Round 8 – Essendon v Brisbane: The View from Shepparton

Well, it was the annual grudge match, my mob playing the Bombers. Our grand daughter, a brain washed misguided Essendon barracker no doubt anticipating a ritual Brisbane flogging was keen for me and the Minister for Home Affairs to attend the game at Etihad, Colonial, Docklands, or whatever it is called these days, Stadium. Anyway it’s the one with shifting sands which subject no one is supposed to talk about. Unfortunately we were unable to make the game.

I wished that her Dad in particular but the rest of the Sutton clan as well who had relocated from Shepparton to Auckland could return home to view the televisional footy feast with us as whenever David viewed our TV, Essendon lost. I always thought that the family had relocated in order that they would be nowhere near our place to witness yet another Dons disaster.

I had had high hopes that we would come good this time as we had beaten both Carlton and Port Adelaide in the last two weeks although as it turned out everyone was beating Carlton and now Port Adelaide as well.

I was irritated by Jobe Watson’s appearance at the  toss of  the coin in that he he had adopted a James Hird type hair cut, or lack thereof. Hird a role model? You’ve got to be joking. In fact I wished all of the blokes with girly type hairstyles would realise that they were actually playing a man’s game and thus carry themselves appropriately and at least look like footballers.

My irritation was immediately turned into elation when Brisbane leaped to a commanding 6 point lead within the first twenty seconds when Taylor dodged and weaved through  across the half foward line for a brilliant goal. What legends this team were. Sure Daniher spoiled this thought by being able to play the game better than his Brisbane opponents and thus scoring the Bombers first two goals. Cloke should employ the  same goal kicking coach. This tall streak who is getting more build on him could be anything. We were going OK though.

Green snapped superbly on the run. Already in this fast flowing first quarter I was having my thoughts reinforced as to why Rules is the best code of all. Sure the backlines at first looked a bit non existent but sad to say, as the quarter progressed Essendon’s gradually started to get on top. My hero, James Aish, made a terrible clanger when he dropped the ball just outside the goal square when attempting a deft bounced exit out of the goal mouth as he was kicking out after a point which error resulted in a panicked kick to an Essendon player who returned kicked a goal straight over the goal umpire’s hat. Brisbane’s momentum was stopped dead in its tracks. Soon they were five goals to four down although Brendon Goddard did his best to help them by kicking out with his foot on the goal square line, ball recalled. Still, we lead at quarter time but I wasn’t feeling that hopeful really and I was already starting to dread that call from Auckland.

In the second quarter Brisbane began to wilt with far too many kicks being made to the general vicinity of the half forward line where such attacks were easily parried by the Essendon backs. It was painful to watch, painful. Talk about coach killers, I didn’t know how Leppitsch  could stay sane. All the same we were only 5 points behind at half time courtesy of some pretty slack play by the Essendon backs which allowed a kick out ten seconds before the break to be intercepted and passed to Rich who kicked straight after the siren.

In the third quarter Brisbane completely fell down as Essendon took charge. It seems to me that it is awfully easy for a team to implode when things go wrong, misplaced kicks just missing their mark with resultant turnovers with the whole team structure seemingly relentlessly being turned inside out as a result. And it is like turning around the Queen Mary to try to stop such momentum shifts and regain the initiative.  Such was the case with Essendon getting 7 goals in a big hurry the Lo light of which was Chappy, Goddard, Cooney playing ring a ring a rosie before passing to Carlisle on the goal line who dribbled it through. There was no Brisbane backman in sight, fair dinkum!

The last quarter was a formality. Essendon were far too good, one player apart from Daniher who particularly took my eye, was Colyer as he made many breaks completely splitting the Brisbane defence wide open. Earlier in the mach Fletcher had  made two uncharacteristic fumbles one of which resulted in a Brisbane goal but on the other hand he made a magnificent spoil against a player probably half his age when he somehow overtook his opponent in the goal square and reached those long arms of his to make  a spoil just as a goal was about to be scored. Vintage  Fletcher.

Finally, David (and Tanya, Grace, Ruth, Andrea Grace and Katie) please return to Shepparton to watch the footy with us, you were all sorely missed.

Essendon      5.2        9.5        16.9        21.10      (136)

Brisbane       5.3         8.6       10.6        12.6         ( 78)

Goals:        Essendon, Daniher 6, Cooney 3, Carlisle 3, Goddard 2, Stanton, Melksham, J.Merrett, Hibberd, Ambose, Chapman Colyer.

Brisbane, Green 3, Lester 2, D. Beams, Gardiner, Rich, Dawson, Taylor, Robertson, Martin.

Best Essendon: Daniher, Colyer, Cooney,

Best Brisbane: Rockcliff D. Beams, Martin, Lester.

Our Votes: Daniher 3, Colyer 2, Rockciff 1

Brownlow Votes.

Umpires: Rosebury, Harris, Edwards.


Crowd 36,857 at Etihad Stadium.

About Peter Schumacher

Wannabe footy commentator and writer, used to be a wannabe footballer


  1. Andrew Weiss says

    A bit of a reality check on Sunday Peter. No matter how gallant our young defenders and forwards are there will always be games like this where they put in a good first half only to get run over in the second half. Liam Dawson showed some good signs before getting injured. Lovely article written by Beth Neuman in the Age about Liam and his Mum. Lets hope that the boys play four good quarters this week and we have a win over the Saints. We will have our good luck inflatable Brion to run through again no doubt.

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