The Courier-Mail

Dons party ends season

- JAY CLARK

ESSENDON want to start next season with a clean slate after capping a painful year with a thrilling three-point win over Collingwoo­d yesterday.

The youthful Bombers notched their first win since the departure of coach James Hird, sparking emotional scenes as players celebrated.

They were down by three points in the final minutes but back-to-back goals from Heath Hocking sealed their sixth win of the year.

Interim coach Matthew Egan said the win would help draw a line under a difficult season and reward the players’ resilience through the threeyear supplement scandal.

“They didn’t give up, their attitude was outstandin­g and it was probably our best four quarter and most consistent match we’ve played,” he said.

“So, the players were absolutely rapt. You saw them singing the song. Just seeing them at the end, it was great reward for such a tough year.”

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