Demons, Saints head for big clash - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Demons, Saints head for big clash

By Adam Cooper 20/06/2004 07:45:30 PM Comments (0)

The AFL's flat-track bully has become the pushover of the big kids' playground.

Essendon's loss to Melbourne at the MCG - the Demons won 13.17 (95) to 10.9 (69) - on Sunday completed a clean sweep of defeats to the five teams above the Bombers on the ladder.

Now sixth and with only one win over a team currently in the eight (Fremantle in round 10), the Dons' finals credentials are under close scrutiny.

Essendon's other concerns are that its challengers are enhancing their finals credentials at the moment, while it cannot ask much more of its best players.

Captain James Hird was among the Dons' best while Matthew Lloyd kicked five of Essendon's 10 goals and is second on the goalkicking table, behind St Kilda's Fraser Gehrig.

But the Bombers don't get enough from second-tier players David Hille, Mark McVeigh, Damian Cupido and Damien Peverill, and with fullback Dustin Fletcher a late withdrawal, the Dons' once-vaunted depth is drying up.

As 14 of the 16 teams go into the mid-season break, perhaps Essendon coach Kevin Sheedy can look to Geelong and Port Adelaide for inspiration.

Geelong has long been considered out of its depth among the major contenders, but achieved a genuine coming-of-age victory over Brisbane 13.14 (92) to 9.11 (65) at Skilled Stadium on Saturday, which took the Cats' formline to seven wins from the past eight games.

Port (fourth) is a game ahead of Geelong after beating Fremantle 17.10 (112) to 16.6 (102) and with a clutch of key players still to filter back into the side.

The Kangaroos kept their finals hopes alive with a 16.12 (108) to 11.9 (75) win over West Coast in Canberra, and round off the eight.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2023 AAP

0 Comments about this article

Post a comment about this article

Please sign in to leave a comment.
Becoming a member is free and easy, sign up here.

« All sports news