Prior to this game, Freo had never managed a victory over Essendon, but with Essendon coming into the game on a 5 game losing streak, Neesham's boys must have gone into the game reasonably confident. Channel 7 provided live coverage of the game, in Melbourne at least, despite protests from North Melbourne fans that 12th against 15th was never going to be that great a game.
It turned out to be a ripper of a game ... unless you were an Essendon supporter. Fremantle looked good right from the start, and had a 23 point lead by quarter time. The Dockers lost Jeff White during the course of this quarter. He wandered off the ground complaining of breathing difficulties, and was later taken to hospital where he was diagnosed as having a lacerated spleen.
Things just got better in the second quarter, with the Dockers holding the Bombers goalless, despite a period of pretty intense pressure. The Dockers running players really took charge during the course of this quarter, with Callaghan kicking three for the quarter, and BenAllan scoring one.
At half time the Dockers were 57 points up, so Channel 7 decided to change to covering the Adelaide-North Melbourne game, which had just started. This was exactly what the North fans had been asking for all along, so no doubt they were happy. Except of course, that they wouldn't have known what was happening, as they wouldn't have bothered watching Essendon-Freo, would they? So the net result was that a number of disgruntled Bomber fans, and a handful of us true believers were robbed, robbed! I tell you by heartless channel 7 executives of the chance to see a truly historic game.
Seven did at least cut back to show us a few highlights of the second half. One of those highlights was a classic Parker moment, with Shane charging down the centre corridor. He has one bounce ... a second ... kicks ... into the back of an Essendon player. (Freo scored the goal anyway, it was that kind of day).
Freo's defensive effort seems to have crumbled in the course of the second half. They conceded seven goals in what must have been a shocking display. The upshot was that Freo failed to win by more than 100 points, and I think that the backline has to take a lot of the blame for that. Although, to be fair to them, Neesham didn't make their job any easier by throwing both Chisholm and Clement up into the forward line (where they were both stars) for this game.
Final Score : Fremantle 24.13-157 defeated Essendon 9.6-60
© 1997 firstname.lastname@example.org
Return to TimN's Home Page