Bombers shoot down Hawks in 44-point win - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Bombers shoot down Hawks in 44-point win

By Adam Cooper 08/05/2009 11:28:53 PM Comments (0)

A mixture of speed and brilliant marking earned Essendon a stirring 44-point win over Hawthorn in a high-class AFL clash at Etihad Stadium on Friday night.

Undermanned and missing a glut of senior players and up against a foe they had not beaten since 2005, the young Bombers used their pace and infectious enthusiasm to stun the reigning premiers.

Down by a point at half-time, Essendon ripped open the game with six goals in the third term and powered away in the last to win 17.14 (116) to 10.12 (72) before a crowd of 50,475.

The victory sent Essendon to 4-3 and into the eight, and sent their rival into the red at 3-4 and into the bottom half of the ladder.

Essendon skipper Matthew Lloyd booted three goals and took 15 marks, and Brent Stanton, Angus Monfries, Andrew Lovett and Bachar Houli produced outstanding games to give Bombers fans a win to cherish.

Hawk forward Lance Franklin kicked five goals, but Essendon's backline, which has had its problems with Hawthorn in the past and was minus the injured Dustin Fletcher, coped well throughout although the Hawks missed eight shots in the first quarter.

That inaccuracy allowed Essendon to skip away to a 12-point lead at quarter-time, but the Hawks took the lead just before half-time thanks to brilliant goals from Cyril Rioli and Franklin.

Rioli forced a loose ball, evaded several opponents and kicked truly from 40m, while Franklin's kicking prowess was on display when he unloaded from 55 metres after playing on from a free kick.

Essendon matched those highlights with their work in the air in the third term, as Monfries took a hanger over Campbell Brown and set up Lloyd for a goal, and contested marks in attack by Lloyd and Tom Bellchambers also led to majors.

Lloyd booted the first goal of the last quarter after another big leap and looked to have sewn up the match until Franklin brought the Hawks to within three goals with plenty of time left with a long goal on the run.

But Essendon steadied and Nathan Lovett-Murray's third goal, a brace from David Zaharakis and Andrew Lovett's goal from close to the boundary capped a thrilling night for the Dons.

Midfielders Jobe Watson and Jason Winderlich also played well for Essendon, along with backmen Courtenay Dempsey and Henry Slattery and Jay Neagle, who had an impact at full-forward with two goals and a couple of strong grabs.

Onballer Brad Sewell began well for Hawthorn but faded, but Rioli, captain Sam Mitchell, and half-backs Jordan Lewis and Grant Birchall were steady throughout.

Essendon coach Matthew Knights described his side's running power as "sensational" and said the win was special.

"To beat the reigning premiers with a team where we had 11 guys with 25 games or under, it was a superb team effort," he said.

"We saw a lot of team-orientated football tonight and just the resilience of the group to bounce back after we were really towelled up quite significantly (by the Brisbane Lions) last week.

"It was a fantastic win and credit to the players, they executed the game style that we were after and executed it to its maximum."

Knights also gave credit to Lloyd and Monfries for their ability to play out the entire game without rest, take marks (27 between them) and force pressure in attack when the ball hit the ground.

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