Published by Tom Naghten, 25 August 2018 on sportingnews.com
Essendon youngster Aaron Francis took a huge grab against Port Adelaide on Friday night to throw his hat into the ring for Mark of the Year.
That was until Francis’ fly over Power ruckman Paddy Ryder to pick off a Jasper Pittard kick in the third quarter at Adelaide Oval.
As far as we’re concerned, that’s the quintessential speccy.
The fly, the hang, the grab in the outstretched hands, the graceful landing on the feet. Mwah.
Whether it’s good enough to knock off Heeney, Cameron and others, we’ll leave that up to the judges.
It was one highlight for Essendon on a night that would have left the faithful wondering what might have been had they started the season more brightly.
After Friday night’s 22-point win, Essendon will be one of a host of teams to finish just four points outside the top eight.
The Bombers started the year 2-2 before losing four on the trot to give themselves too much work to do in the back half of the season
A 6-3 record since the mid-season bye wasn’t enough to crack the finals, but it will be enough to give fans hope for 2019.
As for Port Adelaide, they also finish one win outside the finals, but it was a late season capitulation that cost them.
The Power were in the top four with an 11-4 record, only to lose six of the next seven to kiss their season goodbye.
Both clubs were active in the trade period in a bid to take them to the next level.
It will be interesting to see whether they again look to bring in experience ahead of next season.