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Inaccurate Bombers Lose Second Place on Ladder to Blues

Charlie Curnow (file photo/AFANA)

A cool dry Melbourne winter's eve greeted these two old foes, for this Round 13 match under lights at the MCG. The Bombers sitting second on the ladder and the Blues, fifth, separated by just two points. It was close to a full house which showed up to watch the clash. The first quarter would be a pretty even affair, at least across the ground, but the Blues were accurate, and the Bombers were not. The Bombers broke forward early, with Perkins marking on the lead out of the square but missing the set shot for a point. The Blues moved it smartly from the kickout, but the Bombers defenders swooped and then rushed a behind.  

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Bombers Cruise to Big Win Over Roos

Zach Merrett (file photo/AFANA)

Essendon went into this Sir Doug Nicholls Round match against the bottom team on the ladder in 4th place. It should be noted though, that if they had lost the Anzac Day match against Collingwood a few weeks back and not received 2 points for the draw that day, they would be sitting 10th on the ladder. Therefore, it was important they keep winning to hold their spot near the top of the ladder. The Roo's, on the other hand, could theoretically have moved out of last place and overtake Richmond if they win this match against their Marvel Stadium co-tenant. A quirk of Australian football is that so many teams share the same venues in Melbourne which reduces any "home" advantage. 

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Bombers Survive Late Eagle Challenge

Kyle Langford (file photo/AFANA)

The Essendon Bombers survived a late challenge by a determined West Coast Eagles to win by one goal in a thriller at Optus Stadium. The Bombers had more of the play for three quarters but couldn't finish scoring opportunities off the strong work of their midfield. Whereas the Eagles launched less attacks but were more efficient in attack. The Bombers used handball to break out of packs but the Eagles' players were more inclined to "roll the dice" and take on the tackler to get out of tight situations. Veteran ruckman Todd Goldstein, was dominant in for Essendon and for three quarters the Bombers won more clearances through his combination with Darcy Parish and Zach Merrett at ground level. Goldstein tired in the last stanza and an improved second half by Tim Kelly of the Eagles in the packs brought the hosts back into the game.

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Dockers Damage Bombers' Belief

Jackson & Henry celebrate (file photo)

The Fremantle Dockers bounced back from a poor display against the GWS Giants to end the Essendon Bombers run of four consecutive victories. The Dockers' return to winning form started slowly with Essendon leading for most of the first quarter. The Bombers started well by winning contested possessions and out-running the Dockers to create loose players. After four minutes of play the visitors had booted two goals. The first, courtesy of a clever chip kick out of a pack by Zach Merrett, was marked (caught) by Kyle Langford. Langford's set shot was accurate. Merrett was involved two minutes later when he intercepted a Docker handball to chip to Darcy Parish, who handballed to Jye Caldwell who slotted a running goal from just thirty meters. After an initial shock, the Dockers settled and were more competitive around the ball. Despite the pressure, the visitors still won more contested possessions but the Dockers were well served by their defenders. A free kick to Sam Switkowski for a high tackle resulted in the home team's first goal after eleven minutes of play.

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Bombers Cruise Through Eagles' Nest

Weideman flies (Woodley/AFANA)

The Essendon Bombers accounted for the West Coast Eagles in a match in which the Eagles recorded their ninth consecutive loss. The Eagles were more competitive than last week, but lacked the class of Essendon's forward entries. The Eagles made two more attacking forays than the Bombers but their delivery and goal kicking was poor. At the other end, Essendon were more efficient in attack and were far more accurate with their set shots at goal.

The Eagles began by applying good pressure in the midfield, but Zach Merrett and Mason Redman gained plenty of possessions for the Bombers and the run of Nic Martin gave the Bombers more opportunities. Within the first thirty seconds Jake Stringer had kicked to Kyle Langford who marked and goaled. The Don's next two goals came from snaps from Redmond and Archie Perkins. The Eagles didn't panic and kept to their game plan of using the ball across the field to spread play. At the fifteen-minute mark they moved the ball across the 50 meter arc to Oscar Allen who marked (caught the ball) and kicked truly from long range. Two minutes later a chain of passes out of defense ended with Allen booting his second. The quarter was then evenly balanced until Essendon scored the last goal, after Sam Draper laid a good tackle on Bailey Williams to win a free kick.

