A fast-finishing Essendon has overwhelmed the Crows by 21 points at Adelaide Oval to gain precious breathing space inside the top eight.
- Essendon trailed by 30 points in the second quarter before fighting back to claim the win
- The Bombers are sixth on the ladder ahead of the completion of round 18
- Mitch Brown was impressive for the Bombers with four goals
The Bombers came from 30 points down in the second quarter to post a spirited 15.6 (96) to 10.15 (75) victory in Friday night’s encounter.
Essendon climbed to sixth on the ladder ahead of weekend fixtures and it now sits two wins ahead of ninth spot.
The Bombers appeared dusted late in the second stanza when Crow Josh Jenkins booted his fourth goal to give the home side a 30-point buffer.
But the visitors produced a stunning second half, scoring 10 goals to three to leave the Crows clinging to eighth spot.
After scores were level at three quarter-time, the lead changed hands four times in a gripping finale before the Bombers stormed to victory with four goals in the last seven minutes.
Essendon’s Mitch Brown was instrumental in the revival, booting four second-half majors, as teammates Zach Merrett (31 disposals), David Zaharakis (25 touches) and Dylan Shiel (23 possessions) took midfield control.
Essendon’s Connor McKenna (24 disposals) and Mason Redman (25 possessions) were also influential.
Jenkins was his side’s dominant forward, while Brodie Smith was a standout with three goals among his 31 disposals.
Onballer Brad Crouch (35 touches) and his brother Matt (33 disposals) were prominent and Reilly O’Brien ruled the rucks with 39 hit-outs and 29 possessions.
Adelaide controlled the opening quarter and, with Tom Lynch dangerous on return from a month-long calf injury, led 2.5 to 1.2 at quarter-time.
Essendon’s midseason draftee Will Snelling kicked a goal in the second quarter in his second AFL match — his debut was for Port Adelaide in 2016.
Snelling’s 1,056-day gap between appearances is the longest span in the AFL era between a player’s first and second match.
His goal reduced Essendon’s deficit to two points but the Crows rapidly rallied with four goals within 10 minutes to create a 30-point break.
Jenkins booted three majors in the quarter, and four in the half, but Essendon scored two late goals to be 19 points down at half-time.
The Bombers gained serious traction in the third term, recording 18 inside 50s to Adelaide’s five and kicking four goals to one — their last from Andrew McGrath levelled the scores at the last change.
Twice in the last term the Crows took a lead before Essendon’s stunning late scoring spree delivered a 10th win of the season.