|Brownlow Medal||3 David Zaharakis (ESS)||2 Robbie Gray (PORT)||1 David Myers (ESS)|
Essendon continues to defy the odds in season 2014. With ASADA controversy constantly swirling around the club, it continues to come up with unlikely victories against more highly-fancied opponents. This week, it was Port Adelaide to feel the heat of a Bombers outfit with its backs against the wall, as Essendon staved off a fast-finishing Power to win by two points in a thriller at the Adelaide Oval.
In a tight, dour affair, Essendon got an early break with a goal to Jake Carlisle in the second minute of the match. A string of behinds to both sides followed and there were ti be only two further goals kicked in the first term, one to Jay Schulz for Port at the 19-minute mark, and one to Jackson Merrett at the 26-minute mark that gave the Bombers back that lead, one that it would remarkably not relinquish for the remainder of the match. The Dons broke the game open in the second quarter, restricting the Power to just a solitary major (again to Schulz) while adding four of their own to lead by 24 points at the long break.
With a large home crowd behind it, the Power were expected to fight back strongly in the third quarter, and to an extent they did, but while restricting Essendon to just 1.4 for the term, Port was somewhat wasteful with its chances in the forward line, adding just 2.6 of their own. At the last change of ends, the Dons were still 16 points too the good.
Needing to get the first goal of the last quarter to give themselves a chance, the Power did just that as Schulz kicked his third after receiving a free kick in the first minute to reduce the margin to just 10 points. Port had further chances in the next seven minutes, but could convert these into behinds only to Chad Wingard, Justin Westhoff and Robbie Gray. Finally, at the 13-minute mark, captain Travis Boak took a mark and goaled to reduce the margin to just two points but four minutes later Dyson Heppell took it back out to eight with a goal from 40 metres out. With minutes remaining, Port's Angus Monfries was tackled when running into an open goal and dropped the ball. Remarkably, no free kick was paid and Kane Johnson picked up the loose ball in the goal square and put it through to reduce the difference to just two points. Had Port managed another goal, Bombers' fans could rightly have claimed to have been "robbed" but the Dons held on in the dying seconds to win a low-scoring thriller, 62 to 60.
David Zaharakis played a match-winning game for the Bombers. with 30 disposals and seven tackles, while David Myers (24 disposals, eight tackles) was also outstanding. Port's best included Robbie Gray (30 touches and three marks) and Hamish Hartlett (29 possessions and two tackles).
The win keeps Essendon's finals' chances well and truly alive. The Bombers are 10th on the ladder with an 8-7 record, only a game behind the sixth, seventh and eighth-placed teams on the ladder. They will meet Collingwood at the MCG next Sunday. Port Adelaide, having suffered three losses in four weeks, have slipped from top of the ladder the third. The Power will attempt to arrest their slide against Richmond at Docklands on Sunday.
Port Adelaide: Schulz 3; White, Gray, Boak, Mitchell
Essendon: Carlisle 2; Merrett, Myers, Ryder, Goddard, Ambrose, Heppell
BEST - THE SUNDAY AGE
Port Adelaide: Hartlett, O'Shea, R. Gray, Wines, Polec, Ebert
Essendon: Dempsey, Zaharakis, Winderlich, Goddard, Ryder, Merrett
BEST - AFL.COM.AU
Port Adelaide: Gray, Hartlett, O'Shea, Boak, Jonas, Lobbe
Essendon: Zaharakis, Myers, Merrett, Stanton, Ryder, Hurley
Port Adelaide: Nil
Port Adelaide: Dom Cassisi replaced by Aaron Young at three-quarter time.
Essendon: Patrick Ambrose replaced by Kyle Hardingham at three-quarter time.
Port Adelaide: Nil
Essendon: Paul Chapman by umpire McInerney for striking Robbie Gray in the first quarter.
