Well done and congrats on their first win!
If you read Jeff Kennett’s Twitter, people are offended by calling them ‘girls’.
Then again, it might be them offended by HIM calling them girls.
World’s gone mad.
Well, there’s your problem…
A win at last!
The Bombers seized control of the match in the third quarter with a pair of goals to Mon De Matteo and Kendra Heil to force an eight-point lead at the final change.
Brendan Major’s side was made to earn their inaugural win every step of the way in the last quarter as the Tigers began to pepper the goals with the wind at their backs.
However, there was no stopping a side whose time to claim the four points had come: with six minutes to go, De Matteo won a holding the ball free and calmly slotted her second to put the result beyond doubt, 5.4 (34) to 3.8 (26).
Against a Richmond side to whom they had lost by 34 points in the Dreamtime match just over a month ago, the Bombers were hot from the first bounce.
Aside from a five-minute patch at the start of the second quarter that saw the Tigers net two goals, the contest was either even or on Essendon’s terms in the second half.
Richmond was relentless in the final quarter but sprayed six straight behinds as the Bombers denied them time and space again and again.
By contrast, the growing maturity in Major’s side was shown with their direct ball movement in the match-winning play: Alex Quigley and Jess Trend took tough contested marks to drive the Bombers forward whereupon De Matteo laid the tackle and hammered the final nail in the Tigers’ coffin.
It was De Matteo’s finest performance and many of her teammates lifted with her: Maddy Collier and Bec Neaves led a resilient and ruthless backline, Nat MacDonald won the ball on the inside, Simone Nalder was lion-hearted in the ruck and Tait Mackrill was prolific as a high half-forward.
Captain Lisa Williams and leadership group member Lauren Morecroft both stood tall for their side in the clinches.
The win was made all the more remarkable for the absence of key defenders Jenna Barker and Tanya Hetherington, ruck Beth Kearney and forward Danielle Ponter, and the loss of Irena Malliaras to injury before quarter-time.
For Major, every sign of potential his side has shown was validated and emphasised by a win achieved in the grittiest of circumstances.
“Basically, it was an 80-minute effort for the first time in the year,” the coach said.
“We made the most of our entries inside 50 with the forwards applying plenty of pressure. The midfielders got moving around stoppages and got the ball going forward.
“The defenders were really disciplined, played their roles well and kept us in the game at times against the wind.”
Essendon will look to make it two in a row when it plays Footscray at the VU Whitten Oval next Sunday from 2pm.
ESSENDON 1.2 2.2 4.4 5.4.34
RICHMOND 0.1 3.1 3.2 3.8.26
Essendon – De Matteo 2, Hardy, Quigley, Heil
Richmond – Damon, Kennedy, Lynch
Collier, Nalder, Neaves, De Matteo, MacDonald, Mackrill
By Callum O’Connor
All of the goals, few of the highlights…
IN A NUTSHELL: Despite Essendon jumping out to a seven-point lead at quarter time, Richmond bounced back in the second term, kicking all of its three goals for the game in the quarter, and leading by five points at half time. Three goals to nil in the second half ensured Essendon sang the song for the first time this season.
KEY MOMENTS: Monique DeMatteo kicked the all-important only goal of the final term to help the Bombers to a historic first ever win.
FORMLINES: The seven-game losing streak is over for Essendon, recording a first ever VFL W win. / Richmond has suffered back-to-back defeats, following on from back-to-back wins.
MULTIPLE GOALKICKERS: DeMatteo (Essendon) 2
NEXT WEEK: Western Bulldogs v Essendon (Henry Turner Reserve)
Now this is an actual highlights reel!
Try not to imagine what AFL umpires would deem half those tackles.
Some dramatic photos too:
The Bombers may be the competition’s bottom-ranked team for disposals per game but they know how to apply pressure when not in possession, ranking third for average tackles. Essendon lost the disposal count but won tackles 102-86 against the Tigers, with Hayley Bullas (game-high 13 tackles) and Maddy Collier (nine) leading the way.
- Mackrill equal-fifth for kicks (16) across the league this week, with Collier on 15 right behind
- Bullas only third on the tackle count this week (boooooooo), with Collier and Williams (9) also in the top bunch
- Nalder second for hit-outs (36) — is steadily picking up her game week on week
Nice video package.