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Bombers down Pies

Marigliani with a strong mark: Photo by Mark Witte.

Essendon’s VFL side have recorded a comprehensive 32-point victory over Collingwood to bank their first win of the season at Windy Hill this afternoon.

The Bombers jumped out of the blocks early in the match, stretching the margin out to three goals early in the second term. But the Pies came for them, managing to fight back and reduce the margin to just six points midway through the period.

The Dons responded kicking three unanswered goals to lead by 20 points at halftime, and were never challenged after that run as they skipped away in an impressive performance to bag the four valuable premiership points.

Captain Marcus Marigliani was awarded the Bluestar Best-on-Ground Medal after a dominant display. Floating across the half-backline, the man-of-muscle gathered 33 possessions, took 13 marks, and even snuck forward to slot a hard-earned goal. 

Marigliani commended the team for responding after last week’s agonising loss, admitting his fellow teammates went into the match with an increased desire to win.

“We were a little bit disappointed after last week because we felt that we were a lot better side and that we the more experienced side, but obviously when it’s one of those days when it’s raining and bad weather like we had today, it can go either way,” he said. 

“We really wanted to make an impact this week after last week’s loss, and the boys showed that today.”

The skipper credited the experienced members of the side for settling down the younger guys throughout the match, particularly when Collingwood were coming for them.

“Sides will challenge us at times, like Collingwood did today, and that’s when the senior party need to step up– and I think that we did that really well and got the game back on our terms.

“I think we have a really good mix of experienced players and younger players this season.

“We’re under no illusions under where we are, and we think we’re a good side, but there’s still a lot of things that we’ve got to work on and I think the boys stood up today.”

Predominantly known as a star-midfielder, the experienced campaigner has enjoyed a shift to the half-backline, admitting he’s really taken to the role.

“I am really enjoying playing down back. You don’t have to be silly to see the sorts of names we have down there, it’s a really strong backline and I’ve got a lot of support around me so it’s great.” 

Defender Ariel Steinberg was a rock down back, picking up 21 disposals, taking seven marks and countless last-line spoils. He even gave Bombers fans undoubtedly the highlight of the day, taking an absolute screamer in defense.

The 22-year-old was quick to take the spotlight off himself, crediting the team for a rounded performance.

“I got nothing to say to that (the mark). 

“It was just a product of what the boys did up the field, the midfielders and the forwards and their pressure today was unreal and made my job pretty enjoyable back there today.” 

Jackson Merrett was also influential in the win, racking up 29 touches and booting a goal, while James Gwilt and Nick O’Brien chipped in with 27 disposals respectively.

The Bombers have another Sunday match at Windy Hill next weekend, as they face the Melbourne Football Club affiliated Casey Scorpions.

Essendon 11.9 (75) defeated Collingwood 5.13 (43) 

Goals:

Essendon: K. Hardingham 4, J. Laverde 2, S. McKernan 2, J. Merrett, M. Marigliani, J. Schroder 

Collingwood:  J. Williams , P. Karnezis , M. Still , C. Young , J. Witts 

Best:

Essendon: A. Steinberg, S. McKernan, M. Marigliani, K. Hardingham, E. Kavanagh, J. Merrett

Collingwood: J. De Goey, J. Williams, P. Karnezis, G. Borthwick, J. Witts, B. Moloney