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Last time we met the Bombers

May 18, 2017 9:55 AM

SGIO: Last time we met the Bombers This week's SGIO Top Moment comes from 2016 where the boys tasted victory on the 2006 10-year reunion celebrations
AFL 2016 Rd 15 - West Coast v Essendon

Patrick McGinnity bagged a career-best four goals against the Bombers

The footballing media and public often like to suggest that some teams go into particular games with nothing to lose.

Strictly speaking, that’s never true. And it is an absolute fallacy at the elite level.

There is always pride and hope at stake. Pride in the club and the people the players represent every time they step out, and hope that victory, no matter how improbable, could be the most significant step in the onward journey.

If there was an exception to that situation, this game against Essendon might have been it. The Bombers, of course, were without a number of high profile players who were serving a doping suspension. Instead, they fielded a mix of players of previous AFL experience and some young, emerging talents.

While they still had something lose, as a minimum they would be looking to take the game on, to be brave and bold with their ball use, to put West Coast under pressure and see where that took them.

It took them to a quarter-time lead. They were, indeed, prepared to move the ball with risk and it came off. Their pressure was intense and their emerging class impressive.

But after quarter-time West Coast restored order. They limited the Bombers’ flow-on footy the Bombers, stepped up their pressure around the Sherrin and slowly put the game beyond the visitors.

By three-quarter time the game was as good as dusted, with West Coast holding a 34-point advantage. And from there, they took it to another level.

Having cracked Essendon’s resolve, the Eagles smashed through the little resistance that was left with a nine-goal final quarter. The result was a resounding 78-point defeat, but it could have been even better.

The Eagles did not play at their best in the opening 30 minutes, but they held Essendon to just three goals for the rest of the match – the last of those goals soared through the uprights following the final siren.

Bomber Matthew Leuenberger dominated the centre bounces and sent his team forward early, but Scott Lycett got a hold on the stoppage contest as the game progressed and his good work had a profound influence, allowing West Coast’s midfielders to get their hands on the footy.

Luke Shuey, Andrew Gaff and Matt Priddis got plenty of ball, while Josh Kennedy, Jamie Cripps and Jack Darling were dangerous. But the story of the night was Pat McGinnity, who was playing his first game season 2016.

The popular Eagles’ grunt man kicked four goals, set up at least three others and applied fierce pressure on the Bombers’ defensive unit.

In the back half, Sam Butler – playing in front of his 2006 premiership teammates – Shannon Hurn and Jeremy McGovern were all outstanding and Tom Barrass gave further evidence of his emerging skills.

Round 15

Thursday, June 5 – Domain Stadium

West Coast Eagles            3.4          8.5          11.7        20.10     (130)
Essendon                            4.1          5.5          5.9          7.10     (52)
Goals: West Coast Eagles – McGinnity 4; Kennedy, Hutchings 3; Gaff, Cripps, Darling 2; Yeo, Shuey, LeCras, Priddis. 

Essendon – Daniher 3; Goodard, Dempsey, Brown, Fantasia.