ESSENDON has finalised its list for 2017, signing its VFL vice-captain Ben McNiece as a category B rookie.
Aaron Heppell gets a kick away under pressure from Northern Blues Tim Jones. Picture: Richard Serong.
Needing a win to stay ahead of Richmond and hold onto eighth spot, the Bombers started nervously and trailed by seven points at quarter-time.
The sides traded blows in the second term, Essendon briefly hitting the front after Sam Heavyside expertly roved a pack and snapped truly.
But the Blues answered straight back through Zach Ballard and reclaimed the lead when American big man Matthew Korcheck goaled.
Bombers on-baller Aaron Heppell had the final say for the half, bouncing through a classy goal to level the scores at 42 apiece at the main break.
It was all Essendon in the opening minutes of the third quarter, Will Hams making the Blues pay after they coughed up a 50m penalty.
Shaun Edwards stretched the margin to 14 but Northern hit back again through Glenn Strachan to stay in touch.
Only seven points separated the teams when Harry McKay missed at the 24-minute mark, with little sign of what was about to come.
Ryan Crowley slipped a Billy Gowers tackle two minutes later and opened the floodgates.
Essendon captain Marcus Marigliani stars as the Bombers score their first win of the VFL season against Collingwood
The Essendon VFL captain had the ball on a string in his side’s 32-point VFL win over Collingwood on Sunday at Windy Hill, gathering 33 disposals and 13 marks.
The Magpies had no answer for Marigliani’s dominance as the Bombers skipper helped his side lead at every change in an 11.9 (75) to 5.13 (43) victory.
“(It was) really important,” Marigliani said.
“It was a bit of a funny vibe we had against Sandringham, but it just felt on the weekend like we were back to the way we were playing our practice matches.
“If we’re winning the contested and inside footy we back ourselves to win the game and that’s what it felt like all game.”
Find out how your VFL team will fare as we run the rule over each club’s hopes in our 2015 season preview
THE 2015 VFL season kicks off on Friday with Werribee hosting Geelong under lights. Leader sports editor Paul Amy rounds up each club’s ins and outs.
BOX HILL HAWKS
Coach: Marco Bello
Last year: runner-up to Footscray Bulldogs
In: Cadeyn Williams (Richmond), Jack Sandric (Hobart City), Lochie Adey, James Handley (Blackburn), Matthew Burt, Chris Jones, Liam Kidd, Matthew Traynor (Eastern Ranges), Billy Murphy, Sam Switkowski (Northern Knights), James Sullivan (Tatura), Patrick Dillon (Donvale), Xavier Dimasi (Assumption/Calder Cannons), Ben Fitzpatrick (Korumburra/Bena), Dalton Graham (Sandringham).
Out: Luke Andrews, Callan Burns, Corey Cassidy, Sam Cust, Jackson Eade, Tom Goodwin, Jake Kalanj, Tom Miles, Xavier Murphy, Matt Northe, Nick Papadopoulos, Kalem Post, Michael Thompson, Brandon Wood.
The verdict: the Hawks have lost top-line midfielders in Xavier Murphy and Luke Andrew as well as the emerging Brandon Wood. But they’ve picked up former Tiger Cadeyn Williams and have good young players coming through in support of senior men Sam Iles, David Mirra, Marc Lock and Liam Tobin. Premiers in 2013 and runners-up last year, there’s no reason to think there will be a slackening of standards.
Player watch: Mitch O’Donnell. He’s as hard as a coffin nail and he’ll be granted more opportunity after an excellent pre-season.
Celebrating season 2014 with the Casey Scorpions and A Positive Move
Click on read more for a full club by club report.
From Moonee Valley Leader
Reported by Patrick Lane
Full Story Click Here
JOE Daniher flirted with an Anzac Day AFL foray after dismantling Casey Scorpions' army of backs at Windy Hill on Saturday.
But it was not nearly enough to save Essendon's hide, the Bombers' thrashed in the VFL clash, 25.12 (162) to 11.13 (79).
Daniher, the father-son acquisition at Essendon sending the red and black army in a spin, jagged four majors and clunked 12 marks.