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Dons snatch late win over dogged Suns

Dons snatch late win over dogged Suns

GOALS in the dying seconds by Cale Hooker and Jake Stringer have secured Essendon a narrow 10-point AFL win over Gold Coast.

The Bombers were two points behind with just more than a minute to play at Metricon Stadium on Sunday when Hooker slotted a set shot to put the visitors in front.

From the resulting centre bounce, Jake Stringer came away with the football and booted it from inside the centre square, his shot bouncing through to seal the 16.10 (106) to 15.6 (96) win.

The goal was Stringer’s fourth in a best-on-ground display by the Essendon forward and secured the Bombers their fifth-straight win.

Defeat, the Suns’ 14th in a row, was harsh on the hosts who thought they might have secured a massive upset when Chris Burgess scored with two and half minutes to play to put Gold Coast ahead.

Burgess had earlier been at the centre of a highly controversial goal umpiring decision in the third quarter.

A set shot by David Zaharakis was tapped back into play by Burgess despite appearing to have crossed the goal line.

Replays showed the ball was about a foot over the line when Burgess touched it but because the umpires had called play on, there was no score review and the goal was not given.

Rather than letting the call disrupt them, the Bombers responded with six straight goals to end the term overhauling a 26-point deficit early in the third quarter to lead by eight at the final change.

As well as Stringer, Shaun McKernan kicked four goals while Mitch Brown had three for the Bombers.

Dylan Shiel kicked a crucial goal in the third quarter and picked up 28 disposals while Zach Merrett (27 disposals) was also busy for the visitors.

Ben King kicked a career-best four goals while Suns co-captain Jarrod Witts was outstanding with 60 hitouts.

Sam Day, on the back of his new contract extension, booted three goals while Brayden Fiorini and Peter Wright had two majors each in the Suns’ highest score of 2019.

Essendon hosts Port Adelaide next weekend while Gold Coast is away against Collingwood.

© AAP 2019

ESSENDON 1.3 4.5 10.8 16.10 (106)

GOLD COAST 4.2 7.3 9.6 15.6 (96)

Goals: Essendon: J Stringer 4 S McKernan 4 M Brown 3 A McGrath C Hooker D Parish D Shiel K Langford. Gold Coast: B King 4 S Day 3 B Fiorini 2 P Wright 2 A Sexton C Burgess D Swallow T Miller.

Best: Essendon: J Stringer D Shiel S McKernan M Brown Z Merrett A McDonald-Tipungwuti. Gold Coast: J Witts B King T Miller D Swallow S Day A Miles.

Umpires: Robert Findlay, Ray Chamberlain, Andrew Heffernan.

Official Crowd: 15,759 at Metricon Stadium.