A timely reminder of what might have been for GWS’ season came in the form of four quarters of bumps and bruises.
The 14th-placed Bombers were defeated by GWS 14.12 (96) to 10.9 (69) in a ferocious bottom-of-the-table match after GWS started strong against an unfocused Essendon.
It wasn’t without controversy, though, as the Giants recorded their sixth victory of the year.
Late in the third quarter, a decision by the referee that would have given Toby Greene a certain goal was criticized by the crowd.
Beginning with the first whistle, there was a lot of feeling.
Despite being at the bottom of the ladder, the two teams engaged in physical contact right from the start, scoring two goals and engaging in even more pushing and shoving as the game heated up.
Within the first two minutes of the Saturday afternoon game, there were bumps, shoves, and headbutts as Bombers star Jake Stringer got hot under the collar and saw his jersey ripped off after giving Harry Himmelberg a successful free kick.
Saints legend Nick Dal Santo said on Fox Footy, “There’s definitely a bit of feeling as you can see.”
Despite featuring two teams ranked in the bottom five, the Bombers found their footing late in the opening frame in a game that had the feel of a finals match.
As the two teams fought for the lead, Giants forward James Peatling was replaced after taking a brutal head hit from Mason Redman’s shoulder.
GWS had a 49-47 advantage at the half, but Essendon scored back-to-back goals in the third to take back the lead.
Hogan took charge of the offense, kicking four goals and grabbing 12 rebounds, while Leek Aleer, a teammate, towered over the Essendon forwards as tensions once again reached a boiling point.
For a relieving victory in what has been a disappointing season, the Giants kicked clear in the final term with momentum on their side.
The Giants overcame a fiery Essendon to surge late to win 96-69Within two minutes of the contest, there were multiple biff-ups and two GWS goalsGWS stormed home through the boot of Jesse Hogan who kicked four