Sabtu, 06 September 2014

North Melbourne beats Essendon by 12 points at the MCG to earn semi-final matchup against Geelong (ABC)

Essendon's tumultuous season has come to an end with a 12-point loss to North Melbourne in the elimination final at the MCG.

The Bombers led for most of the night but were over-run in the final quarter as the Kangaroos triumphed by 14.9 (93) to 12.9 (81) on Saturday night.

A year after being banned from the finals and fined $2 million for their involvement in the supplements scandal, and with a court case and ASADA show cause notices hanging over the club, the Bombers were out to win their first final since 2004.

Essendon began the match in strong form, with five scoring shots and two goals before their opponents got on the board.

But steadying goals to Nick Dal Santo and Levi Greenwood made it a point the difference to the Bombers at quarter-time.

Essendon broke the game open in the second term, kicking 4.3 to a solitary rushed behind to push the margin out to 27 points at half-time.

Paul Chapman kicked the first goal of the third quarter to make the lead 33 points, but then the Kangaroos turned the game around, grabbing five straight goals to trail by three points entering time on.

Both sides scored two more goals apiece before three quarter-time, with Tom Bellchambers booting a team-lifting goal from 50 metres with the last kick of the quarter to give Essendon a nine-point lead with a quarter to go.

Young forward Ben Brown kicked his fourth of the night two minutes into the final term to get the Kangaroos within three, then Joe Daniher answered with his fourth for the Bombers, but consecutive goals to Ben Cunnington and Lindsay Thomas put North in front at the 11 minute mark.

Then Patrick Ryder - who reports suggest may be about to try to leave the club - snapped a goal from 30 metres to change the lead again approaching time on.

But Drew Petrie put the Kangaroos back in front again with a snap at the 24-minute mark, and then he kicked another a minute later to put North 11 points up.

The win, the Kangaroos' first finals win since 2007, puts North Melbourne into a cut-throat semi-final against Geelong next Friday night at the MCG, while Essendon was left to plan for 2015.

More to follow.

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