Think about this.
Anyone can contribute to The Roar and have their work featured alongside some of Australia’s most prominent sports journalists.
The battle of the contenders has gone the way of the Demons on points. While it looked at times as if Melbourne would land a knock out blow on Essendon, the Bombers finished the match strong to improve the scoreline, and finish with some respectability.
The match saw two pre-season contenders touted as teams to watch coming in with less than attractive 2-3 records, the loser of today’s match with all the work to do for a finals spot.
It was Essendon who started the stronger, however they simply could not land the killer blow on the scoreboard to put the game out of the reach of the hard playing Demons.
Some early yips in front of goal for Max Gawn gave a scare to Melbourne fans of the portents to come, however Essendon’s own inaccuracy only had them six points ahead at half time.
The second half was all Melbourne, as Bayley Fritsch helped himself to three goals for the match, ably assisted by Mitch Hannan and Jake Melksham, who himself had two goals to his name.
For the Bombers, they just never really clicked, and once Melbourne got their act together, Essendon just could not keep up.
Jake Stringer, with only nine disposals, had three goals for a good output. Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti played well also, but aside from those two players, the Bombers did not have enough contributors to mount an attack to take the game.
So Melbourne will enjoy a 50-50 record going into the next round, with winnable games before them. As for Essendon, a tough contest awaits up next against Hawthorn, an occasion that is always a hard affair, and no doubt the bombers will lift for that one.
Meanwhile, Charlie Spargo, continuing a long line of family to play for the Dees, had a good day out, with 18 disposals and two goals.
Essendon Bombers 10.12.72
Melbourne Demons 16.12.108
Think about this.
Having added three powerful recruits to a squad that returned Essendon to finals football in 2017 – only to be unceremoniously shellacked by over ten goals – many expected the Bombers to finally take the next step and win a final in 2018.
Bill Hutchinson is one of Essendon’s all-time greats, but in 2019 he’s likely to lose his spot on the list of the AFL’s top 100 game players.
The season of player movement is almost over and the draft is just around the corner.
Essendon are closing in on a back-up for No.1 ruckman Tom Bellchambers, with former Fremantle tall Zac Clarke expected to sign with the club.
The predicted ladder after Round 1 proved to be quite an interesting start to predictions, with the Saints topping the ladder with me predicting that they demolish the Suns at Marvel Stadium.