Werribee’s rampaging run towards 2019 VFL glory ended in heartbreak as Essendon stole the lead late and held on, consigning Mark Williams’ men to a devastating three-point defeat and semi-final exit.
Essendon: 2.2 5.2 7.5 8.7 (55)
Werribee: 4.1 4.3 5.5 7.10 (52)
Essendon: B. Laguda, A. Heppell, J. Begley, T. Jok, M. Baguley, M. Hartley, H. Hocking, J. Long
Werribee: J. Riccardi 3, K. Declase 2, R. Kemp 2
Essendon: D. Clarke, D. Myers, B. Laguda, B. McNiece, M. Baguley, R. Bowman
Werribee: M. Hanson, M. Sodomaco, D. Nielson, J. Clayton, K. Declase, J. Riccardi
HOW IT HAPPENED
Kicking with the wind advantage in the opening term, Werribee booted four goals, but defensive lapses resulted in two Essendon majors reducing the Big W’s quarter time lead to 11 points.
Inclement weather continued to batter North Port Oval in the second term, as the Bombers slotted three unanswered goals to take a five-point lead into the main change.
The Bombers stretched their lead to 12 points 20 minutes into the third term, before Jake Riccardi stepped up and kicked his third.
A late goal to the Bombers stunted the Big W’s momentum and returned the deficit to two goals at the final change.
A frantic finale ensued, as goals inside five minutes to live-wire Ryan Kemp and swingman Kye Declase against the wind tied things up.
Werribee continued to dominate forward half possession and created five further scoring shots but could not land the killer blow.
Following a Riccardi behind in the 25th minute, Essendon transitioned from one end to the other in the blink of an eye, reclaiming the lead deep in red time.
The siren sounded as Werribee sent the ball inside 50 in search of a last gasp winner.
Emotional scenes instantly swept across Adcon Stadium.
Werribee’s remarkable 2019 campaign brought to a crashing and premature end.
Michael Barlow: 30 disposals (17 contested), six inside-50s, five tackles, 112 ranking points
Matt Hanson: 22 disposals, nine clearances, six tackles, 108 ranking points
Jake Riccardi: Three goals, 12 disposals, five tackles, 80 ranking points
Josh Clayton: 26 disposals, six clearances, four tackles, four inside-50s, 114 ranking points
Upcoming Club Events
2019 Bruce Montgomery Trophy: Presentation Night
DATE: Wednesday 25th September
WHERE: Chirnsides By The River
COST: $80 per person (includes 2 course meal & drinks)
2019 Business & Sportsman’s Lunch
DATE: Friday 20th September
GUEST SPEAKERS: Michael Tuck & Mark Yeates
TIME: Noon for 12:30pm Start - 3:30pm
COST: $125 per person - includes 2 course meal & drinks
VENUE: Chirnsides By The River at Avalon Airport Oval