The VWFL Dons have succumbed to an 86-point defeat at the hands of a strong Hawthorn side on Sunday.

The 8.4 (52) to 22.6 (138) loss is the Bombers’ first of the season after winning their first two outings to kick off the season.

Bolstered by a speedy front line, the Hawks scored the opening three goals of the game and built upon their lead in quick bursts throughout the contest.

James Leonard lended some stability at the back for the Dons, whilst Brian Owens and Adam Georgelin looked to bring some spark going forward throughout the opening half.

The move of Caleb Logan into defence worked in Essendon’s favour in the second half, providing a solid matchup on Hawks star Yassin Hill.

Sam Maraldo and Scott van Gemert continued to lead from the front all day and fought hard throughout.

Essendon’s community side went down by a single point in their encounter with the Hawks, again showing positive signs in the tight 3.4 (22) to 3.5 (23) loss.

Both sides will be looking to return to the winner’s list next Sunday against St. Kilda, with the community squad opening proceedings at 11am.