Coburg have been defeated by 97 points on a tough day at Windy Hill.
The Lions pressure was right up early on with the intensity at the contest at a high level.
A turnover resulted in the opening goal to Essendon but Coburg were able to hit back straight away.
Playing his first game for the season, Luke Bunker won the ball from stoppage and drove it deep to Mitch Podhajski who marked unopposed in the goal square. He made no mistake with his set shot, then followed it with another goal just minutes later to give the Lions the lead. Podhajski also finished with a team high seven tackles in what was an impressive performance.
Essendon were able to find some fluid ball movement through the corridor midway through the opening quarter which allowed them to extend the margin to 21 points at quarter time.
Coburg again started the second quarter full of intent which allowed it to kick the first two goals of the quarter including a great snap from vice-captain Peter McEvoy to reduce the margin to nine points.
McEvoy was one of the Lions best all day, as he continually presented up the ground and created an option. He finished with two goals, 15 disposals and 11 marks in what was his best game since returning from injury.
The Bombers were then able to wrestle back the momentum and hold it for majority of the rest of the game kicking 15 of the next 17 goals as Coburg struggled to restrict their ball movement.
Tyson Lever performed well in a defence which conceded 70 inside 50’s. He finished with 24 disposals and a team high 8 rebound 50’s.
Ryan Exon (4 spoils) and James Belo (7 rebound 50’s) also tried hard in a defence which was under the pump all day.
Speaking post-game, coach Leigh Adams was disappointed with the ease of the Bombers ball movement.
“We identified before the game that they’d be really keen on going through the corridor and we just didn’t cover it off well enough.”
Adams signalled work rate as a big area to improve on before next week’s match.
“Our ability to work to the contest is just not there at the moment, we are getting outworked by opposition teams and blokes aren’t willing to work hard enough for one another.”
He did see positives in the performance of some of his senior players but is urging the rest of the team to follow their lead.
“Ryan Exon and Pete McEvoy both worked their arse off and did everything they can for the football club we just need more blokes to be willing to jump in for the team.
Goals: Podhajski, McEvoy 2, Orr, Binion
Best: Exon, McEvoy, Lever, Dickson, Podhajski, Binion