Hocking steals AFL win for Bombers

Essendon have finished their AFL year to forget on a high, downing traditional rivals Collingwood by three points in barnstorming finish to the home and away season.

Heath Hocking kicked the last two goals of the match to push the Bombers to a 14.11 (95) to 14.8 (92) victory at the MCG.

The thrilling finish handed caretaker coach Matthew Egan a winning finish to his tenure, snapping a seven-game losing streak and promising better things to come for the Bombers.

After spending much of the second half behind, Hocking put the Bombers ahead with less than 90 seconds to play.

There was an end-of-school feel to the match with just 40,270 in attendance – the lowest crowd to this fixture since it was last played at Windy Hill in 1988.

With neither playing finals in 2015, it was being played for skittles rather than sheep stations.

But in the last quarter it didn’t feel that way, with the Bombers holding on to condemn their rivals to a 10-12 season record.

The Magpies were 10 points ahead when Alex Fasolo found an early major, and looked home when he had another shot at goal.

But the West Australian blazed his shot out on the full and the Bombers surged back into the contest.

Set shot majors from Cale Hooker and Hocking either side of Darcy Moore’s reply set up the show-stopping finish.

Shaun Edwards and Joe Daniher, who was concussed earlier in the match, missed chances to steal back the lead in the frenetic circumstances.

Up stepped Hocking, who found space in the pocket and kicked truly to ensure that, for at least one day in September, the Bombers were winners.

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