Bombers sweating on Hurley - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Bombers sweating on Hurley

Roger Vaughan 07/08/2011 03:08:20 PM Comments (0)

Essendon coach James Hird has revealed Michael Hurley is a week-by-week selection for the rest of the AFL season because of a foot injury.

Hurley returned for Saturday night's epic one-point win over Sydney, the game of the year so far.

Sydney star Adam Goodes, clearly best afield, had a shot at goal after the final siren and the ball just missed from 50m.

Hurley kicked a vital goal on three quarter-time and the tall utility is one of the Bombers' most important players.

The ferocity of the Etihad Stadium clash reflected its importance for the two teams with the finals a month away.

Essendon are back in the top eight after stealing the win and Sydney have dropped from sixth to seventh, meaning for now they have lost the home elimination final.

The Bombers have three more games before their round-24 bye and they will sweat on Hurley's availability.

"Michael's a week-to-week propositon," Hird said.

"He's got a sore foot, he's goingn to work through it and we will play him when we can and when we can't, we can't.

"The bravery he shows to get out there at the moment is exceptional.

"We've got a very high-quality person in Michael Hurley."

Essendon's injury woes appear to be easing, with the ageless Dustin Fletcher and Heath Hocking also returning for the Swans match.

Tayte Pears, Andrew Welsh and Nathan Lovett-Murray could all press for recalls next week against the Western Bulldogs.

Hird was hopeful they had no fresh injuries against Sydney.

"I'm pretty confident we're okay ... every time I say that, we have three blokes miss, so touch wood," he said.

Sydney coach John Longmire was left rueing his team's inaccuracy in the last term, when they kicked 2.9.

While Goodes's skills and work rate were dazzling, he also missed two sitters earlier in the match and gifted Essendon a goal with a blatant deliberate rushing behind free kick.

Longmire felt for him, saying he did not deserve to be the player who missed the game-deciding shot.

Goalkicking has been a Swans bugbear all year and Longmire thought they had gone a long way to curing the problem in the first three quarters.

But given the way the momentum had swung all night, they were always in trouble once they did not shut the door on Essendon.

"2.9 - it does kill you in the last quarter," Longmire lamented.

Another worry for Sydney was their inability to hold onto the lead - with about four minutes left, they still led by two goals.

Normally, the Swans are experts at shutting a tight match down when necessary.

Apart from Goodes' magic and Dan Hannebery's courage, another positive was Sam Reid's continued development.

The young key forward kicked three goals.

"He's a 19-year-old kid playing centre half-forward, it's not a bad effort what he's been able to do this year," Longmire said.

"We expect him to finish off the year strongly and he's improving all the time."

Sydney play Richmond next Sunday at the MCG, now a must-win clash for the Swans.

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