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Merrett high fives
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. 

While the look of each team was a little different in their indigenous round jumpers for this round, each team was clearly recognizable in their traditional red/black and blue/white colors. What was not recognizable was the good start by the Kangaroos, with Davies-Uniake roving the boundary throw in and snapping over his shoulder in heavy traffic for the first goal of the match. The Bombers were quick to reply though with Guelphi marking a high ball 25 meters out and kicking the first of the match for his team. After a lengthy goal review Toby Pink was awarded with the second for the Kangaroos as players scrambled for the ball at the goal line it seems he got some part of the end of his boot onto the ball as it skipped over the line.  

Matt Guelphi celebrates
Guelphi Goals (file photo/AFANA)

A trio of goals later in quarter saw the Bombers awake from an apparent slumber. Club captain Zach Merrett took it upon himself to get his team back in the game when he marked and goaled from the set shot on a 45-degree angle. Then Peter Wright was sighted for the first time in the match as he marked on a strong lead and kicked the goal. Elijas Tatas marked just before the siren inside the goal square and put his team two goals clear at quarter time.

Zurhaar gave the Roos the start they would have been looking for in the second quarter when he marked a long shot at goal from Harry Sheezel, and then scored from 10 meters out. Merrett won the next clearance and his run and hit up of Peter Wright from 60 meters away looked like a training drill with the North defenders as witches' hats (Ed: Australian slang for traffic cones often used in training.) Wright evened the ledger for the quarter.

North was able to put up some good resistance for a period, but an intercept turnover by Hobbs saw him chip to an unmarked Harrison Jones and Jones kicked the Bomber's fifth goal from the set shot. Essendon looked to be pulling away as Guelphi marked and goaled from 45 meters out right on the boundary line. North hit back when the long kick to Duursma drew a free kick, and Stephenson roved to take the play-on advantage and kick his first goal of the day. Curtis Taylor backed it up getting on his own inside 50 and marking a chipped kick and going on to kick the Kangaroos' fifth goal.

Misses by Guelphi and Stringer were lost opportunities and left the Kangaroos with an open door.  That door opened a little bit more as Duursma marked and goaled from 48 meters out after the siren sounded, to see his side trail by just seven points at the halfway point.

It was Guelphi in his 100th AFL match who opened the scoring in the third quarter after marking on a fast lead he kicked his third goal of the match. Slack defending by North saw Ben Mackay drill Stringer with a pass and he easily kicked the 40m shot from center half-forward. Once again, the Bombers were appearing to be the winners. A bullet like pass by Davies-Uniake to Larkey in the forward pocket beat the Essendon defenders and his goal kept the Kangaroos in touch but still trailing by 14 points. A quick reply by the Bombers though came through Peter Wright, the midfielders finding him with a high kick to his natural advantage inside the 50-meter arc.

Wright Goals
Peter Wright (file photo/AFANA)

Luke Davies Uniake kicked his second goal for the day, on the end of a chain of handball, and sold some candy to sidestep two Essendon defenders in one move before snapping truly. But from here it would be all Essendon. Alwyn Davey Jr perhaps brought the biggest cheer of the day from the Essendon fans when he roved a spilled mark, received the dished out handball and kicked his first of the day. The lead extended to a match high 26 points when Gresham kicked the goal after he teased Comben on taking possession, who tackled him without the ball and gave away the free kick.  

Peter Wright kicked his fourth straight goal for the day, Jake Stringer kicked his second (from the boundary line outside the 50-meter mark) and Perkins kicked the Bombers fifth goal in a row, roving yet another pack turnover to goal from 30 meters out. At three quarter time the Bombers had dominated that quarter and now lead by 45 points, somewhat closer to the pre-match expectations of most of their fans.

Xerri had rucked well for the Kangaroos, against his old teammate Todd Goldstein, and his day got better when he kicked the first goal of the final quarter. When Eddie Ford kicked the next goal there was still no sense of panic given the Bombers still maintained a 33-point lead. Indeed, they held firm, Langford kicking the final goal of the match with five minutes to play as Essendon coasted to a 40-point win.  All in all, an easy four points for the Bombers, but not quite as easy as they would have hoped.  

For North Melbourne some "green shoots" as described by coach Alastair Clarkson in the post-match conference, were definitely starting to show and they included Harry Sheezel who continues to build his bonafide's and Tom Powell who is giving the Roos some great drive in the midfield. The Bombers with this win move to second place on the ladder and while a win against the bottom side doesn't give much credibility, their 7 wins, 2 losses, and 1 draw record does.

Essendon:         4.2 7.5 15.7 16.10 (106)   
North Melbourne:  2.2 6.4  8.4 10.6   (66)   

Essendon:         Wright 4, Guelfi 3, Stringer 2, Merrett, Tsatas, Jones, Davey jnr, Gresham, Perkins, Langford
North Melbourne:  Davies-Uniacke 2, Pink, Zurhaar, Stephenson, Taylor, Duursma, Larkey, Xerri, Forde    
Essendon:         Merrett, Martin, Caldwell, Guelfi, Perkins
North Melbourne:  Davies-Uniacke, Sheezel, Corr, Powell, Xerri 

Essendon:         Nil
North Melbourne:  Miller Bergman (hamstring) 

Essendon:         Dylan Shiel (replaced Harry Jones in the fourth quarter)
North Melbourne:  Eddie Ford (replaced Charlie Lazzaro in the third quarter) 

Crowd:            43,125 at Marvel Stadium

Article last changed on Monday, May 20, 2024 - 1:41 PM EDT


Posted by Jason967 on May 23, 2024

Very good article. it gives me a lot of information. slice master is a fun slicing game. The object of the game is to cut through as many objects as possible to get the highest possible score.

Posted by celemtine on June 18, 2024

With the win, the Bombers moved up to second place in the standings, and while a win over the bottom half body sexdoll team doesn't add much credibility, their 7 wins, 2 losses and 1 draw does.

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