Clearly they didn’t want the carnival to be over.



ESSENDON              4.2    8.3    11.3    15.6 (96)

HAWTHORN           3.3    9.5    15.8   20.11 (131)



Hawthorn: Franklin 9, Boyle, Dixon 3, Roughead 2, Hodge, Lewis Murphy

Essendon: Davey, Johns, J. Johnson, Stanton, Welsh 2, Lovett, Lucas, Michael, Ryder, Winderlich


Hawthorn: Franklin, Crawford, Brown, Guerra, Lewis, Ladson, Sewell

Essendon: J. Johnson, Davey, Stanton, Welsh, Ryder


Clarkson (Hawthorn) 50 games as coach


McBurney, Stevic, Grun.


Franklin (Haw) 3, Crawford (Haw) 2, Brown (Haw) 1.


Franklin (Haw) 3, Brown (Haw) 2, Crawford (Haw) 1.


52, 047



For more Round by Round reports of the 2007 season click HERE.


If you want a printed copy of the 2007 edition of the Footy Almanac, they can be purchased here.


The Footy Almanac 2007



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About Vin Maskell

Founder and editor of Stereo Stories, a partner site of The Footy Almanac. Likes a gentle kick of the footy on a Sunday morning, when his back's not playing up. Been known to take a more than keen interest in scoreboards - the older the better.

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