Although he was depleted with further Essendon injuries, coach Hayden Skipworth said the team didn’t stick to its structures when it mattered most.
“I thought our first quarter was alright and we were playing pretty well around the stoppages and then after that in the second and third quarter, they got on top around the midfield and we just couldn’t get our hands on the footy,” Skipworth said.
“We went away from our structure and our game plan a bit,” he said.
Part of the dilemma with alignments is that the team automatically becomes weakened when the AFL partner suffers injury woes. The Bombers have had plenty of them and that has infiltrated through to Bendigo’s list who of course have a huge reliance on Essendon’s list in the last year of its alignment deal.
Geelong is in fourth spot and will be fresh from the bye. The Gold have slipped to sixth spot after looking to be a genuine top four hope after stringing six wins together.
The loss to the Zebras has put them among a pack of teams clinging to spots in the eight, or just outside.
Williamstown is one of those just outside but its win over the Werribee Tigers by two-points on Sunday could spark some life into a season that looked dead and buried.
Its season looked like it was fading just like its alignment with the Western Bulldogs – until that final term – when it clicked into gear to record a memorable victory.
It took until the 13 minute mark of the final for it to take the lead but it had been at Werribee’s neck all game.
It was a fitting result for Ben Jolley, who starred and played his 100th game in Williamstown colours.
The Box Hill Hawks had a resounding 116-point win over Collingwood at Victoria Park on Saturday.
It was the win that they needed to have which has not only bumped their percentage right up so that it could reach fifth position, but it has given them reason to believe once more with a healthy Hawthorn list that is brimming with confidence.
Their test will come against a Werribee team on the rebound this week.
Other winners in round 17 included North Ballarat walloping the Coburg Tigers by 77-points and Port Melbourne return to the top of the table with a 69-point demolition of the Northern Blues.
Hero of the week: Brett Peake (Sandringham) – Kicked an important goal to stem the flow for the Zebras against Bendigo on Saturday. The Gold were coming hard with the first four goals of the final term.
Villain of the week: Robbie Castello (Werribee) – A week is a long time in footy. Last week he was the hero. This week the villain. The skipper had the chance to steal the victory against the Seagulls in the dying minutes running into an open goal from 10 metres out but hit the post. He had a bad day with Cameron Lockwood doing a number on him.
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