McVeigh injured as Bombers scrape home - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

McVeigh injured as Bombers scrape home

By Roger Vaughan 28/02/2009 08:14:47 AM Comments (0)

Onballer Mark McVeigh's injury woes continued as Essendon scored an unconvincing two-point win over Brisbane in their AFL pre-season quarter-final.

Brisbane's inaccurate kicking in the last term cost them and the Bombers scraped home 0.9.13 (67) to 1.7.14 (65) on Friday night.

McVeigh limped from the field late in the second quarter at Telstra Dome and he went straight to the rooms.

He sat out the rest of the game with a protective "moon boot" on his left foot.

The undermanned Lions, missing stars such as Jonathan Brown and Simon Black, had plenty of chances in the last term to steal the game from the near-full strength Bombers.

But the Lions finished with four behinds.

With less than 30 seconds left, the ball went out of play on the full on the wing, giving Brisbane a free kick.

Essendon forward Alwyn Davey threw the ball over the head of Jack Redden and the umpire awarded a 50m penalty.

That put Redden well within range, but again the shot went wide.

Essendon had built a 19-point lead early in the final term before Brisbane's Mitch Clark kicked the last two goals of the match.

The Lions kicked 2.8 for the term and Essendon will now meet Collingwood in next Friday's semi-final.

After an uninspiring first half, Essendon kicked two of the first three goals in the third term.

But the Lions rallied with the next three goals, including two in a row to Daniel Bradshaw, and they trailed by only one point at the last change.

McVeigh was competing for the ball in the midfield late in the second term when he went to ground in obvious distress.

He had fractured a toe late last year, but made it back in time for round one of the NAB Cup.

The hard-working midfielder finished fifth in Essendon's best-and-fairest award and picked up 13 Brownlow Medal votes despite hamstring and knee injuries restricting him to only 14 matches.

McVeigh was part of a star-studded Essendon bench at the start of the game as coach Matthew Knights gave added responsibility to younger players.

Captain Matthew Llloyd, Jobe Watson, Andrew Lovett, David Hille and Dustin Fletcher also started the game off the field, while Davey was named as a substitute.

Hille starred for the Bombers in the ruck and defender Josh Drummond had 30 disposals for the Lions.

Andrew Lovett kicked two goals in the last term to be Essendon's only multiple goalkicker and Daniel Bradshaw kicked three for Brisbane.

Essendon coach Matthew Knights said McVeigh had hurt his ankle and would undergo a scan on Saturday, but was hopeful it was not serious.

"They were having a discussion at halftime whether he would actually come back onto the ground in the second half, so hopefully it's a sign that it's not too severe," he said.

"It was a bit of a blow because he was playing quite well, we would have liked to get the full game into him."

Knights conceded the game was not a great spectacle.

"There was certainly no flow in the game whatsoever, it was fairly measured from both teams' points of view," he said.

"There was a lot of what you would call patient football - I would not call it exhilarating football, by any stretch of the imagination.

"We were very fortunate to win in the end."

Knights said he jokingly asked Davey after the game if he had a fishing trip planned in Cairns - the venue for their NAB Challenge match if Essendon had lost.

"He didn't see the funny side of it," Knights added.

Brisbane coach Michael Voss bemoaned his team's inaccuracy.

"Both teams had a fair chance to kick a winning score and we weren't able to convert those chances," he said.

"We take a lot of good stuff out of the game, we take a lot of bad stuff out of it.

"That's one of the components we'd like to fix pretty quickly, our goalkicking."

He said the unsightly aspect of the game was too many turnovers by the two teams, but he added Brisbane's decision making improved as the game progressed.

Voss praised midfielder Albert Proud, who returned from a club-imposed suspension to be among the Lions' best.

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