Hird comes good as Bombers beat Blues - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hird comes good as Bombers beat Blues

By Roger Vaughan 16/04/2004 10:35:05 PM Comments (0)

Essendon captain James Hird again went from villain to hero as his AFL side smashed Carlton by 37 points at the MCG.

Hird and his team recovered from a tough first half, with the Bombers kicking 7.1 without reply in the third term on the way to winning 17.15 (117) to 12.8 (80).

It was the perfect way for the Bombers to celebrate Kevin Sheedy's 800th AFL match as a player and coach.

A day after he publicly apologised for his stunning criticism of field umpire Scott McLaren, Hird only had five touches in the opening two quarters.

But he had 10 touches in the second half and kicked two goals, leaving the field to warm applause midway through the last term.

Hird and McLaren shook hands before the pre-game coin toss as they tried to put the saga behind them.

Last Saturday night, three days after he was in the dog house for starting "Umpiregate" with his comments about McLaren, Hird was the match winner as Essendon beat West Coast in a classic match.

The Brownlow Medallist was not quite so dominant, but Hird eventually broke clear of Trent Sporn's tag to exert his influence.

Essendon trailed by as much as three goals in the second term as the Blues threatened to break the game open.

But two goals just before halftime had the Bombers only four points behind.

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