Essendon have pulled off a great comeback to beat arch rivals Carlton by just 5 points in a thriller at the MCG on Friday night.

The Blues led by as much as 31 points and looked pretty comfortable during the third term before the Bombers turned the momentum, hitting the front in the final quarter and holding on with just seconds on the clock.

The first quarter set the tone for the Blues, dominating the play with 18 inside 50’s to the Bombers 6, but trailed by three points at the first break.

On the back of big man Jarrad Waite, Carlton took charge in the second term booting the first four goals as Waite had all of Carlton’s five goals. A crucial goal to Brent Stanton cut the margin back to 13 points before Murphy kicked a beautiful running goal giving the Blues a 19 point half time lead.

The Blues extended their lead early in the third term, kicking the first two goals of the quarter to push the margin out to 31 points. However, the Bombers refused to go away and slammed on three of their own to be within striking distance at the final change.

Essendon kept coming in the final quarter, before hitting the front through Jake Melksham at the 13 minute mark. The Blues hit back quickly when Judd found Waite who went back and kicked his seventh. The pressure was high as teams traded behinds before Winderlich found Melksham again who goaled from 45m to give the Dons a 5 point lead with minutes to play.

When Simon White was given a 50m penalty with seconds on the clock it looked like the Blues might snatch the lead back but his kick just drop short allowing the Bombers to hold on for a famous victory.

ESSENDON 2.1 – 3.4 – 6.7 – 11.11 (77)
CARLTON 1.4 – 6.5 – 8.9 – 10.12 (72)

Essendon: Melksham 3, Hocking, Hurley, Stanton, Crameri, Kommer, Howlett, Carlisle, Myers
Carlton: Waite 7, Murphy, Betts, Casboult