Hind’s run, especially in the second half, was critical in breaking through the Hawthorn wall.
The Hawks would also lament sloppy set shot goalkicking in a game they were in until the final 90 seconds.
“Probably at the end of the day we just lacked a bit of polish,” Hawks coach Alastair Clarkson said.
“There were some really positive signs today albeit we didn’t quite have the polish.“
Clarkson said defender Changkuoth Jiath was OK, despite a late injury scare.
ON A STRING
Few players in the AFL have the bag of tricks possessed by Stringer, and he reached into his rucksack of wonder in the first half on Sunday for two important majors. The first came courtesy of a costly turnover at half-back from the Hawks. Chad Wingard fumbled what should have been a comfortable enough chest mark after a low kick from Jack Scrimshaw, leading to a loose ball inside the Bombers’ forward 50. In came Stringer, deciding he didn’t need to waste any time by picking up the footy, instead soccering it through for a goal. The second came on the cusp of half-time, with the Dons having been swamped in the second term by the Hawks. In heavy traffic, Stringer snapped truly to put his side back in front and leave Alastair Clarkson visibly angry in the Hawthorn coach’s box.
DUKES OF YORK PARK
With Tasmania’s hopes of its own AFL side in a state of flux pending the findings of Colin Carter’s review into a Tassie team’s viability, every match played on the Apple Isle these days falls against a highly politicised backdrop. There is an argument that every Tassie match is a referendum on a stand-alone side. North Melbourne and Greater Western Sydney drew fewer than 4000 fans in Hobart seven days before this match, giving further weight to those who argue that Tasmanians are fed up with being served the dregs of the league. In an ideal world the Hawks and Bombers would have been playing at the MCG rather than the University of Tasmania Stadium but a 29-year gap between Essendon matches in Tasmania had clearly left the local population of Bombers fans hungry to see their side, and it so it proved as they packed out the house, something of a middle finger to Gold Coast chairman Tony Cochrane who during the week renewed his long-held scepticism about the sustainability of a Tasmanian team.
3.2 5.3 9.5 13.8 (86)
1.3 4.7 8.8 10.13 (73)
Essendon: Stringer 4, Jones 2, McDonald-Tipungwuti 2, Langford, Guelfi, Parish, Hind, Cahill.
Hawthorn: Breust 3, Koschitzke 3, Shiels, Wingard, Moore, Mitchell.
Essendon: Stringer, Draper, Hind, Ridley, Jones, Parish.
Hawthorn: Breust, O’Meara, Mitchell, Impey, Jiath.
Deboy, Meredith, Findlay.
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