Williams delivers as Bombers down Blues - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Williams delivers as Bombers down Blues

By Sam Lienert 10/04/2010 11:14:31 PM Comments (0)

Essendon's recruitment of former Hawthorn premiership player Mark Williams paid its first dividends as the forward helped deliver the Bombers' opening victory of the AFL season against Carlton on Saturday night.

Essendon won a lacklustre match 13.17 (95) to 10.15 (75), prevailing in a contest in which both sides wasted numerous scoring chances and regularly failed to find teammates with disposals.

But while many were wasteful, Williams made the most of his few opportunities, kicking four goals without a miss from eight kicks, including two classy set shots in the final term to seal the contest.

They were the 26-year-old's first majors since joining the club, after he went goalless in losses to Geelong and Fremantle in the opening two rounds.

Essendon's win left both clubs on 1-2 records, and extends their winning streak over Carlton to six - with Blues coach Brett Ratten still to record a win over his club's fierce rivals.

The Bombers led for most of the night, kicking the first three goals of the match, with the Blues extremely sloppy in front of goal early, at one stage in the first term having 1.5 on the board as well as two shots out on the full.

But Carlton surged late in the opening term to take a three-point lead at the first change.

Typical of the match, their charge was sparked by an Essendon error - a Cale Hooker kick from fullback smothered by Setanta O'hAilpin, who soccered through from point-blank range.

The second term followed a similar pattern, Essendon kicking out to a 17-point lead, with Carlton not scoring at all until time-on of the quarter, before two late majors narrowed the gap to 10 points at the main break.

The Bombers again pushed away with the first two goals of the third term, before Carlton reeled them back to a two-goal margin at the last change.

It could have been closer if not for a brilliant chasing effort by Essendon veteran Dustin Fletcher on Eddie Betts late in the quarter, to stop a near-certain goal, although Carlton's Dennis Armfield produced a similar effort against Sam Lonergan minutes later at the other end.

But Carlton let the Bombers get away once too often in the final quarter, Williams kicking his side's first two goals of the term and Kyle Reimers (three goals) adding another 15 minutes in to create a matchwinning four-goal lead.

Essendon coach Matthew Knights said his side deserved the win, because they won more of the ball and attacked more frequently than the Blues.

"We persisted all night, Carlton made a couple of runs at various stages during the night, but we held our nerve and kept pushing," he said.

He said Williams was starting to adjust to a new attack.

"He's been with Hawthorn for a long time and they do things a certain way, we probably haven't had our forward line settled yet," Knights said.

"... Mark in the second half played really well, I'm pleased for that."

Blues coach Brett Ratten was scathing of his team's effort.

"To turn up and deliver what we delivered was actually quite embarrassing," he said.

He said Carlton barely had a winner on the ground and were simply not prepared to work hard enough.

"You can not expect to win games of football (with that effort) and to pull something out of the bag at the end of the game was a big ask.

"I think we kicked the ball out on the full maybe nine times for the game, which is staggering.

"I just thought our workrate was below par, that's what I was embarrassed about really."

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