Friday Night: The Perfect Analogy For Essendon's Season
A wounded Richmond and a packed MCG provided the ideal platform to put their underwhelming season behind them. However, it quickly became apparent that our expectations were misguided.
Richmond dominated the field position all game, accumulating 14 more inside 50s and 12 more marks inside 50. However, their inefficiency and some desperate defending kept the Bombers just within touching distance.
Dustin Martin dominated both in the middle and up forward. He collected 26 disposals, took ten goals, and kicked four goals. Devon Smith was by far the Bombers best, with 28 disposals, five tackles, and a goal.
The Tigers looked to have the game sowed up when Dustin Martin ran into an open goal to stretch their lead out to 33 points half-way through the final quarter. The game turned on its head from there.
The Tiger's run that held them in good stead all game stopped! The Bombers began to make the most of their dominance in the contest, collecting fast and clean clearances. The Bombers had their chances but missed efforts from Cale Hooker and Zach Merrett will live to haunt the Bombers.
Essendon’s performance tonight almost perfectly analogises their disappointing season. The exclusion of Prestia, Cotchin, and Lambert from the Tigers side enhanced the AFL communities’ expectations. However, Essendon started slower than most anticipated, rarely in the contest and reliant on the mistakes of Richmond to keep them in the game.
When all the chips seemed down, and no path to victory visible, the Bombers finally clicked into gear. Their runners started going, and Richmond looked defenceless against their onslaught. Essendon threw hazard to the wind and executed ball-movement any team would be envious of. Cale Hooker instigated havoc in the Bombers forward line, and their potent fleet of small forwards produced unrivalled pressure.
Perfectly resembling Essendon’s 2018 season, the Bombers presented too little too late on Friday night, and they will have all summer to consider what could have been.