Bombers back after downing Saints - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Bombers back after downing Saints

By Sam Lienert 24/06/2005 10:44:48 PM Comments (0)

Essendon breathed life back into its AFL season and helped Matthew Lloyd celebrate his 200th AFL game with an entertaining 19.5 (119) to 16.8 (104) win over St Kilda at Telstra Dome.

It kept the Bombers' finals hopes alive, taking them to a 5-8 record, while pre-season premiership favourite St Kilda is now teetering dangerously on 6-7 and out of the top eight.

It was a richly deserved win for Essendon, who worked hard and led for almost the entire night, although the Saints were able to hit the lead for brief spurts in both the second and third quarters.

In particular, the Bombers had to fight back from a huge St Kilda surge in the third term, when the Saints kicked the first five goals to turn a 16-point half-time deficit into a 15-point lead.

But the Bombers fought back with the last four goals of the quarter, with captain James Hird inspirational during this period with his work in the midfield and a great running goal.

Lloyd capped his milestone with four goals, but it was the Bombers' ball-winning in the middle and exciting run and skills as they streamed down the centre of the ground that was the true highlight.

The other notable feature was Essendon's accurate kicking for goal - with the Bombers kicking 10 goals without a miss from just after half-time until the dying minutes of the game.

Justin Murphy was a tireless gatherer of possessions across the field, while the run and creativity of Andrew Lovett and Nathan Lovett-Murray inspired their side and excited the Bomber fans.

Lovett-Murray provided one of the most inspirational plays of the night at a crucial moment late in the third quarter, when he ran down St Kilda's Aaron Fiora after a huge chase.

With the Saints leading by four points, Fiora was streaming towards goal with a chance to extend the lead to 10 points.

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