Tyler Sellers kicks the ball forward against Essendon in the VFL. Picture: Maddie Green

North Melbourne's VFL side has suffered its fifth loss in a row, falling to the Essendon Bombers 15.9 (99) to 6.12 (48) at Windy Hill.

The Bombers got off to a quick start while adapting better to the wet conditions, kicking the first four goals of the game before going into the first break with a 20-point advantage.

The Roos were unable to find a major in the opening term, as their scrappy inside-50 entries were either gobbled up by the Essendon backs or trickled through for behinds.


"All credit has to go to Essendon, they outhunted us and worked a lot harder than us on the spread as well," VFL coach Tom Lynch told NMFC Media.

"They setup really strongly from their first quarter and they smacked us in most stats."

Louis Butler (20 disposals) won a free kick and kicked the Roos' first goal of the game in the early stages of the second quarter, before setting up Connor Downie who also converted his set shot.

BOMBERS v KANGAROOS Full match coverage and stats

The Bombers answered fiercely though, booting the next six majors of the contest to take a commanding 56-point lead into the final quarter.

The Essendon defence - led by Jordan Ridley and Zach Reid - proved difficult to work past over the course of the contest, as it kept the Roos at bay for large periods through its intercept marking.

The best patch for North Melbourne came at the beginning of the fourth quarter when the visitors snagged three goals in quick succession.

First it was big man Hamish Free who stirred the crowd with a sensational effort from the boundary line, then it was Sam Lowson and Butler who struck.

Ten minutes later, Blake Drury reined in a nice grab and booted his first to add to his side's best quarter for the day, but the damage had been done by stronger Essendon outfit.

"I was pleased with the way we fought it out, the scoreboard doesn't really reflect that though," he said. 

"Some of the contest numbers suggest that we were working really hard to get the game back on our terms but when you fall behind in conditions like that it was always going to be a challenge.

"To fight it out and win the last quarter is something we can hold onto and use next week."

The final disposal and mark counts were an indication of how proceedings unfolded, with the metrics reading 370-308 (disposals) and 92-44 (marks) in favour of the home side.

In his return to the VFL side, midfielder Will Phillips racked up 24 disposals and six clearances. Youngster Cooper Lord impressed through the midfield and finished with 22 disposals, while Taylor Goad, Jack Watkins, and Cooper Harvey all laid six tackles each.


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"Louis Butler was oustanding, Sam Lowson had a tough week with his grandfather passing away but I thought his effort was terrific with the way he went about his business," Lynch said.

"Our three kids - I thought Cooper Lord and Kade De La Rue really set a standard around how to compete in the contest and how to spread, those boys stood up. So did Coby James who played in the back half, he was really gutsy, composed, and brave."

ESSENDON                    4.1    8.3    12.7    15.9  (99)     
NORTH MELBOURNE    0.5    2.8    2.11    6.12  (48)     

Essendon: Hately 2, Gray 2, Eckersley 2, Caddy 2, Bryan 2, Visentini, Scott, Nyko, Molan, S McKay
North Melbourne: Butler 2, Lowson, Free, Drury, Downie

North Melbourne: Butler, Lord, Lowson, James, De La Rue, Harvey


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