UMPIRES: Rosebury, Harris, McInerney
TELEVISION BROADCAST: Seven Network
COMMENTATORS: Brian Taylor, Tim Watson, Matthew Richardson, Cameron Ling
Video sourced from YouTube, courtesy of AFL Media.
|Port Adelaide||Match Stats||Career|
|1||Boak, Travis||9||6||13||22||1||0||0||0||0||0||25y 338d||145||85|
|5||Broadbent, Matthew||6||5||0||6||0||0||0||3||0||0||23y 338d||94||38|
|25||Cassisi, Dom||3||2||3||6||0||0||0||6||1||1||31y 286d||227||74|
|18||Cornes, Kane||6||1||9||15||0||0||0||2||0||1||31y 181d||283||92|
|7||Ebert, Brad||16||7||5||21||0||0||0||2||0||0||24y 94d||137||73|
|9||Gray, Robbie||11||3||19||30||1||1||0||2||2||0||26y 97d||105||141|
|8||Hartlett, Hamish||14||2||15||29||0||2||1||2||2||0||23y 325d||80||47|
|36||Hombsch, Jack||5||3||7||12||0||0||0||0||0||2||21y 120d||29||0|
|24||Impey, Jarman||9||2||9||18||0||0||0||5||0||1||18y 361d||14||3|
|42||Jonas, Tom||12||5||10||22||0||0||0||1||1||1||23y 177d||46||1|
|23||Lobbe, Matthew||4||2||8||12||0||1||35||4||1||5||25y 143d||57||15|
|37||Mitchell, Kane||5||1||4||9||1||1||0||6||0||0||24y 216d||21||14|
|6||Monfries, Angus||9||3||3||12||0||0||0||4||0||0||27y 167d||184||216|
|13||O'Shea, Cam||17||3||11||28||0||0||0||1||0||2||22y 114d||49||7|
|29||Pittard, Jasper||13||1||10||23||0||0||0||5||1||1||23y 95d||46||7|
|21||Polec, Jared||12||2||10||22||0||0||0||0||2||0||21y 266d||30||21|
|28||Schulz, Jay||7||5||0||7||3||0||0||1||2||1||29y 78d||157||261|
|39||Westhoff, Justin||12||6||6||18||0||2||6||1||2||1||27y 277d||149||193|
|19||White, Matthew||13||5||4||17||1||1||0||4||0||0||27y 81d||119||72|
|16||Wines, Ollie||7||2||12||19||0||0||2||8||3||0||19y 271d||39||16|
|20||Wingard, Chad||9||1||6||15||0||3||0||4||0||0||20y 341d||57||78|
|40||Young, Aaron||3||1||8||11||0||0||0||1||0||0||21y 211d||28||11|
|47||Ambrose, Patrick||4||2||2||6||1||0||0||2||1||2||22y 307d||10||6|
|12||Baguley, Mark||5||4||1||6||0||0||0||5||0||0||27y 45d||42||2|
|22||Carlisle, Jake||9||3||1||10||2||0||0||4||1||1||22y 277d||63||23|
|3||Chapman, Paul||10||2||7||17||0||2||0||1||1||1||32y 242d||263||348|
|32||Colyer, Travis||17||8||2||19||0||2||0||4||0||0||22y 315d||38||25|
|6||Daniher, Joe||12||5||0||12||0||3||2||2||2||2||20y 123d||20||21|
|15||Dempsey, Courtenay||10||5||6||16||0||0||0||5||0||0||26y 311d||98||26|
|9||Goddard, Brendon||14||6||6||20||1||0||0||3||0||1||29y 46d||240||133|
|34||Hardingham, Kyle||2||0||0||2||0||0||0||5||0||0||25y 307d||65||21|
|21||Heppell, Dyson||7||2||10||17||1||0||0||5||1||0||22y 52d||77||18|
|39||Hocking, Heath||3||3||5||8||0||0||0||9||1||1||26y 190d||111||38|
|26||Hooker, Cale||5||3||8||13||0||0||0||2||1||2||25y 265d||103||7|
|40||Howlett, Ben||9||2||2||11||0||1||0||7||0||2||25y 257d||89||45|
|18||Hurley, Michael||10||4||4||14||0||0||0||2||0||0||24y 34d||92||100|
|17||Melksham, Jake||6||2||4||10||0||0||0||3||1||2||22y 310d||93||48|
|20||Merrett, Jackson||3||0||3||6||1||0||0||9||0||0||21y 128d||25||11|
|27||Merrett, Zach||16||6||7||23||0||0||0||4||2||0||18y 275d||12||6|
|23||Myers, David||14||3||10||24||1||0||4||8||0||0||25y 5d||76||23|
|30||Ryder, Paddy||5||2||4||9||1||1||27||3||2||1||26y 113d||162||108|
|5||Stanton, Brent||16||5||9||25||0||1||0||1||0||1||28y 65d||218||144|
|8||Winderlich, Jason||17||7||7||24||0||0||0||5||1||0||29y 268d||120||77|
|11||Zaharakis, David||18||4||12||30||0||1||0||7||2||1||24y 134d||102||83|