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Blockbuster Bombers Snatch Dreamtime at the 'G Win

Bombers Victory! (Densham/AFANA)

After the prematch activities celebrated indigenous Australian culture through ceremony and dance, the Tigers won the toss and play was underway.  A big crowd was in, and the atmosphere was electric. 

Rhyan Mansell, one of those in the game with indigenous heritage, appropriately kicked the first goal of the night as he was taken over the shoulder by Redman and he kicked the resulting goal.  Sam Weideman responded, and went one better at the other end when quick kicks inside 50 saw Weideman interfered with twice in two minutes.  On both occasions his kicks for goal were on target.   Alwyn Davey Jr added a third for the Bombers

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Eagles Break Drought

Cripps kicks

The West Coast Eagles ended a club record losing streak of nine consecutive losses by beating the Essendon Bombers at Optus Stadium. It was the Eagles' first victory at their home stadium in eleven months and the lively home crowd enjoyed the ride in a game where the lead changed nine times. The Bombers pushed away to an early lead in the first quarter with Jake Stringer finding plenty of space and booting the first goal. The Eagles' first goal came three minutes later when they worked the ball out of defense to Josh Kennedy, who marked and kicked truly. From there the Bombers took control and produced three goals. The first, a good snap by Matt Guelfi from a stoppage near the goals. The second by Stringer after a turnover in the center and the third by Peter Wright after the Bombers had transitioned from defense. The Bombers were running and the Eagles had lead boots. The first quarter was played mostly in the Bombers' half of the ground. A rare change of play saw Jack Darling complete a clever one-handed mark (catch) and convert, which inspired the home team.

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AFANA AFL Power Poll - Round 17

"Walla" for the Win!

A dramatic change has taken place on the AFANA AFL Power Poll over the past weekend with some big results that could have a significant effect on the race for the 2019 premiership. After finally reaching number one on the back of a string of brilliant performances, the West Coast Eagles came crashing down to earth and have dropped all the way to fourth on our Power Poll after an unexpected loss at home to its 2018 premiership victim in Collingwood. 

The Cats move back into the number one spot after a hard fought win against Saint Kilda, while a red hot Brisbane Lions move up to second after a road win full of merit against a frustrating Port Adelaide. Essendon needed a last gasp goal from their barometer in Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti to down the Kangaroos, Richmond overpowered an undermanned Greater Western Sydney and the Adelaide Crows smashed the Gold Coast Suns up at Metricon Stadium.

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AFANA AFL Power Poll - Round 6

ANZAC Day Banner 2019. Kim Densham for AFANA.

An extended round six kicked off with the unusual Wednesday night game that saw Richmond victorious by 43 points over the struggling Melbourne Demons. The Anzac Day battle between Collingwood and Essendon was a classic that ended with the Magpies hanging on to win by four points in controversial circumstances as the Bombers fell just short of pulling off a great comeback. Brisbane, Port Adelaide, Fremantle and the Giants took care of business as expected while Carlton almost pulled off back to back victories before succumbing by just five points to a frantic Hawthorn down in Tasmania.

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AFANA AFL Power Poll - Round 4

The big movers on the AFANA AFL Power Poll this week were the Tigers and the Saints up four places each, while the Adelaide Crows fell four spots after a disastrous loss to the previously winless Kangaroos. Other notable happenings over another topsy-turvy round of footy were the Demons notching their first win for the season up in Sydney, while the previously unbeaten Cats were ambushed late by an impressive Giants outfit despite losing Callan Ward to a nasty knee injury in the first quarter.

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