VFL: Bombers equal top

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Essendon have flexed their muscles with a resounding 94-point win over Frankston in round nine of Peter Jackson VFL at Windy Hill. The Bombers were in control early booting seven goals to nothing in the first quarter and at one stage the lead was out to over 100 points in the final quarter.

It was the Bombers fourth win in a row and they are now well placed, level on points at the top of the ladder with five other teams heading into their bye, the final score 24.6.150 to 8.8.56. Essendon had many winners over the ground with AFL rookie, Shaun McKernan (marking above) dominating in the air and booting five goals, he was well supported by ruckman Tom Bellchambers, dumped from the AFL during the week, with four goals while fellow big man Jonathon Giles and small forwards Mitch Purcell and Lauchlan Dalgleish all kicked three.







Courtney Dempsey, also omitted from the Bombers senior side, and Ariel Steinberg, controlled proceedings down back for the Bombers while Nick O'Brien and Jackson Merrett figured prominently around the ground. Frankston found goals hard to come by with only three by the three-quarter-time but salvaged some pride with five in the last term; Joshua Newman, Jayden Cass and Nathan Gardiner all with two each in a day the Dolphins would rather forget.

Essendon's ball movement and strength overhead was noticeable early with McKernan and Giles stamping their influence on the game with two first quarter goals each. The Frankston defenders were bombarded from the outset, coach Patrick Hill labelling his side's first quarter as 'terrible', wanting his players to 'create a contest' and encouraging a 'fierce battle'.

The margin continued to grow despite the efforts of Frankston trio Ben Cavarra, Jordan Pollard and Grant Valles who was working hard against the odds in defence. By half-time Essendon's lead was out to ten goals and it was a matter of how far the Bombers.

They continued their run in the third quarter kicking seven goals to the Dolphins one with McKernan adding another two. At the final change the lead was 94 points but Bombers fans around the huddle wanted more.

Hill was calm with his men at the final break encouraging them to use the ball cleanly and commending them on not being intimidated by their opponents despite the scoreline. He would have been pleased with their final quarter efforts but not before Essendon kicked the first three goals.

Their lead was out to 112 points before the Dolphins were finally able to boot consecutive goals. Nathan Gardiner marking and goalling after the siren for Frankston to get the margin back under the century.

Bombers coach Paul Corrigan will have his men refreshed for a tough fortnight of footy following their first bye this week when they face away clashes to both Port Melbourne and Williamstown, another bye awaits them after the Seagulls match.

Frankston will return home in round ten still in search of their first victory for the season up against the Gary Ayres led Port Melbourne.

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