Sport AFL Watershed win a ‘line in the sand’ for Dons

Watershed win a ‘line in the sand’ for Dons

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Essendon set up a huge clash with Geelong on Friday night by capping their week of drama with a “line-in-the-sand” win over Adelaide.

Bombers’ coach Mark Thompson, who guided Geelong to two AFL flags, says he’s too busy these days to think about his past links to the Cats.

It’s a different story for Paul Chapman.

A triple-premiership forward, club champion and Norm Smith Medallist at Geelong, the 32-year-old is in his first season at Essendon and couldn’t be more excited about taking on his old side.

Chapman was rested for Saturday night’s Adelaide game, which came six days after Essendon’s loss to Melbourne.

“I gave him the opportunity (to decide) which six-day break he wanted to rest for and he said this one,” Thompson said on Saturday night.

“He’d rather play the Cats.

“He’ll be playing. He’ll be frothing at the mouth if I say no.”

Essendon’s use of supplements in 2012 continues to haunt the club, with 34 past and present players issued with show-cause notices by ASADA earlier this month.

Acting captain Brendon Goddard, whose 32 possessions including 16 in the final quarter of Essendon’s 15.11 (101) to 14.8 (92) win over Adelaide at Etihad Stadium, said it was a “line-in-the-sand” match.

Goddard said the Bombers wanted to prove a point.

Thompson said the win was badly needed to lift spirits.

“You’ve got to have some fun in the week. This is the fun time for them,” Thompson said.

“It’s an important win for the club.

“Give us something, please. Some good news.

“We’re feeling lonely, isolated and feel like it’s just us.

“We feel like everyone’s against us and we’ve just got to go out and have fun. And have some success and have some joy in our life.”

Essendon’s seventh win from 13 matches puts them back in the mix for finals action, while the defeat was a bitter blow for the Adelaide who are 6-7.

The Bombers kicked 7.0 (42) to Adelaide’s 2.6 (18) in the first term, but the visitors fought back to trail by only 15 points at the last change as Scott Thompson powered his way to a 41-possession, 10-clearance game.

Half-back Michael Hibberd had a huge game for the Bombers, gathering 30 disposals.

Hibberd is in doubt for the Geelong clash after receiving a kick in the shin, Thompson said.

Adelaide coach Brenton Sanderson says his side’s win-loss pattern over their past eight matches has been emotionally draining.

“The players are gutted,” he said.

Big forward Josh Jenkins kicked a 70me running goal as part of a four-goal haul for the Crows.

Sanderson says the showdown with Port Adelaide on June 29 is a massive game for the Crows.