Collingwood 2.4 | 5.6 | 9.8 | 11.14.80
Essendon 1.3 | 3.6 | 7.8 | 11.13.79
The day is for our memory. The contest will be one to remember. Desperation and tiredness, as well as Dane Swan, ruled the day.
The Magpies win by a point, but the game itself was a winner, for in the biggest game of the home-and-away season, both sides delivered a sensational battle.
James Hird’s charges hit the front with just over two minutes to go, a fantastic comeback that saw them return from being three goals down halfway through the final term.
The game was marked by poor disposal at times, turnovers and fatigue yet players continued to will themselves onwards despite their quick turnaround from last weekend’s matches.
However, certain individuals proved the difference.
Brownlow Medallist Dane Swan was one of them. With 42 disposals and 3 goals, his work in the middle was critical.
Essendon tried three different players on him to curb his influence, including attempting to put Brent Stanton on him to bring Stanton into the game more. None of it worked, with the three-day turnaround taking its toll as no player was able to keep up with the rampage.
On the other side, Dyson Heppell provided a key defensive performance for the Bombers, with his kicking off half-back proving critical for Essendon’s returns to the forward-line.
Good games from ANZAC Day lover David Zaharakis as well as Jobe Watson also aided, but proved not enough.
In particular, Zaharakis attempting to break out of the pack on the Essendon forward-line with a minute to play had some game-winning deja vu about it, but it was not to be.
Injuries did take their toll, though. The Pies hurt without Heath Shaw’s run off half back, while the loss of Michael Hurley to Essendon was critical to the forward-line tactics they used to destroy Carlton three days ago.
Both sides were less effective without a couple of their A-graders, but it did not prevent a performance of the highest order.
3. Dane Swan
2. Dyson Heppell
1. Dane Beams
Collingwood: Swan, Cloke 3, Blair 2, Beams, Sidebottom, Jolly
Essendon: Davey 3, Zaharakis 2, Howlett, Lonergan, Stanton, Hocking, Monfries, Dell’olio
Collingwood: Swan, Beams, Pendlebury, Sidebottom, Cloke, Johnson
Essendon: Heppell, Watson, Zaharakis, Hocking, Howlett