In what ended up being a tight battle, 10-senior listed players helped the Bombers steal a 12.11 (83) to 10.8 (68) victory over Frankston on Sunday.

VFL senior coach Leigh Tudor has assessed each player below.

The Bombers will return to Windy Hill to face North Melbourne at 2:05pm on Saturday, in what will be a double header with the VFLW Bombers, who will also face North Melbourne at 10am.

05:13 Mins
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VFL | Rd 5 highlights

Watch the Essendon highlights from our round five VFL win against Frankston.

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Alec Waterman

Stats: 26 disposals, four marks, five tackles

“Alec had a really good game for us. He was really influential when he went on-ball for us and had quite a few clearances where he set us up. He had a lot of score assists when he played midfield and he was also dangerous as a forward as well so it was an excellent game.”

Tom Hird

Stats: 19 disposals, five marks, two tackles

“'Hirdy' defensively was pretty good. A couple of times his opponent got out the back of him but it’s something he’s aware of and something he’s working on. When we had the ball he joined in our attack, he got a fair bit of the ball and his running patterns were pretty good when he got the ball and most of the time he used it well. He’s had a good three weeks."

Ned Cahill 

Stats: 24 disposals, one goal, four marks, six tackles 

“Ned’s been playing a different role for us the last few weeks as a midfielder-forward and again he was influential in the game. He had a lot of the ball, he won his clearances as well, but the most pleasing part was his defensive pressure, [it] was really good. He chased down a tackle which resulted in him getting a goal. His defensive pressure is something he’s been working on so it was good to see that come out in the game.”

Brandon Zerk-Thatcher 

Stats: 17 disposals, four marks, three tackles

“Another good game from ‘Zerk’. Again, he kept it really simple this week. He was just really hard to play against as a defender. He was all over his direct opponent, he spoiled well and he used the ball well. It was a really solid game for him as a defender.”

Cody Brand

Stats: 16 disposals, two marks, two tackles 

“‘Brandy’ was good for us. He defended really well. I thought that the longer the game went, the better he got. Again, he took a couple of nice marks where he was really strong in the contest and really brave. He marked when he had to and spoiled when he had to. He used the ball well this week when he got his opportunities.”

Martin Gleeson

Stats: 15 disposals, nine marks, four tackles 

“It was great to have Marty back. His leadership is outstanding in the VFL. He sets us up and he really organises our defence, especially early in the game when he had three or four intercept marks where his positioning really helped the team.”

Patrick Ambrose 

Stats: 14 disposals, six goals, 10 marks, three tackles 

“Really good game from Patty. He had 10 marks at VFL level and kicked six goals. In those conditions they weren't easy shots but he presented all day and was a great focal point for us. When the game was there to be won, he really stood up for us.” 

02:46 Mins
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VFL | Patty powers to 6

Patrick Ambrose clunked just about everything in sight to earn himself a brilliant bag of six goals.

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Nick Bryan

Stats: 14 disposals, 42 hitouts, two marks 

“Good game from Nick - 42 hitouts is a really good effort. He was in a lot of aerial contests which is something he's working on, trying to get to as many contests as he can. He marked the ball and his hitouts to advantage really set us up throughout the day."

Lachlan Johnson

Stats: seven disposals, four tackles

“He didn't get much of the ball and ran out of puff a little bit. He was a bit sore and he was cramping a bit late in the game, so it wasn't his greatest game but he's working hard. He’s just gotta keep working on his running patterns and that's something he's working hard at in training. I'm sure we'll see the results come through soon."

Cian McBride

Stats: five disposals, two marks, one tackle 

“Cian was a bit quiet. He’s defensive positioning caught him out a couple of times. Coming back from an injury, he was a little bit off the pace, but he’s had a really good week on the track so far and he’ll bounce back for us.”