A team of eight goals against one final team has seen Essendon keep the season alive with a fiery 27-point win over Hawthorn under the roof at Marvel Stadium.
A pulse-pounding final quarter rocked Marvel Stadium as Bombers fans found their voices after three-quarters of scrappy football.
After a slow start, the Bombers kept their balance and made a crucial comeback after being 15 points behind three quarters of the time.
The struggling Dons had only had one win for the season so far, while the Hawks were a surprise pack to many who were down 3-4.
Even more impressively, Essendon had to undergo six changes due to an illness that devastated the club.
Jordan Ridley, Nik Cox, Alec Waterman, Sam Durham Jake Kelly and Matt Guelfi were stricken with the illness, while Jake Stringer also missed out with an injury.
For the Bombers, Peter Wright scored six goals in addition to his eight points and was delivered well by the ever mighty Darcy Parish (one goal, 32 disposals) and Zach Merrett (one goal, 28 disposals).
Nick Hind (23 turns, 78 percent pedaling efficiency) is said to be delighted with his return from the VFL, while Ben Hobbs (one goal, 19 turns) is building a solid body of work.
Nic Martin continues to stake his claim as one of the best pick-ups of the off-season with a stellar play with two goals and 22 eliminations.
Former St Kilda star Nick Dal Santo praised the 21-year-old and declared his importance to the Bombers in just his seventh AFL game.
“He’s number seven in-game and he’s in their best five players as it stands right now, at the (whole) football club,” Dal Santo said on AFL Nation†
Dylan Shiel (15 disposals, six clearances) was recently in the headlines for his surprise ax in round 7 and appeared to be uneasy after a left leg injury left him on the bench for large parts of the game.
Mid-season 2021 Jai Newcombe was influential in racking up 28 disposals, five clearances and eight points, while Darcy Moore continued his consistent start through 2022 with 20 disposals on top of a goal and 11 points.
In a largely tie, it was the Bombers’ momentum and stamina that set them apart from the Hawks, who have now lost three in a row since beating the Cats in impressive fashion on Easter Monday.
Facing the Swans at the SCG, the Bombers hope to share a third home defeat in a row against the Reds and Whites as the Hawks try to end their run of losses against an in-form Richmond.
Essendon: 2.2, 6.3, 8.10, 16.12 (108)
hawthorn: 3.7, 8.9, 10.13, 11.15 (81)
Essendon: Wright 6, Martin 2, Francis 2, Hobbs, Baldwin, Caldwell, Parish, Merrett, Perkins
hawthorn: Gunston 2, Lynch 2, Koschitzke 2, Macdonald, Maginness, Moore, Morrison, Breust
Essendon: P Wright, N Martin, D Parish, Z Merrett, D Heppell, B Hobbs
hawthorn: J Newcombe, J O’Meara, D Moore, H Morrison, J Sicily