Eagles thrash Bombers - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Eagles thrash Bombers

By James Dampney 17/07/2004 05:41:58 AM Comments (0)

West Coast has taken another major leap forward in its late push for an AFL finals birth, thrashing a badly out of sorts Essendon by 44 points at Subiaco Oval on Friday night.

Three weeks ago the Eagles had slumped to a 5-8 record and were all but out of playoff contention, but three straight wins - culminating in Friday night's 18.9 (117) to 10.13 (73) triumph - has West Coast just one game out of the top eight.

Essendon has now lost four of its past five games to slump to 9-7, with tough matches against St Kilda and Port Adelaide to come over the next fortnight.

The visitors were all at sea on the longer Subiaco Oval and appeared to lack direction, with captain James Hird sidelined with a broken rib and stand-in Matthew Lloyd having little impact on the outcome.

Lloyd finally kicked his first goal 10 minutes into the third term when the game was already out of Essendon's reach, finishing with two for the game after being well held by Eagles defender Darren Glass.

After kicking their first goal 11 minutes into the first term, the Bombers managed nine straight points until Lloyd finally got his opening major in the third quarter.

West Coast on the other hand had contributors all over the park and is shaping as a team to watch in the lead-in to the finals.

The Bombers received a helping hand just prior to the opening bounce, with Eagles captain Ben Cousins ruled out with an unnamed complaint.

Cousins has battled back and ankle injuries in an inconsistent 2004, but silky-skilled midfielder Chris Judd stepped into the breach magnificently, leading the home side in just his 61st AFL game.

Essendon was also boosted by the appearance of popular young Bomber Adam Ramanauskas, who was playing his 100th AFL game after overcoming cancer.

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