Round 18 – Essendon v Hawthorn: Bitter Rivalry Continues

By Cody Lane

What a great rivalry these two teams share. So much history and tonight’s match would add another chapter to the rivalry. Hawthorn are coming in to the match in red hot form winning their last 8 games on the trot. Essendon on the other hand come in to the game with a disappointing month of football. The previous week the Dons were given a hammering by the Cats and were looking to get back on the winners list, but it was going to take a huge effort to defeat a Hawthorn side backed as premiership favourites and in great form. No Buddy, but Hodgey makes his long waited return for the Hawks and Winderlich makes his for the Dons.

I took my seat on the couch (decked out in my Hawthorn stuff) ready for a great game. I was praying for a win because of the amount of Essendon fans that attend my school. I would have to face them if we lose.

The game starts at a slow pace with a couple of fumbles and mistakes. Hawthorn kicks the first of the game with a long range bomb from the thumping left boot of Matt Suckling (1 of 11 left footers in the team tonight). Soon after a fantastic contested mark is taken by young Jack Gunston (really like this boy) and he slots it. Cyril is in everything in his 100th with plenty of early clearances. Hodgey takes a wonderful mark and kicks truly. Some were saying that the Hawks were playing Hodgey too early and that he should have had another week in the VFL, but boy did he prove them wrong.

The Hawks are running and moving the ball really well early on and putting Essendon under a lot of pressure (led by Cyril). Jobe Watson tries his best for the Dons (as always) with 14 possessions in the first quarter. The pace of the game picks up pretty quickly and the game becomes exciting. Rioli does a piece of magic which results in a great contested mark to Gunston who copped a late bump by Fletcher, which sparks the first push and shove of the game. The Dons are struggling to find a target up forward (really missing Hurley and Crameri). Cyril applies a wonderful chase and tackles, which results in another Hawthorn goal. Howlett kicks the Bombers’ first just before quarter-time giving the Hawks a 43 point lead.

The second quarter starts with a dodgy free kick to Hille who bananas a goal. Down the other end Gunston takes a huge specky in the forward pocket and snaps truly. Then, a wonderful intercepting mark from Cyril, who centres the ball to Suckers, who kicks yet another one. Brilliant stuff from the Hawkers! Fletcher is helping the Dons down back with his goalkeeping like role. A 68 point Hawthorn lead at the main break.

Hodgey kicks off the third quarter with his third goal for the game. Dell’Olio puts through a quick reply for the Bombers. Watson still tries for the Dons (22 possessions to half time). A Jetta goal is backed up by a Gumbleton goal. Essendon is still fighting. A superb dribbling goal from Roughey puts it back out to 63. Essendon go coast to coast and this results in Gumbleton’s second. A superb smother from Rioli in the forward 50. His pressure is phenomenal. Gumbleton’s 3rd is quickly responded to by Hodge’s 5th and caps off a great return to the AFL. Jetta and Dempsey are working their way into the game and Winderlich’s return to AFL has been promising in an otherwise disappointing night for the Essendon Football Club. 70 point Hawthorn lead at 3 quarter time.

Bombers keep running and Gumbleton gets his 4th for the game. A thumping left foot from 65 out gets Suckers his 3rd. Hawthorn’s running and kicking have carved Essendon apart tonight. A Best on Ground performance from Cyril in his 100th game and a 94 point win for the Hawks who had so many good players. Watson was good for the Bombers with 37 possessions and Gumbleton booted 4 in a poor night for the Essendon Football Club. Hodge and Gunston booted 5 each for the Hawks who look good going forward without Buddy in there. Sammy Mitchell racked up 29 along with Whitecross.

Essendon suffer yet another heavy defeat (3 in the last 4 weeks). Essendon still have a tough run to come with games against Adelaide (away), North Melbourne, Carlton, Richmond and Collingwood and need at least 1 if not 2 wins to be a certainty in September. Hawthorn on the other hand has a couple of tough and easy games to come including games against Geelong, Port Adelaide, Gold Coast, Sydney (away) and West Coast. The Hawks add yet another proud chapter to the rivalry and continue their relentless march to September. Really looking forward to bragging to my mates that go for Essendon and all I have to say is bring on the Cats!

Essendon 12.14.86 def by Hawthorn 27.18.180

My Votes

3- C.Rioli (Hawthorn)

2- S.Mitchell (Hawthorn)

1-     J.Watson (Essendon)

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