Hawks on right track: Clarkson - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hawks on right track: Clarkson

By Adam Cooper 10/04/2005 07:05:59 PM Comments (0)

On a day that turned scorcher to winter in minutes it was only fitting that the winner looked a loser and the defeated felt vindication.

That was the case for Essendon and Hawthorn respectively after the Bombers won by two points at the MCG, which left the Hawks alone at the bottom of the AFL ladder as the only side without a win this season.

Essendon's 10.17 (77) to 11.9 (75) win was its 10th straight over its rival, but despite leading by 30 points at halftime in atrocious conditions after a first-quarter downpour, the Bombers surrendered the lead early in the final quarter as Hawthorn's young side lifted.

The Hawks drilled six goals in the third quarter and hit the front early in the last when John Barker converted from a tough angle.

But three Essendon goals - one a controversial soccer-style effort from Dean Solomon (his third), after the ball looked to have cleared the goal line before bouncing back into play - should have sealed the win.

Hawks Mark Williams and Luke Hodge added late goals only for time to beat them.

After the game Essendon coach Kevin Sheedy kept his players on the ground to lecture them about how close they had been to being overrun twice in successive games, following last week's fade-out to Carlton.

"I wanted to say to the players, just quickly remind them of certain areas while we were out on the ground," Sheedy said.

"... that we should not have been twice in the position of losing the game, which we got back at halftime and when we got ahead we should have been able to win and we kept giving them an opportunity."

In contrast, Hawthorn's Alastair Clarkson smiled like a winner when he entered the post-match press conference despite yet tasting victory as a senior AFL coach.

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