Bombers unimpressive in win over Giants
Essendon claimed top spot on the AFL ladder with a 66-point win over Greater Western Sydney on Saturday night, but it was nowhere as easy a triumph as the margin suggests.
A one-sided second-half helped the Bombers ease to a 18.11 (119) to 7.11 (53) victory in the maiden match at Skoda Stadium, the revamped showground facility at Sydney Olympic Park.
James Hird’s charges were put under immense pressure by the league’s newcomers for large sections of the opening half.
The Bombers lead at halftime was still a comfortable 28-points – the advantage coming from critical work in the forward line and GWS’s contrasting severe case of the yips.
The Giants had more scoring shots than the Bombers at the major break but only two goals to show for it.
Remarkably GWS had registered nine behinds before their first goal in the 19th minute of the second quarter when Dylan Shiel sprinted into the goalsquare unopposed.
Adam Treloar had another major with 46 seconds remaining in the second term to conjure memories of round three this year, when the Bombers flirted with disaster in a 17-point win over expansion side Gold Coast.
But unfortunately for Kevin Sheedy his side couldn’t maintain the attack on the ball after halftime when there was even more space opening up for the likes of Stewart Crameri and Alwyn Davey to run into.
Sheedy may have been dealt an 11-goal loss in his first match against the club he coached for 27 seasons, but it was a result with positives.
Jeremy Cameron continued his strong season with three goals and a couple of spectacular efforts, while fellow young guns Treloar (25 disposals, six tackles) and Shiel (21 disposals, six tackles) were also among the Giants’ best.
The biggest disappointment for the new club came off the field – an underwhelming crowd of 11,887.
The Bombers booted 5.7 in the third term to take control of the contest and slotted another five goals in the final quarter.
Crameri, Davey and Tom Bellchambers all kicked three goals, with Angus Monfries kicking two and Ben Howlett, who was slated to start as the substitute until the last minute scratching of Kyle Hardingham (calf), had 27 disposals while David Zaharakis had a game-best 32.© AAP 2013
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