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Bombers stun Blues for best start since 2000

Essendon's Ben Howlett dives to tackle Carlton captain Chris Judd.

Essendon's Ben Howlett dives to tackle Carlton captain Chris Judd. Photo: Getty Images

ESSENDON 3.6  8.11  12.17  15.19 (109)
CARLTON 4.4  4.7  5.12  11.13 (79)
Goals: Essendon: S Crameri 5 A Davey 3 A Monfries B Stanton D Fletcher D Zaharakis J Melksham M Hurley P Ryder. Carlton: E Betts 4 B Gibbs B McLean C Judd J Garlett M Murphy M Robinson S Hampson.
Umpires: Brett Rosebury, Dean Margetts, Matthew Leppard.
Official Crowd: 73,172 at MCG.

Essendon has scored a massive upset AFL win, beating Carlton by 30 points on Saturday at the MCG.

Captain Jobe Watson and Brent Stanton were outstanding in the midfield and Stewart Crameri kicked five goals as the Bombers won 15.19 (109) to 11.13 (79).

While the two sides had started the season with three wins, the Blues were the strong favourites and Essendon were $8 outsiders.

But early injuries to Andrew Carrazzo and Jeremy Laidler put Carlton off balance and Essendon's pressure from the start was outstanding in front of 73,172 fans.

It has set up an absorbing Anzac Day clash between Essendon and Collingwood next Wednesday at the MCG.

This is Essendon's best start to the season since their last premiership in 2000.

A week after their thumping win over Collingwood, this loss is a slap in the face to the Blues and a stern reality check for a team expected to make the top four.

Apart from Carrazzo and Laidler, teammate Jeff Garlett also suffered a toe injury.

But Essendon key forward Michael Hurley, one of their most important players, continued their early-season run of soft tissue injuries when he hurt his hamstring.

Carlton had a disastrous start to the game when Laidler was caught in a tackle in the first minute and re-injured the knee he hurt during the pre-season.

Carrazzo, who was best afield in last weekend's massive win over Collingwood, then had to come off the field with a shoulder injury.

Laidler was able to come back onto the field, but was clearly below full fitness, while Carrazzo went straight to hospital for tests.

The Blues rallied to lead by 11 points during the opening quarter and had a four-point lead at the first change.

But Essendon were working harder and quickly took the lead in the second term.

The Bombers stunned Carlton, kicking 5.5 to three behinds in the second quarter for a 28-point lead at halftime.

Veteran full-back Dustin Fletcher, the oldest player in the league, delighted the Essendon fans with a booming 50m goal.

Still, it was not all Essendon's way, with Hurley limping off late in the second quarter.

Hurley had been superb in the second term as Essendon took control.

The Blues rallied after halftime, with Eddie Betts kicking the first goal of the third term, but they blew a number of chances.

Inevitably, the momentum swung back Essendon's way and the Bombers kicked the last four goals of the term for a 47-point lead at three-quarter time.

With the match under control, Essendon spent much of the game slowing down play and conserving as much energy as possible ahead of Anzac Day.

That opened the door slightly for the Blues, who kicked five goals to one.

But immediately after Carlton captain Chris Judd goaled to reduce the margin to 24 points, Angus Monfries replied at 20 minutes to ensure the win.

Marc Murphy was best for the Blues and Eddie Betts kicked four goals.



  • Congratulations to the Bombers. I thought Chris Judd was ill-tempered and very lucky not to have been reported.

    Date and time
    April 21, 2012, 5:35PM
    • Agree totally ,kangaroo...

      Date and time
      April 21, 2012, 5:57PM
    • Had the umpires paid free kicks for holding off the ball, as Judd was all day, then perhaps he wouldn't have been so testy.

      Date and time
      April 21, 2012, 5:57PM
    • Hi Jack, do you mean "if Judd had been given his normal armchair ride by the umpires and three votes to boot?". I thought he played a good game with limited opportunities.
      BTW, was Jarrad Waite there today? He normally tears Essendon apart.

      Date and time
      April 21, 2012, 6:12PM
  • Judd had his chance to come to Essendon. He's probably just upset he made the wrong choice:(

    Date and time
    April 21, 2012, 6:54PM
    • Thought blues were gifted 3 goals by bad decisions.
      Puzzled about (lack of) incorrect disposal frees, both sides, tho mainly Blues got way with lots.
      Impressed with Dons' ability match it with big boys. They have come long way since final last year. Way stronger. See how long they can maintain it. And how many players they have in a month.
      Also impressed Ess won with hurley out, Carlisle will be reasonable substitute. Anzac day gonna be a raffle.

      Date and time
      April 21, 2012, 6:59PM
      • Re Judd. Yes Hooker wore him hard, the last 1/4 shot of them niggling each other while clearly exhausted reminded me of Mohammed Ali fighting till last breath.
        Judd's knee into someone's head while they were on ground in first 1/4 definitely reportable but not even a free. he does that stuff quite often. In both Brownlow years he should have been reported. but wasn't. Fantastic player no doubt, but umps give him quite a bit of rope. Also think AFL does not want him exposed as nasty, so MRP stay off him too.
        Funny how we think taggers are unfair yet Ling is stil revered. Hocking does good job on Judd most times, a big part of why Blues' midfield usually subdued against dons.

        Date and time
        April 21, 2012, 7:06PM
        • Jack, you can put the lid back on now champ.
          Btw does Judd always stop trying when he knows the games lost?

          Pascoe vale south
          Date and time
          April 21, 2012, 7:09PM
          • The boys played a great game today and 30 points at the G is a mean feat. Thanks for the entertainment Bombers and bring on ANZAC day........ Go Bombers......

            Brunswick Belle
            somewhere near Beirut
            Date and time
            April 21, 2012, 7:23PM
            • Great win by the Bombers. Blues didn't really look interested early on, like they expected to do it easy and when it wasn't they couldn't step up. Money well spent in the Essendon coaching box as they clearly outclassed Carlton in that department as well.

              Date and time
              April 21, 2012, 7:32PM
              Comments are now closed

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