Bombers sink Hawks in fiery clash - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Bombers sink Hawks in fiery clash

By Guy Hand 29/08/2009 07:08:29 PM Comments (0)

Essendon star Matthew Lloyd may miss the Bombers' first AFL finals campaign since 2004 after he was reported in his side's fiery 17-point victory over reigning premiers Hawthorn at the MCG.

The 16.20 (116) to 14.15 (99) win secured Essendon the last top-eight spot ahead of the Hawks and a final against fifth-placed Adelaide next weekend.

Lloyd's huge bump which ironed out Hawthorn midfielder Brad Sewell at the opening bounce of the third quarter changed the course of the match.

The collision left Sewell heavily concussed, kicked off an all-in melee and sparked the dormant Bombers into life after they trailed by 22 points at halftime.

But Lloyd, who is yet to decide whether this will be his final AFL season, may pay a hefty price.

Lloyd's hit had echoes of the one which Hawthorn forward Lance Franklin received a two-match ban for last week - ruling him out of this game.

Essendon coach Matthew Knights said he wasn't sure whether Lloyd's bump had been the catalyst for their second half fightback.

But he hoped the 31-year-old would be cleared of wrongdoing by the match review panel when it meets on Monday to discuss his rough conduct charge which threatens to rule him out of the finals.

"We'll just let the powers-that-be take care of what they need to in that scenario - we're not sure what's going to happen," Knights said.

"From our perspective we just hope it was legal and he's available to play next week."

Hawthorn dominated the first half and looked on track to snatch eighth spot and a place in September ahead of the Bombers, leading by as many as 28 points late in the second term.

But with Sewell, who had been dominating the centre clearances, leaving the ground out cold on a stretcher and Hawks hardman Campbell Brown streaming blood from a head cut in the melee that followed, the momentum shifted.

Essendon booted four of the game's next five goals to close to within three points - the margin staying at less than a goal by three-quarter-time.

Hawthorn were then steamrolled in the final term as Essendon booted the first four goals of the quarter - though the Hawks weren't helped by having only two fit players on the interchange bench.

Sewell's injury followed the early loss of luckless young ruckman Max Bailey to what appeared a serious left knee injury.

Bailey, who has already had two reconstructions on his other knee and played just six matches in the past four seasons, will have scans on the injury on Sunday.

Young forward Michael Hurley was outstanding for Essendon in just his ninth AFL match, booting four second-half goals and taking 10 marks.

The 18-year-old, who has been injured for much of his debut season, threaded an awesome late third quarter goal from the boundary and put the game out of Hawthorn's grasp with his fourth major at the 22-minute mark of the final term.

Hawthorn's defeat made them the first AFL premiers to miss the top eight in the following year since 1999.

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