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Opposition Watch: Round 15 v Essendon

Our next opposition, the Essendon Bombers, suffered a heartbreaking loss to the Sydney Swans in Round 14.

Essendon came into the match full of confidence after a commanding victory over Port Adelaide the week prior.

The Dons made a shaky start under lights at the SCG, with most the Swans early points coming from Essendon turnovers inside their defensive 50. 

Both sides battled to convert their chances in front of goal, and at half time the Swans held an eight-point lead.

After falling behind by 30 points in the third quarter, the Dons finally came alive and fired off seven unanswered goals to hold a 19-point lead with only a handful of minutes remaining in the match.

There was a twist yet to come, with the Swans kicking two goals and two behinds to draw only five points behind heading into the final moments of play.

A botched kick-in by Brendon Goddard provided Sydney with one more chance, and Gary Rohan took a superb one-handed grab in the goal square and converted after the siren to steal a remarkable victory.

The score finished 11.20 (86) to 12.13 (85).

Despite the agonising loss, Essendon Head Coach John Worsfold was content with the performance of his team.

"I'm rapt with the effort the players brought. Even at half time I felt Sydney held sway in the game, but we turned it around in the second half," Worsfold said.

"To have the players look like they really believed in themselves at three-quarter time, that they wanted to take the game on and go on and win - on a slippery night when it was pretty hard to score - their attitude was outstanding.”

Zach Merrett, Michael Hurley and David Zaharakis had huge games for the Bombers, while Shaun Mckernan and James Stewart kicked two goals apiece.

Essendon currently sits in 11th place on the ladder, right in the middle of a logjam of teams fighting for a spot in the finals. 

Injury List

Key forward Cale Hooker is expected to return for the Dons this weekend. Hooker injured his finger late last week and missed the loss to the Swans, but has returned to training and should be fully fit for Sunday.

Connor McKenna also picked up a minor finger injury against Sydney but will be fine to play on Sunday.

Lions Health Centre: Injury List

Darcy Parish and Mitch Brown returned from injuries to play in the VFL on the weekend, with Parish a strong chance at returning to the Senior team to play the Lions.

Patrick Ambrose remains a few weeks away from returning from a quad injury.

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs