No one has gotten rich underestimating the Sydney Swans in the past decade – and don’t Essendon fans know it.
Under pressure after winning only one game in six this season, the underdog Swans on Friday night battled their way to a five point win against the Bombers at the SCG.
It left coach John Longmire admiring the potential of his young group, while acknowledging there were still many ups and downs to come as the club rebuilds.
“Only six players tonight had over 100 games. A lot of players
under the 48 game mark,” he said.
We won’t get it right all the time. We are striving to get it right and get that style of footy embedded in the way we go about it.
“It’s important to be able to win. It’s handy to be able to show we can change momentum in the course of a game, with a younger team to be able to do that, it’s important.
“We go to Tasmania next week, the challenges don’t stop, as a younger player it doesn’t stop. It starts again next week.
“You also have to enjoy it and enjoy those moments in footy. It’s a tough caper and you have to enjoy the tight wins when you can.”
It was Essendon’s seventh consecutive loss at the Swans home ground and sent John Worsfold’s team tumbling to a 3-5 record.
The Swans tight contested possession game-style stifled the Bombers, who continually bombed the ball into the forward line in the final quarter to little effect.
A Darcy Parish snap with less than four minutes to play put the Bombers in with a sniff and only five points behind.
In the final seconds, Essendon’s David Myers marked and had a shot to win the game after the siren – 60 metres out, he failed to make the distance leaving the scores at 11.11 (77) to 10.12 (72).
Sydney’s Josh Kennedy told Channel Seven after the game that Longmire had a simple match plan.
“It was done in really good fashion with an even contribution across the ground, which is great,” Kennedy said.
“To keep it really simple, get it going forward, when we are facing forward … Our forwards did a fantastic job of making the most of their opportunities, or at least hitting the scoreboard.
“When we got it in there, we were creating a little pressure: get it in there when we are facing forward and keep it in there as long as we can.
Cale Hooker was left to sum up for the Essendon players saying: “It was close at the end there, but it was disappointing … It’s an even
competition and it is disappointing to lose, but we win or lose together, we have to find a way to turn form around.”
Co-captains Kennedy and Luke Parker both led from the front in the middle for the Swans, while youngster Nick Blakey was outstanding.
A 12-point lead, held by the Bombers when Tom Bellchambers kicked the second goal of the night, proved to be the biggest margin of the topsy-turvy game.