This moment is the 17th of a virtual series presenting the Bombers' best 30 moments over 150 years, which fans can vote on for their chance to win prizes. Click here to view and vote, and see the schedule and prizes below.

Against Carlton in the 1981 Escort Cup Grand Final, played at Waverley Park on a cold Tuesday night in July, Tim Watson's dramatic leap and goal helped secure the Bombers a famous victory.

Having not tasted success since the 1965 (day) Grand Final, Essendon supporters were desperate to claim some much-needed silverware, and new coach Kevin Sheedy instantly delivered.

The Bombers, who defeated Fitzroy (by 42 points), Port Adelaide (49), Hawthorn (18) and South Melbourne (55) to reach the Grand Final, trailed the Blues by 16 points at half-time, before kicking eight goals to two in the second half to win by 24 points - 9.11 (65) to 6.5 (41). It was the first of six premierships Essendon would win at night during Sheedy's record-breaking 27-year coaching career, complimenting his four daytime triumphs.

In front of a crowd of 42,269, Garry Foulds was the player who kicked the ball to centre half-forward to set up one of the most replayed moments in Essendon’s history. A pack flew and the ball spilled off hands, just as Watson flashed into view. In one action, Watson, who turned 20 the previous day, took possession and instinctively jumped over two falling teammates, then brushed off one Carlton opponent and, with Wayne Harmes hot on his tail, drilled a brilliant goal before punching the air with delight. 

Watson later recalled, "You're running and you have to clear somebody, you have to jump, and that's exactly what happened when I did it. All those things just happen in the blink of an eye. You don't plan for it, you don't think about it, you just react."

Essendon supporters were glad that he did. Having helped lead his team to a famous victory, Watson and his Bombers teammates now knew - given Carlton would go on to win the day premiership at season’s end - that they were capable of competing with the top sides in the competition.


Round 1 (launching May 6) - 1872-1939

Round 2 (launching May 10) - 1940-1959

Round 3 (launching May 15) - 1960-1979

Round 4 (launching May 20) - 1980-1989

Round 5 (launching May 25) - 1990-1999

Round 6 (launching May 30) - 2000-2021

Round 7 (launching June 4) - Finals round


Round 1 – One 2022 merchandise pack, including an Essendon New Era Black on Black 9FORTY Snapback cap ($40) and an Essendon Heritage Bar Scarf ($30)

Round 2 – One Essendon Fibre of Football Scarf ($80)

Round 3 - One Essendon Football Club 150-year anniversary commemorative mosaic ($295)

Round 4 – One Essendon Football Club 150-year anniversary commemorative mosaic ($295)

Round 5 – One 2022 team-signed guernsey ($500)

Round 6 – One copy of the Red & Black Collection special 150th anniversary book ($329)

Round 7 – One copy of the Red & Black Collection special 150th anniversary book ($329) and one 2022 team-signed guernsey ($500)