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Bombers derail Cats' top-four hopes

By Guy Hand 29/07/2005 10:52:26 PM Comments (0)

Geelong's top-four hopes have suffered a huge setback after a six-goal haul to Essendon's Scott Lucas spearheaded the Bombers to a 13-point AFL upset at Telstra Dome.

Lucas went berserk in the third quarter, kicking four of five unanswered Bombers goals from midway through the term as they fought back from 14 points down to conjure a 16.11 (107) to 13.16 (94) win.

Fifth-placed Geelong was desperate for a victory to keep its hopes of a top-four finish on track.

Instead Essendon, well out of finals contention, showed more desire and played smarter, more direct football to win just its seventh match of the season.

The Bombers' defence, brilliantly marshalled by fullback Dustin Fletcher, blanketed the Cats forwards for the entire second half, particularly when the game was in the balance in the final quarter.

Trailing by just seven points going into the final term, Geelong didn't manage to kick its first goal of the quarter until the 22-minute mark when the game was already out of reach.

Essendon skipper James Hird kicked the opening two goals of the term, before Matthew Lloyd kicked another to push their side out to an unassailable 26-point lead midway through the final quarter.

The only sour note for the Bombers was that backman Mark McVeigh is likely to come under scrutiny following a halftime melee involving a dozen players from both sides.

McVeigh appeared to land a punch to the face of Geelong's Steve Johnson during the stoush, which broke out after the halftime siren sounded.

Essendon defender Dean Solomon had his jersey shredded in the ensuing chaos, which is certain to keep the AFL's match review panel busy when it views video replays on Monday.

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