Buddy brilliant as Hawks win - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Buddy brilliant as Hawks win

By Roger Vaughan 19/06/2010 12:22:49 AM Comments (0)

Hawthorn star Lance Franklin has produced one of the games of his AFL career, leading the Hawks to a 16-point win over Essendon at the MCG.

Franklin kicked 5.4, including a strong candidate for goal of the year, had 26 possessions and 10 marks as the Hawks won a pulsating match 14.18 (102) to 13.8 (86).

His two brilliant running goals early in the last term stopped Essendon from pulling clear and the Hawks were able to rally late, kicking the last three goals of the match.

The Hawks go into the mid-season break with a six-game winning streak, while the Bombers have lost their last three and appear destined to miss the finals.

Franklin kicked all his goals on young Essendon defender Cale Hooker, who had his first game back from a hamstring injury.

The Hawks key forward had an astonishing night, even by his lofty standards, first kicking a 50m-plus goal off one step in the opening quarter.

But that was nothing compared to his last-term heroics.

The Bombers kicked the first goal of the final term to draw level after dominating the third term.

Franklin gained possession on the wing, had two bounces and kicked a great goal to put his team back in front.

After Essendon kicked the next two goals for a six-point lead, Franklin again had possession on the wing.

This time he took three bounces and was even closer to the boundary when he kicked the goal of the year so far to level the scores again.

Hawthorn were determined to win this one after losing the last three matches against their arch-rivals.

But after dominating at stages in the first half, they appeared to run out of legs in the third term as Essendon played on at all costs.

The Bombers had 115 possessions to only 69 in the third quarter.

The Hawks looked in control at halftime after Beau Muston goaled on the siren from a dubious free kick.

Essendon had kicked the first two goals of the match and the Hawks were wasteful, starting the match with 0.5.

But goals to Franklin and Beau Muston in the space of a minute put the Hawks in front and they were dominating the clearances.

After a goal to Essendon's Alwyn Davey, Hawthorn kicked the next four goals - including Franklin's booming shot - for a 29-point lead midway through the second quarter.

The Hawks were on the verge of busting the game wide open but Essendon kicked the next two goals as they tightened up at the stoppages.

Essendon coach Matthew Knights was seen on television saying "one more" in the coaches box close to halftime.

But Muston was given the free when he probably should have been penalised for holding the ball and he kicked a crucial goal from nearly 50m.

Hawks midfielder Luke Hodge had to leave the field during the second term with a leg injury and had a quiet night by his standards, but the Hawks say he will be fine.

Muston played a vital role, playing an unusual tagging role on veteran Essendon defender Dustin Fletcher.

While Fletcher still was influential, Knights said the fact that Muston kicked three goals in a close match probably gave him the honours.

Midfielder Chance Bateman came back from suspension and tagged Brent Stanton out of the game.

Bateman received a heavy knock in the last term and the incident might come under video review.

But the story of the night was undoubtedly Franklin.

"He was pretty special, those goals from the boundary were unbelievable stuff," said Hawks coach Alastair Clarkson.

"He played consistently well right throughout the course of the game and provided a great target for us up forward.

"We're really pleased we're on our side, because he probably won us the game in the end.

"It was a great game of footy - you don't like to be a coach in those sorts of games too often, because the result can go either way."

For all Franklin's brilliance in the last quarter, Knights blamed the loss on a poor first quarter.

"I was extremely disappointed in the way we played early but then after quarter-time we were probably gallant in our efforts to claw back into the game and we did it with some real physicality and then some run through the lines which was really pleasing," he said.

Knights conceded Franklin's second freakish goal in the last term was the turning point.

"That certainly got Hawthorn excited again I felt and probably gave them some belief going into that last 10 or 12 minutes and they probably just got on top again," Knights said.

Knights also backed the decision to leave Hooker on Franklin for much of the game.

"I think probably Cale held his own but just the other guy is such a special player that so many forward entries go to him and he is going to then eventually get sway," he said.

Knights said the Bombers have a lot of work to do after the mid-season break but said they could still rally and push for a finals berth.

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