Kim Densham reporting for AFANA from Melbourne
For pictures of all the action go to:
With both teams coming off interstate travel, the ever hopeful thought Essendon had the slightest chance of winning. However the script went according to form. Despite Bomber speedster Alwyn Davey scoring the first goal of the night in under 30 seconds and raising the Bomber fans hopes, Geelong completely outclassed the Dons, who lacked their trademark pace and seemed to miss David Hille in the ruck as a foil for Paddy Ryder.
A spirited and sometimes heated first half was a close affair with Essendon trailing their more fancied opponents by just five points at one stage. After the half time bounce however, Geelong went on a 12 goal sortie that left the Bombers reeling and the fans with a brutal reality check. During the second half Essendon were able to add just four goals.
On the night though it was the 'Bomber' Thompson show as the former Essendon Captain turned Geelong coach had his team purring. Even with six 2009 Premiership players missing with injury - Cameron Mooney, Tom Hawkins, Matthew Scarlett, Joel Corey, Brad Ottens and Max Rooke - the Geelong football factory has churned out enough replacements, the most notable being new cult star James Podsiadly. The 28 year old rookie kicked five goals as did the enigmatic Travis Varcoe and both proved they are the goods, easily beating their Essendon opponents.
In the end, class prevailed and the 71 point loss left Essendon coach Matthew Knights and the Bombers' brains trust scratching their heads. Geelong's midfield engine room delivered 102 more possessions, twenty more inside 50 entries and accurate goal kicking.
Scoreboard Essendon 4.3 8.6 10.9 12.11 (83) Geelong 6.3 11.6 16.11 23.16 (154)
Goals Essendon: Hurley 4, Davey 3, Stanton 2, Jetta, McVeigh, Zaharakis Geelong: Podsiadly 5, Varcoe 5, Johnson 4, Bartel 3, Byrnes 3, Chapman, Kelly, Stokes
Best Essendon: Hurley, Davey, Watson, Lovett-Murray Geelong: Bartel, Varcoe, Podsiadly, Kelly, Johnson, Selwood, Ablett
Article last changed on Saturday, June 19, 2010 - 10:52 PM EDT