VFL: Bombers hold off Cats

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Essendon have held off Geelong to claim a 21-point victory in an entertaining clash in round five of Peter Jackson VFL at Windy Hill. The Bombers, leading for most of the day, relinquished the lead midway through the final term but rallied to boot the last four goals of the match to win 16.9.105 to the Cats 12.12.84.

Former Melbourne ruckman, Mark Jamar, dominated in the ruck for the Bombers and his aerial work around the ground was superb, he was instrumental in the win and finished with 21 disposals. Jack Langford continues to impress for the Bombers with 20 disposals and three goals while Jackson Merrett was busy early and finished with 30 disposals and three goals.






Geelong was well served by George Horlin-Smith with 25 touches, 16 contested and a couple of goals and young Tasmanian draftee, Ryan Gardner, who held Bomber's spearhead, Sam Grimley, to just the two goals, both coming in the third quarter.

Just six points separated the sides at half-time in the home side's favour, Cat's coach, Shane O'Bree, calling for his defenders not to get sucked upfield too far, allowing the Bombers to run and spread, creating space for their forwards to drop back in to. O'Bree urged his charges to deliver the footy with more precision into the forward line.

A tricky breeze blew across Windy Hill forcing most of the play onto the bowling green side. Geelong were able to move the ball better in the second term thanks to the likes of Jed Bews (25 disposals, 6 rebound 50’s) who was creative across half-back and Horlin-Smith while former Rooster, James Tsitas, worked hard all day eventually finishing with a game-high thirty possessions.

The game opened up in the third quarter with the Bombers kicking four quick goals and when Shaun Edwards kicked truly nine minutes in, the Bombers had shot out to a thirty point lead. The Cats clawed their way back however with the last three goals of the term to trail by nine points at the final change.

Horlin-Smith continued to find the ball in the last quarter; he was receiving good support from Billie Smedts and Zac Bates who had booted two goals. Sam McLachlan put Geelong in front at the fifteen minute mark but the Bombers answered quickly thanks to Irishman Connor McKenna and they followed it up with three more, one on the siren from Merrett to see them home and move to within a game of top spot on the ladder.

The Cats won the clearances and disposals on the stats sheet however their efficiency wasn’t up to that of the Bombers who made the most of their chances going forward. Essendon have an opportunity to cement a place in the top eight next week when they take on bottom placed Coburg at Piranha Park while Geelong are at home to a struggling Collingwood in round six of Peter Jackson VFL.

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