Essendon in 50-point win over All-Stars - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Essendon in 50-point win over All-Stars

By Roger Vaughan 09/02/2007 11:13:56 PM Comments (0)

Essendon has become the first team to beat the Indigenous All-Stars, winning their AFL pre-season match at TIO Stadium by 50 points.

It was the fourth time the All-Stars had played and they were no match for the Bombers, who won 14.9 (93) to 6.7 (43) in the typically hot conditions.

Essendon key defender Dustin Fletcher starred, with the Bombers exploiting the All-Stars' lack of height in attack.

All-Stars captain Andrew McLeod, who kicked two goals, was the surprise choice ahead of Fletcher for the Polly Farmer Medal as best afield.

Scott Lucas kicked four goals for Essendon and Andrew Krakouer kicked two for the All-Stars.

In the first external trial match of the year, Essendon gave initial signs that it would be a much better team than last year's 15th placing.

The new key defensive combination of Fletcher and Mal Michael looked particularly encouraging in the first half.

Essendon controversially recruited Michael when he decided to reverse his decision to retire, a move that infuriated his former club Brisbane.

The three-time premiership player, who rested in the second half, will make an imposing double act with Fletcher and the pair made the most of the All-Stars' obvious lack of height in attack.

The ball use from the two sides was often scrappy, as to be expected in the first competitive hitout of the year, but there were some exhilarating passages of play as the two sides tried to outdo each other with speed.

All-Stars forward Aaron Davey gave Melbourne fans a scare when he limped off the field early in the third term, but he was back on by the end of the quarter.

A crowd of 13,119 packed the ground for the much-anticipated game.

The All-Stars' decision to not pick Sydney stars Adam Goodes and Michael O'Loughlin meant a controversial lead-up to the match, but it took nothing away from an entertaining game.

Darryl White, who retired from the AFL in 2005 after an outstanding career, had a one-off game with the All-Stars and was strong in defence.

Essendon veteran James Hird played for most of the game, after the Bombers had said he would be on the ground for about a half.

Several first-year players were in action - Joe Anderson (Carlton) for the All-Stars and Essendon's Alwyn Davey, Jay Neagle, Tom Hislop, Sam Lonergan, Heath Hocking, Leroy Jetta and Bachar Houli.

Hislop was particularly impressive and Lonergan also showed promising form.

Cyril "Junior Boy" Rioli, the highly-rated teenage nephew of indigenous AFL legends Maurice Rioli and Michael Long, played for the All-Stars as well.

He is likely to feature high in this year's November draft.

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