Bombers hold off Magpies - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Bombers hold off Magpies

By Roger Vaughan 13/08/2004 11:01:04 PM Comments (0)

Essendon withstood Collingwood's second-half charge and maintained its AFL finals hopes with a 34-point win at the MCG.

Collingwood reduced a 43-point deficit midway through the third term to only 19 points early in the last quarter and then 15 with six minutes left, but Essendon steadied in wet conditions to win 18.13 (121) to 13.9 (87).

Bombers captain James Hird kicked the last two goals of the match and had three for the game.

Essendon was just outside the top eight and had to win, while the result ensured Collingwood cannot make the finals.

While Hird was brilliant in patches, Bombers defender Adam McPhee was outstanding throughout, particularly early in the last quarter when the game was suddenly alive.

Before this game, Essendon was ninth, only .6 of a percentage point behind eighth-placed Sydney.

The Swans will play third-placed Melbourne on Saturday night at Telstra Dome.

Sydney-Essendon next Saturday night at Telstra Stadium will be crucial, with only one round to follow and then the finals.

Essendon had the biggest lead of the game midway through the third term with their 43-point break, but Collingwood kicked the last three goals of the quarter to make a game of it.

They were four goals down at the last change and were left ruing their slow start.

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