Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson has praised his players’ will to win after staging a remarkable comeback in the second half against old rivals Essendon in the second half, a thrilling one-point win at Marvel Stadium / p>

Both teams have had quarters where they scored eight goals to one in a game with big momentum swings on Saturday night

The Bombers broke into the game in the second season and led by 40 points before the Hawks stormed back into the competition in the third season

They exchanged blows again in the final quarter before Tim O’Brien marked a deep attack and scored the winning goal by 90 seconds

Dylan Moore scored three goals and debutant Connor Downie two in the Hawks’ 148 (92) to 1313 (91) wins

Hawthorn had the midfielders Tom Mitchell (39 departures), Jaeger O’Meara (30) and Liam Shiels (19) as well as the Ruckmen Ben McEvoy and Jonathon Ceglar seen in the competition

“In the end, Essendon is hard to lose and we were lucky enough to win,” said Clarkson

“Such tight games are only a throw if it is essentially two halves

“But we are really proud of our boys that despite a terrible second quarter they were able to jump up and get back into the game in the second half”

Clarkson has admitted that Hawthorn is unlikely to be fighting for silver anytime soon once they regenerate their team, and they have put nine players on the bombers, ages 22 or younger,

Moore, Downie and Harry Morrison were lively at times in the front half, Will Day impressed and Changkuoth Jiath started the game with a shot from the defense

“I think both clubs have probably shown their fans that there is some excitement in some young players,” said Clarkson

Essendon debutants Harrison Jones and Nik Cox performed well and off-season recruits Jye Caldwell, Nick Hind and Peter Wright made their first appearances for their new club

Dyson Heppell did well in a new role at halfback, and Andrew McGrath and Zach Merrett won a lot of ball but were part of a midfield group that was overrun after half-time

“The good thing from our point of view and why our players are so disappointed is that we showed a really strong footy in the second half,” said bomber coach Ben Rutten

“We trained in the second quarter in particular and the guys are really disappointed because they know what they are capable of, but they said goodbye to it in this second half””

Essendon, Hawthorn

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Source: https://www.espn.com/afl/story/_/id/31098851/hawthorn-downs-essendon-thrilling-round-1-afl-comeback