LIVE AFL: Dons responds to awesome pre-game, Blues OUT star at the start of the big hit

Essendon will be desperate to honor the club’s 150th anniversary with a victory over rival arch Carlton in the prime-time MCG on Friday night.

The Fire Department (2-9, 73.5%) has been one of the biggest disappointments of the season since the appearance of last year’s final, and the club recently announced a review of the football department as the result.

Carlton (8-3, 112.9%) is coming off his mid-season farewell and will be ready to make up for a loss to another of his great rivals, Collingwood, in round 11.

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Essendon was forced to make a late change, with star midfielder Andy McGrath ruled out after injuring his groin during a club training session last weekend. He was replaced by Tom Cutler, with Alec Waterman appointed medical deputy.

Carlton did not make any late changes, with Matt Cottrell appointed as substitute.

An extraordinary pre-game ceremony saw some of the biggest figures in the Fire Department gather at the MCG, which was followed by a full meeting that saw Dyson Heppell utter passionate words to past and present players. .

Essendon had the first entry of 50 interiors of the night, but once again the easy transition against them was a problem as Sam Walsh walked down the aisle and played a role in the preparation of Jack Martin, who nailed a shot stopped for the first goal of the match. night.

The Fire Department lost chances at the end, but Harry McKay at the other end made no mistake, throwing a shot from 40 yards to score two goals to nil for the night.

A brilliantly placed corner kick from Matthew Owies was followed by Adam Cerra’s hard but accurate header.

Essendon finally scored his first goal of the night through Harrison Jones, with Sam Draper following shortly afterwards to return the margin to a goal.

A monstrous kick from Dylan Shiel made three in a row for the Fire Department and gave them the lead for the first time tonight.

Charlie Curnow put Carlton back in charge along with the quarter-time siren.

This momentum continued in the second legislature, with Curnow rising very early and setting McKay up for the second goal of the second.

Jones for Essendon continued to impress, scoring a goal for the Fire Department as the rain began to fall and it became a more brazen contest.

Carlton responded with a goal to Jack Silvagni, who followed a great aerial effort with a clean shot.

A free kick to Patrick Cripps near the goal helped make three consecutive majors for the Blues as the Fire Department continued to be separated during the transition.

Sam Draper broke the deadlock with a sensational snapshot from 40 yards out.

A free kick in McKay saw him score his third goal of the night to regain the margin beyond 20 points.

This match starts at 19:50 AEST from MCG.

Watch it live on Fox Footy (channel 504) from 19:00 AEST.

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