Hird leads Essendon to victory - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hird leads Essendon to victory

21/02/2004 05:53:53 AM Comments (0)

A vintage display from James Hird and four goals from Matthew Lloyd secured Essendon an eight-point win over Fremantle in their round one AFL Wizard Cup game at Marrara Oval.

Hird booted four goals including one nine-pointer and was a clear best afield as the Dons withstood a fierce Fremantle opening and eventually got home in sapping humidity, 2.13.11 (107) to 1.13.12 (99).

The Bombers led by 16 points early in the final quarter after Hird centred a pass to David Hille, who kicked truly.

But three quick goals to Dockers Peter Bell, Troy Simmonds and Clive Waterhouse (his third) put Fremantle in front before Lloyd gathered a loose ball at the other end and gave off a goal to Jason Winderlich to put Essendon back in front.

From there the Bombers hung on in a high-quality game given the early time of the year and the greasy conditions.

Des Headland had the chance to put Fremantle in front late but his snap was touched on the line by Essendon defender Adam McPhee.

From there the Bombers were able to bottle the game up, with Justin Murphy's first goal for his fourth club sealing the win.

In a pleasing showing for Essendon fans, Hird and Lloyd were in great touch and were well supported by Murphy, McPhee and centre half-back Scott Lucas, who went forward in the third term with great effect with two goals in 90 seconds, including a nine-pointer.

Fremantle started well through Headland, who kicked three first-quarter goals, including a nine-pointer, and four for the game.

Bell and Peter Hasleby were productive around the ground, with Simmonds mobile around the ground.

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