THE Essendon Football Club has had a good start to the 2012 season with back to back wins over North Melbourne last week and over Port Adelaide yesterday. Both games were fought right through to the final moments and the Bombers have shown a resilience under pressure that can only help them as the rest of the season unfolds.
Yesterday a much improved and plucky Port Adelaide outfit kept the game close through three quarters with the Bombers holding on to a 2 point lead heading into the final term before ultimately stretching the margin to 25 points for the victory.
But yesterday’s victory has come with a string of new additions to the Essendon injury report after ruckman David Hille (1st Q), Nathan Lovett-Murray (3rd Q) and David Myers (4th Q) all went down.
While Lovett-Murray made sporadic re-appearances in the game, all three players are expected to miss up to three weeks.
Hille, 30, suffered a calf injury 21 minutes into the first quarter and was replaced in the ruck by Sam Lonergan. The injury put the workload onto Patrick Ryder who responded with dominant 46-hitout display.
Young midfielder Myers, 22, went down in the final quarter and left the field immediately with the trainers for treatment.
Lovett-Murray, 29, playing through a hamstring injury incurred in the 3rd quarter spent time in the second half at full-forward allowing Essendon’s midfield to gain some much-needed rotations in a tight contest, even as Port Adelaide fought back from a 24-point deficit early in the third quarter to close out the quarter a mere two points behind.
Coach James Hird was full of praise for Lovett-Murray who, even at far less than 100%, was able to provide the team with the manpower it needed to finish the game with a win.
“It was a very courageous effort by Nathan,” Hird said. “He played about 45-50 minutes with a hamstring [injury] and couldn’t run more than 70 per cent, but … him staying out there was a big part of us winning the game.”
All three players look likely to miss matches against Gold Coast, Carlton and, on Anzac Day, Collingwood.
Essendon’s injury list, meanwhile, continues to grow. Last week eight players were on the report with only Nicholas O’Brien and Michael Ross a possibility for return next week. So it’s a case of two off and three on for the Bombers in the injury stakes.
Essendon’s next match is against the Gold Coast Suns next Saturday, April 14, at Metricon Stadium, QLD.
Photo of David Hille appears under the Creative Commons
Attribution NonCommercial NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
Source: Flickr.com, User: bok-choy
Photo of James Hird appears under the Creative Commons
Attribution NonCommercial 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC 2.0)
Source: Flickr.com, User: smjb